enormous size of Russia and the remoteness of many areas
from the sea result in the dominance of the humid
continental climate, which is prevalent in all parts of
the country except for the tundra and the extreme
southeast. Mountains in the south obstruct the flow of
warm air masses from the Indian Ocean, while the plain
of the west and north makes the country open to Arctic
and Atlantic influences.
160 ethnic groups speak some 100 languages. According
to the 2002 census, 142.6 million people speak Russian,
followed by Tatar with 5.3 million and Ukrainian with
1.8 million speakers. Russian is the only official
state language, but the Constitution gives the
individual republics the right to make their native
language co-official next to Russian.
|Currency:||The Russian ruble, often denoted by RUB,
is the name of the currencies of the Russian Federation
and Belarus. The ruble has been the Russian unit of
currency for several centuries, and its name stems from
the Russian verb rubit, meaning, "to chop."
|Population:||The population of Russia was estimated
at 146, 001, 176 (July 2000 est.) by official U.S.
government sources. According to official figures, the
Russian population growth rate is negative, declining at
a rate of 3 percent a year.
|Capital City:||Moscow is the capital, the most populous
city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia.
The city is a major political, economic, cultural,
scientific, religious, financial, educational, and
transportation centre of Russia and the continent.