- A great source of water 5. The fresh air producer
- A famous Russian toy 6. Famous for its size
- A great source of knowledge and information 7. Named after a famous scientist
- Getting higher than the sky 8. Spoken all over the world
A. Russia, also officially known as the Russian Federation, is the largest country in the world. Its territory is 17,075,400 square kilometers. According to scientists, the country’s territory would almost cover the surface of the planet Pluto. It is the only country which is washed by 3 oceans and 12 seas. Russia is considered to be a European country, but two-thirds of the country are in Asia. However, most of the population lives in the European part of Russia.
B. Siberian Lake Baikal is the largest source of fresh water on the planet. All the 12 major rivers of the world (the Volga, the Don, the Yenisei, the Ob, the Ganges, the Amazon, etc.) would need to flow almost a year to fill a pool equal to the volume of Lake Baikal. Another impressive fact is that even if all the rest of the planet’s fresh water supply were to disappear, there would be enough fresh water left in Lake Baikal to supply the people of the earth for up to 50 years.
C. Russia is the country with the largest forest reserves in the world. 45% of its territory is covered in green forests. The forests are located in the European north of the country, in Siberia and in the Far East. Forests play an important role in the life and welfare of people. Russian forests are the biggest ‘lungs’ of the Earth. They produce oxygen and clean the atmosphere of carbon dioxide and other pollutants.
D There are more than five thousand languages in the world. Russian is one of the five major world languages. 280 million people around the world speak Russian and it is one of the most widely spoken native languages in Europe. The United Nations uses Russian as one of the official languages of the organization. It is also used in international commerce, politics, academic and cultural life.
E. For its collection of books, the Russian State Library is considered to be the biggest in Europe and one of the largest in the world. The Russian State Library was founded in 1862, in Moscow. The library has over 275 km of shelves with more than 43 million items, including books, journals and magazines, art publications, music scores and sound records, maps and other things. There are items in 247 languages of the world.
F. Russia is known all over the world for its space programmes. In 1957 the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 1, the first artificial satellite in the world. Four years later, in 1961, human space flight was accomplished. Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin was the first man to journey into space. He orbited the Earth and landed the same day. There are other impressive space achievements of the country like the first long space flight, the first woman cosmonaut in space, and the first spacewalk.
G. One of the most popular souvenirs tourists buy in Russia is the Matryoshka. It is a doll made of wood and painted with colourful ornaments. Although the Matryoshka is called a doll, it is actually a set of dolls of different sizes placed inside one another. A traditional Russian Matryoshka has big black eyes, red healthy cheeks and a friendly smile. She wears a national Russian costume, and often has some flowers or a basket of fruit in her hands.