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Russia is the world's largest country 17,075,000 sq. km (6,592,819 sq. mi. ... Russia has a tremendous east-west extent from the westernmost point near ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Russia

  • Geography 200
  • Dr. Stavros Constantinou

Russia Location and Size
  • Russia is the worlds largest country
    17,075,000 sq. km (6,592,819 sq. mi.).
  • It is almost twice as large as Canada, the second
    largest country.
  • Russia has a tremendous east-west extent from
    the westernmost point near Kaliningrad (formerly
    Königsberg, 20º31E) in the Baltic Sea to the
    easternmost point at Cape Dezhnev (170º W) on the
    Bering Straits.
  • These points are separated by approximately 170º
    of longitude, nearly halfway around the world,
    and crossing 11 time zones.

Russia 11 Time Zones!
  • At the same moment it is
  • 600 AM in Kaliningrad
  • 900 AM in the Ural Mountains
  • 130 PM in Vladivostok
  • A little after 500 PM at Cape Dezhnev
  • The time difference between Kaliningrad and Cape
    Dezhnev is more than twice the difference between
    New York and London (five hours) and nearly four
    times the difference between New York and San
    Francisco (three hours).

Russia Location and Size
  • The maximum latitudinal extent of Russia,
    exclusive of islands in the Arctic Ocean, is
    about 35º.
  • The northernmost point is Cape Chelyuskin (77º
    44N) the southernmost is Derbent, on the
    Caspian sea (42º N), about the same latitude as
  • Russia is the northernmost large and populous
    country in the world.
  • More than 75 of Russia lies polewards of the
    49th parallel (north of the U.S.-Canadian
  • Moscow is farther north than Edmonton, Alberta,
  • Moscow to Vladivostok is 9,332 km (5000 mi.) and
    it would take seven days and nights on the
    Trans-Siberian Railway to make the trip.

Russia Land Frontiers
  • Russia shares boundaries with twelve countries
  • Ukraine, Belarus, Latvia, Estonia, Finland,
    Norway, Mongolia, North Korea, China, Kazakhstan,
    Azerbaijan and Georgia.
  • A boundary that measures 12,880 km (8000 mi.)
    stretches between the Black Sea and the Pacific
  • In the Far East, Sakhalin Island is separated
    from the northernmost main island of Japan by a
    40 km. (25 mi.) strait even narrower straits
    separate Japan from the Russian held Kuril Islands

Russia Physical Geography
  • The Russian Plain
  • The Ural Mountains
  • West Siberian Plain
  • Central Siberian Plain
  • The Yakutsk Basin
  • Eastern Highlands
  • Central Asiatic Ranges
  • The Caucasus Mountains
  • The Caspian Sea 370,842 sq. km (143,244 sq.
  • The Aral Sea 64,472 sq. km. (24,904 sq. mi.)
  • Lake Erie 25,655 sq. km. (9,910 sq. mi.)

Russia Climate
  • Tundra (ET)
  • Subarctic (Dwc and Dwd)
  • Humid Continental (Dfa and Dfb)
  • Steppe (BSk)
  • Desert (BWk)
  • Mediterranean or dry summer subtropical (Csa)

Russia Vegetation and Soils
  • Tundra extensive, treeless plains
  • Taiga -- coniferous forest spodosols, alfisols.
  • Mixed Forest coniferous and deciduous trees
  • Broadleaf Forest Southern Far East Russia,
    mostly deciduous trees.
  • Steppe Short grass prairie mollisols,
    (chernozem black earth)
  • Desert Clump grasses and xerophytic plants

Russia Resources
  • Russia has a rich resource base.
  • One of the most important mineral producing
    countries with widely scattered deposits.
  • Russia leads the world in the production of
    natural gas and lead.
  • Russia also leads the world in iron ore reserves
    and natural gas reserves.
  • Russia is second in the production of platinum,
    tungsten, aluminum and vanadium.

