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PostSubject: Russia   Sat Nov 27, 2010 1:38 am

Russia (pronounced /ˈrʌʃə/ ( listen); Russian: Россия, tr. Rossiya, IPA: [rɐˈsʲijə] ( listen)), also officially known as the Russian Federation[7] (Russian: Российская Федерация, tr. Rossiyskaya Federatsiya, IPA: [rɐˈsʲijskəjə fʲɪdʲɪˈratsəjə] ( listen)), is a state in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects. From northwest to southeast, Russia shares borders with Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland (both via Kaliningrad Oblast), Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, the People's Republic of China, Mongolia, and North Korea. It also has maritime borders with Japan by the Sea of Okhotsk, and the United States by 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 a ninth of the Earth's land area. Russia is also the ninth most populous nation with 142 million people.[2] It extends across the whole of northern Asia and 40% of Europe, spanning 9 time zones and incorporating a wide range of environments and landforms. Russia has the world's largest reserves of mineral and energy resources.[8] It has the world's largest forest reserves and its lakes contain approximately one-quarter of the world's freshwater

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