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Panoramic photo by Dmitri Melinchuk EXPERT Taken 05:21, 05/09/2009 - Views loading...

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Tornado aftermath at Institutskaya str., september 2009

The World > Asia > Russia

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A: Tyrgan park, september 2009

by Dmitri Melinchuk, 490 meters away

Tyrgan park, september 2009

B: Tornado aftermath in Tyrgan park, september 2009

by Dmitri Melinchuk, 530 meters away

Tornado aftermath in Tyrgan park, september 2009

C: Trees broken by tornado, september 2009

by Dmitri Melinchuk, 750 meters away

Trees broken by tornado, september 2009

D: Institutskaya st., august 2011

by Dmitri Melinchuk, 790 meters away

Institutskaya st., august 2011

E: Tornado aftermath near Tyrgan park, september 2009

by Dmitri Melinchuk, 960 meters away

Tornado aftermath near Tyrgan park, september 2009

G: Tyrgan morning, december 2004

by Dmitri Melinchuk, 1.0 km away

Tyrgan morning, december 2004

H: Tyrgan park, april 2014

by Dmitri Melinchuk, 1.2 km away

Tyrgan park, april 2014

I: Palace of culture Mayakovsky, february 2014

by Dmitri Melinchuk, 1.2 km away

Palace of culture Mayakovsky, february 2014

J: Snowstorm, december 2004

by Dmitri Melinchuk, 1.3 km away

Snowstorm, december 2004

This panorama was taken in Russia

This is an overview of Russia

Just in case you mistakenly heard that it was all ice and snow in Russia, take a peek at the Big Bikini Exposition. This is right on the river Moskva in Moscow!

Moscow has been the capital of Russia for almost its entire history. The exception is during the period of the Russian Empire, which lasted from 1721 until the Russian Revolution 1917. For these two centuries the capital was St. Petersburg. The Russian Empire was the second largest contiguous Empire in world memory; only the Mongol Empire had been greater.

Check out what's happening north of Mongolia these days, in Chita

Although you may not have heard of Sochi, on the Black Sea, they're building up quickly and hope to host the 2014 Olympics.

Other periods of Russian history include the Tsardom of Russia, from Ivan IV to Peter the Great, and the Grand Duchy (14th-16th centuries).

The earliest period of Russian history was ruled by the Novgorod Republic and Kievan Rus, which was the first Russian state dating back to 800AD in Kiev.

Modern Russia remains one of the world's superpowers. They launched the earth's second satellite, called Sputnik 1, and were the first country to put a human being into orbit around earth. (The first one is called the Moon.)

After the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, Russia became a federal republic of 83 states.

Text by Steve Smith.

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