Ch 5


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Ch 5

  1. 1. A Geographic Profile ofRUSSIA ANDTHE NEAR ABROADChapter 5
  2. 2. Introduction to the Region Former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR)  Cold War versus U.S.-led Western bloc  Split in 1991 into 15 independent nations  Russian Federation  14 other countries comprising “The Near Abroad” Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS)  Economic Association  Russia and 11 of the former Soviet states  Estonia, Latvia & Lithuania joined the EU in 2004 Fluidity in Delineating Region Trends Toward Political Fragmentation and Decentralization
  3. 3. 5.1 Area and Population Largest World Region  Area of 8.5 Million Square Miles  Region Spans 11 Time Zones Regional Population of 282 Million (2011)  Russia 142.8 Million  Ukraine 45.7 Million  Uzbekistan 28.5 Million Vast Region but Sparsely Populated  Average Population Density of 32 per square mile Rates of Population Change  1.8% growth among Islamic Central Asian countries  0.4% loss in Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus
  4. 4. Russia and the Near Abroad
  5. 5. Population Distribution of Russia and the Near Abroad
  6. 6. Population Cartogram of Russia and the Near Abroad
  7. 7. 5.2 Physical Geography & Human Adaptations Factors affecting this immense region:  Cold Temperatures  Infertile Soils  Marshy Terrain  Aridity  Ruggedness
  8. 8. 5.2.1 Roles of Climates and Vegetation Extreme Continental Climate  Severe winter cold but warm/hot summers  Lowest official temperature ever recorded in Northern Hemisphere at Siberian settlement of Verkhoyansk (-90 degrees F)  Short Growing Seasons (average 150-day frost-free season)  Aridity and Drought (less than 20 inches avg annual precipitation) Permafrost  Frozen ground that makes construction difficult  Buildings and Pipelines must be elevated and insulated Land Use / Agriculture  Russian taiga is the largest continuous area of forest on earth  Wheat, Sugar Beets, Sunflowers, Livestock in the black-earth belt of the steppes  Cotton in Irrigated Areas of Central Asia
  9. 9. Comparison of Latitude and Area with North America 80% of this region’s area is farther north than any point in the conterminous United States
  10. 10. Climates of Russia and the Near Abroad
  11. 11. Biomes of Russia and the Near Abroad
  12. 12. High Arctic Building Erected on Pilings
  13. 13. Land Use in Russia and the Near Abroad
  14. 14. The Taiga: Earth’s Largest Continuous Forest Biome
  15. 15. Grazier on the Southern Russian Steppe
  16. 16. 5.2.2 Role of Rivers Rivers formed natural passageways  Used for Trade, Conquest, and Colonization  Helped Russians advance from the Urals to the Pacific in less than a century  Rivers drain into numerous oceans and seas Volga-Don Canal  Major link in the inland waterway system  Connected the White Sea & Baltic Sea in the north with the Black Sea & Caspian Sea in the south  Series of 13 Locks
  17. 17. Physical Geography of Russia and the Near Abroad
  18. 18. Lock in the Volga-Don Canal
  19. 19. 5.2.3 Role of Topography Plains typify the region west of the Yenisey River Ural Mountains  Low, narrow range separating Europe from Asia  Average elevation of less than 2,000 feet West Siberian Plain  One of the flattest areas on earth  Waterlogged country underlain by permafrost  Tremendous flooding Central Siberian Uplands  Between Yenisey and Lena Rivers (1,000 to 1,500 ft) Mountainous Southern Rim of Region  Caucasus, Pamir, Tien Shan, and Altai Mountains
  20. 20. 5.3.1 A Babel of Languages Complex cultural and linguistic mosaic  30 Major Ethnic Groups  More than 100 Languages Spoken Main Language Families  Indo-European  Slavic Russian, Belarusian & Ukrainian  Romance Moldovan (Romanian)  Armenian  Altaic (Turkic) Kazakh, Kyrghyz, Turkmenian, Uzbek  Caucasian (Kartvelian)  Uralic (Finno-Ugric)  Proto-Asiatic (Chukotko-Kamchatkan)
