Home » Teaching Resources » Country Background Information: Russian Federation

Country Background Information: Russian Federation

Russian flag
Russian Federation

If possible, download these two documents to your phone, so that you can refer to them later:

Key country facts


snowy mountains

The climate of Russia is continental, with hot, dry summers and extremely cold winters – particularly in Siberia. The Western parts of the country have the most rain. During winter, snow cover lasts from 60 to 80 days in the south and from 260 to 280 days in the far North.

oil rig

Russia is the world’s third largest oil producer. Because of its large oil and gas industry, Russia has a high-emission and energy-inefficient economy.


Moscow is the capital city of the Russian Federation, the largest country in the world by land area, which spans 11 time zones and accounts for 1/8 of the world’s land area. 78% of its population live in European Russia.


Russia has extensive gas, coal and oil reserves. 87% of the energy Russia consumes comes from fossil fuels. Russia is also the world’s second largest producer of hydroelectricity. Other renewable energy sources are largely undeveloped although it has the potential for them.

The Kremlin

The Russian Federation, commonly known as Russia, emerged when the Soviet Union broke up in 1991. Russia has ratified the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.


Vast areas of northern Russia are covered in tundra, where the ground remains frozen and precipitation is very low. Recent changes in weather have resulted in milder winter temperatures, affecting not only pasture for reindeers but also the movement of the indigenous peoples of the arctic tundra. As the tundra warms, there are complex changes to the local carbon cycle. Source: Flickr / Ninara

Sea Vessel in Ice

Russia is warming 2.5 times faster than other parts of the world. Increases in temperature have caused a decline in the Arctic sea ice. This opens up shorter trade routes which could potentially benefit the Russian and global economy. Ships are a major emitter of greenhouse gases. Source: Flickr / Christopher Michel


Russia has the longest hot water and district heating network in the world. Heating for houses and hot water is centrally provided through an inefficient pipe network from local heat generation plants. There are no heating controls in many older houses apart from opening the window. Source: Flickr / Vera


13% of Russia is classified as agricultural land, but only 7% of it is cultivated. Since 2000, the country has become a major grain exporter. Russia has introduced laws restricting the import of food from many countries. Source: Wikimedia Commons / Sergey Ashmarin

St Basil Moscow

The Cathedral of Vasily the Blessed, commonly known as Saint Basil’s Cathedral, is a 16th century church in the Red Square in Moscow, Russia and a major tourist attraction. Orthodox Christianity is the main religion in Russia, but Islam, Buddhism and Judaism are also important