As the largest independent state in the former Soviet Union, Russia – or the Russian Federation, as it is properly known – is the largest country in the world, at almost 6,600,000 square miles. It has a wide range of geographical features and climates. It shares borders with almost a dozen other countries, including Norway, the Baltic States (Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania), Belarus, Kazakhstan, China, and North Korea. Russia has enormous quantities of natural resources, including oil, natural gas, forests, and approximately a quarter of the world’s fresh water. Russia’s population is about 140,000,000, although it has been on the decline due to a high mortality rate, especially among males, from a variety of causes such as a high rate of alcohol abuse and tobacco use. The literacy rate in Russia is one of the best in the world, at 99.4%, and the majority of Russian citizens are urban dwellers.
The Russian Federation has struggled to transition from the centrally planned Soviet-era...
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