Russia or the Russian Federation is a country located on two continents, in Asia and Europe so the right answer to the question is Russia a continent is no, it is just a country.
And not any country, but the largest in the world which extends from the Baltic Sea to the west, to the Pacific Ocean in the east, and from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Black Sea, Azov Sea, and the Caspian Sea in the south.
An interesting fact about Russia is that 75% of the Russian population lived in the European part and 75% of its territory is located in the Asian part.
Interesting facts about Russia
- It is the largest country in the world ( about 1.8 larger than the United States)
- Russia belongs to two continents: Europe and Asia
- It is the most populous country in Europe
- It is the most sparsely populated and urbanized in the world
- It has the largest forested area in the world
- It has the coldest inhabited town on Earth – the town of Oymyakon
- It has the longest railway in the world, the Trans- Siberian Railroad of almost 9.289 km
- It has the biggest fortress in the world, Moscow’s Kremlin which has more than 27 hectares
- It has the largest mineral and energy resources in the world
- It is among the largest producers of oil and natural gas in the world
- It has the highest point in Europe: Mount Belukha with 4.506 m ( 14.783 ft)
- The territory is split into 21 republics, 6 federal districts known as “krays”, 2 federal cities, which are Moscow and St Petersburg, 10 autonomous areas and just 1 autonomous region.
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Is Russia a continent? General information
According to the modern definition of Europe provided by the National Geographic Society, the border between Europe and Asia is the Ural Mountains line, from the Ural River down to the Greater Caucasus and from the Caspian Sea to the Black Sea.
On the other hand, we cannot place a country into two continents, so we have to follow the United Nations classification which says that Russia is located in Europe.
To be more accurate, we should split Russia into two parts: Western Russia or European Russia and Asian Russia
Western Russia is bordered:
- by Norway, Finland and a small part of the Baltic Sea, as well as Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania in the west
- By Belarus, Ukraine and Poland in the southwest and furthermore with Georgia, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan
- By the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea in the southwest.
The country is divided into 85 federal areas with the Moscow Metropolitan Area being the largest one and among the largest in the world with more than 20 million residents.
73% of the total population of the country are Christians (mostly Russian Orthodox) while just 10% are converted to Islam.
Russia is described as a superpower of the world and has the second most powerful military, not to mention that it is worldwide famous for its nuclear weapons.
The country is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council and member of G20, the Council of Europe, OSCE, APEC, WTO, as well as a leading member of many world organizations.
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Now that we know the answer to the question Is Russia a continent, let’s discover together the geographical data of the place where Russians lived.
As I told you earlier, Russia is the largest country on Earth located in Eastern Europe, with a total surface of 17 million square kilometres ( 6.5 million square miles).
It spans over 11 time zones and borders 16 sovereign nations, from the Baltic Sea to the Pacific Ocean and from the Arctic Ocean to the Black, Caspian and Azov Seas.
The majority part of Russia is a vast plain that is mostly steppe to the south and heavily forested to the north with tundra along the northern coast.
Russia has more than 100.000 rivers and inland bodies of water, its lake containing about one-quarter of the world’s fresh water reserve.
The largest lake is Lake Baikal which is also the world’s deepest, purest, and the oldest freshwater lake.
The most important river in the country is the Volga which is also the longest from Europe and has the largest and wildest delta from Europe, too.
WIldlife and nature
Russia is such an amazing country that hosts a large number of ecosystems and many different species of animals including rare animals and birds.
Russian forests, tundras, and steppes are home for Asiatic black bears, polar bears, snow leopards, and small mammals known as pikas.
The first national park was founded in the 19th century in order to protect and restore the country’s natural beauty and to protect its fauna and flora.
The world’s most famous animal that lives in the Siberian forests is the Siberian tiger, which is the largest cat in the world, an endangered species that can grow over 3 meters long and weigh more than 300 kg.
Most parts of Russia have a humid continental climate, except for the tundra and the extreme southwest, as well as the plain of the western and northern part of the country.
Northern European Russia and Siberia have a subarctic climate with very cold winters ( record low temperatures are -71 degrees Celsius or -96 degrees Fahrenheit), while the part of the country located near the Arctic Ocean has a polar climate.
The area near the Black Sea has a humid subtropical climate with mild winters and pretty hot summers, while the southernmost Siberia has a semi-arid climate.
In most parts of the country, during the winter season, the precipitation falls as snow and the winters are usually drier than summers.
As a general rule, all over the country, there are two different seasons- winter and summer with transition periods in between- spring and autumn.
From the total population of 145 million people, about 113 million lives in European Russia and this makes Russia the most populous country in Europe.
