The country borders in the north-west on Norway, Finland, Estonia and Latvia and, with the exclave of the Kaliningrad region, on Lithuania and Poland; in the west and south-west of the European part of Belarus and Ukraine; in the south to Georgia and Azerbaijan (in the Caucasus) and to Kazakhstan; In the eastern south of the Asian part, Russia borders Mongolia, China and the Sea of Japan for a few kilometers with North Korea. Russia has sea coasts to the Baltic Sea, the Black, Azovand Arctic Oceans as well as the Pacific Ocean and its tributaries (Bering, Okhotsk and Japanese Seas).
As a country located in Eastern Europe according to Countryaah.com, Russia is by far the largest country on earth. It extends in a west-east direction for more than 9,000 km from the Gdańsk Bay (Kaliningrad region) in the west (19 ° 38 ′ east longitude) to Cape Deschnjow (Chukotka) on the Bering Strait in the east (169 ° 40 ′ west longitude) and in north-south direction up to 4,000 km from the Arctic Ocean (northernmost point on Rudolf Island in Franz Josef Land, 81 ° 49 ′ north latitude, northernmost mainland point Cape Tscheljuskin on the Taimyrpeninsula, 77 ° 43 ′ north Latitude) to the mountainous countries of southern Siberia in the south and the Greater Caucasus in the southwest, where the southernmost point (at 41 ° 10 ′ north latitude) is reached in the Republic of Dagestan. Russia thus occupies the greater part of the northern Eurasian mainland mass.
75% of the surface shape is determined by plains that are predominant to the west of the Yenisei. They are divided by the Urals (predominantly low mountain range, in the Narodnaja up to 1,895 m above sea level, partly densely forested) into the Eastern European Plain (Russian Plain) and the West Siberian Lowlands (with the main rivers Ob and Irtysh). The Eastern European Plain, through which the Volga (longest river in Europe) flows, is joined in the northwest by the Baltic Shield with the plains and mountainous regions of Karelia and the Kola Peninsula, in the south of the North Caucasus to the ridge of the Great Caucasus (Elbrus, the highest point in Russia at 5,642 m above sea level) and the Caspian Depression to the lower Volga (at Astrakhan to 28 m below sea level).
East of the Yenisse i extends to the Lena, the Central Siberian Mountains, to the east of the Lena and the Yakut Basin, the mountains of Eastern Siberia (including the Verkhoyansk, Kolyma, Tscherski Mountains and Anadyrberg Mountains), which rise up to 3,147 m above sea level, join them, and beyond the watershed between them Arctic Ocean and Pacific Ocean, the mountains of the Far East (including the Sichote-Alin and Bureja Mountains), which are up to 2,325 m above sea level. The mountain belt on the Pacific Ocean is formed by the Koryak Mountains (up to 2 562 m above sea level) and the active volcanoes (including Klyuchevskaya Sopka, 4 868 m above sea level) Kamchatkas and the Kuril Islands chain completed. The South Siberian mountain belt begins in the west with the mountain system of the Altai (Belucha, 4,506 m above sea level); to the east of this stretch the Western and Eastern Sayan and the Transbaikal Mountains, to the east of the Lena the Stanovoi and the Jugdschur Mountains, which extend north to the East Siberian mountain belt.
Off the Far Eastern coast, separated from the mainland by the Tatar Sound, lies Sakhalin, the largest Russian island. The mountains of Siberia merge in the north into the North Siberian lowland, which continues east of the Lena in the Jana-Indigirka lowland. The Central Yakut lowlands extend along the middle reaches of the Lena and the Aldan. There are numerous islands and archipelagos off the north Siberian coast: Novaya Zemlya, Severnaya Zemlya, the New Siberian Islands and Franz Josef Land. – There are around 2 million lakes in Russia. The largest are the Caspian Sea, Lake Baikal, Ladoga and Onega. Lake Baikal in Eastern Siberia is the deepest lake on earth (up to 1,642 m).
Despite a 45% decline in industrial pollutant emissions during the 1990s, air pollution, water pollution and soil contamination continue to threaten almost all of Russia’s ecosystems. Pollutants such as lead, arsenic and chromium are a major problem, especially in mining areas. Broken oil pipelines contaminate the groundwater. The disposal of radioactive waste on the Kola Peninsula, the adjacent marine areas and in southern Siberia poses a major threat to the future. Russia is the fourth largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world. The country signed the Paris Climate Agreement (2015) but has not yet ratified it.
Russia has a share of very different climatic zones, from the arctic climate along the north coast to the humid subtropical climate on the Black Sea coast in the Krasnodar region. Most of the country, however, belongs to the temperate climate zone. This is up to the south of the Far East, which is under the influence of the East Asian monsoons, decidedly continental. While the summer temperatures essentially depend on the geographical latitude (July mean 1–2 ° C in the extreme north, up to 25 ° C in the steppe region), the declining maritime influence determines the cold season: The January mean increases from the west (−1 to −5 ° C) to the northeast and reach the lowest values of −50 ° C in the East Siberian mountainous region (the cold poles of the northern hemisphere are located near Oymyakon and Verkhoyansk). As a result of the cold, long-lasting winters with little snow, almost half of the country’s area is permafrost embossed. Landscapes of permafrost are therefore characteristic of large parts of Siberia, the Far East and the north of the European part of the country. Since the estuaries in the north tend to freeze over or thaw later than the source areas, extensive flooding occurs regularly. The eternal frost in the subsoil prevents the water from seeping away, so that the Siberian lowlands are transformed into a huge swamp area over large areas during the summer months. The annual amount of precipitation (mostly summer rain) decreases from the flatlands of the Baltic Sea coast (600–700 mm) in all directions (Caspian Depression 100–150 mm, eastern tundra 100–200 mm), but reaches again in the mountains and in the Far East 600-1,000 mm.