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Russia is the largest country in the world; it straddles North Asia and Europe.
The literacy rate in Russia is one of the highest in the world.
The country is home to more than 142 million inhabitants.
Soups (some of which are made from cabbage or beet) play an important role in Russian cuisine, as do freshwater fish and meat. Russian dessert is often made with curd.
Thanks to its substantial mineral and energy resources, Russia is one of the leading producers and exporters in the world.
The city of St Petersburg holds more than 100 cultural events, including national and international festivals, annually.