60 Facts about Russia | Amazing Facts 4U
Land & Geography
- In terms of land area, Russia is in fact the largest country in the world stretching over an area of 17.1 million square kilometer. Amazingly Russia is located across 9 time zones having a population of 145 million.
- Russia is the coldest country in the world and the coldest point in the world (except the Arctic and Antarctic) is an Oymyakon village in Yakutia. There was recorded temperature -71,2 ° C in 1924.
- Russia is the only country in the world washed by 12 seas.
- Amazing fact is that at their closest point, the Russian and U.S. borders are less than two miles apart and Russia share borders with 14 different countries!
- One quarter of Russia is covered by trees, and its forests contain 22 percent of all the trees on earth.
- The lakes of Russia contain one-fourth of the world’s fresh waters.
- Russia’s Volga River is the longest in Europe, with a length of around 3690 kilometres (2293 miles).
- Russia produces most of the world’s oxygen. Siberia acts as lungs of the World as it is home to approximately 25% of the world’s forests making Russia the largest converter of CO2 into breathable compounds.
- Amazing fact is that the U.S. purchased Alaska from Russia for just US$7.2 million in 1867.
- The Soviet Union (USSR) was a socialist state that occupied much of northern Asia and eastern Europe until it was dissolved in 1991 and the Russian Federation came into existence. Former Soviet states include Lithuania, Georgia, Latvia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and others.
- During WWI, Romania decided to send its vast collection of treasure to Russia for safekeeping. In 1918, the new Soviet government cut all diplomatic ties and refused to return the treasure. Russia still holds the treasure valued at over $1.5 billion and has no intention of giving it back.
- 80% males born in the Soviet Union in 1923 in fact did not survive World War II.
- In 1933 Soviet Russia dumped 6200 people on an island in Siberia and left them with only flour for food, a small amount of tools and no shelter. A month later about 4000 of them were dead.
- USSR liberated more concentration camps than the rest of the allies combined during World War II.
- The German invasion of the Soviet Union caused 95% of all German Army casualties that occurred from 1941 to 1944.
- The Soviets suffered far more casualties than any other nation in WWII losing in excess of thirty million people, including civilians being 14% of the population. In the Battle of Stalingrad alone, more Soviets died than the Americans lost during the whole war.
- In Soviet Russia, prisoners would get tattoos of Lenin & Stalin, because guards weren’t allowed to shoot at images of national leaders.
- The Soviet Union did not admit that a reactor had exploded at Chernobyl until nearly three days after radiation from the disaster set off alarms at a nuclear plant in Sweden 1000 km away.
Places / Architecture
- Lake Baikal is the largest and deepest freshwater lake in the world reaching 1642 metres (5,387 feet) in depth and contains around 20% of the world’s unfrozen fresh water. Amazingly it would take all the rivers of the world combined nearly one year to fill up lake Baikal’s basin.
- Amazing thing is that there are 221 museums, 2,000 libraries, more than 80 theaters, 100 concert organizations, 45 art galleries, 62 movie theaters in St. Petersburg (Old Leningrad) alone.
- The Trans-Siberian Railway spanning the whole country for 9200 kilometer (or 5700 mile) is the single longest railway in the world departing in Moscow and crossing into Asia to the Pacific Ocean port of Vladivostok. The journey takes nearly a week to complete (152 hours and 27 minutes ).
- The Moscow Metro is the most common mode of transport. Stations are architectural monuments , many looking like underground castles. The metro runs every 90 seconds in peak hours. At least nine million people commute using the metro every day. On an an average of 9915 trains operate between 5am–1am in a single day making it the most used subway system in the World.
- The Metro of St. Petersburg is also the deepest subway in the world, at an amazing 100 meters deep.
- There’s a theater in Russia where all the actors are cats! The Moscow Cat Theater is a traveling circus that showcases cats.
- Russia houses ‘Tsar Kolokol’ bell which is the largest bell and has a height of 6.14 m or 20 ft, weighing 223 tons.
- Russia is home to the largest McDonalds restaurant in the world with 700 seats. It continues to hold the record as the busiest McDonald’s restaurant in the world.
- 1,311 people live in Verkhoyansk, Russia , a town with an average temperature of -45 °C (-50 °F) in January. The sun currently rises at 2 pm and sets at 3:30 pm. It was also attacked by a pack of 400 wolves in 2012 which laid siege to the town in search of food.
- The city of Norilsk, in Russia is considered to be the world’s most polluted city. It’s an industrial city of around 100,000 inhabitants. The city smelts Nickel Ore due to nickel smelter called Nadezhda (“The Hope”). Scientists estimate that 1% of the entire global emissions of sulfur dioxide come from this city alone. There is no living tree living within 30 miles of the nickel smelter.
