Gloucester High School writers: Evan Roy; Stephane Meilleur
The capital city of Russia is Moscow which is located in the western side of the country. On a national scale, Russia is the world’s largest country by landmass with an expanse of over 6.6 million square miles. The population of 144.5 million makes it not the biggest country by population but with a geographical size of 17.1 million square kilometers, it is the biggest geographically. There are 8.4 people per square kilometer which is double the amount of 3.9 people per square kilometer in Canada. The flag that you can see at the top of the page is designed with horizontal stripes of white, blue, and red horizontal stripes. Russia is led by a president unlike Canada who is led by a prime minister. The president of Russia is Vladimir Putin. Russia speaks the Russian language but not to worry, about a third of Russians can speak English. The currency used in Russia is called the Russian ruble. One Russian ruble equals about 2 cents of a Canadian dollar. The main industries in Russia are oil and gas mining, processing precious stones and metals, and aircraft building.
Road systems and traffic rules in Russia are similar to other European countries but driving in Russia can be a frustrating experience, with lengthy traffic jams, poor road maintenance and random police inspections. There is a relatively high rate of car accidents in Russia, which some put down to the poor driving conditions, narrow roads (more so out of the main cities) and fast Russian drivers. Though improved in recent years, Russia has a poor road safety record. Some unusual driving laws include: turning left in large towns other than at crossings with lights is illegal, picking up hitchhikers is illegal, and it’s against the law to drive a dirty car. Speed limits vary depending on the vehicle you’re driving and the area you’re driving in. For cars under 3.5 tonnes, the limits are generally 60 km/h in built-up areas and 110 km/h on highways and other roads.
Sports and Culture
The culture of the Russian people has a long tradition of achievement in many fields, especially when it comes literature, folk dancing, philosophy, classical music, ballets, architecture, painting, and film which have all had a huge influence on world culture.
Contrary to what we may believe, football is the most popular sport in Russia…not hockey! Here are some famous Russian athletes.
Maria Yuryevna Sharapova is a Russian professional tennis player. She has been ranked world No. 1 in singles by the WTA on five separate occasions, for a total of 21 weeks. She became the world No. 1 for the first time on August 22, 2005 at the age of 18.
Anna Sergeyevna Kournikova is a Russian retired professional tennis player. Her appearance and celebrity status made her one of the best known tennis stars worldwide, despite her never winning a WTA singles title. She is the partner of
famous singer Enrique Iglesias.
Alexander Mikhailovich “Alex” Ovechkin is a Russian professional ice hockey winger and captain of the Washington Capitals of the National Hockey League.
Food and Dining
- Russia shares a border with 14 countries including Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Belarus, China, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Mongolia and North Korea. No other country has as many borders.
- The lowest point in Russia is the Caspian Sea – at 28 metres below sea level.
- The typical greeting is a firm, almost bone-crushing handshake while maintaining direct eye contact and giving the appropriate greeting for the time of day.
- When men shake hands with women, the handshake is less firm.
- When female friends meet, they kiss on the cheek three times, starting with the left and then alternating.
- When close male friends meet, they may pat each other on the back and hug.