Wednesday, 5 September 2012


It is an incredible country mainly of its huge size and also the enormous diversity of cultures. The Russian Federation is the world’s biggest country. Its border is on one side the coast of the Baltic Sea and reaches right across to the Sea of Japan. It covers one ninth of the Earth land surface.  The country has 11 time zones and three different band of vegetation. The people speak a great number of different languages. Russia also lies in Europe and Asia and the Ural Mountains are thought of as the dividing line.
The Urals are not the highest mountains rage and has only up to 2000m. It is the Caucasus and Altai mountains in the east and south which go up to 5633m. However, in the far east the volcanic Kamchatka peninsular would reach a 4750m.

The three longest rivers in the world are the Ob, Lena and Amur. The Ob and Lena flow into the Arctic Ocean. The Amur counts as border between Russia and China. There is another extreme the lake Baikal which is the deepest lake in the world and measures 1620m in places. It is north of the border of Mongolia.

Russia has three different vegetation and climate zone. The extreme north called Tundra hardly melts its solid frozen ground but for two weeks in the year. The sun in the winter barely rises during the day. Further south half of the territory of Russia is covered with forest.  Mostly evergreen and silver birch and is called taiga.

This area begins at the Gulf of Finland and reaches into Asia. The enormously huge area is called Siberia. It is divided into the West Siberian Plain, central Siberia and Eastern Siberia. The Taiga is mostly marshy with shallow lakes and a terrible mosquito problem during summer months. Siberia has the greatest extremes of temperatures.  Some northern Siberian cities summer temperatures measure 37oC in the summer and -69oC in the winter.




In the south of the taiga is a vast open area called Steppe.  It has short grass growing there. In the winter it is cold and windy and in the summer hot and dusty.  The changes of climates and habitat also tell by the type of animals which vary from small fury animals to big animal in the Arctic. 

This great area has an enormous amount and variation of wildlife. Ermine, mink, squirrel and fox live in the taiga. Larger animals like bears and wolves live further up in the north till the arctic where there are polar bear, seals, and reindeer. Russia also has a great variety of fish the most famous is the sturgeon and well known for its eggs called caviar.

Russia still hunts animals for its fur and has a great export of fur trade. The whole annual fish catch adds up to over 10 per cent of the world total.


Since Russia is so large it also has an enormous amount and great variety of minerals deposits. Up till now it hasn’t been exploited fully. There is coal, iron, natural gas and oil. Under communist rules there were many environmental problems.

The huge Lake Baikal which has crystal clear water is in danger of being polluted by industry. These minerals are great deposits are chromium, bauxite, nickel, lead, copper and gold of which are great deposits. Russia dammed several large rivers to produce hydroelectric power and its supply is needed for industries.

There are several nuclear power stations which worries people especially since the explosion at Chernoble in 1996.



Farming was a way of life for many centuries. However, it changed dramatically when Stalin came to power in 1928. 

He introduced the collectivisation. The entire small farms which were in the families for generation were taken over by the state and collective farms were created. Huge areas with rich black soil of the steppe were planted with wheat, rye, sugar, beet, maize, potatoes and other vegetables.

These huge areas should have been more than enough to even feed the enormous Russian population. 

The problem lay with the inefficiency of the bureaucracy. The hopelessly arranged transport meant that the harvest went rotten in the fields and people in the cities were starving.

In 1990 the system was turned back and private ownership was allowed again.

No comments:

Post a Comment