How big is Russia actually?

Maksim Blinov/Sputnik
When comparing it to other states and territories, some mind-blowing facts emerge. Russia is big, but not as big as it’s often shown...

1. Russia is the only country in the world where you can have 11 consecutive New Year parties, birthdays, or Christmases because it spans 11 time zones! When the sun rises in the west of Russia, at the same time it’s setting in the east.

2. Russia has been the biggest country in the world since the 16th century when Russian Cossacks conquered lands on the other side of the Ural Mountains in Siberia and the Far East. These regions account for 77 percent of Russia’s total area.

3. Russia is not so big as it is often shown on geographical maps. The Mercator projection used to show the surface of the Earth on a flat sheet of paper distorts the size of the land mass as the latitude increases from the Equator to both poles. So Russia is almost twice (53 percent) smaller than shown on maps.

4. People from Kaliningrad can watch the President’s New Year address to the nation on YouTube 9 hours before New Year starts – when the President addresses people of Kamchatka. That’s the span of territory and time zones in Russia.

5. Russia borders more countries than any other country in the world: 18. Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Abkhazia, South Ossetia, China, Mongolia, North Korea (water border). Japan (water border), and the U.S.(water border).

A conductor on the Trans-Siberian railway

6. It takes about six days to travel by Trans Siberian railroad from Moscow to Vladivostok. The current length of this railroad is 9,288 km. Before railroads appeared in Russia, it took approximately six days to travel from Moscow to St. Petersburg (now, it only takes three hours by Sapsan train).

7. Russia is the biggest country in the world, with 17,125,191 km2. Its Asian part makes it the largest country in Asia, and its European portion makes it the largest country in Europe.

8. Russia can accommodate India five times, France - 26 times, Germany - 47 times, England - 70 times. Also, Russia’s area is bigger than the surface of Pluto (which is just 16.6 km2).

9. Russian land makes up 10.995 percent of the world’s landmass.

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