Most of the population are ethnic Russians but besides the Russians, there are other 120 ethnic groups, some of them with their own territories who speak more than 100 different languages.
Almost all the country’s largest cities are located in the western part of the country out of which Moscow and Saint Petersburg stand out.
Other important cities of the country are Nizhny Novgorod ( formerly known as Gorky), Kazan ( the largest city and the capital of the Republic of Tatarstan), Samara (the capital of the region with the same name), Rostov-on-Don (a port city at the Volga- Don Shipping Canal).
Resources and power of Russia
Russia is extremely powerful mostly because of its high resources of energy and huge deposits f minerals that can be found on its large territory, resources that are considered raw materials used in many modern industries.
Don’t you imagine that the whole Russian territory is packed with these resources as there are certain parts of the country where these resources can be found, and here I am talking about the remote Tunguska and Lena area from East Siberia.
These parts of Russia are still wild and untamed, and it is extremely hard to work here, not to mention extracting the minerals from the earth.
The Trans Siberian railroad plays a very important role in transporting these resources from the Far East to those parts of the country where the resources are used or shipped to other parts of the world.
Did you know that about 3/4 of Russia’s coal is produced in cold Siberia?
Yes, that is true and Siberia is actually the most important place from where minerals are extracted; without this region, Russia would lose all its supremacy in this industry.
Russia is also an important player in the oil industry, the country extracts and produces about 1/5 of the total oil extracted on the planet and this huge country is also responsible for about 1/4 of the total quantity of natural gas produced on Earth.
Siberia is again responsible for these huge reserves of oil and natural gas and enormous pipeline systems are in place with the main role to transport these precious reserves from the West Siberia region to some other parts of the world.
Most ex Soviets republics and some of the European countries used Russian natural gas and this is the main reason why most European countries hesitated to react to Russian actions in the Russian Ukrainian war.
Government and Economy
Officially Russia is a democratic country and the first elections had taken place in 1917 when Bolsheviks won them and ruled the country until 1991 when Boris Yeltsin took hold.
Russia is a federation made up of 86 provinces, republics, districts, and territories all controlled by the government found in Moscow.
Putin is the president of this federation and he was elected by the people many years ago.
Russia is the largest country on Earth that occupies about 1/10 of the total surface on the planet and spans 11 time zones on two continents, Asia and Europe, and is the only country on Earth that has coasts on 3 oceans: Pacific, Atlantic, and the Arctic.
On such a vast territory you will find various landforms, including frozen coastlines, desert, giant marshes, high mountains ranges including Caucasus mountains, steppes, taigas especially in Siberia and the Sinai peninsula.
All over Russia, you can find more than 100,000 rivers including some of the largest and most powerful waters in the world.
Russia also owes Lake Baikal, which is the lake that contains the largest volume of water in the whole world, and the other two large lakes, Lake Onega and Lake Ladoga.
But before ending my article about is Russia a continent or just the largest country in the world I want to point out some of the most common questions about Russia.
Is Russia its own continent?
Russia is what specialists call a transcontinental country, which means a state located on one or more continents. About 75% of its surface is located in Asia, while the rest of 25% is in Europe and the fact which should be mentioned is that the country occupies almost 40% of Europe’s total area.
Why is Russia two continents?
Russia is one of the very few countries located on two continents. Initially, it was entirely within Europe but after conquering Siberia, the country became a transcontinental one. If we think better, Europe, Asia, and Africa were giant continents separated into 3 pieces over the millennia.
Is Russia part of Europe yes or no?
Yes, Russia is part of Europe if we take into consideration its religious roots, the fact that they share the same pan-European history and they have deep and strong connections with European culture.
What type of country is Russia today?
The country of Russia is based on Communism and was the main part of the Soviet Union, from 1922 to 1991.
Since 1991 when the Soviet Union fell apart, the country is a federal semi-presidential republic with elements of democracy.
Logistical tips and tricks for your trip
Book your accommodation
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Travel insurance will always protect you against unexpected events and cost like illness, COVID, injury, theft, or travel cancellation.
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Renting a car
We like to explore a country on our own and a car gives us the mobility and freedom to do that.
We always rent our car from Discovercars as they have free cancellation 48 hours prior to starting date and a wide range of car rental companies and options to choose from all over the world.
Tours and attractions
When we are looking for some adventure or we simply want to break up the monotony and discover new places, we always use GetYourGuide.
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Airplane tickets and holiday packages
Expedia is our ally when searching for the best price for airplane tickets as it works as an aggregator for a huge number of airlines and we always find the best price for our flights.
Travel tip: use Expedia when you are searching for holiday packages as they have many last-minute offers and great discounts for hotels, flights, and even the whole holiday packages.