Republic of Karelia is situated in the north-west Russia and has its borders with Finnland in the west, Murmansk oblast in the north, Arkhangelsk oblast in the east and Leningrad and Vologda oblast in the south.
Karelia's surface is 180.5 thousand km2. The republic extends 660 km from north
to south and 424 km from west to east. In Karelia live 716 thousand people (year 2002).
Karelia's capital is Petrozavodsk.
Karelia's inhabitants consists of several ethnic groups: russians - 73.6%, karels - 10%, belorussians - 7%,
ukrainians - 3.6%, finns - 2.3%, vepses - 0.8%.
More than 49% of Karelia's surface is covered with a forest. Dominating sorts of tree are
pine-tree and spruce. 25% of the territory is water surface. There are 60000 lakes and 27000 rivers
in Karelia. The largest lakes in Europe:
Ladoga (surface - 17700 km2) and Onego (surface - 9900 km2). Usual sorts of
fish are whitefish, pike-perch, trout, salmon, pike, bream, perch, ruff, burbot.
Many minerals were founded in Karelia: iron ore, titanium, vanadium, molybdenum, precious metals,
diamands, mica, building construction materials (granite, diabase, marble), ceramic raw material (pegmatite, spar).
There are more than 600 mines in Karelia.
The most important branches of industry are forest industry, wood industry, paper production,
production of building construction materials, metallurgy.