Russia Geography and Climate
Russia is a country that is geographically quite close to Sweden and with which we also share a lot of history, a name as Russian as Olga actually comes from the ancient Swede Helga. Despite a common historical background, Sweden and Russia are very different in terms of everything from culture to politics. Formally, the country is today called the Russian Federation and the country extends over large parts of Eastern Europe and over northern Asia. Although this country is incredibly large in terms of area (with 17,075,400 square kilometers, it is the world’s largest country), it consists for the most part of deserted landscapes and areas where it is difficult to get around. The country stretches over 9 different time zones and has coasts to several different seas including the Pacific Ocean via the Okhotsk Sea.
In order to keep order in such a gigantic country, a system has been established with 89 different administrative units called federation subjects. These subjects in turn consist of 21 republics, 6 territories, 50 regions, 9 autonomous districts, 1 autonomous region and two federal cities. Each subject has two representatives in the Russian parliament, and in this way the country is governed a bit similar to the system that exists in the United States where all states are represented in the Senate.
According to bridgat.com, Russia is thus located in both Europe and Asia. It borders Norway, Finland, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine, Poland, Georgia, Azerbaijan, China, North Korea, Mongolia and Kazakhstan. In the north you have a coast to the Arctic Ocean and in the east there is a coast to the Pacific Ocean. The climate differs greatly depending on where you are in the country and it is well known historically that the Russian winter can be very difficult to cope with. Now the whole of Russia is not in an Arctic climate zone, and in the south, on the Black Sea coast, you have a subtropical climate, which means that it can get really hot. Siberia frightens many as this remote area with a subarctic climate was long used as a prison for unwanted people who were allowed to work in slave camps there, many times without ever being heard from again.
Russia’s geography includes everything from mountains to plains and the country is rich in natural resources of various kinds. Because the country is so large, it is sparsely populated. Most live in the western parts that are seen as European, around the Ural Mountains or in the southeastern parts near the Pacific coast. In 2002, it could be stated that the country had a population of 145.2 million and then the largest part lived in the European areas while about 40 million were in the parts located in Asia. Russia is a country where the population declined sharply during the early 2000s, which was due to fewer children being born and people emigrating. However, this trend seems to be reversing.
There are many different ethnic groups in Russia, but most of them are simply considered Russians and Russian is the country’s main language. Although the Soviet era was a time when it was made difficult for dissident and dissenting religions to exist in Russia, this country has a great cultural treasure in areas such as poetry and literature, art and music. In modern times, it is interesting to note that in Russia there is an obvious equality between men and women when it comes to education and occupations, and especially in large cities where women with high education live very equal lives.
In Russia there are plenty of different ecosystems and here you can see everything from deep forests to tundra. Russia’s forests are usually called Europe’s lungs and here is the world’s largest reserve of forest. The wildlife is very varied and offers exciting species such as bears and tigers, unique birds, as well as whales and other aquatic animals. The brown bear is usually seen as a symbol of Russia.