Chelyabinsk is a city in west-central Russia, close to the Ural Mountains. Ulitsa Kirova, a pedestrianized street, is lined with statues of figures such as a beggar and a man with a top hat. Nearby, the Regional Museum displays part of the meteor that exploded over the city in 2013. To the west, the pine tree-lined Y.A. Gagarin Central Park has an ice rink, and Chelyabinsk Zoo is home to leopards and polar bears.
Russia, the world?s largest nation, borders European and Asian countries as well as the Pacific and Arctic oceans. Its landscape ranges from tundra and forests to subtropical beaches. It?s famous for Moscow's Bolshoi and St. Petersburg's Mariinsky ballet companies. St. Petersburg, founded by Russian leader Peter the Great, has the baroque Winter Palace, now housing part of the State Hermitage Museum?s art collection.