10 Things You Might Not Know About Russia
St. Petersburg's Metro
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 - 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
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.
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 - 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.
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.
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 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.
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