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10 Things You Might Not Know About Russia

Updated on June 9, 2015
Buildreps profile image

Mario Buildreps is a graduate engineer. Become aware of topics in a way you have never heard before.

St. Petersburg's Metro

St. Petersburg's Metro
St. Petersburg's Metro | Source

St. Petersburg's Metro - Deepest Metro System of the World

The deepest average metro in the world is in St. Peterburg. Its average depth is an incredible 100 meters.

The idea of creating in St. Petersburg a subway system has a long history and is rooted in the 19th century. Already in 1820, the engineer Torgovanov addressed this idea to Alexander the First, the emperor at that time. Torgovanov's intitial proposal was a train tunnel under the Neva, the third largest river of Europe regarding discharge.

The construction started not until 1939, became damaged during WWII and was finally finished in 1955. The overall length of the subway system is 70.58 miles and not 70.3 miles like Wikipedia mentions.

Lake Baikal

Lake Baikal - the largest fresh water reservoir in the world.
Lake Baikal - the largest fresh water reservoir in the world. | Source

Lake Baikal - The Largest Source of Fresh Water

Lake Baikal is a stunning beauty - with nearly 5,400 feet the deepest lake in the world, 225 million years old, and the largest source of fresh water on the planet. Baikal contains about as much water as lake Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario together - 5,665.5 mi3.

All the major rivers of the world - the Volga, Don, Dnjepr, Yenisei, Ural, Ob, Ganges, Orinoco, the Amazon, the Thames, the Seine and Oder - should flow almost a year to fill Lake Baikal.


Avtovaz, the largest single car factory in the world.
Avtovaz, the largest single car factory in the world. | Source

AvtoVAZ - The Largest Single Car Factory in the World

On 15 August 1966 in Moscow, the head of Fiat, Gianni Agnelli signed with the Minister of automotive industry of the USSR Alexander Tarasov an agreement to create an automobile factory in the city of Togliatti (also spelled Toljatti) with a complete production cycle.

This factory was called AvtoVAZ (АвтоВАЗ), better known as Lada in the west.

After the collapse of the USSR between 1990 and 2000, there was an immense power vacuum. A fierce criminal war broke out for the control of AvatoVAZ. During this war about 500 people were killed, including corrupt authorities, businessmen, police officers, journalists, public figures, and plant management. AvtoVAZ has currently 90 miles on production lines.

Ural Mountains

Ural Mountains - the oldest mountain ranges of the world.
Ural Mountains - the oldest mountain ranges of the world. | Source

Krasnoturinsk, the Center of Ural

Ural Mountains - Oldest Mountain Ranges of the World

The Ural are the oldest mountains in the world, located in Kazakhstan. The mountains occurred 4.2 billion years ago, while Earth is 4.5 billion years old. The mountain range runs from North to South, covering an area of 150,000 sq. miles, a size similar to Montana, and divides Russia in East and West. Historical names of the Ural Mountains are: Big Stone, Siberian Stone, Earth Belt, Belt Stone. The highest peak is around 6,000 feet high. Once the Ural mountains were very high, but now after many billion years of erosion only 56% of the initial height remained.

Trans Siberian Railway

Trans Siberian Railway
Trans Siberian Railway | Source

Trans Siberian Railway - Longest Railway in the World

The Trans-Siberian Railway is the longest railway in the world, also called the Great Siberian Way, connects Moscow with Vladivostok.

  • in length 9298 miles,
  • crossing 8 time zones,
  • passing through 87 cities and towns and
  • crosses 16 rivers, including the Volga.

Secret Cities

Sarvlab | Source

Secret Cities

Russia has still many secret cities and locations. They are not on the maps, they are not on road signs, and foreigners cannot even come close. It is said that in these cities tests were carried out with Ebola clones and nuclear radiation.

Ordinary citizens getting there is (was) nearly impossible, and not only because of the strict permit regime, but also because of the secrecy of the location of the villages. Residents of closed cities were instructed to keep their place of residence strictly secret.

These cities were not on any map, they do not have a unique name, and often adapted the name of the regional center with the addition of, for example, Krasnoyarsk-26.

There's also the diamond city Mirny in Eastern Siberia, in one of the most rural areas of the world, closed for visitors as well. A massive 30% of the world's diamond production comes from this second largest man-made hole in the world.

Thirteen Seas


The Only Territory Washed by Thirteen Seas

Russia is the only country whose territory is washed by thirteen seas.

  • the White Sea,
  • the Barents Sea,
  • the Kara Sea,
  • the Laptev Sea,
  • the East Siberian Sea,
  • Chukotsk Sea,
  • the Bering Sea,
  • the Okhotsk Sea,
  • the Sea of Japan,
  • the Baltic Sea,
  • the Black Sea,
  • the Sea of Azov and,
  • the Caspian Sea



Russia has never known slavery. Russia had only known a mild form of serfdom.

Serfdom in Russia was shorter than, for example, in England and most of Europe.

Serfdom in Russia had milder forms. Russia abolished serfdom in 1861, the United States abolished slavery in 1865.

When Countries Abolished Slavery




Dacha's - the Food Factories of Russia

Russia has currently around 38 million Dacha's spread over the country. The food production of all the Dacha's together is literally astounding.

