For tonight, just basic Russia info.
- The largest country in the world, Russia constitutes one-seventh of the world’s landmass and spans eight time zones. This expansive area allows it to neighbor more countries than anywhere else on earth, as well as touch twenty-two bodies of water and hold twelve seas within its borders.
- You can find the oldest mountains in the world, the Urals, and the deepest lake in the world, Lake Baikal 1,642 metres (5,387 ft) deep.
- Russia has a population of 145.5 million people, 80% of whom reside in Western Russia and two-thirds of whom live in cities.
- Given its vast supply of natural resources, Russia depends heavily on mining. It is the world’s leading producer of energy and military technologies.
- The official language in Russia is Russian. This language uses the Cyrillic alphabet instead of Latin and is one of the five most spoken languages in the world.
- Russia is home to more than 100 ethnic groups and indigenous people. Slavs account for about 75% of the total population. The densest areas of Russia are near the Ural Mountains and in southwestern Siberia.
- Russian Orthodox is the official religion in Russia. 20% of Russians practice Islam while Catholicism, Protestantism, and Judaism are not wide spread but have small roles in Russian culture.
- Moscow and St. Petersburg are three hours ahead of London time and eight hours ahead of New York City. Vladivostok, on the eastern most side of Russia is seven hours ahead of Moscow. It takes about nine hours to fly from New York City to Moscow, three-and-a-half hours from London to Moscow, and ten-and-a-half hours from Tokyo.