- Ski resort Dombai has about 20 km of prepared ski routes.
- In Altai there are more than 820 glaciers covering over 600 sq km.
- Russia is suspected to have at least 15 “closed cities.” These “closed cities” are officially classified by the government, with their names and locations unknown, they do not appear on road maps or signs and foreigners are strictly prohibited from visiting them.
People Customs & Culture
- Russia has in fact Ten million more women than men. The imbalance is partly due to so many men dying during World War II.
- Russians generally answer the phone by saying “I am listening”.
- Alcoholic consumption is relatively high among Russians responsible for over 500,000 alcohol related deaths each year.
- Russia didn’t consider beer as an alcohol until 2011. It was previously classified as soft drink.
- There wasn’t a paid education In Russia until recently. Even after commercial Universities began to appear in Russia, all the state Universities still stayed free.
- Moscow has more billionaire residents than any other city in the world. There are a total of 74 billionaires living there which is more than the next in rank , New York.
- Wealthy Russians hire fake ambulances to beat city traffic. These contain just flat TV & couches and no medical equipments.
- In Russia, when flowers are given for a romantic occasions, flowers are given in odds numbers as even number of flowers is given at funerals only.
- Peter the Great of Russia once levied an annual tax of one hundred rubles for those who refused to shave their beards.
- On the eve of the Nazi invasion of Russia, a German soldier deserted to the Soviets and told them they were going to be invaded the next day. His fate was Execution by Stalin for spreading misinformation.
- Japan and Russia still haven’t signed a peace treaty to end World War II due to the Kuril Islands dispute.
- Russia secretly had maps so detailed of the Canadian Arctic during the Cold War that other ships now use them over official maps.
- During the Cold War, the USSR was able to tell a Soviet passport was a forgery because the staples in real passports would corrode due to the poor quality of metal.
- Amazingly the Russian Army started wearing socks only recently.
- Russian Special Services still use typewriters to avoid online surveillance.
Economy & Corporates
- Russia is second largest producer of oil in the world behind Saudi Arabia and ahead of US which is in third position.
- The world’s first satellite, named Sputnik, was launched by the Soviet Union in 1957. They also achieved the first manned flight by Yuri Gagarin in 1961.
- The first animal launched into orbit, Laika, was found as a stray dog wandering the streets of Moscow. Soviet scientists assumed that such animals had already learned to endure conditions of extreme cold and hunger.
- The first man made aircraft to successfully land on another planet and send back data was the Soviet Venera 7 in 1970 which landed on Venus and was able to send back only 23 minutes of weak data presumably because it landed on its side.
- The USSR and the USA planned to jointly go into space during the Cold War but following the assassination of President Kennedy , the Soviets didn’t trust Vice President Johnson enough and the plan fell through.
- A Soviet Union Marshal commissioned a color less Coca-Cola that resembled vodka because he liked the taste and was embarrassed to be seen drinking coke in public.
- From 1979 to 1992 Soviets drilled a super deep bore called the Kola Super deep Borehole that reached 12,262m (40,230 ft) just to see how deep they could drill.
- Among Russian inventions Popov invented wireless telegraph, Sikorsky invented helicopter and created a bomber, Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky invented a color photo, and Zworykin TV. Chemical table was created by Dmitri Mendeleev.
- Two of the five founding fathers of Hollywood came from Russia. In particular, the founders of MGM Goldwyn and Meyer. Meyer to the end of life in fact did not speak in English and had difficulty reading the script.
- Amazing fact is that during the Siege of Leningrad in WWII, 9 Soviet scientists died of starvation while protecting the world’s largest seed bank, refusing to eat what they saw as their country’s future.
- George Koval, the Soviet master spy infiltrated the Manhattan project, stole nearly all of USA’s nuclear secrets, single-handedly provided the key technology for Russia’s nuclear arsenal, was only discovered to be a spy in 2002.
- A Soviet NKVD executioner personally killed 7000 Polish officers over a 28 day period with a pistol, working 10 hours per night and averaging a person every three minutes. He personally accounted for almost one third of the Katyn Massacre.
- Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev is set to lose half his wealth after being ordered to pay his former wife $4.5 billion in a settlement in May 2014 dubbed as the “most expensive divorce in history.” The two had been battling over the settlement for six years, after Elena Rybolovleva, the oligarch’s wife of 23 years, filed for divorce.
- Amazing fact is that in 1908 the Imperial Russian Olympic Team arrived to London 12 days too late for the games because they were not using the Gregorian calendar yet.
By Amazing Facts 4U Team