Russia is the largest county in the world covering eastern part of Europe and northern part of Asia. The total area of Russia is about seventeen million square kilometres with the population of about 145 million people. It borders on many countries, f or example, China, Georgia, Finland, Norway, Ukraine and others.
The country is washed by twelve seas and three oceans: the Pacific Ocean in the east, the Arctic Ocean in the north and the Atlantic Ocean in the west. Among the seas are the Baltic Sea, the Azov Sea, the Black Sea, the Caspian Sea and others. The landscape of Russia is varied. Most of the territory consists of vast plains that are steppes to the south and heavily forested to the north, with the tundra along the northern coast 10% of the world's arable land is in Russia.
Mountain ranges are along the southern borders, such as the Caucasus (with Mount Elbrus which the highest point in both Russia and Europe) and the Altai Mountains (with Mount Belukha, which is the highest point of Siberia). In the eastern parts there is the Verkhoyansk Range and the volcanoes of Kamchatka Peninsula (with Klyuchevskaya Sopka, which is the highest active volcano in Eurasia as well as the highest point of Asian Russia). The Ural Mountains, rich in mineral resources, divide Europe and Asia, going from the north to the south.
The climate in the country varies. The areas which are far from the sea have humid continental climate and it is predominant in all parts of the country except for the tundra and the southeast. Most of Northern European Russia and Siberia have subarctic climate, with extremely severe winters (especially in the Sakha Republic, where the Northern Hemisphere’s Pole of Cold is located with the lowest recorded temperature of - 71.2 °C). The strip of land along the shore of the Arctic Ocean and the Russian Arctic islands have polar climate. The climate of the coastal part of Krasnodar Territory on the Black Sea is humid subtropical with mild and wet winters. Winters are dry -compared to summers in many regions of East Siberia and the Far East. The region along the Lower Volga and Caspian Sea coast, as well as some areas of southernmost Siberia, possesses semi-arid climate.
Russia has thousands of rivers and inland water bodies pro viding it with one of the world's largest surf ace water resources. The Volga River, the largest river in Europe, and the Siberian Rivers (the Ob, the Yenisei, the Lena and the Amur) are among the longest rivers in the world. The largest and most prominent of Russia's freshwater body is Lake Baikal, the world's deepest and purest freshwater lake. The Baikal contains over one fifth of the world's fresh water. Other major lakes include the Ladoga and the Onega, two of the largest lakes in Europe.
Russia is an industrial country. The major industries are agriculture and fishing. Large farms concentrate mainly on the production of grain and husbandry products, small private household plots produce most of the country's yield of vegetables and fruit. With access to three oceans - the Atlantic, the Arctic, and the Pacific - Russian fishing fleets are a major contributor to the world's fish supply. Russia also has a lot of mineral resources: coal, natural gas, oil and iron.
Moscow is the capital of Russia and the most populous city in the country. Founded in 1147 on the Moskva River by Prince Yury Dolgoruky, the city grew rapidly and in the 16th century Moscow was made the capital of the country by Tsar Ivan the Terrible.
Today Moscow is the largest city in Europe and one of the largest cities in the world with the population of more than 10 million people. It is a major political, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia.
Red Square with the Kremlin is the centre of Moscow. These are the most popular tourist destinations. Read Square is the place for parades and big national and international concerts. St. Basil's Cathedral in Red Square is a masterpiece of Russian architecture. The Cathedral was erected to commemorate Russia's victory over the Kazan Kingdom in the 16th century. The monument to Minin and Pozharsky, the oldest monument in
Moscow built in memory of the victory over the Polish invaders, can be seen in front of the Cathedral. The State History Museum, the museum of Russian history, is situated opposite St. Basil's Cathedral. It is one of the biggest muse ums in Moscow with the exhibitions that range from relics of the prehistoric tribes inhabiting present-day Russia to price less artworks acquired by members of the Romanov dynasty.
On the territory of the Kremlin one can see ancient cathedrals that are real architectural masterpieces. The Bell Tower of Ivan the Great, the Cathedral of the Dormition, the Cathedral of the Annunciation, the Palace of Congress, the Tsar-Cannon and the Tsar-Bell, the biggest cannon and bell in the world can be seen there. The Spasskaya Tower, the tallest tower, is the symbol of the Kremlin. Alexander Garden is situated outside the Kremlin walls. It was one of the first urban public parks in the city. The park comprises three separate gar dens, which stretch along the western Kremlin wall. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier with the eternal flame is a memorial to the soldiers who died in World War II.
Moscow is a big cultural centre with plenty of cinemas, concert halls, numerous drama and musical theatres, including world-famous ones like the Bolshoi Theatre and the Maly Theatre, and clubs. The city is also proud of its museums and art galleries. Moscow's biggest museum is the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, which houses one of the world's largest collections of ancient, classical and oriental works of art. The Tretyakov Gallery is famous all over the world and contains a great collection of Russian artists' works.
Moscow has as a lot of green spots scattered around the city. There are 96 parks and 18 gardens in the city, including 4 botanical gardens. Gorky Park was founded in 1928. It borders on Neskuchny Garden, the oldest park in Moscow. The Garden has the Green Theatre, one of the largest open amphitheatres in Europe with the capacity of 15 thousand people. -
Izmailovsky Park opened in 1931is one of the largest urban parks in the world along with Richmond Park in London. Its area is six times bigger than that of Central Park in New York. Sokolniki Park, named after the falcon hunting that often took place there in the past, is one of the oldest parks in Moscow. The centre of the park is marked with the fountain and the network of birch, maple and elm tree alleys that radiate from it.
Kuzminsky Park is another green spot of Moscow. The district is a family nest of the Golitsyn Princes, a summer house settlement in the past, which was famous for its great location, remarkable parks, and picturesque ponds. Today there is a museum there. This preserved nature complex of the city is of unique ecological, scenic, historical and cultural value.
Losiny Ostrov National Park is situated partly in Moscow, partly in Moscow Region. This is the first national park in Russia and is considered the largest forest in a city.
The Main Botanical Garden of the Academy of Science, founded in 1945, is the largest in Europe. It contains a collection of more than 20 thousand different plants from various parts of the world as well as a scientific research lab. There is also a rose garden with 20 thousand rose bushes in the Garden, a tree nursery, and an oak forest with the trees that are more than 100 years old.
Other popular attractions include the Moscow Zoo, a zoo logical garden of nearly a thousand animal species. Every year the zoo attracts more than 1.2 million visitors.
Moscow is a big sports centre too. There are various sports facilities in the city including sixty-three stadiums. Luzhniki Stadium is the 4th largest stadium in Europe (it hosted Summer Olympic Games in 1980). There are also seven horse racing tracks in Moscow, the largest of which is Moscow Central Hippodrome, founded in 1834.
The so-called "Seven Sisters", seven massive skyscrapers scattered throughout the city, are among the most famous buildings in the city. They stand at the equal distance from the Kremlin and are among the tallest constructions in central Moscow apart from the Ostankino Tower, which, when it was completed in 1967, was the tallest free-standing building in the world and today remains the world's fourth tallest tower after Burj Khalif a in Dubai, Canton Tower in Guangzhou and the CN Tower in Toronto.
Moscow is a large educational centre with plenty of schools, colleges, institutes and universities. The biggest and most famous university is Moscow State University on the Vorobyovy Hills. The University was named after Mikhail Lomonosov who helped to found it. Students from all over Russia and international students study at MSU.