Russia is the largest country in the world and a big chunk of its northern territories are inside the Arctic Circle. These areas stretch right the way across the land, through the Siberian region, until they reach the Bering Strait which separates the eastern tip of Russia from Alaska. No less than nine time zones are spanned across this vast area and all of this means that, together with Canada, Russia makes up around 80% of the total area of the Arctic Circle.
The country itself has had a chequered past; characterised by war, revolution and the creation of a powerful empire, and it still generates controversy with its political and military activities in the modern era. Nonetheless, Russia is a key member of many worldwide organisations, including the World Trade Organisation and the G20, and has the largest mineral and energy resources in the world.
For all its contention, Russia has some beautiful landscapes and popular tourist destinations. The main cities of St Petersburg and Moscow regularly attract people from all over the world due to their stately features and rich culture, and with geography that ranges from picturesque waterways to striking Siberian peaks there is so much diversity.
Russia’s role in our expeditions comes in the form of providing the starting point for trips to the North Pole, in Murmansk, and a regular stop-off on this journey, the Franz Josef Land archipelago.