Russia Resource Regions
  • The Ural Mountains
  • Iron, ferro alloys, copper, aluminum, potash,
    asbestos, magnesium, low-grade coal
  • The Volga-Urals and West Siberian Plain
  • Petroleum and natural gas
  • The Caucasus-Caspian Region
  • Petroleum, natural gas,nonferrous metals
  • Middle Asia
  • Coal, copper,iron, natural gas, oil, sulfur,
    lead, zinc, aluminum, uranium, ferro alloys,
    phosphate, asbestos, mercury, sodium sulfate.
    More than 90 of Russias coal reserves are found
    in Asiatic CIS.

Russia Resource Regions
  • The Kuznetsk Basin (Kuzbas)
  • Russias largest coal producing region, with iron
    in areas adjacent to the Basin.
  • The Kolskiy Peninsula
  • Phosphate, nickel, other ferro alloys, aluminum,
    copper, iron, additional iron in nearby Karelia.
  • The Kursk Magnetic Anomaly Iron.
  • Scattered areas in the European Arctic and
  • Coal in the Pechora basin and elsewherecopper,
    nickel and aluminum at Norilsk gold, diamonds,
    tin, natural gas,other minerals in Central and
    Eastern Siberia Kolyma gold field near the Sea
    of Okhotsk diamond mines in Yakutiya.

Russia History Highlights
  • 1462 Establishment of the Grand Duchy of
  • Period of eastward expansion by the Cossacks.
  • 1682-1725 Czar Peter the Great
  • 1760-1796 Czarina Catherine the Great
  • Period of colonialism, imperialism. Major
    expansions in quest of warm water ports.
  • 1917 Russian Revolution, establishment of
    Communist government, formation of the USSR.
  • 1979 USSR invasion of Afghanistan, again in
    quest of a warm water port.
  • 1991 Collapse of the USSR, political
    reorganization, formation of the Commonwealth of
    Independent States.

Russians in North America
  • Russians were the first white settlers in what is
    now Alaska, having come across Siberia and the
    Bering Strait.
  • The first Russian settlement in Alaska was
    established in 1784 on Kodiak island.
  • They worked their way southward along the Pacific
    coast of North America, establishing villages and
    forts to protect their holdings.
  • They reached the area just north of San Francisco
    Bay, where they built Fort Ross in 1812.
  • U.S. Secretary of State William Seward offered to
    buy Alaska from the government of Russia for 7.2
    million a decision derided as Sewards Folly
    and Sewards Icebox.
  • Seward has been vindicated as Alaskas wealth in
    gold and petroleum have been discovered, as well
    as its strategic location for U.S. defense.

Russia Population
  • Russian population is declining from 147,300,000
    in 1997, down to 145,500,000 in 2002.
  • Russia rank 8th in population among the countries
    of the world.
  • Russia has 2.30 of the worlds population.
  • A little more than a century ago, Russia had
    twice as many inhabitants as the U.S. now Russia
    has about one-half the U.S. population.

Russia Population Decline
  • Almost five million Russians were killed during
    the collectivization period of the early 1930s
    because of famines and state directed killings.
  • World War I, its aftermath of civil war and the
    attendant famines killed 17 million Russians and
    about eight million deficit births (i.e., births
    that would have taken place, but did not due to
    the dramatic reduction in population).
  • World War II cost Russia approximately 27 million
    deaths and 13 million deficit births.
  • Thus, in the 20th century, Russia lost more than
    70 million people.
  • The effect of deficit births is reflected in a
    shortage of young people in the labor force war
    deaths are reflected in a higher proportion of
    aging women than men.

