russiaRussia, officially also known as the Russian Federation, comprises the north-eastern part of Eurasia. Geographically, it is the largest country in the world covering 12.6 per cent area of the entire earth, spanning 11 time zones, and sprawling more than 9,000 km from east to west and more than 4,000 km from north to south. Russia has common land border with 14 countries, and shares sea borders with Japan by the Sea of Okhotsk and the USA’s state of Alaska across the Bering Strait. The country is rich in natural resources such as about 120,000 rivers and two million fresh and salt lakes, forests, oil and natural gas. Russia’s population is 143.5 million (2012), and the capital is Moscow. Administratively and politically, Russia comprises 87 “subjects” including 46 provinces (oblasts), 21 republics, 9 territories (krais), 4 autonomous districts (okrugs), 1 autonomous oblast, and two federal cities, Moscow and Saint-Petersburg, which function as separate regions.  

Acknowledgements 

  • Authored by M. Kalim Qamar (February 2014)
  • Edited by Burton E. Swanson