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Have you seen one of these before? It's called a samovar. It's used in Russia to boil lots of water to make tea. The samovar can store lots of water and keep it hot for a long time. It's heated with a small fire or by electricity (for modern ones). If you travel on the Trans-Siberian Railway, there's a samovar in each train compartment so you can always get a hot drink!

Vladivostok is the last stop on the main line of the Trans-Siberian Railway. For a long time it was a closed city, and no foreigners were allowed to visit. It's thousands of miles away from the capital city, in fact Vladivostok is closer to Australia than to Moscow!

Kamchatka is a peninsula in Russia which is known for its volcanoes and beautiful nature. The bit which sticks out is called Cape Lopatka (lopatka means 'spade' in Russian because it looks a bit like one). Kamchatka is covered in trees and has lots of nature, including thousands of bears. Hardly anyone lives there because it's so far away from everything else.

Kazan is an important city in Russia. It's the third city of Russia (after Moscow and St. Petersberg) and is the capital of Tatarstan, which is a region in Russia. The Tatar people live in several places across Russia, but many live around Kazan. Through history they had a reputation as great warriors, and several Russian emperors had Tatar armies. The Tatar people are mostly Muslim and in Kazan there are lots of beautiful mosques.

Ballet came to Russia when Peter the Great became Emperor. It soon became very popular and Russia became famous for its ballet dancers. Lots of famous ballet dancers, like Rudolph Nureyev, Mikhail Baryshnikov and Anna Pavlova trained in Russia. There are two very famous ballet companies from Russia which still perform all over the world - the Bolshoi Company from Moscow and the Mariinsky Ballet in St. Petersburg.

Vladikavkaz is in the Caucasus Mountains, at the very edge of Russia. The Caucasus Mountains are a very special place. The mountains there are very high - Mt. Elbrus is there, which is the highest mountain in Europe. As the Caucasus has lots of mountains, people lived in small valleys and often never met the people living in the valley next door. They didn't have any contact with each other over thousands of years. They developed very different languages and cultures as a result. There are lots of different groups in the Caucasus, like Chechen people, Ingush people, Avar people, Ossetian people and more. On the map below you can see how many different people live in the Caucasus - each colour is a different group of people!

Lake Baikal is the deepest lake in the world. It contains 22% of the world's fresh water! In the winter, the temperature drops to around -19°C which means the lake freezes over. The ice is so thick and strong that cars can drive over the lake. You can even camp overnight on the lake! Lake Baikal is also one of the oldest lakes in the world. An indigenous group, the Buryats have lived by the lake for hundreds of years and believe it to be a sacred place.

This is where the Ural Mountains start. They are a range of mountains which runs along Russia from north to south. On the western side of the Urals is European Russia, but everything on the eastern side of the Ural mountains is known as Siberia. Not many people live in Siberia as it gets terribly, terribly cold in the winter and quite hot in the summer. But people do still live there and there's lots of beautiful things to see, like lovely buildings and wonderful animals and nature.

Amur Leopards are one of the rarest big cats in the world. Amazingly, their population has started to recover, especially in Russia where there are harsh punishments for hunting Amur Leopards. Each Amur Leopard has a unique pattern of spots, which makes them easy to identify. You can learn more about Amur Leopards here.