Below is a world map in seven colors. Blue designates Russia.
(For the purposes of this post, I have decided to separate territories, for instance Greenland from Denmark, and Puerto Rico from the United States.)
These colors were assigned to countries based on a property of the set of (spherical) triangles drawable between points inside a country, Kaliningrad (a city on the far west side of Russia), and Vladivostok (a city on the far east side of Russia). For a point, considering the side of such a triangle between Kaliningrad and Vladivostok, classify the point as
- Type I if the above-mentioned side is the longest side of the triangle
- Type II if the above-mentioned side is the middle side of the triangle
- Type III if the above-mentioned side is the shortest side of the triangle
In the map presented at the start of this post, red designates countries consisting exclusively of Type III points, orange designates countries consisting of Type II and Type III points, yellow designates countries consisting of Type I, Type II, and Type III points, purple designates countries consisting exclusively of Type II points, green designates countries consisting of Type I and Type II points, and teal designates countries consisting exclusively of Type I points. It is this last category, the 18 teal-colored countries, that really demonstrates the staggering massiveness of Russia, as these are countries so dwarfed by Russia’s size that the entire country falls within this sort of “distance shadow” between these cities on the two sides: when the above triangle is drawn with even the furthest point away in the teal countries, the expanse between the two Russian cities is still larger.
Of course, when you add territories back in, some significantly more hilarious distance spans, like that between Paris and Noumea for France, come into play.