Russia: The country, a continent in itself

Russia is located in the east of the continent of Europe, it is the largest state on this continent. This state occupies 16-17% of the Earth’s land area, most of it located in Asia. The division between the European and Asian parts is formed by the Ural Mountains.


Due to the enormous expanse of the country, there are many different landscapes. Plant growth is determined by the climate, the soil and the height differences. If we pay attention to these 3 things, we can distinguish the following landscapes in Russia: In the far north an almost barren area. The Arctic islands and the edge of the mainland are almost constantly covered with snow. The tundra lies south of here; the ground is always frozen, moss and some dwarf shrubs grow there. Reindeer live here and nomads who live on reindeer. The taiga, this is the area of coniferous forests. They grow on infertile sandy soil; in terms of surface area, this is the largest area. The deciduous forest zone from Poland to the Urals; steppes on the fertile black earth; these grasslands have largely been converted into arable land; deserts and nicknamed deserts east of the Caspian Sea; a subtropical area along the Black Sea, including the Crimean peninsula, and south of the Caucasus.


The climate is continental in most of the country, but there are large temperature differences. The lowest winter temperatures occur in the northeastern part of Siberia in the Asian part (-82 degrees measured). The highest summer temperature occurs in the Turkestan desert. The Mediterranean climate occurs along the east coast of the Black Sea, in part of Crimea and in Transcaucasia.


Many different peoples live in Russia and therefore many different languages are spoken. The Slavic group (Russians, and Belarusians…) are the largest; they make up more than 75% of the population. Of the rest, the Turkic peoples (Tartars, Uzbeks, Azerbaijanis, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz and Turkmen) are the most numerous. The Slavic language, Russian, is the trading language for the entire empire. In areas where Russian is not spoken, it should be taught as a second language alongside the mother tongue. The number of people using Russian as a colloquial language is increasing much faster than the number of Russians themselves. As a result, the Russian lifestyle is gradually becoming dominant throughout Russia. After the Revolution of 1917, in which the Tsars were deposed and murdered, Russians started living much more in cities. In 1900, 16% of the population lived in cities, now more than 55%. Many people move to the new industrial areas in the Urals and Siberia and to the developed steppes in Kazakhstan. The population in the Asian part is growing strongly because there is a high birth rate, while in the European part population growth is stagnating. Although there is freedom of religion, the church has no influence on public life. Church property has been confiscated and religious education is being opposed. The main religious groups are: The Russian Orthodox Church. It is headed by the Patriarch of Moscow; the Groesian and Lutheran churches are related to this. Illiteracy, which used to be very common, has completely disappeared in a short time. A lot of attention is paid to scientific and technical higher education.

Russia in the war

After the Second World War, Russia’s political power increased significantly. It expanded its influence over a number of Eastern European countries. In 1949 they were united in Comecon; Russia has great influence in this union for economic cooperation. In the military field there is cooperation in the Warsaw Pact. Russia in a nutshell.

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