A view of Lake Baikal, near the mouth of the Angara River (toward the right). Baikal’s four-hundred-mile-long, crescent-shaped gash in Siberia’s tectonic plates holds a lake whose surface is larger than Belgium. Its depths hold one-fifth of the world’s fresh water. Baikal drains the Russian heartland, swallowing all of the 336 rivers and streams that feed it, and only the Angara River drains it, sending Baikal’s waters roaring past the city of Irkutsk into the western interior. The original Trans-Siberian Railway burrowed along the southwestern shores of Lake Baikal – seen in the distance in this photo – through 39 tunnels, which Soviet forces began to dynamite as they fled the advancing legionnaires.