Russia is my native country. It is the largest country in the world. Russia is situated on two continents: Europe and Asia. The Urals form a natural border between the continents. The country is washed by 12 seas of three oceans: the Pacific, the Arctic and the Atlantic. Its total area is over 17 million square kilometres. No traveller crosses the country from east to west without being astonished by its size. The population of Russia is more than 145 million. There are a lot of nationalities in Russia and people speak different languages. Russian is the official language.
The land of Russia varies greatly. We have thick forests and vast plains, high mountains and deep valleys. The main mountain chains are the Caucasus, the Urals and the Altai. Russia is rich in rivers and lakes. The longest river on the European territory of Russia is the Volga, which flows into the Caspian Sea. The main Siberian rivers are the Ob, the Yenisei and the Lena. The world’s deepest lake, Lake Baikal, is also situated in Russia. The water in this lake is very clear. There is also a wide variety of wildlife in Russia.
Russia is a country without a climate because it has every possible climate from arctic in the north to subtropical in the south. In the west, for example, the climate is usually mild and wet. The southern parts of the country have warm temperatures all year round, but the northern parts have very cold winters. In the middle of the country the climate is usually continental. Winters are cold, windy and snowy, and summers are hot and dry. Russia is rich in mineral resources. Three quarters (3/4) of the country’s minerals and fuels, including oil, natural gas, coal, diamonds and gold, are concentrated in Siberia and the Far East. Russia is a country of great traditions. There are many villages in Russia famous for their specific crafts. Painted boxes from Palekh and wooden tableware from Khokhloma are well¬known all over the world. Log houses decorated with wood carving are typical of Russian villages.
There are a lot of Russian symbols. One of them is the Russian national flag. This flag is made up of three stripes: white, blue and red. These colours have always been symbolic in Russia. They symbolize nobleness, honesty, courage and love. Another Russian symbol is a double-¬headed eagle. It was introduced in Russia in 1497 by Tsar Ivan III. Besides, there are other Russian symbols well-¬known all over the world, for example, Red Square and the Spasskaya Tower.
Tourists usually buy such traditional Russian souvenirs as Matryoshka dolls, beautifully painted mugs, plates and spoons from Khokhloma village and Palekh boxes. We, people living in Russia, love our country and are proud of it. And we would like other nations to understand and love our homeland.