The West liked to compare itself to Russia when it came to power and other world issues. However, even after Russia fell apart at the end of the eighties it was still one of the major players in the world. With a size 400 times the surface of The Netherlands and 4 different time zones this may not come as a surprise. Although energy is Russia’s new toy and the face of Mr. Putin is shown on television more often than a Heineken commercial, there’s more to Russia than power play.
Moscow ranks in the top-10 of the world’s most expensive cities. One square meter costs a fortune. All land is property of the city mayor and has a long lease of 49 years maximum. Welcome to Moscow City, a mystical place of extremes. Oligarchs and media tycoons are based in a city where annually a record number of bums freeze to death, after giant doses of vodka. The Moscow Metro system has been built for eternity by Stalin and this can be felt by its commuters, who daily pass the beautiful and unique stations. Moscow is big, fast, and expensive but a definite must-see for everyone who wants to get a taste of Russia.
The Ural Mountains form the border between Europe and Asia. Beyond the Ural arise different types of landscape. In the far North is located the treeless tundra, with permanently frozen grounds. In the Taiga one will find extended pine forests (firs, pine trees, birches), while further South steppes stretch out.
Russia has generally speaking a country climate, but knows different climates as well. The fast and drastic change from summer to winter is unique. The average temperature in the warmest month in Moscow (July) is 19°C and in the coldest month (January) -9°C. In the northern parts of Russia and in Siberia is a polar climate with extremely cold and long winters and warm but short summers. In the city of Irkutsk the average temperature in January is -20,8°C and 17,9°C in July. In the upper northern part of Siberia temperatures of -50°C are not exceptional. The lowest average temperature in January is -50°C and can be found in Verchojansk in eastern Siberia.
No. of inhabitants:
Russian (79,8%), Tatar (3,8%), Ukrainians (1,2%), Basjk (1,1%), Tsjoevasj
(0,9%), Chechen (0,9%), Armenian (0,8%), Others (10,3%)
Russian. Other languages are German, Ukrainian and Tatar
Sjamanism / Animism
Head of State:
President Vladimir Putin
Prime minister Michail Fradkov
755,4 billion US Dollar
GNP per inhabitant:
5.341 US Dollar
Oil, coal, iron ore and wood
Important export partners:
EU (mainly Germany), Belarus, Ukrainian, United States of America, China
International countrie code: