Russia is a large country with a diverse climate and landforms. It covers nearly half of the Northern Hemisphere, including much of eastern Europe and northern Asia. Its north-south width varies from about 1,500 to 2,500 miles. Russia is a land of contrasting climates and varying topography, including arctic deserts in the far north and forests that cover more than half of its territory.
In 2016, 62 percent of Russians received their news from the television, which was virtually state-controlled. However, that number has declined and more people rely on online sources, which increased from about ten percent to mid-twenty percent. In particular, the state-run news agency and search engine Yandex dominate the online news market in Russia. The homepage of these sites typically displays five headlines from state-owned news agencies.
Russia is geographically divided between Asia and Europe, with more than three quarters of its population living in the European part. The eastern continental boundary with Asia is marked by the Ural Mountains. The south is marked by the Caucuses Mountains, while the western part is dominated by Siberia, a region in Asia that is controlled by Russia.
Russia is geographically diverse and is home to more than 120 ethnic groups. As a result, Russians speak a variety of languages and follow diverse religious and cultural traditions. Moscow is the most populous city in Russia, with more than twelve million residents. It is also the second most populous city in Europe. Other important cities in the European part of Russia include St. Petersburg, Nizhny Novgorod, Kazan, and Rostov-on-Don.
The land of Russia is divided into two main parts: western Russia and eastern Russia. The western part consists of lowland plains and hills. The eastern part of the country is mountainous, with some areas rising to over a thousand feet. A few high mountain systems rise above the Russian Plain and a few swamps.
Moscow has a long history of confrontation with major European powers and is keen to protect its homeland. Its economic assets in the Black Sea region are vital. In particular, the Russian port of Novorossiysk is vital to Russia’s energy and grain exports to Central Asia. The security of this trade corridor is a priority for Moscow. In order to avoid being threatened, Russia is investing in new infrastructure in the region to protect its trade corridor. It is also developing alternate routes around Ukraine.