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Moscow - Facts about Russia - Area: 17,075,400 sq km. The world’s largest country, extending across 9 time zones between the Baltic and the Pacific. The Russian Federation is composed of 83 administrative districts, including 46 oblasts (provinces), 21 republics, 9 territories, 4 autonomous okrugs, 1 autonomous oblast and 2 federal cities. Capital: Moscow. Official language: Russian; local languages in autonomous republics. 135 languages.
The Peter and Paul Fortress; established by Peter the Great on May 16, 1703 on small Hare Island by the north bank of the Neva River, the last upstream island of the Neva delta. Built at the height of the Northern War in order to protect the projected capital from a feared Swedish counterattack, the fort never fulfilled its martial purpose - rebuilt in stone from 1706-1740.