The history of exploration by citizens or subjects of the Russian Federation, the Soviet Union, the Russian Empire, the Tsardom of Russia and other Russian predecessor states forms a significant part of the history of Russia as well as the history of the world. At 17,075,400 square kilometres (6,592,800 sq mi), Russia is the largest country in the world, covering more than a ninth of the Earth’s land mass. In the times of the Soviet Union and the Russian Empire the country's share in the world's land mass reached 1/6. Most of these territories were first discovered by Russian explorers (if indigenous peoples of inhabited territories are not counted). Contiguous exploration in Eurasia and the building of overseas colonies in Russian America were some of the primary factors in Russian territorial expansion.
Apart from their discoveries in Siberia, Alaska, Central Asia and the Extreme North, Russian explorers have made significant contributions to the exploration of the Arctic and Antarctic, the Pacific islands, as well as deep-sea and space exploration.
Famous quotes containing the words cossack and/or explorers:
“The Cossack eats Poland,
Like stolen fruit;
Her last noble is ruined,
Her last poet mute:
Straight, into double band
The victors divide;
Half for freedom strike and stand;
The astonished Muse finds thousands at her side.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (18031882)
“The forests are held cheap after the white pine has been culled out; and the explorers and hunters pray for rain only to clear the atmosphere of smoke.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)