Russia Population Distribution
  • Russias population is unevenly distributed.
  • Most of Russias population is located in
    European Russia, or the western one-fifth of
    the country.
  • Overall arithmetic density is very low, 8.5
    persons per square kilometer (22 persons/sq.
  • The areas of highest population density are the
    lowland of the Trans-Caucasus, the Moscow area,
    and the middle Volga lands.
  • Most of the taiga, tundra, and desert areas have
    densities of one person per (two persons
    or less per sq. mi.)
  • Following the collapse of the communist regime of
    the former Soviet Union, 25,299,000 ethnic
    Russians found themselves in the minority in the
    the former Soviet Socialist Republics.

Russians in Near Abroad
  • Republic Russians Percent
  • Ukraine 11,365,000 22.1
  • Kazakhstan 6,228,000 37.8
  • Uzbekistan 1,653,000 8.3
  • Belarus 1,342,000 13.2
  • Kyrgyzstan 917,000 21.5
  • Latvia 906,000 34.0
  • Moldova 562,000 13.0
  • Estonia 475,000 30.3
  • Azerbaijan 392,000 5.6
  • Tajikistan 388,000 7.6
  • Lithuania 344,000 9.4
  • Georgia 341,000 6.3
  • Turkmenistan 334,000 9.5
  • Armenia 52,000 1.6
  • Total 25,299,000

Russia Urban Geography
  • About 73 of Russians now live in urban centers.
  • The phenomenon of urbanization is a development
    of the twentieth century.
  • 1920s less than one-fifth of the population was
  • 1940s one-third of the population was classified
    as urban.
  • 1960 just under one-half of the population (then
    210,000,000) lived in cities and towns.
  • The former Soviet Union pursued a policy of
    encouraging people to move eastward. About
    25,000,000 people migrated internally from west
    to east, causing rapid growth in some difficult
    environments, like Sakha (Yakutiya).

(No Transcript)
Russia Changing Urban Geography
  • Gorkiy
  • Leningrad
  • Sverdlovsk
  • Stalingrad
  • Kuybyshev
  • Nizhniy Novgorod
  • St. Petersburg
  • Yekaterinburg
  • Volgograd
  • Samara

Russia Cultural Geography
  • Russia has an extremely diverse population,
    varying widely in language, history, religion,
    physical characteristics, and geographic
  • Census authorities recognize about 100 distinct
    ethnic groups.
  • Russians form the dominant ethnic group, with
    about 83 of the population.
  • During the Soviet years some ethnic rights were
    allowed the use of ethnic languages for schools,
    courts, businesses, newspapers and books
    maintenance of ethnic customs, with severe
    limitations on religious practices.

Russia Cultural Geography
  • Indo-European languages of Russia
  • The Eastern Slavs Russians, Ukrainians, and
    Byelorussians. Found in Central and Northern
    European Russia also Siberia and Kazakhstan 72
    of the populace.
  • Latvians and Lithuanians
  • Armenians and Tajiks
  • Altaic languages Islamic peoples in Turkestan
  • Uralic Family Estonians, Finns, Karelians
  • Other Jews, Caucasian peoples, Mongols, Koreans,

Russia Economic Geography--Agriculture
  • Currently about 14.4 of Russias labor force
    works in agriculture. This is high compared to
    other industrialized countries (U.S.-- 2).
  • Main products potatoes, wheat, sugar beets,
    barley, sunflower seeds, corn, peas, buckwheat,
    millet and rice.
  • Under communism, Soviet agricultural production
    was unsuccessful, relative to industrial

Soviet Agriculture
  • Organized along collective lines
  • Kolkhoz (a collective farm, average size about
    900 acres) the principal element was a peasant
    family which worked full-time on large tracts of
    state owned land surrounding the farm. They
    retained small tracts (mean size was 1.2 acres)
    of land for personal cultivation of any product
  • Sovkhoz (a state farm, average size about 49,420
    acres) single purpose units managed by workers
    but controlled by the state, factories in the
  • The USSR had 73 more cropland sown to crops than
    the U.S., but produced only 80 of the U.S.
  • American farmers during the Soviet era were 10
    times more productive than Soviet farmers.
  • Reasons for poor results of Soviet agriculture
  • Extreme environmental conditions.
  • Organization which emphasized industry over
  • Mismanagement.

