RUSSIA AND NEIGHBOURING COUNTRIES World Regional Geography
GENERALNATURAL ENVIRONMENT Far from ocean Continentality – extreme cold during winter, hot during summer Siberia’s January temperature (below -30ºC), July (12-16ºC) Western Russia, winter (-5ºC-10ºC), summer (15-20ºC.). Natural Resources Fully exploits natural resources (steel and fuel). That’s how it gained superpower. Strong political, military and economic expansion. Rich of iron, gold, diamond, fuels [coal, oil, natural gas, uranium].
ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEMS4)Oil pollution5)Pollution at Norilsk6)Nuclear Pollution7)Aral Sea Contraction8)Threatened Fisheries
GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTAL POLITICS Russia & Its Neighbouring Countries : account for 2nd greatest CO2 emitters with 17.4% United States : 1st emitter with 36.1%. Japan : 3rd with 8.5% Must achieve Kyoto Protocol target to reduce pollution. Economic downturn in 1990s indirectly reduce pollution.
THE SOVIET UNION WWI (1914-1918) exert stress to the Russian empire. 1917 huge death toll and food shortages. Lenin died in 1924, Stalin came to power. Joseph Stalin “Five-year Plan” emphasized on industrialization. A more productive farming through farms merging. Command economy, central planning. Favored production of heavy industries rather than consumer products. Compromise with Hitler led to WWII.
HUMAN RIGHTS Czar killed/sent political opponents to Siberia. Stalin created GULAG – “Main Directorate for Corrective labor Camps”. High death toll. Gulag prisoners were forced to work in coal, copper and gold mines. Human rights blossom only after the breakup of Soviet Union in 1991. WOMEN’S ROLE Equal rights with men. Visible in government, economics, medicine, engineering etc. But still maintain responsibility towards family.
THE ECONOMY OF THE LAND: AGRICULTURE Productive farming in West of Russia, Ukraine & Moldova. Fruits, vegetables, wine, tobacco. Southern Caucasus is warmer can produce citrus fruits, tea, tobacco, cotton and rice. Nikita Khrushchev introduced Virgin Land Campaign in 1950s to promote self-sufficiency. Failed mainly due to alteration of the ecosystem.
SECRET CITIES After 1991, some have over 100,000 people. Linked to nuclear industry, biologic warfare research, missile and weapon design. Scientific research institute/labor camps. Scientists had better living conditions
SUBREGION I: THE SLAVIC COUNTRIES Russian Federation, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova Developed heavy industries during Soviet times. Through 1990s most inefficient industries abandoned. Corruption, poor infrastructure, bureaucracy hindered FDI. Superior in Science and sports. Scientist and athletes were pampered with better living. Under Communism the people enjoyed: Free university education to everyone. Free healthcare. Generous maternity leave. Supportive to theater and arts.
Public institution and welfare support system ended by 1991 (breakup of Soviet Union) Scientists and athletes migrated to other countries. Free education, medical etc no longer available. Some Russian still support communist ideals.
SUBREGION II: THE SOUTHERN CAUCASUS Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan Enjoys warmer climate Economic development: Georgia - tea and citrus fruits. Armenia - fruits especially grapes. Azerbaijan : tobacco, cotton and rice.
SUBREGION III: CENTRAL ASIA Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan. Majority Muslim During Soviet time, these 5 countries were directed to supply the needs of the Russians [coal, iron, oil, natural gas, chromium]. Pipeline and transportation lines are prevalent. Produce similar commodities of oil, natural gas and cotton. Water disputes between Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. Rivers originate from Kyrgyzstan & Tajikistan flow down to Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan & Kazakhstan.