Russia, the largest country in the world, occupies one-tenth of all the land on Earth. There are about 120 ethnic groups in Russia who speak more than a hundred languages. Roughly 80 percent of Russians trace their ancestry to the Slavs. The Nation is a federation of 86 republics, provinces, territories and districts, all controlled by the government in Moscow. The head of state is a president elected by the people. The economy is based on a vast supply of natural resources, including oil, coal, iron ore, gold and aluminum.
Almost half of the country is covered in forests, only 14% are suitable for agricultural land due to the harsh climate. The Volga is Russia’s and Europe’s longest river with 3,530 km/ 2,190 miles. The Volga river mouth is in the Caspian Sea-the world’s largest lake. The nation is also home to Lake Baikal also referred to as Blue Eye of Siberia- the deepest lake in the world. It is the biggest water reservoir in the world holding 1/5 of the world’s freshwater reserves.
In Russia children start school when they turn six years old and typically go to school for ten years. After Grade 11, students can go to study at university. Unlike other western countries, Russian homes mostly consist of parents, grandparents and children as family is a very important component of their tradition and culture. Due to the large nature of the country, dishes differ across the various ethnic groups but have some commonalities such as vegetable soups and stews as well as Sour cream included in many dishes. You can not have any Russian cuisine without pork, beef, lamb, chicken, fish, potatoes and root vegetables as well as porridge and bread. It’s a must.
- Russia has 11 time zones
- The Russian language is written with the Cyrillic alphabet which consists of 33 letters. Some letters are similar to the Latin alphabet, but some are different.
- Visit the Red Square, wander through the Kremlin fortress and admire the colorful St Basil’s Cathedral.
- St Petersburg: This port city on the Baltic Sea is the second largest city in the country. It is home to the fabulous Hermitage museum and the Winter palace, previously home of the Russian tsars and emperors.
- The ‘White Nights’ which are for about two weeks from mid of June in Russia. The sun does not set in St Petersburg, meaning there is not evening but only daylight for 24 hours.