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GEOGRAPHY & CLIMATE
Geography

Russia has an extensive coastline of over 37,000 kilometers
(23,000 mi) along the Arctic and Pacific Oceans, as well as the
Baltic, Black and Caspian seas. Some smaller bodies of water are
part of the open oceans; the Barents Sea, White Sea, Kara Sea,
Laptev Sea and East Siberian Sea are part of the Arctic, whereas
the Bering Sea, Sea of Okhotsk and the Sea of Japan belong to the
Pacific Ocean. Major islands and archipelagos include Novaya
Zemlya, the Franz Josef Land, the New Siberian Islands, Wrangel
Island, the Kuril Islands and Sakhalin. (See List of islands of
Russia). The Diomede Islands (one controlled by Russia, the other
by the United States) are just three kilometers (1.9 mi) apart, and
Kunashir Island (controlled by Russia but claimed by Japan) is
about twenty kilometers (12 mi) from Hokkaidō.Russia is a water-
rich country. Russia has thousands of rivers and inland bodies of
water, providing it with one of the world's largest surface-water
resources. The most prominent of Russia's bodies of fresh water is
Lake Baikal, the world's deepest and most capacious freshwater
lake. Lake Baikal alone contains over one fifth of the world's liquid
fresh surface water. Truly unique on Earth, Baikal is home to more
than 1,700 species of plants and animals, two thirds of which can
be found nowhere else in the world. Many rivers flow across Russia.
Of its 100,000 rivers, Russia contains some of the world's longest.
The Volga is the most famous not only because it is the longest river
in Europe but also because of its major role in Russian history.
Major lakes include Lake Baikal, Lake Ladoga and Lake Onega;
see List of lakes in Russia. Russia has a wide natural resource
base including major deposits of petroleum, natural gas, coal,
timber and many strategic minerals.

Climate

Because of its size, Russia's climate displays both monotony and
diversity. The climate of the Russian Federation formed under the
influence of several determining factors. One of the most important
is the enormous size and remoteness of many areas of the sea,
resulting in the dominance of the continental climate. The climates
of both European and Asian Russia are continental except for the
tundra and the extreme southeast. Mountains in the south
obstructing the flow of warm air masses from the Indian Ocean and
the plain of the west and north makes the country open to Arctic and
Atlantic influences. As a result, much of the territory there are only
two distinct seasons winter and summer; Spring and autumn are
usually brief periods of change between extremely low temperatures
and extremely high. The coldest month is January (on the shores of
the sea—February), the warmest usually is July. Great ranges of
temperature are typical. In winter temperatures get colder both from
south to north and from west to east. Summers can be quite hot and
humid, even in Siberia. A small part of Black Sea coast around
Sochi is considered in Russia to have subtropical climate.
Capital
(and largest city)
Moscow
55°45′N, 37°37′E
Official languages
Russian official
throughout nation;
thirty
others co-official in
various regions
Demonym
Russian
Government

President
Prime Minister
Semi-presidential
federal republic
Vladimir Putin
Viktor Zubkov
Formation
Founded

Declared

Finalised
862 AD


June 12, 1990

December 25,
1991  
Area
Total

Water (%)

6,592,800 sq mi
13
Population
2006 estimate

2002 census

Density
142,754,000 (8th)


145,274,019

8.3/km² (209th)
21.8/sq mi
GDP (PPP)
Total


Per capita
2006 estimate
$1.727 trillion
(8th1)

$12,096 (59th)
GDP (nominal)
Total

Per capita
2006 estimate
$979 billion (11th)

$6,856 (59th
HDI (2004)
0.797 (medium)
(65th)
Gini? (2002)
39.9 (medium)
Currency
Ruble (RUB)
Time zone
Summer (DST)
(UTC+2 to +12)
(UTC+3 to +13)
Internet TLD
+7
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