Russia, also 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 (Alaska), and Japan across relatively small stretches of water. Most of the area, population, and industrial production of the Soviet Union, then one of the world's two superpowers, lay in Russia. After the breakup of the USSR, Russia's global role was greatly diminished compared to that of the former Soviet Union. In October 2005, the federal statistics agency reported that Russia's population has shrunk by more than half a million people dipping to 143 million, although Russia remains the second country in the world by the number of immigrants from abroad.
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