  21. 21. Ethnolinguistic Distributions
  22. 22. 5.3.2 Vikings, Byzantines, and Tatars Vikings  Slavic tribes came under the influence of Viking adventurers known as Rus or Varangians  Rise of Kiev in 9th Century Byzantines  Kievan Russia had close contact with Constantinople  Accepted Christian faith from Byzantines  Orthodox Christianity became a fixture of Russian life  Moscow becomes the “Third Rome” Tatars  In 1237, Batu Khan brought all Russian principalities except Novgorod under Tatar rule  Decline of Tatar power in the 15th century
  23. 23. Religions of Russia and the Near Abroad Today, Russia has 4 official religions:Orthodox Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and Judaism
  24. 24. Russian Orthodox Church in Vyborg
  25. 25. 5.3.3 The Empire of the Russians The Russian Empire  Lasted from the 15th Century until the 20th Century  Immense land empire built around core of Moscow Expansion under the Tsars  Ivan the Great (reigned 1462-1505)  Northward thrust; Annexed Novgorod  Ivan the Terrible (1533-1584)  Eastward conquest giving Russia control over the Volga  Peter the Great (1682-1725)  Defeated the Swedes to gain a foothold on the Baltic Sea  St. Petersburg established as Russia’s “Window on the West”  Catherine the Great (1762-1796)  Secured a frontage on the Black Sea
  26. 26. 5.3.3 The Empire of the Russians (contd.) Eastward Expansion of Russian Empire  Cossack expeditions reached the Pacific in 1639  Continued down west coast of North America to Fort Ross in California (1812-1841)  Russia sold Alaska to the U.S. in 1867 for 2 cents per acre and withdrew from North America  During the 19th and early 20th Centuries, Russian tsars annexed the Amur region, the Caucasus, and Turkestan Soviet Policy of Russificiation  Effort to implant Russian culture in non-Russian regions and to make non-Russians more like Russians  Policy was generally a failure because of strong nationalist sentiments throughout the Soviet Union
  27. 27. 5.3.4 Russia & Soviet Union: Revolution & War Russian Triumphs over Powerful Invaders  King Charles XII of Sweden – 1709  Napoleon I of France – 1812  Adolf Hitler – WWII Keys to Success  Environmental rigors that invaders faced  Overwhelming distances  Defenders’ love of their homeland  Willing to lose great numbers of soldiers in combat  “Scorched Earth” strategy to protect the motherland
  28. 28. 5.3.4 Russia & Soviet Union: Revolution & War Russian Revolution of 1917  Protest against sacrifice of Russian forces during WWI  Overthrew Nicholas II, last of the Romanov tsars Bolshevik Revolution  Led by Vladimir Ilyich Lenin (1870-1924)  Bolshevik faction of Communist Party seized control  Establishment of the Soviet Union in 1922 World War II  USSR allied with France and Britain vs. Germany  Relocation of Soviet industries eastward  20 million Soviet lives lost, considerable damage
  29. 29. 5.4.1 The Communist Economic System Marxism  Soviet economic system was an application of the economic and social ideas of German philosopher Karl Marx Command Economy  Series of five-year economic plans under Stalin  Gosplan (Committee for State Planning) in Moscow Soviet Enterprises in Agriculture & Industry  Virgin and Idle Lands (increase the production of grain)  Hero Projects (construction of dams, railways, plants, etc)
  30. 30. Soviet Agricultural Expansion (1954-1957)
  31. 31. 5.4.2 Economic Roots of the 2nd Russian Revolution Reform Policies of Gorbachev  Glasnost (openness)  Perestroika (restructuring) Second Russian Revolution  Demands for new freedoms and greater autonomy  Rise of Boris Yeltsin, champion of reformers’ cause  Gorbachev resigned on December 25, 1991  Soviet Union was voted out of existence the next day and replaced by 15 independent countries
