At the peak of the Russian Empire/Soviet Union, Russian territory was larger than 8.5 million square miles. You could fit two United States of America into Russia and still have plenty of room for four more Texases and an extra California, too. Russia is massive. It covers 1/6 of the surface area of the planet. It's larger than our entire continent!
Your first task in understanding Russia is to understand it's sheer size. Below are a series of maps to cartographically guide set the scene for our Russian story.