Russia

Understand

Russia is the largest country in the world by far; spanning nine time zones, its territory covers nearly twice as much of the earth as that of the next largest country, Canada. Despite its massive size, much of the country lacks proper soils and climates (either too cold or too dry) for agriculture. Instead it has huge reserves of some of the world’s most important resources (oil, gas, coal, platinum, gold, chrome, water). Mount Elbrus (Gora El’brus), at 5,633 m, is Europe’s, and Russia’s, tallest peak.

Talk

Russian is the official language, so wherever you go in Russia, you’ll find someone who speaks it. English is becoming a requirement in the business world, and younger people especially will often know enough to communicate, but by no means is English universally understood and spoken. In upscale hotels almost the entire staff has a working knowledge of foreign languages (including English). Most people however, and almost certainly the elder generation, cannot speak any English at all, and in extreme cases no Russian at all (depending on a person’s ethnicity).

(source: Wikitravel)

 

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