Russias Agricultural Regions
  • Large scale diversified extending from the Black
    Sea to the valley of the Irtysh River in the
    east. Crops wheat, sugar beets, potatoes, fruits
    and vegetables, including grapes. Large herd of
    cattle, sheep and pigs.
  • Mixed Three regions, the large triangular area
    around Moscow, the mountains and foothills of the
    Caucasus and small but significant zones of the
    Far East on the Chinese border and Pacific Ocean.
    Crops rye, barley, potatoes, fodder crops and
    dairy cattle (similar to Great Lakes region).
  • Irrigated North and east of Caspian Sea to
    boundary with China. Crops cotton,
    tobacco,fruits and vegetables, some grains
    including irrigated rice. Sheep and hardy cattle
    scattered pastures.
  • Localized farming Area of short growing seasons
    from St. Petersburg to Vladivostok. Farming
    concentrated near isolated settlements which are
    local markets for potatoes, rye, barley,oats,
    hardy vegetables,milk, butter, eggs and cheese.
  • Arctic-Tundra subsistence A few root crops
    manage to mature in the brief, but intense
    summer. Mainly hunting country. Reindeer help
    sustain human communities.

Russias Industrial Regions
  • Central Industrial (Moscow) Region
  • River transport outward from Moscow on the Volga,
    Oka, Dvina and Dneiper. Roads and railroads also
    radiate outward from Moscow.
  • Nizhniy Novgorod the Soviet Detroit because
    of automobile manufacture Yaroslavl, the tire
    center Ivanovo the Soviet Manchester, due to
    textile industry and Tula, mining and
  • St. Petersburg high quality machine building,
    nearby bauxite deposits. Major shipbuilding
    plants to supply nearby port and naval station,
  • Povolzhye (Volga Region)
  • Area extends along the Middle and Lower Volga
    River. Important transport and major oil
    producing region. The Moscow Canal extends the
    northern navigability of the system into the
    heart of the Central Industrial Region. The
    Mariinsk Canals provide access to the Baltic Sea.
    The region has 29,000,000 people. Major cities
    are Samara, Volgograd, Kazan, and Saratov.
  • Urals
  • The Ural Mountains are the eastern boundary of
  • They are not an obstacle to east-west travel
    roads, railways and pipelines cross the mountains
    in many places.
  • The Urals are rich in metallic minerals, but poor
    in coal.
  • Oil deposits between the Urals and Volga help
    relieve this deficiency.
  • The preceding three industrial regions are
    growing towards each other and consolidating
    Russias industrial core.

Russias Industrial Regions
  • 4. The Kuznetsk Basin (Kuzbas)
  • 2000 km (1200 miles) east of the Urals.
  • Kuznetsk has large deposits of coal and iron.
  • Leading center is Novosibirsk (Siberias Chicago)
    at the intersection of the Trans-Siberian Railway
    and the Ob River.
  • Resources and products include heavy engineering
    products (railway rolling stock) aluminum from
    Urals bauxite hydroelectric power timber brown
    coal oil is piped from the Volga-Urals fields to
    be refined at Irkutsk.
  • 5. Baykaliya Region (Lake Baykal Area ) (Mining,
    lumbering and some farms are the major
  • Major centers are Bratsk and Irkutsk
  • 6. Far East Region
  • Russia has 8000km (5000 mi.) of Pacific
    coastline, more than the U.S. including Alaska.
  • The port city of Vladivostok (700,000) is the
    eastern terminus of the Trans Siberian Railway,
    lies at a latitude midway between Seattle and San
    Francisco, but must be kept open through the
    winter by ice breakers unheard of in Seattle or
    San Francisco.
  • The region has huge expanses of forests
    lumbering and fishing are major activities.
  • Coking quality coal deposits are in the Bureya
    River Valley
  • Komsomolsk has steel works.

