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Geographical Position of Russia

Updated:2009-04-08 16:46:17

Territory of the Russian Federation

With a total area of 17 million square kilometers, Russia is the largest country in the world. It spans two continents (Europe and Asia) and borders Poland, Ukraine, Belarus and the Baltic countries to the west, Finland to the north, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Mongolia and China to the south, and North Korea to the east. The United States and Japan are not far from the eastern coast of Russia.

The extreme northernmost point of the country's mainland is Cape Fligely on Rudolf Island of Franz Josef Land archipelago; the southernmost point is located in the Republic of Dagestan on the border with Azerbaijan. The distance between the western and the eastern borders of Russia is 9,000 km (from the Vistula Spit in Kaliningrad Bay to Cape Dezhnev in Chukotka); the easternmost point is Rotmanov Island in the Bering Strait. Thus, Russia's territory spans over 4,000 km from north to south, and almost 10,000 km from west to east.

Russia has the longest border in the world, a total of 60,932 km, including 38,808 km of maritime borders (in the north and east) and 14,508 of land borders (in the south and west). Russia borders Kazakhstan (6,846 km), China (3,645 km), Mongolia (3,485 km), Ukraine (1,576 km), Finland (1,340 km), Belarus (959 km), Georgia (723 km), Estonia (294 km), Azerbaijan (284 km), Lithuania (280.5 km), Poland (232 km), Latvia  (217 km), Norway (196 km), and North Korea (19 km).

Russia has about 120,000 rivers over 10 kilometers long. The total length of these rivers is 2.3 million kilometers. The largest rivers are the Ob, Irtysh, Yenisey, Amur, and  Volga in the European part of the country. There are about 2 million freshwater and salt lakes in Russia. The largest lakes are Lake Baikal (which holds about 20% of the world's total freshwater supply, not counting the fresh water frozen in the polar ice caps and glaciers), Lake Ladoga, Lake Onega, and Lake Taimyr.

The forest zone covers 41% of Russia's plainlands; the share of the forest-steppe zone is 11.2% and the tundra forest belt 20.5%.

The coasts of Russia are washed by 12 seas of three ocean basins: the Atlantic Ocean (the Baltic Sea, the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov), the Arctic Ocean (the Barents Sea, the White Sea, the Kara Sea, the Laptev Sea, the East Siberian Sea and the Chukchee Sea) and the Pacific Ocean (the Bering Sea, the Sea of Okhotsk and the Sea of Japan), as well the Caspian Sea, which is a closed basin.

Climate

Due to its vast territory, Russia is a country of natural contrasts. The northern part of the country is located in the arctic and subarctic climate zones, while the southern regions have a subtropical climate. The climate of other regions of the country is moderate.

Russian time zones

There are eleven time zones in Russia (more than in any other country in the world): from UTC +1 in Kalinigrad to UTC +12  in Kamchatka.

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