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The climates of both European and Asian Russia are continental except for the tundra and the extreme southeast.Winters vary from cool along Black Sea coast to frigid in Siberia, while summers vary from warm in the steppes to cool along Arctic coast.Russia has a largely continental climate because of its sheer size and compact configuration.Most of its land is more than 250 miles (400km) from the sea, and the center is 2386 miles (3840km) from the sea.The more central Ural Mountains, a north-south range that form the primary divide between Europe and Asia, are also notable.The lowest point is the Caspian Sea, at 28 meters below sea level.From north to south the East European Plain is clad sequentially in tundra, coniferous forest (taiga), mixed forest, broadleaf forest, grassland (steppe), and semidesert (fringing the Caspian Sea) reflecting the changes in climate.Siberia supports a similar sequence but lacks the mixed forest. Environmental issues include air pollution from heavy industry, emissions of coal-fired electric plants, and transportation in major cities; industrial, municipal, and agricultural pollution of inland waterways and seacoasts; deforestation; soil erosion; soil contamination from improper application of agricultural chemicals; scattered areas of sometimes intense radioactive contamination; groundwater contamination from toxic waste; urban solid waste management; and abandoned stocks of obsolete pesticides.
Located on the Moskva River in the Central Federal District, in the European part of Russia, Moscow's population constitutes about seven percent of the total population.The most prominent of Russia's bodies of fresh water is Lake Baikal, the world's deepest and most capacious freshwater lake.Lake Baikal alone contains over one fifth of the world's liquid fresh surface water.These plains are predominantly steppe to the south and heavily forested to the north, with tundra along the northern coast.
Mountain ranges are found along the southern borders, such as the Caucasus (containing Mount Elbrus, Russia's and Europe's highest point at 18,511 feet (5642 meters), and the Altai, and in the eastern parts, such as the Verkhoyansk Range or the volcanoes on Kamchatka.
The Russian Federation stretches across much of the north of the supercontinent of Eurasia.