Russia Political Geography
  • In 1991, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
    (USSR) was succeeded by the Commonwealth of
    Independent States (CIS), which included all the
    former Soviet republics except Lithuania, Latvia,
    Estonia, and Georgia these proclaimed their
  • Following the devolution of the Soviet Union, the
    map of the Russian Federation comprises 22
    federal republics and two federal cities, Moscow
    and St Petersburg

Russia Political Geography
  • Based on relative location, Russias internal
    republics are classified into five groups
  • The Republics of the Heartland
  • Mordoviya,Chuvashiya, Mariy-el, Tatarstan,
    Udmirtiya, Bashkortostan, and the Urals Republic
  • The Republics of the Caucasian Periphery
  • Dagestan, Chechnya, Ingushetiya, North Ossetia,
    Kabardino-Balkariya, Karachayevo-Cherkisiya,
    Adygeya, and Kalmykiya
  • The Republics of the Southeast
  • Altaya, Khakasiya,Buryatiya, Tyva, Promorskiy
    Kray (Maritime Republic)
  • The Republics of the North
  • Kareliya, Komi, Sakha (Yakutiya)
  • Yevreskaya (Jewish) Autonomous Region

Russia Political Geography
  • Following the election of Vladimir Putin as
    President in March 2000, one of his first moves
    was to turn Russia into a single economic and
    legal space.
  • In May, he issued a presidential decree which
    divided Russias 89 republics and regions into
    seven new federal districts.
  • Central (Moscow), Far Eastern (Khabarovsk), North
    Caucasus (Rostov-na-Donu), Northwest (St.
    Petersburg), Siberia (Novosibirsk), Urals
    (Yekaterinburg), and Volga (Nizhny Novgorod).
  • Each of these was to be headed by a
    plenipotentiary representative appointed by the

Russia Political Geography
  • The goal was to weaken the regional governors who
    accumulated significant powers under the Yeltsin
  • Security and law enforcement were central to the
    duties of the presidential appointees five of
    the seven came from the army or security
  • Putin relieved the governors of the right to sit
    in the Federation Council, the upper house of the
    Russian parliament.
  • He also stripped them of their immunity from
    federal prosecution.
  • Putin passed legislation that gave the president
    power to dismiss governors and regional
    legislators if they violated federal law.

Russian Heartlands Theory
  • Halford Mackinder (1861-1947) foresaw the rise of
    Russian power. He noted that large areas subject
    to penetration along river routes were vulnerable
    to a strong maritime power.
  • A large area of Eurasia, not penetrated by
    navigable rivers, would be safe as a fortress and
    thus, able to develop strength in its secure
  • This area, Pivot Area (1904), was located in
    western Russia, stretching from the Moscow Basin,
    Across the Volga Valley and the Urals into
    central Siberia.
  • The picot area would be of crucial significance
    in the political geography of the 20th century
    moreover he asserted that any power based in the
    pivot area could gain strength sufficient to
    eventually rule the world
  • (continued next slide)

Russian Heartlands Theory
  • In 1919 Mackinder proposed the Heartland Theory
  • Who rules East Europe commands the heartland
  • Who rules the Heartland commands the World
  • Who rules the World Island commands the World
  • Nicholas Spykman (1894-1943) emphasized the role
    of the rimland in controlling the heartland.
  • David Hoosen (1962) identified a new Central
    Siberian heartland that is an eastward extension
    of the original Russian core.

Kaliningrad Russia on the Baltic
  • The Russian exclave of Kaliningrad lies wedged
    between Lithuania and Poland, facing the Baltic
    Sea, through its giant naval port.
  • The Russians acquired this bit of Germany at the
    end of WWII (1945) and expelled virtually all
    ethnic Germans. This gave the Russians a
    strategically important warm water port.
  • Russians replaced the departed Germans, and today
    Kaliningrads population is almost one million,
    90 of whom are Russians.

