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    The Land of the Longest Railway: 10 Cool Facts About Russia

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    The biggest country on the map, it is also home to world’s longest railway and largest McDonald’s – Sputnik has compiled the most interesting facts and observations about Russia.

    The Largest Country on the Map

    Russia is the largest country in the world by area. Its total area is 17,098,242 square kilometers and it covers more than a ninth of the Earth’s land area. Russia is 1.8 times larger than the United States.

    Graffiti artists paint a map of Russia in front of the building of Moscow State Mapping and Geodesy University
    © Sputnik/ Vitaliy Belousov
    Graffiti artists paint a map of Russia in front of the building of Moscow State Mapping and Geodesy University

    The World’s Longest Railway

    The Trans-Siberian Railway spans almost all the way across the county, making it the single longest railway in the world. The 9,289 kilometer (or 5,772 mile) railway begins in Moscow (located in European Russia) and crosses all the way into Asia.

    The Trans-Siberian Railway: history, route and economic parameters
    © Sputnik/ Diana Gibadulina
    The Trans-Siberian Railway: history, route and economic parameters

    It then makes its way to the Pacific Ocean port of Vladivostok where it reaches the end of its incredible journey. The entire journey non-stop will take you 152 hours and 27 minutes to complete.

    The network has been working since 1916 and is still being expanded. There are connecting branch lines into Mongolia, China and North Korea.

    Trans-Siberian Railway
    Trans-Siberian Railway

    More Forest Than Anyone Else

    Russia is not only the largest country in the world, but also the country with the largest forest area.

    Russia has 7,762,602 km2 (2,997,157 mi2) of its land covered by forest, which totals 45.40% of the country’s land area.

    North-Eastern Siberia
    © Wikipedia/ Bartosh Dmytro
    North-Eastern Siberia

    The forest area of Russia alone is the size of the entire continent of Australia!

    Home to the World’s Deepest Lake

    Lake Baikal in the mountainous Russian region of Siberia, is the world's oldest (25 million years) and deepest lake.

    It is 5,314 feet deep (1,637 meters) and it's bottom is at 4,215 feet (1,285 meters) below sea level.

    Ship sailing on Lake Baikal near Olkhon island.
    © Sputnik/ Iliya Pitalev
    Ship sailing on Lake Baikal near Olkhon island.

    Lake Baikal is also the world's largest freshwater lake in terms of volume. It contains 20% of the world's total unfrozen freshwater reserve.

    The Largest McDonald’s in the World

    If you’re a fan of the famous golden arches, Russia is the place to go. The country is home to the largest McDonalds restaurant in the world, with 700 seats. A larger building, seating 1,500, was constructed for the 2012 Olympics in London, England but it was a temporary location and was dissembled six weeks after the doors opened (once the Olympics had come to an end).

    McDonald's in Pushkin Square, Moscow
    © Sputnik/ Vladimir Fedorenko
    McDonald's in Pushkin Square, Moscow

    At dawn on 31 January 1990 more than 5,000 joined the line for its opening. Over the course of the day, the Moscow McDonald's set a world record by serving more than 30 thousand visitors. People stood in line for over 6 hours, willing to get a taste of this "novel" food.

    World’s Largest Oil Producing Country in 2015

    According to a study conducted by the International Energy Agency (IEA), in 2015 Russia topped the list of the world’s largest oil producing countries. These numbers, however, change each year.

    Russia Arctic Oil Drilling
    © AP Photo/ Rosneft press service
    Russia Arctic Oil Drilling

    In 2015, Russia’s production reached 10,590,000 barrels of oil per day which helped in delivering 14.05% of the world's total oil supply.

    Even though Russia faced its biggest financial crisis in over a decade, it still is at the number 1 spot in the list of top 10 biggest oil producing countries in the world, followed by Saudi Arabia and US.

    World’s Third Largest UNESCO World Heritage Natural Sites Host

    Russia is the world’s third largest home to Natural Sites put on UNESCO World Heritage Sites list considered to be of outstanding value to humanity.

    Geothermal generation station on Kamchatka
    © Sputnik/ Mikhail Nikitin
    Geothermal generation station on Kamchatka

    It has 10 of its natural sites on the list, the third after the US (13) and Australia (12).

    Russia’s Capital Moscow is the World’s Second Largest City by the Number of Billionaires

    Despite Asia’s rise, in 2015 Moscow kept second place as it remained the hot spot in Russia, with the majority of the country’s 82 billionaires residing in the capital.

    Russia’s Capital Moscow is the World’s Second Largest City by the Number of Billionaires
    © Sputnik/ Michail Kutuzov
    Russia’s Capital Moscow is the World’s Second Largest City by the Number of Billionaires

    With 78 billionaire residents, New York City gained the first place.

    It is believed Russia has at least 15 secret cities with their names, and locations unknown.

    There are approximately 10 million more women in Russia than there are men
    © Sputnik/ Georgiy Kurolesin
    There are approximately 10 million more women in Russia than there are men

    There are approximately 10 million more women in Russia than there are men.

    The imbalance was initially believed to the result of so many men dying during World War II.

