Diplomats tell us what Kiwis need to know about their homelands.

The thing you probably know about my country is that ...

it's a northern country with snow, frost, cold winter, taiga, Siberia, polar bears.

But the thing you really should know is that ... it's very different and a great part of Russia lays in subtropics. You could find every climate and a variety of nature.

Over there, we think Kiwis ... live upside down.

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On a short visit, you should ... compare the beauties of Moscow and St Petersburg.

On a longer visit, you should ... delve into Russian history and travel around the Golden Ring.

Our national sport is ... ice hockey.

The one food thing you really should try is ... blini (Russian pancakes) with caviar.

Best way to get around is ... the Trans-Siberian Railway.

A handy phrase you should know ... is how to say "cheers" in Russian. "Nah zda-rovh-yeh" ("To health! Cheers!").