Russia, also officially known as the Russian Federation, is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects. From northwest to southeast, Russia shares land borders with Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland (both with 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 US state of Alaska across the Bering Strait.
At 17,075,400 square kilometres (6,592,800 sq mi), Russia is the largest country in the world, covering more than one-eighth of the Earths inhabited land area. Russia is also the worlds ninth most populated nation with 143 million people as of 2012. Extending across the entirety of northern Asia and much of Eastern Europe, Russia spans nine time zones and incorporates a wide range of environments and landforms.
When to go:
The main holiday season for Russians and foreigners is during the warmest months of July and August, but it also rains a lot at this time. The best times to visit are May and June or September and October, avoiding most of the crowds and the rain. Winters are very cold and bitter, especially in Siberia, but are also beautiful. February usually has the worst weather, windy and extremely cold with very little snow.
Average monthly temperature (°C)
+3hrs (GMT +4 from the last Sunday in March to the last Sunday in September).
Russian and English.
British citizens must have a valid passport. A visa is required.
There are daily flights to Russia from the UK. The length of the flight to Russia depends largely on the destination city, as the country is 4,900 miles (8,000km) across. The flight to Moscow from London takes roughly four hours.
For the latest update-to-date Russia travel advice, click here.