The country of Russia is the world’s largest country, partly in Eastern Europe and part in North Asia. Bordered by the Arctic Ocean and the Bering Sea to the north and the Sea of Okhotsk to the east, it shares maritime borders with 14 other countries. Most Russians live in the westernmost fifth of the country. Despite its size, Russia’s terrain is diverse. Almost half of the country is land, with small portions of water shared with the United States, Sweden, and Japan.
Peter the Great consolidated the autocracy in Russia and pushed it into the European state system. From modest beginnings in the fourteenth century as a principality, Russia had grown into the largest state in the world. By the seventeenth century, the Russian Empire covered the Eurasian landmass from the Baltic Sea to the Pacific Ocean. During this time, the empire had grown to 14 million people. The government imposed a wide range of taxes and imposed strict military regulations.
Most of the country’s landscape is mountainous. Its climate varies from cool along the Black Sea coast to frosty in Siberia. In the north, the climate is much warmer than expected because of the Gulf Stream. Parts of the country are also influenced by several smaller rivers, including the Yenisei and Neva. In the west, the climate is more like the Pacific Ocean, while in the east, the country is more mountainous.
The largest federal subject in Russia is the Sakha Republic, which is the world’s largest country subdivision. The second largest is Krasnoyarsk Krai. The smallest federal subjects are Kaliningrad Oblast and the Republic of Ingushetia. The fifth-largest company in Russia is Russian Railways. It is one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council. The country has numerous international organizations and trade agreements.
In March 1917, Nicholas II abdicated. The duma then declared a provisional government headed by Prince Lvov. Meanwhile, socialists in the city of Petrograd organized elections among workers and soldiers to form a soviet. These delegates would then push for the formation of a “bougeois” provisional government. It was a rocky road for Russia, but the revolution led to extraordinary results in other areas.
The Ural Mountains form a natural boundary between Europe and Asia, stretching over 2,000 km and a thousand miles from the Arctic Ocean to the northern border of Kazakhstan. The Urals also feature several low passes and are the primary transportation routes through the country. The highest mountain in the Urals is Mount Narodnaya, with an elevation of 1,894 meters (6214 ft). In addition to mountains, Russia is home to valuable minerals and deposits.