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The Critically Endangered Siberian Crane

Listed with the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) as 'critically endangered' the Siberian Crane, also known as the Snow Crane or Siberian White Crane, is found in the Arctic tundra terrain of eastern and western Russia, with the western population migrating to Iran for winter and the eastern population migrating to China. Undertaking the longest migration of any of the crane species, it is at this time that the birds are at their most vulnerable, primarily due to hunting and loss of habitat along their migration routes.


Visit the Theaters and Museums of Irkutsk

As one of the largest cities in Siberia, Irkutsk is a vital economic hub in the region, as well as being an important cultural center with a host of museums and theaters for both locals and visitors to enjoy. Much of the culture of Irkutsk goes back to the early 19th century when a large number of Russian officers, nobles, writers and artists were banished to Siberia for rising up against Tsar Nicholas I. Even the architecture in the city stands as a testament to this period in its history, with ornately decorated wooden houses contrasting with Soviet-era apartment blocks. While it may not be as evident today, back then Irkutsk was even referred to as the "Paris of Siberia" due to its rich and vibrant culture.


Lake Baikal in Southeast Siberia

Listed by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) as the oldest and deepest lake in the world, Lake Baikal in south-east Siberia contains up to 20% of the world's unfrozen freshwater reserve. Its tremendous age, estimated at 25 million years, and its isolated location has resulted in the preservation of a wealth of rare freshwater flora and fauna, considered to be of great value to scientists studying evolution. Its biodiversity has led to Lake Baikal being compared with the Galapagos Islands of Ecuador, where Charles Darwin developed his theory of evolution, upon which evolutionary scientist build today.


Past, Present and Future Design Trends at Moscow Museum

Founded in May 2012 and opened to the public in November of that year, the Moscow Design Museum is dedicated to collecting and displaying items relating to past, present and future design trends in Russia, with the goal of becoming an integral part of the cultural landscape by making the history and future potential of Russian design available to the general public. When the idea for the Moscow Design Museum was first considered in March 2011 by a team of young people including designers, historians and architects, it was to fill a gap that was not covered by any other museum. Initially the team had intended to use a refurbished bus to take the museum to the public, but after a series of presentations of the concept, exhibition space was allocated for the museum in the CEH "Manege" located across from the Kremlin in the center of Moscow. The bus remains an integral part of the museum’s goal to make this unique collection available to the public.


The Fascinating Russian Desman

At one time hunted for its thick luxurious fur and its musky-smelling scent glands, the Russian desman (Desmana moschata) is listed with the IUCN as 'vulnerable' and is now protected from hunting by legislation. This small semiaquatic mole-type mammal can be found burrowed into the banks of slow-moving streams and ponds in the Don, Volga and Ural River basins of Russia, Kazakhstan and Ukraine, where it hunts for insects, fish, amphibians and crustaceans to eat. The entrance to the burrow is usually hidden within vegetation with the burrow itself leading to below the water level. They readily move and dig new burrows if water levels fluctuate.


2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia

Organizing an event of the magnitude of the FIFA World Cup is a lengthy business, and the bidding process to host both the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups started in January 2009, with February 2 being the cut-off date for national associations to register. While initially nine countries made known their intention to bid for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, by the time the final selection was to take place there were four bids in the running – Russia, England, Netherlands/Belgium and Spain/Portugal. When the FIFA Executive Committee, consisting of twenty-two members, met in Zürich on December 2, 2010, two rounds of voting took place, with Russia gaining the most votes in both, and England being eliminated in the second round.


Outstanding Art in St Petersburg

Stretched out along the banks of the Neva River in St Petersburg, the State Hermitage Museum is one of the world's oldest and largest galleries of art and culture. Its collection exceeds three million items, and due to its sheer volume, only a portion of the collection is on display at any given time. The six buildings making up the museum complex include the Small Hermitage, Old Hermitage, New Hermitage, Hermitage Theater, the Reserve House and the Winter Palace – the former home of the Russian Tsars.


Frozen Treasures at the Permafrost Museum

As the name suggests, the Permafrost Museum just outside Yakutsk is permanently frozen, and so are many of its fascinating exhibits, some of which date back centuries. The museum, which was opened in 1995, is affiliated with the Permafrost Institute which carries out research relating to the challenges of constructing buildings on permafrost, as well as issues related to climate change and other climate related concerns. Interestingly, Yakutsk is the biggest city in the world to have been built on continuous permafrost, and the city continues to grow.

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