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Much of the Sea of Okhotsk visible in the image is covered with low clouds that often form around the islands in the Kuril chain. The eastern side of the Kamchatka Peninsula juts into the Pacific Ocean west of Alaska in this enhanced winter satellite image. Snow-covered peaks and valley glaciers feed blue ice into coastal waters.

The Kamchatka Peninsula is home to volcanoes, 29 of which are active. For other active volcanoes in Russia, see the Natural hazards-volcanism subfield in the Geography section. Image courtesy of USGS. The prominent crimson streak in the center of this false-color satellite image represents the remains of a 50 km 31 mi lahar volcanic mudflow that cut a strip of barren rock through rich vegetation surrounding the Anyuyskiy Volcano.

The currently dormant volcano is the orange circular shape at the right end of the streak. Remote and largely inaccessible, the Kamchatka Peninsula is a rugged collection of towering volcanic peaks, steep valleys, active geysers, and wild, snow-fed rivers and streams.

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Red dots mark the locations of fires burning in countries south and east of the Baltic Sea in this early April image. The scattered fires were probably set to clear land for agricultural purposes. The Scandinavian countries, Norway and Sweden, and Finland to the north of the Sea, are still blanketed in snow. Belarus forms the lower right corner of the image. Measured by surface area, the Caspian Sea is the world's largest inland water body.

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It covers roughly , sq km , sq mi and borders five countries. To the ancient Greeks and Persians, the lake's immense size suggested it was an ocean, hence its name. A large expanse of clear sky permitted this natural-color satellite image of the entire water body. The color of the Caspian Sea darkens from north to south, thanks to changes in depth and perhaps sediment and other runoff. The northern part of the lake is just 5 to 6 m 16 to 20 ft deep. The southern end, however, plunges more than 1, m 3, ft. Just as the lake reaches a greater depth in the south, the nearby land reaches a greater height.

The mountains of northern Iran line the southern end of the giant lake, and emerald green vegetation clings to those mountain slopes. In marked contrast to the mountains, sand seas line the southeastern and northern perimeters of the lake, and marshes occur along the lake shores in Azerbaijan to the west.

Multiple rivers empty into the Caspian Sea, the Volga being the largest. Lacking an outlet, the Caspian Sea loses water only by evaporation, leading to the accumulation of salt. Although a lake, the Caspian is not a freshwater lake; the water delivered by the Volga River minimizes the lake's salt content at the northern end, but the Caspian grows more saline to the south.

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Kara-Bogaz-Gol is a saline inlet along the lake's eastern perimeter. When wind-driven clouds encounter obstacles, in this case islands, they flow around them to form large, spinning eddies known as Karman vortices.

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Nicknamed "Dragon Lake," this body of water is formed by the Bratskove Reservoir, built along the Angara River in southern Siberia, near the city of Bratsk. At its inauguration in , the Reservoir was the largest artificial lake in the world with a surface area of 5, sq km 2, sq mi.

This high-resolution satellite image was acquired in winter, when the lake was frozen. The Lena River, some 4, km 2, mi long, is one of the longest rivers in the world. The Lena Delta Reserve, shown in this enhanced satellite photo, is the most extensive protected wilderness area in Russia; it serves as an important refuge and breeding ground for many species of Siberian wildlife. The wave-dominated delta of the Lena River is 30, sq km 11, sq mi making it one of the largest of its kind in the world.

The Mayn River on the left , seen here in a false color satellite image with a portion of the Anadyr River on the right , flows through the far northeastern corner of Siberia. Both rivers carry a great deal of sediment and over time have created an amazing number of oxbow lakes. In this forest-tundra zone, both rivers remain frozen for 8 to 9 months out of the year.

Vivid colors and bizarre shapes come together in an false-color satellite image that could be an imaginative illustration for a fantasy story. This labyrinth of exotic features is present along the edge of the Chaunskaya Bay vivid blue half circle in northeastern Siberia. Two major rivers, the Chaun and Palyavaam, flow into the bay, which in turn opens into the Arctic Ocean. Ribbon lakes and bogs are present throughout the area, created by depressions left by receding glaciers. The arch commemorates the victory over Napoleon; it is topped by a bronze sculpture of Victory herself riding a six-horse chariot.

The building is now part of the Hermitage Museum.

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Saint Isaac's Cathedral in Saint Petersburg is the largest in the city. Its neoclassic exterior masks its sumptuously decorated interior. The Peter and Paul Fortress in Saint Petersburg - built between and - surrounds the Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral completed , which houses the remains of almost all of the members of the Russian imperial family. The Old Saint Petersburg Stock Exchange white building and one of its flanking Rostral Columns overlooking the inner harbor of the city.