    Related:

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    • Angus Gallagher
      Russia is an amazing country. Even by virtue of its size and natural beauty, it would be stupendous. But when you factor in Russia's gifted and resilient people, their unique culture, their majestic history, Russia is more than a country in the traditional sense- and a true continental civilization. People have literally spent decades exploring and thinking upon Russia and still had to admit that Russia remains gloriously enigmatic. What an impossible little planet our earth would be without Holy Russia.
    • avatar
      cast235
      Well guys could get them prego and help support the kids. Don't let them go.

      What Russia needs is ore bounty hunters. A Legion could supplement cash that way inside Russia.
      No the GOV is NOT the only paying that bounties. Could be banks, to look for something going wrong, Police to get suspects. They FASTER. get poachers. Russia needs an SST, BLIMPS for tourism.
      Mc Donald's why Russia cannot create a global firm too? Russia cannot make burgers? SHAME!!
      Time to check that Mc Donald's comply with no imports of products. They like to mess farmers to buy them cheap. They globalists.
      Russia should make HEFTY FINES for sanctions VIOLATORS. Like U.S, E.U .. 5B...Euros etc.
    • avatar
      professor.hornblow
      Shame to realize the existence of a large McDonald's in Moscow. This must have been a drunken Yeltsin idea. The disgusting ingredients of a Big Mac would sap the will of a rural Russian. But hamburgers are resilient; this one lasted 14 years www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2313276/Man-keeps-McDonalds-burger-14-years-looks-exactly-the-day-f
    • avatar
      elsa.zardini
      11th fact: Russian and Chinese are the smartest people in the World.
    • Capt'nSkippy !!!
      Of all the great and marvelous things in Russia, the most despicable is the McCrap!!! I could not believe what I read??? Why have this grubby, dysfunctional thing called a restaurant in your beautiful city??? That is one septic (US) entity that Russia should have never allowed in there country. A fine example of a great septic corporate multinational doing nothing but sell there disgusting garbage they call burgers. They are one disgusting septic hemorrhoid that Russia should should have got rid of when they brought in there sanctions!!!
    • avatar
      michael
      in many cases, the people reflect the land (Rodina)
    • choticastile
      Spectacular country, even beyond majestic when considering the hearts of the people of this vast land! Russia truly deserves to be called the Motherland -- the one whose people forgive and nurture beyond all boundaries! May the Good Lord ever bless her ...
    • choticastilein reply toprofessor.hornblow(Show commentHide comment)
      professor.hornblow, Think they use Russian potaters and beef too -- so perhaps no GMO poisons. My brother was in Moscow when McDonald's opened ... If I remember correctly Putin nearly shut them down ... was some palaver or other ... Always makes me think of how Indira Gandhi threw Coke out of India ....
    • choticastilein reply tomichael(Show commentHide comment)
      michael, My exact sentiments -- stoic warm hearts and not short on beauty either...
    • avatar
      michaelin reply tochoticastile(Show commentHide comment)
      choticastile, that I know absolutely! :)
    • choticastilein reply tomichael(Show commentHide comment)
      michael, Yes you of all people would! Bless you guys!
    • Reginald Frackenwhip Spauldingin reply toAngus Gallagher(Show commentHide comment)
      Angus Gallagher, Yes, she is. I have tried, in various online posts and in conversations with family and friends, to put into words exactly how I feel about this remarkable country. My words were never as eloquent; never as elegant; never as cogent, as yours herein. The infantile greed and lethal lust for 'full spectrum dominance' that drives the amoral criminals at the CFR and the Pentagon is the antithesis of how you and I and millions of others feel about Russia, and betrays a shocking lack of knowledge about Russia's history and necessary place in the global system.
    • Reginald Frackenwhip Spauldingin reply tomichael(Show commentHide comment)
      michael, Yes, they do. Unlike America. Where MANY of the people(s) do NOT reflect the land and this asymetrical arrangement will be DEADLY for the cohesion of the USA....
    • Reginald Frackenwhip Spauldingin reply tochoticastile(Show commentHide comment)
      choticastile, No kidding. Only the MOST beautiful and charming women in Europe (educated too!), if not the world....
    • Angus Gallagherin reply toReginald Frackenwhip Spaulding(Show commentHide comment)
      Reginald Frackenwhip Spaulding, thank you so much for your kind words, Reginald. I really appreciate it and look forward to reading your interesting and thoughtful comments on Russia and other issues!
    • choticastilein reply toReginald Frackenwhip Spaulding(Show commentHide comment)
      Reginald Frackenwhip Spaulding, True to the nth degree and may Russian womanhood always retain their unique and mysterious qualities so admired by the world.
    • choticastilein reply toReginald Frackenwhip Spaulding(Show commentHide comment)
      Reginald Frackenwhip Spaulding, Truly a superb comment. Thanks. People like Angus and you keep the flames of hope for the future burning high!
    • avatar
      michaelin reply tochoticastile(Show commentHide comment)
      choticastile, many thanks from us all here! (Two daughters as well!)
    • avatar
      michaelin reply toReginald Frackenwhip Spaulding(Show commentHide comment)
      Reginald, agreed and similar comments have been raised by Americans that I have met here, in this country. They, in general, appreciate the distance. :)
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