Russia is the largest country in what is considered to be the Euro-Asiatic area.
It has had a long history of dominance, taking over other countries as a monarchy as well as under communist rule.
It was once a country that had little or no contact with the Western world, existing in seclusion and old fashion traditions, only to rise up and adopt new cultures and become one of the world’s most powerful countries.
Russia Facts for Kids
Population: 142 million
Capital City: Moscow
President: Vladimir Putin
Official Language: Russian
National Holiday: Russian New Year (1–6 Jan), Russian New Year (8 Jan), Russia Day (12 Jun)
Founded: The Russian Federation was created on 25 December 1991
Area: 6,592,812 sq mi (17,052,400 sq km)
Where is Russia?
Russia is a big country and runs from Eastern Europe to Norton Asia. Because it’s so big, it’s located in Europe and on the Asian continent.
There are 14 different countries bordering Russia
How big is Russia
It is a massive country and is double the size of Australia and almost twice the size of the USA. Because the country is so big and located on the European continent and the Asian continent, there is a lot of wilderness, and most people live in the westernmost part of Russia.
About 45% of the country is covered in forest. This is about 885 million hectares, and it accounts for a quarter of the world’s reserve of wood. This leaves around 14% of the land suitable for agriculture because of the harsh climate and environment.
The climate in Russia can be described as highly continental they can have very hot and warm dry summers and extremely cold winters with temperatures dropping to -30°C.
Quick Facts about Russia
- The biggest country in the world and bordering 14 countries
- Its longest border is beside China
- The highest mountain is Mount Elbrus at 5,642 m
- The longest river is the Lena River, 4,294 km
- The Caspian Sea is the largest lake in Russia and the world
- Lake Baikal is the deepest lake in the world
- There are eleven different time zones
- There are more than 1,300 different cities in Russia
Major cities in Russia
Moscow is the capital of Russia, and around 11 million people live there. It’s an important cultural, economic, political, and religious center.
At the center of the city, you will find the ancient walled city called the Kremlin. This houses government buildings, churches, and museums.
There are many famous buildings located in this area like St. Basil’s Cathedral and Spasskaya Tower.
It has 3 different airports Sheremetyevo, Domodedovo, and Vnukovo
The Metro system was built in the 1930s and is used on a daily basis by thousands of people.
It can be very cold in the winter with lots of snowfall and the complete opposite summertime with scorching weather.
The second-largest city in the country is a port city beside the Baltic Sea.
It used to be called Leningrad to honor the communist revolutionary, Vladimir Lenin, and after the fall of the Soviet Union, it was switched to Saint Petersburg.
Vladimir Putin was born there in 1952.
The famous Alexander Column has stood in place for 185 years
There are more than 300 bridges in St. Petersburg
from the end of May to mid-July. A natural phenomenon happens where it doesn’t get dark at night time. These are known as white knights.
Sochi is by the Black Sea and is a well-known summer destination vacation spot.
It’s also well-known for its beautiful architecture.
It has a population of over 330,000 people and hosted the 2014 Winter Olympics
Summers can be warm with temperatures reaching from 77°F to 82°F, and wintertime they can dip bellowing freezing for extended periods
Covering 9,288 kilometers from Moscow to Vladivostok, the Trans Siberian railway is the longest passenger train journey in the world. The journey takes you through 8 different time zones and takes seven days.
Russian Railways run the trains that take you over 16 major rivers, 497 bridges, and 15 tunnels.
It is the world’s deepest lake. It’s located in the southern part of eastern Siberia in Russia. It’s 1,632m deep and home to many unique species of animals and plants.
It has 27 islands, its coastline measures 2100 kilometers, and over 300 streams and rivers flow into the lake.
It is also the world’s largest freshwater lake.
Kizhi Island has some of the most amazing Wooden architectures.
The island is located in the middle center of Lake Onega, Karelia.
Although in history, the island was used as a defense post against Swedish and Polish invasions. Today, its best known for its open-air Museums, Architecture, wooden barns, houses, windmills, and several churches.
Unbelievably no nails were used in the construction of the wooden architecture.
It’s a step back in time to see Russian culture
The early 9th century in Russia was actually a time where the land was inhabited by Slavic tribes. The Vikings arrived in the late 9th century in a nation that was called ‘Rus,’ and the new inhabitants adopted the customs and traditions.
By the middle of the 13th century, the Mongols were invading many parts of Europe, and they invaded Russia, led by the grandson of Genghis Khan. Invasions continued into the area with the Tatars, who allowed the territories to run themselves and then by the Lithuanians.
In 1480, the Tatars retreated when they began a siege that backfired on them, and they found themselves surrounded. Russia had separated itself from the Greek Orthodox Church when they temporarily united with the Roman Catholics.
By the 16th century, there was a bit more contact with the European countries, and a leader named Ivan IV (also known as Ivan the Terrible) came to the throne of Russia and was crowned as the first ‘Tsar.’ As a horrible ruler, Ivan created an army that was devoted to him and killed or slaughtered anyone that he thought was against him, including his own son.
The 17th century brought about a number of Tsars and wars. The most notable of the Tsars was Catherine the Great and Peter. Both of which helped to elevate their country to a higher level of grandeur through winning battles and wars as well as opening the doors to the European countries for interchange.
There were only a few rulers that actually benefited the Russian people. A majority of the time, they lived as poor villagers. Only the members of the higher government and monarchies did well financially. Due to this fact, the revolution was always just a step away.
In 1898 the country split into two political beliefs: the Bolsheviks (majority) and the Mensheviks (minority), but the terms were misleading as the Bolsheviks were not the majority of the country. World War I in 1914 had left the country depleted and the Russian army in a weakened state. The Tsar and his family were unaware of the famine and bread shortage of the people, and it was then that a revolution arose. Rioting led to the murder of the Tsar, his wife, and their children and allowed the government to be overthrown.
Vladimir Lenin led the revolution across Russia, disposing of the provisional government and allowing the now communist soldiers to kill tens of thousands of people who opposed them. It took a number of years for things to settle down and for the peasants to be allowed to grow their own food.
After Lenin’s death, he was replaced by Stalin, who was even more devious. He created what is known as ‘The Great Terror,’ murdering thousands of more people. Even though the crimes were great, the country continued to prosper.
Stalin aligned himself with the Germans during World War I, and this allowed them to advance into other neighboring countries to take over. After World War II and the surrender of Germany, Russia was left with many of the eastern European countries, and they absorbed them as puppet countries, but between the wars and the rule of both Lenin and Stalin, the Russian people had suffered greatly, with the death of millions.
Even the death of Stalin didn’t stop the communist infrastructure and continued to rule and try to take over various countries. This continued, although the people of Russia did start to experience a slightly improved lifestyle.
By 1956, the leader, Nikita Krushchev, began a campaign to expand the communist rule even further. His focus was to bring the communist USSR as a world leader, and he invested all the money that he could get into military programs, including a space program. This launched a competition between the United States and USSR that continued to see who could be the first to have a human being walk on the moon. The United States won that race, but it was the Russian’s that had the first satellite in orbit.
A series of errors and problems plagued Russia, including the alienation of many of the nations of the world. Russia’s investment into their nuclear program put them in a position of being equal with the United States and the time period that the fear of nuclear holocaust was called the ‘Cold War.’
By the early 1990s, the communist regime collapsed, and it has taken Russia many years to regroup and rebuild. For a number of years, they sold off all of the items that they could to maintain a government structure and then began working towards improving their economy. The countries that had once been under communist rule were set free, and they were allowed to become individual entities.