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Ural Mountains with lake reflection Russia occupies the entire area of northern Asia, and takes up a good portion of the easternmost part of northern Europe.  The largest country in the world, it comprises 21 republics.  Russia is made up of plains and mountains.  The Ural Mountains divide European Russia in the west from the Siberian Plain in the east.

relief map of Russia
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traditional Russian village in European Russia European Russia is essentially made up of a vast, fertile plain, the East Europe Plain.  This is Russia's most populated area, and is also where most of its agriculture and industry take place.  Because of the harsh climate in other areas, agriculture is prevalent on the southern part of the plain, where grains used for cereals are grown.  Most of Russia's lands are inhospitable to growing crops, leaving only about 10% for cultivation.  Russia's large population combined with its rather limited agricultural opportunities mean that Russia is able to grow only about half of the grains they need; the rest are imported from other countries.  Some farming, including poultry, cattle, and dairy farming, is done on the western part of these plains.

green hill and farmland in Teploozersk, Russia The Siberian Plain, which is located to the east of the Ural Mountains, is mostly flat and treeless.  Central Siberia is made up of plateaus that rise into the mountain ranges that border China and Mongolia.  There are lowlands on either side of these plateaus, to the north and the east.  The Pacific "Ring of Fire," which includes the Kamchatka Peninsula and the Kuril Islands, is located south of the Bering Sea, and is so named because the area is home to approximately 30 active volcanoes.

Northern Russia is mostly arctic tundra, while the southwest is home to forested areas interspersed with semidesert areas.


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Relief Map of Russia - Russia Relief Map