It was a blank shot fired from this ship that signaled the assault on the Winter Palace and launched the October Revolution. The single-piece red granite column was erected between and in grateful commemoration of Czar Alexander I who led the Russian victory in the war with Napoleonic France. The monument - the tallest of its kind in the world - is The Palace boasts a remarkable array of 64 decorative fountains, including a spectacular sculpture of Samson prying open the jaws of a lion as water cascades down terraced steps in the background.

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This was Peter I's summer palace. Some of the beautiful architecture found in the interior of the Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg. Located on the River Neva, the museum occupies six buildings and reputedly houses 3 million works of art. The Soviet Government removed the chapel in and the gate in Both were rebuilt between and Originally constructed in , the structure was destroyed in by the Soviet Government.

It was rebuilt between and using detailed measurements and photos that had been preserved of the original church. This Russian Orthodox church, located in Red Square, was erected in to commemorate the capture of Kazan and Astrakhan; it is located in the exact geometric center of the city. Since it has operated as a division of the State Historical Museum. Close up of some of the colorful domes of Saint Basil's Cathedral in Moscow.

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Saint Basil's Cathedral, Moscow in winter. Christmas decorations in Moscow. It is located in the Alexander Garden at the Kremlin Wall. First unveiled in , a tombstone was added in The eternal flame emanates from the center of a five-pointed star located in front of the tombstone. Founded in to commemorate the capture of Smolensk from Lithuania, it became a convent for ladies of noble birth and was also used for a prison for female royals. Most of the current cathedral dates to the midth century. After the Russian Revolution, the convent was turned into a museum.

Introduction :: Russia. Background : This entry usually highlights major historic events and current issues and may include a statement about one or two key future trends. Geography :: Russia. Location : This entry identifies the country's regional location, neighboring countries, and adjacent bodies of water. Geographic coordinates : This entry includes rounded latitude and longitude figures for the centroid or center point of a country expressed in degrees and minutes; it is based on the locations provided in the Geographic Names Server GNS , maintained by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency on behalf of the US Board on Geographic Names.

Map references : This entry includes the name of the Factbook reference map on which a country may be found. Note that boundary representations on these maps are not necessarily authoritative. The entry on Geographic coordinates may be helpful in finding some smaller countries. Area : This entry includes three subfields. Area - comparative : This entry provides an area comparison based on total area equivalents. Most entities are compared with the entire US or one of the 50 states based on area measurements revised provided by the US Bureau of the Census.

Image Description. Land boundaries : This entry contains the total length of all land boundaries and the individual lengths for each of the contiguous border countries. When available, official lengths published by national statistical agencies are used. Because surveying methods may differ, country border lengths reported by contiguous countries may differ.

Coastline : This entry gives the total length of the boundary between the land area including islands and the sea. Maritime claims : This entry includes the following claims, the definitions of which are excerpted from the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea UNCLOS , which alone contains the full and definitive descriptions: territorial sea - the sovereignty of a coastal state extends beyond its land territory and internal waters to an adjacent belt of sea, described as the territorial sea in the UNCLOS Part II ; this sovereignty extends to the air space over the territorial sea as well as its underlying s.

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Climate : This entry includes a brief description of typical weather regimes throughout the year; in the Word entry only, it includes four subfields that describe climate extremes:ten driest places on earth average annual precipitation describes the annual average precipitation measured in both millimeters and inches for selected countries with climate extremes.

Terrain : This entry contains a brief description of the topography. Elevation : This entry includes the mean elevation and elevation extremes, lowest point and highest point.

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Natural resources : This entry lists a country's mineral, petroleum, hydropower, and other resources of commercial importance, such as rare earth elements REEs. In general, products appear only if they make a significant contribution to the economy, or are likely to do so in the future. Land use : This entry contains the percentage shares of total land area for three different types of land use: agricultural land, forest, and other; agricultural land is further divided into arable land - land cultivated for crops like wheat, maize, and rice that are replanted after each harvest, permanent crops - land cultivated for crops like citrus, coffee, and rubber that are not replanted after each harvest, and includes land under flowering shrubs, fruit trees, nut trees, and vines, and permane.

Irrigated land : This entry gives the number of square kilometers of land area that is artificially supplied with water. Population distribution : This entry provides a summary description of the population dispersion within a country. While it may suggest population density, it does not provide density figures.