Argut River, Altai, Russia. Altai is a Russian republic in southern Siberia whose terrain encompasses the Altai Mountains and surrounding tundra, alpine meadows and thousands of lakes. Most of the republic is protected as biodiverse reserves, which shelter diverse wildlife like snow leopards and Argali mountain sheep. Among its natural landmarks are twin-peaked, 4,506m Mt. Belukha and expansive Lake Teletskoye.