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Russia

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Russia

BACKGROUND

Information: A country.

Russia, officially the Russian Federation, is a country in Eastern Europe (Eurasia).

Extending across the entirety of Northern Asia and much of Eastern Europe, Russia spans eleven time zones and incorporates a wide range of environments and landforms. From northwest to southeast, Russia shares land borders with Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland, the Russian Kaliningrad Oblast, Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, China, Mongolia and North Korea. It shares maritime borders with Japan by the Sea of Okhotsk and the United States state of Alaska across the Bering Strait.

Russia's extensive mineral and energy resources are the largest such reserves in the world, making it one of the leading producers of oil and natural gas globally.

On June 22, 1941, Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union with the largest and most powerful invasion force in human history, opening the largest theater of World War II. Although the German army had considerable early success, their attack was halted in the Battle of Moscow. Subsequently, the Germans were dealt major defeats first at the Battle of Stalingrad in the winter of 1942–43, and then in the Battle of Kursk in the summer of 1943. Another German failure was the Siege of Leningrad, in which the city was fully blockaded on land between 1941 and 1944 by German and Finnish forces, and suffered starvation and more than a million deaths, but never surrendered.

In 1957, the Soviet Union launched the world's first artificial satellite, Sputnik 1, thus starting the Space Age. Russia's cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human to orbit the Earth, aboard the Vostok 1 manned spacecraft on April 12, 1961.

Language: Russian

Religion: Russian Orthodox Christian


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