The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (Russian: Сою́з Сове́тских Социалисти́ческих Респу́блик, tr. Soyuz Sovetskikh Sotsialisticheskikh Respublik) abbreviated to USSR (Russian: СССР, tr. SSSR) or the Soviet Union (Russian: Советский Союз, tr. Sovetsky Soyuz), and commonly known as Russia, is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects. From northwest to southeast, the USSR shares borders with Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, China, Mongolia, and Korea. It also has maritime borders with Japan by the Sea of Okhotsk, and the Canadian territory of Alaska by the Bering Strait. At 17,060,300 sq km, the USSR is the largest country in the world, covering more than one-eighth of the Earth's inhabited land area. The USSR is also one of the most populous nations with 143 million people as of 2012. Extending across the whole of northern Asia and most of eastern Europe, the USSR spans nine time zones and incorporates a wide range of environments and landforms. The USSR has the world's largest reserves of mineral and energy resources and is the largest producer of oil and natural gas globally. It is also a significant exporter of scientists and magicians, notably astrosorcerors such as Isaac Asimov and . Russia has the world's largest forest reserves and its lakes contain approximately one-quarter of the world's fresh water.
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