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Geography and nature

MoscowRussia is located on the eastern part of Europe and northern part of Asia. Eastern European Plain occupies the West of Russia, further the Ural mountain chain lies, behind which Western Siberian Plain stretches.
Russia has borders with North Korea, Chinese People's Republic, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Ukraine, Byelorussia, Lithuania, Poland, Latvia, Estonia, Finland and Norway.
Total area is 17 075,5 thousand sq. km.

The highest peak is Elbrus (5642 m) in the Caucasus. There are also Altay mountains (highest point - Belukha mountain, 4506 m), Ala Tau, Sayans mountains in Southern Siberia, in the northeast of Siberia - the Verkhoyansk mountain ridge, in the Far East - Sikhote Alin mountains, etc. Along the Pacific Ocean coast of the Far East spread mountains of Kamchatka Peninsula (Klyuchevskaya Sopka mountain - 4750 m) and the Kurile Islands with active volcanoes.

The largest rivers of the Arctic Ocean basin are: the Northern Dvina, Pechora, Ob, Yenisei, Lena; Pacific Ocean - Amur; Atlantic Ocean - Don, Neva, Kuban River. The Volga River flowing into the Caspian Sea belongs to internal basin.

The largest in the world fresh-water Baikal Lake is situated in Siberia.

The largest cities are: Saint Petersburg, Nizhny Novgorod, Novosibirsk, Ekaterinburg, Samara, Omsk, Chelyabinsk, Perm, Kazan, Ufa.

There are 11 time zones.

The Climate: The most part of Russian territories lies in the temperate climatic zone; islands of the Arctic Ocean and northern continental areas lie in arctic and subarctic zones; the Black Sea coast of Caucasus is located in the subtropical zone. The climate is almost everywhere continental, with cold winters and hot summers.

The coldest point of the northern hemisphere (with the minimal temperature in January -68 C) is city of Oimyakon in Saint-Petersburgthe Eastern Siberia. In the south of the Far East the climate is of temperate-monsoon type with average temperature in January from -5 C up to 0 C. The greatest amount of precipitations fall in mountains of the Caucasus and Altai (up to 2000 mm per year), the most dry area - Prikaspiyskaya Lowland (about 150 mm of precipitations per year).

Natural dangers: Strong frosts - the temperature in winter in continental areas of Siberia may reach -70 C. The dangers connected with rest are in the mountain - volcanic activity and possible earthquakes in the Kurile Islands and Kamchatka. In woods - bogs, marches, wild bears and wolves, in the Far East - tigers and leopards.

Many rivers especially in Siberia have fast current, whirlpools. Besides there are a lot of insects in summer time in Siberia which stings are painful. Encephalitic mite becomes active in May - June in woods of Russia. Regions adjoining to former nuclear ranges and chemical manufactures have adverse ecological conditions.

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