  • Chechnya is a predominantly Muslim republic that
    resisted Russian colonization in the nineteenth
  • During the rule of Stalin, Chechens were exiled
    to Siberia because they collaborated with the
  • They were allowed to return by Khrushchev in the
  • Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in
    1991, the Chechen fought the Russians to a
  • For economic and political reasons, Moscow has
    never granted Chechnya independence
    (approximately ¼ of the Chechen population is
  • Since 1994, there has been a state of warfare
    between Chechen rebels and Russian troops. Muslim
    fundamentalism among the Chechens has led to
    terrorist as well as guerrilla warfare tactics.
    The capital city of Groznyy was destroyed.
  • On Oct. 23, 2002, Chechen rebels seized a crowded
    Moscow theater and detained 763 people, including
    3 Americans. Armed and wired with explosives, the
    terrorists demanded that Russian government end
    the war in Chechnya. Government forces stormed
    the theater the next day, after releasing a gas
    into the theater, which killed not only all the
    terrorists, but more than 100 of the hostages.

Transcaucasian Transition Zone
  • Armenia
  • Is a landlocked country that occupies some of the
    earthquake prone regions of Transcaucasia.
  • It is the smallest of the three countries of the
  • The Armenian enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh is
    located within Azerbaijan.
  • Following the genocide of Armenian populations in
    WW I, by the Turks, Armenia enjoyed a two year
    period of independence. The soviets took it over
    in 1920 and in 1936 they proclaimed it one of the
    15 Soviet Socialist Republics.
  • Following the collapse of the Soviet Union,
    Armenia went to war with Azerbaijan over
    Nagorno-Karabakh. As a result, Azerbaijan cut the
    pipeline from the Caspian Sea and pipelines from
    Georgia stopped because of civil war there. The
    Armenian economy collapsed.
  • Armenia is rich in mineral and produces a variety
    of fruits and vegetables. It has a plentiful
    supply of hydroelectric power.
  • Yerevan, the capital city, is within sight of the
    Turkish border.

Transcaucasian Transition Zone
  • Azerbaijan
  • Azerbaijan is the largest in area and population
    of the three TTZ countries.
  • Predominantly Shiite Muslim (like Iran), it
    borders on the Caspian Sea and encircles the
    Armenian/Christian area Nagorno-Karabakh.
  • Azerbaijan is rich in oil from the oilfields in
    the region of the countys capital, Baki (Baku).
  • Currently, the oil from these fields is exported
    by pipeline that runs through Dagestan and
    Chechnya to the Russian city of Novorossiysk.

Transcaucasian Transition Zone
  • Georgia (Sakartvelo to Georgians)
  • Is a former republic of the USSR that did not
    join the Commonwealth of Independent States.
  • Physiographically, Georgia, which is a little
    larger than ½ of Ohio, is framed by mountainous
    terrain and fertile valleys.
  • The capital city is Tbilisi.
  • The country has 4,700,000 people, 70 of whom are
    Georgian. Minorities include Armenians (9)
    Russian (7) Azeris (5) and smaller proportions
    of Ossetians,and Abkhazians.
  • (continued next slide)

Transcaucasian Transition Zone
  • Georgia
  • Following the breakup of the Soviet Union,
    Georgia has been subject to internal violence and
    civil war. The Abkhazan region has fallen into
    the hands of rebels.
  • The Georgian regime under Eduard Scheverdnadze
    (Soviet minister of foreign affairs under
    Gorbachev) applied for membership in the CIS in
    hope of salvaging the territorial integrity of
    the country.
  • Historically, Christian Georgia has aligned
    itself with Russia because of its location in the
    path of Islamic expansion.
  • Georgia has a Black Sea coast and favorable
    climate for growing tea, grapes, and citrus
  • Georgia produces 5 of the worlds manganese at