Russia, the world’s largest nation, borders European and Asian countries as well as the Pacific and Arctic oceans. Its landscape ranges from tundra and forests to subtropical beaches. It’s famous for Moscow's Bolshoi and St. Petersburg's Mariinsky ballet companies. St. Petersburg, founded by Russian leader Peter the Great, has the baroque Winter Palace, now housing part of the State Hermitage Museum’s art collection.

Top Facts about Russia:
1. 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 in the world has as many borders.
2. Lake Baikal contains about 20% of the world’s fresh water and is the deepest lake in the world. About 1,700 species of plants and animals live in the lake, two thirds of which can be found nowhere else in the world.
3. The lowest point in Russia is the Caspian Sea – at 28 metres below sea level with the highest point is Mt. Elbrus at 5,633 metres above sea level. It’s the highest mountain in Europe. A chairlift takes you to the 3000 metre mark so the climbing really starts there.