Russia (GPS: 60 00 N, 100 00 E) is located in North Asia bordering the Arctic Ocean, extending from Europe (the portion west of the Urals) to the North Pacific Ocean. The country’s area measurements are total: 17,098,242 sq km; land: 16,377,742 sq km, water: 720,500 sq km. This sovereign state is approximately 1.8 times the size of the US. The total irrigated land is 43,000 sq km (2012).
One of Russia’s essential features: The largest country in the world in terms of area but unfavorably located to major sea lanes of the world. Despite its size, much of the country lacks proper soils and climates (either too cold or too dry) for agriculture. Russia’s far east, particularly the Kamchatka Peninsula, lies along the Ring of Fire, a belt of active volcanoes and earthquake epicenters bordering the Pacific Ocean. Up to 90% of the world’s earthquakes and some 75% of the world’s volcanoes occur within the Ring of Fire. Mount Elbrus is Europe’s tallest peak. Lake Baikal, the deepest lake globally, is estimated to hold one-fifth of the world’s fresh surface water. Kaliningrad Oblast is annexed from Germany following World War II (formerly part of East Prussia). Its capital city – formerly Koenigsberg – is the only Baltic port in Russia that remains ice-free in the winter.