Physical Geography and Location
Location of Russia
Russia is located in northern Eurasia. The geographical coordinates are 55 degrees and 45 minutes and 37 degrees and 37 minutes. The nation shares its boundaries with Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Belarus, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, and North Korea. It is also bound to the American state of Alaska across the Bering Strait. Russia spans 9 time zones ranging from UTC +3 to +12.
The largest country in the world, Russia covers an area of 6.602 million sq. miles (17,075,400 square kilometers). Russian topography is predominated by vast plains which stretch out to the steppe in the south, heavy forests in the north, and tundra along the northern coast. The Russian borders are speckled with mountain ranges like the Caucasus and the Altai along the south, and the Verkhoyansk Range in the east. The divide between Europe and Asia is formed by the Ural Mountain range.
Climate of Russia
Russia predominantly experiences a humid continental climate. This is seen almost across the country except for the tundra region and the extreme southeast. Warm winds from the Indian Ocean are hindered by the mountain ranges in the south and because of the plains in the north and the west, there is the unrestricted Arctic and Antarctic influence. North European Russia has a predominantly sub-arctic climate with extremely severe winters. Siberia is part of this region. When compared to summers, winters in Russia are rather dry. January is the coldest month of the year, while July is the warmest.
Russia has one of the most extensive surfaces water resources, with thousands of rivers and water bodies. About a quarter of the world’s freshwater is contained in the lakes of Russia. Lake Baikal in Russia is the world’s oldest and deepest freshwater lake. It is also considered to be the purest lake on the planet. Russia ranks second in volume of renewable resources of water after Brazil. The river Volga, the longest river in Europe is also located here.
the large forest area that Russia covers ensures that it encumbers a wide variety of wildlife. In all, there are about 11,400 species of plants in Russia and more than 1400 vertebrae species in Russia, of which 320 are mammals, 732 are birds, 75 reptiles and 269 are fish. The national animal of Russia is the brown bear.
There are 48 national parks in Russia, which in totality cover about 60,105 sq miles (155,672 sq km) of area. The first national parks of Russia are Sochinsky and Losiny Ostrov which opened in 1983. The Russian national parks are rather structured and are divided into zones depending on their functions. There is a highly protected area of the park known as the zapovednik, as well as zones dedicated to recreation where tourism is permitted.