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Welcome to Travel Guide 2 Russia, the site about travel, tourism and vacations in Russia.
The Russian Federation is, by far, the largest country in the world; over twice size of the next largest country, Canada. The country includes regions in both Europe and Asia, and has land borders with Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, China, Mongolia and North Korea. Russia's coastline stretches across the Arctic Ocean (including the Barents Sea, East Siberian Sea, Kara Sea, Laptev Sea and White Sea), Baltic Sea, Black Sea, Caspian Sea and Pacific Ocean (including the Bering Sea, Sea of Japan and Sea of Okhotsk), and there are many Russian islands and archipelagos in both the Arctic Ocean and Pacific Ocean.
As of 2006, Russia had a estimated population of 142,754,000 - a fall since the 2002 census, when the population was 145,274,019. About 75% of Russia's population lives in urban areas, and the two largest cities are the capital Moscow, and Saint Petersburg, which respectively have populations of around 10.3 million and 4.7 million. There are of course many other cities in Russia, the next largest of which are Chelyabinsk, Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod, Novosibirsk, Omsk, Perm, Rostov-on-Don, Samara, Ufa, Volgograd and Yekaterinburg, all of which have populations of over one million.
Russia went through a difficult period following the collapse of the USSR in 1991 - the economy contracted for five years during the transition from a centrally-planned economy to a more market-orientated economy. This culminated in a financial crisis in 1998, when the country had to be bailed out by money from the International Monetary Fund and World Bank. However, since then, Russia has bounced back and achieved steady economic growth, initially on the back of the cheap ruble and high oil prices, but latterly as a result of rising domestic consumer demand and new investment laws. This is not to say that there are not still challenges ahead - the biggest of these being the huge disparities in economic development between different regions of the country. However, with a highly-educated population and vast natural resources, the future prospects of the Russian economy are now looking increasingly bright.
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