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    Russia is the largest country in the world. Its three regions are European Russia in the west, up to the low-lying Ural Mountains; the huge flat expense of Siberia; and the mountainous far eastern region.

    The climate is extreme, varying from averages of -20 degrees celsius or -4 fahrenheit in winter to +20 degrees celsius or 68 fahrenheit in the summer.

    Russia's mighty rivers include the Volga, Europe's longest river, and the Yenisei in Siberia. Huge Lake Baikal in eastern Siberia is the deepest in the world and contains one-fifth of the world's fresh water.

    Russia's rich variety of animal life includes tigers, reindeer, moose, sable, polar bears, walrus, grey wolf, red-breasted goose, and the Baikal seal.

    The Siberian Tiger is the largest tiger in the world and lives in solitude in the forests and mountains of the far eastern Ussuri region.

    The common brown bear a national symbol of Russia, lives in the mountains and forests of the entire country from Europe to Siberia, and in the mountains of the far eastern Ussuri region. Such large creatures can sustain themselves in semi-hibernation throughout the winter on the fruits and berries of the forests; on fish; and even on deer, for they can cover short distances at enormous speed.

    The villian in russian fairy tales, the large grey wolf is now found only in the wilds of Siberia and the remoter areas of European Russia. With its thick fur, which whitens the further north it travels, it adapts admirably to life in a cold climate. Its reputation of killing sheep and farm animals is only true when it is desperately hungry, attacks on humans are very rare.

    Black, white, and chestnut-red goose, breed in the far northern reaches of Siberia, bordering on the Arctic Ocean. These beautiful birds are proof that the huge, almost uninhabited regions of Russia's cold north can support a colorful variety of life during June to August. But the number of breeding pairs has declined by over two-thirds in the past century, mostly because of indiscriminate hunting.


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