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Russia is one of the biggest countries in the world and could quite easily be the one that Europeans see as most enigmatic. It was closed off for 70 years, which turned it into a country full of legends and mysteries.
Russia has established a world influence and power since the time of the Russian Empire and is the largest and most powerful country in the Soviet Union, recognized as being a superpower. The country has a long tradition of excellence in the arts and sciences.
The Soviet Union was dissolved in 1991 by the Russian Federation, but Russia is still recognized as being the heir of the Soviet Union. Russia is getting ever closer to Europe which lets us discvover the unique and varied nature of the country.
Russia's population is a multinational one with each nationality having its own customs, traditions and religion which is why you will find all religions there from Christianity to Islam, Judaism to Buddism.
The Russian language is a Slavic one and is spoken by over 200 million people, most of which only speak one language: Russian. It is spoken throughout the Russian Federation, Ukraine, Belarus and other republics of what used to be the USSR.
The country's most important cities are Moscow - monumental, attractive and seductive and St Petersburg - a true open air museum. Although the 2 metropolis are the most well known tourist destinations in Russia, there are a number of other places to visit, with interesting destinations including Smolensk, Ekaterimburgo, Vladimir, Volgograd, Vladivostok and Kaliningrad.
Russia also has another side, the people and the flourishing wildlife. From the forests to the great Siberian mountains in the Asian part of Russia, outdoor enthusiasts have it all. There is a broad belt of coniferous forest and the Ural mountains which divides Russia into European and Asian parts is another beautiful region of what used to be the Soviet Union. Lake Baikel, often called the "Pearl of Siberia" is a truly unique destination and the Kamchatka Peninsula with its volcanic peaks make a resplendent wilderness.
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