- 1.2k Downloads
Russia is the world’s largest country covering an area of 17 million km2 (including the Arctic regions), which is almost double the size of the United States. It supports a population of about 143 million, being rather sparsely populated. The country, which has an extreme continental climate, can be divided into six main physiographic regions, described generally from west to east. First, is the Russian Plain, which is a glaciated terrain of lakes and rivers, being drained principally by the Volga River that flows south into the Caspian Sea. Second, are the northward-trending Ural Mountains, which is an ancient chain rising to no more than 2,000 m and cut by accessible passes. Third, are the huge plains of West Siberia, which are drained by the Ob and Yenisey Rivers, flowing northward to the Arctic. Fourth is the Central Siberian Plateau, covering extensive tracts at an altitude of 300–700 m, being flanked to the south and east by mountainous country, and including Lake Baikal, the world’s largest lake, covering 31,500 km2. Fifth, are the mainly mountainous Pacific borderlands, including the peninsulas of Sakhalin and Kamchatka, which flank the Sea of Okhotsk. Sixth are the Arctic Seas and islands, some of which are of a substantial size.