Illegal logging is a significant problem in Russia, particularly in the far east of the country. For example, investigations into illegally harvested hardwoods exported from this region to China highlighted the widespread nature of illegal practices (EIA, 2013).
Russia has the largest area of forests in the world, at over 800 million hectares. These cover nearly 50% of the country. This percentage has remained largely unchanged over the past two decades. All of the country’s forests are state-owned, and about one third are primary forests (FAO, 2015).