The Russian Federation ,is a country that stretches over a vast expanse of Eurasia. With an area of 17,075,400 square kilometres, it is the largest country in the world by land mass, covering almost twice the territory of the next-largest country, Canada. It has the world's eighth largest population.
Russia shares land borders with the following countries (counter-clockwise from NW to SE): Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, China, Mongolia, and North Korea. It is also close to the United States and Japan across relatively small stretches of water.
Formerly the dominant republic of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), Russia is now an independent country and an influential member of the Commonwealth of Independent States, since the Union's dissolution in December 1991. During the Soviet era, Russia was officially called the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (RSFSR). Russia is considered the Soviet Union's successor state in diplomatic matters.