Russia is the largest country in the world by area, covering more than one-eighth of the Earth's inhabited land area, and the ninth most populous, with over 144 million people (December 2017). About 77% of the population lives in the western European part of the country. Russia's capital, Moscow is one of the largest cities in the world. Other must see cities are Saint Petersburg, Veliky Novgorod, Kazan, Sochi, Yekaterinburg and Irkutsk.
Russia's economy ranks as the twelfth largest by nominal GDP. Russia's extensive mineral and energy resources are the largest such reserves in the world, making it one of the leading producers of oil and natural gas globally.
Russia is a great power as well as a regional power and has been characterized as a potential superpower. The country is one of the five recognized nuclear weapons states and possesses the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction.
Russia was visited by 28.4 million tourists (2013); it is the ninth most visited country in the world and the seventh most visited in Europe. The most visited destinations in Russia are Moscow and Saint Petersburg, the current and former capitals of the country. The most famous natural destination in Russia is Baikal Lake, the Blue Eye of Siberia near Irkutsk.
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