According to official statistics, in 2004 more than 38 million families (110 million people, or 75% of country’s population) own a dacha or a subsidiary plot, and were cultivating it.

The 38 million plots cover more than 9 million hectares, that's only 0.5% of the total country.

The harvest provides:

  • 90% of Russia’s potatoes,
  • 75% of its vegetables,
  • 85% of berries and fruits,
  • 60% of meat,
  • and 50% of the milk.

The Dacha's have an output that equals the total agricultural output of the Russian Federation. The production 'system' of the Dacha's are very tranquil though.

What the Dachniks (the Dacha owners) demonstrate here is that gardeners can feed the world, and without GMO's, industrial farms, or other technological tools.

Russia has only a 3 months growing season, which means that the gardeners’ output in the US could be substantially greater. The area taken up by lawns in the US is approximately two times larger than that of Russia’s gardens, while they feed hardly anyone.

It shows also that it requires a certain mentality to take destiny into own hands, and not to be ruled by companies alone.

GMO Products


GMO Products Might Become Forbidden

Since 2014 the use of transgenic genetically modified organisms (GMO's) in Russia for application in the food industry and agriculture are labeled as dangerous.

The Russian government labeled companies like Monsanto and Syngenta as terrorists, and a threat to the health of the people.

According to Senator Anton Belyakov - "Russia should use the chance to become a world producer of organic food... turning Russia as a producer and consumer of environmentally friendly products".

There is a reasonable chance that GMO's become fully prohibited within a few years.

© 2014 by Buildreps


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    • profile image


      19 months ago

      I think you are referring to Low German, Hendrika. I have been told plattdytch is one of five dialects that can be labelled as languages. Switzerdytch is another example. Everybody understands High German, though. Low German heavily influenced Scandinavian languages. It was a sort of lingua franca for some time and was also influential in Russia. I was surprised when I found several Russian words exactly like some words in Scandinavian languages.

      I studied High German in school. One of the last times I talked with a German, she wondered why I talked like that. How else could I talk after years studying the language in school? Low German I can hardly understand. "Bei Nomen het e Magellan" should mean its name was Magellan. There are some other simple words I understand, but not many. Search för "Rolling home, rolling home, rolling home across the sea" on youtube for an example of the language. Someone, correct me if I am wrong.

      I think GMO is outlawed now and I have seen the datchas and the work there. Free land is now available in the East.

    • Buildreps profile imageAUTHOR


      3 years ago from Europe

      Thanks for commenting, Julie. I hope you have the opportunity to visit Lake Baikal soon!

    • profile image

      Julie K Henderson 

      3 years ago

      Thank you for all of these noteworthy facts. I've wanted to see Lake Baikal in person since reading Colin Thurbon's "In Siberia," and the picture you provided of this natural wonder makes me want to visit all the more. Well done.

    • Buildreps profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from Europe

      That's indeed an interesting additional fact, Hendrika. Thanks for this complement.

    • Hendrika profile image


      4 years ago from Pretoria, South Africa

      You have very interesting facts here. Something of a less spectacular nature that many people do not know is that for a very long time there was a colony of Menonites in Russia. They were there initially by the invitation of some Tzar. They speak a language know as "Plat Deutsch" that many people think is a dialect of German, but is actually a completely different language. It can be compared to "Afrikaans" as a language related to "Dutch" but a completely different language.

    • Buildreps profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from Europe

      Thanks Kevin, great to meet you here :)

    • kevin murphy-87 profile image

      kevin murphy 

      4 years ago from Ireland

      This is a pretty awesome hub!!! :) Thanks

    • Buildreps profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from Europe

      Thanks Carolyn, I'm happy you enjoyed it :)

    • CarolynEmerick profile image

      Carolyn Emerick 

      4 years ago

      Hi Buildreps, thanks for a very interesting article. I learned many new things about Russia and very much enjoyed the photos :-) Upvoted and shared to my feed

    • Buildreps profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from Europe

      Thanks for sharing this, Colleen. It's so nice to hear you were there too - a lifetime experience!

    • Colleen Swan profile image

      Colleen Swan 

      4 years ago from County Durham

      Great hub. I travelled on the Trans Siberian Railway many years age. There was freestanding wooden tables and chairs in the restaurant carriage. I travelled on the metro. It was so clean, no graffiti.

    • Buildreps profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from Europe

      Thank you for your comment miss Novia Scotia :) You live in a very beautiful environment as well!

    • novascotiamiss profile image


      4 years ago from Nova Scotia, Canada

      Very interesting article. I learnt a lot about Russia. Voted up!

    • Buildreps profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from Europe

      Thanks for your comment, johndwilliams. I'm happy you've enjoyed it. Enjoy your time in Russia :)

    • johndwilliams profile image


      4 years ago from Essex England

      Great Hub I am currently in Russia and these facts are amazing! Great Hub- very inspirational

    • Buildreps profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from Europe

      You're welcome, Bill. About the GMO is amazing indeed. China seems to follow the example of Russia now. That will be a hard ball for the GMO business.

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Russia is beautiful! I had no idea. Thanks for the hub and I'll be sharing on google+.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      How amazing that Russia outlaws GMOs but our government supports them. Sigh! Well, I didn't know five of these things, so I'm very glad I stopped by this morning. Thanks for the info.


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