Republic of Karelia is a region of Russia, a part of Northwestern federal district of Russia. It borders Leningrad Oblast, Arkhangelsk Oblast, Murmansk Oblast and Finland. One quarter of Karelia's surface is covered by water, therefore Karelia is called "the country of lakes". There are about sixty thousand lakes there. The second-largest lake of Europe, Lake Onega, is located in Karelia. The largest lake of Europe, Lake Ladoga is partly located in Karelia (together with Leningrad Oblast).
Karelia is also famous for forests.
Karelia has strong cultural connection with Finland. The are three minoraty finno-ugric languages spoken in Karelia, alongside with Russian: Finnish, Karelian and Veps.
There is also a region called Karelia in Finland, see Finnish Karelia.
The majority of population speaks Russian. The most important minority languages are Finnish, Karelian and, on smaller scale, Veps. Many native Russian speaker understand Finnish too.
English is widely understood, especially by young people. Swedish is relatively popular foreign language too.