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Russia, the world’s largest nation, borders European and Asian countries as well as the Pacific and Arctic oceans. Its landscape ranges from tundra and forests to subtropical beaches. It’s famous for Moscow's Bolshoi and St. Petersburg's Mariinsky ballet companies. St. Petersburg, founded by Russian leader Peter the Great, has the baroque Winter Palace, now housing part of the State Hermitage Museum’s art collection.
Capital city Moscow is the site of the Kremlin, a walled citadel that’s home to the president, and Red Square, backed by the colorful onion domes of St. Basil’s Cathedral. Volga River cruises pass through the Golden Ring, a group of well-preserved towns dating back to medieval times, including Suzdal. Scenic Trans-Siberian Railway journeys stop at Siberia’s Lake Baikal, the earth’s deepest lake. Black Sea resort towns like Sochi are popular for beachgoing. Skiing and climbing are the top draws in the nearby Caucasus range, best known for Mt. Elbrus, Europe's highest mountain.