Facts About Russia


 

Russian map with flag design

1. Russia spans two continents, both Europe and Asia. That combined continental landmass is known as Eurasia. It is the largest country in the world by area with a total of more than 6.6 million square miles. That means Russia is more than 63 times as large as Colorado. It comprises 1/7 th of the total land on our planet.

2. The longest railway in the world is the Trans-Siberian Railway, which spans almost all the way across the country. The 5,700-mile railway departs in Moscow, which is located in European Russia, and crosses into Asia. From there it makes its way to the Pacific Ocean port of Vladivostok. The non-stop journey would take you 152 hours and 27 minutes to complete.

3. The Hermitage, a museum in St. Petersburg, is home to around 70 cats. They guard the treasures against rodents, a tradition that dates back to 1745. Using cats to fend off mice and rats was a decree of Empress Elizabeth, the daughter of Peter the Great, the man who founded St. Petersburg


4. In Russia, the women outnumber the men by nearly 11 million. This is thought to be in part because of the large number of casualties during World War I.

5. The country spans 11 time zones. In comparison, the continental United States has 4. If you include Alaska and Hawaii, that’s still only 6.

6. The Volga River is the longest in Europe at 2,293 miles. If you counted its more than 200 tributaries with the main river, it is 221,800 miles long.

7. Popular instruments in Russian music include the accordion, the balalaika, which is a triangular lute-type instrument, the spoons used as percussion, and the gust, the oldest Russian plucked instrument which has between eleven and thirty-six strings.

Gusli

Russian building with onion domes


8. Lake Ilmen’s name originates from a word meaning “air lake.” It is fed by 52 in-flowing rivers and drains through just one, the Volkhov. The basin of the lake is very shallow, so when combined with an incredibly fast water cycle the result is that the water in the lake completely changes six time per year.

9. Tsarina (or czarina) is the feminine version of a tsar, a title that comes from the name Caesar and means emperor. The tsar(ina) was a supreme ruler in Russia prior to 1917 when the Russian Revolution brought about communism.

10. Alaska, our 49 th state, was purchased from Russia in 1867. Little Diomede Island, which is part of the state is our closet neighbor to Russia at only 2.4 miles away. The Russian neighbor is a larger island called Big Diomede.