Russia has been described as many things: a mother, a winner, a force and a fighter. It is, as Churchill put it famously, a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.
Russia is outsize both literally and metaphorically. Aside from its physical bulk, it has loomed like a specter over the west for decades.
Russia is the world’s largest country by area. It covers 17 million sq km 6.6 million sq mile, accounting for more than one-ninth of Earth’s terrestrial area.
Russia has the world’s longest railway. The Trans-Siberian spans nearly the whole country, departing Moscow in the west and traveling to Vladivostok in the east. The entire journey is 9,200km long 5,700mi and would take 152 hours and 27 minutes to complete non-stop.
Russia lies in both Europe and Asia: one-quarter of its territory is in Europe and three quarters in Asia. Notably, only 22% of the population resides in the Asian section.
Russia’s Lake Baikal is the deepest in the world and contains about 20% of the worlds unfrozen freshwater.
Russian leaders have some interesting creative pursuits. Mikhail Gorbachev recorded an album of romantic ballads while current leader Vladimir Putin has a judo DVD.
Putin once saved a TV crew from a Siberian tiger… but later acknowledged that the rescue was staged. Other of his documented publicity stunts include tagging whales and frolicking with a rare snow leopard.
In 1908, the Russian Olympic team arrived in London 12 days late because it was still using the Julian calendar.
Russia has one of the deadliest lakes in the world. Lake Karachay near the Russian Urals city of Chelyabinsk is a dumping ground for nuclear waste and is so radioactive that standing beside it for an hour would almost certainly kill you
Russia shares a border with 14 countries: Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Belarus, China, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Mongolia,and North Korea. No other country has as many borders.
Russians are the world’s fourth-biggest drinkers behind Belarus, Moldova,and Lithuania. This may explain why one out of five male deaths in Russia isalcohol-related.
One of our favorite interesting facts about Russia is that there is a restaurant in Moscow staffed entirely by twins. The Twin Stars diner employs identically-dressed siblings and takes inspiration from 1964 Soviet film K