  32. 32. 5.4.3 Russia’s Road to Misdevelopment Russia classified as a “Misdeveloped Country” Boris Yeltsin’s “Economic Shock Therapy”  Rapid transition from command economy to capitalism  Widening gap between rich and poor  Russia’s GDP plummeted, shrinking by half in the 1990s  Agricultural and industrial production fell dramatically  Largest fall in production for any industrialized country in peacetime  Underground Economy: Russia’s new economic geography  Russia became a kleptocracy, with rampant corruption  Organized crime became pervasive  Widespread bartering resulted from declining value of the ruble
  33. 33. Poverty in Post-Soviet Russia
  34. 34. Western-Style Overconsumption Moscow’s 2009 Millionaire Fair
  35. 35. 5.4.4 Putinomics Vladimir Putin  Former KGB officer of the Soviet Union  Became very popular Russian President and Prime Minister “Putinomics”  Export Russia’s natural resources to flood Russia with wealth  Profits will be rolled into manufacturing and high-tech industries so that Russia enjoys a more stable, diversified economy  Energy represents about 2/3 of the value of Russia’s exports  6% of the world’s proven oil reserves  27% of the world’s proven natural gas reserves  2nd largest coal reserves  Problems  Will not be possible to sustain production of natural resources  Russia has faced one of the greatest brain drains
  36. 36. 5.5 Geopolitical Issues “The Greatest Geopolitical Catastrophe of the Century”  Vladimir Putin, in a 2005 speech, discussing the collapse of the Soviet Union 3 Concentric Spheres of Geopolitical Concern  Within the Russian Federation (Unity of Russia itself)  Russia’s relationships with its Near Abroad  Russia’s relationships with the Rest of the World
  37. 37. 5.5.1 Geopolitics Within Russia Complex Political Categories  48 Oblasts (Regions)  7 Krais (Territories)  21 Republics (Varying Levels of Autonomy)  4 Okrugs (Ethnic Subdivisions of Oblasts / Krais)  2 Federal Cities  1 Autonomous Oblast Chechnya and Tatarstan pushing for independence Geopolitical significance has to do with resources  Oil and Gas Tatarstan and Bashkhortostan  Coal Deposits Komi Republic  Diamonds Sakha
  38. 38. Political Units of the Russian Federation
  39. 39. 5.5.2 Geopolitics in the Near Abroad Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) Energy Shortages and Supplies  Russia using fossil fuels as a political weapon Irredentism  25 million ethnic Russians living in the 14 former Soviet states  Desires of Russians living outside of Russia to achieve their own rights and territories Territorial Issues  Control of the Crimean Peninsula and Kerch Strait  GUAM (Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, and Moldova)  Orientation toward Europe and away from Russia Russia’s military presence in more than half the former Soviet countries  Peacekeepers or Conquerors?
  40. 40. Physical and Political Obstacles to Caspian Oil Exports
  41. 41. The Caucasus
  42. 42. 5.5.3 The Far Abroad International Relations  Peaceful succession to the Cold War  The Warsaw Pact has dissolved.  Russia became a member of the Group of Eight (G-8) in 1997 Energy Issues  Concerns about Russia being a reliable trading partner for oil and natural gas Weapons Proliferation Issues  Russia’s assistance to nuclear and would-be nuclear weapons powers  Reduction of nuclear arsenals  Threat of “Loose Nukes” With whom will oil-rich Central Asia align?  Russia, Turkey, or Iran?  Turkey’s dream of Pan-Turkism Combating narcotics and terrorism
  43. 43. 5.6.1 Regional Issues and Landscapes Peoples and Resources of the Core Land  The Slavs are the dominant ethnic group  Resources are distributed unevenly in this region  The Fertile Triangle  AKA “Agricultural Triangle” and “Slavic Core”  Functional hub of the region  Contains 75% of region’s people and an even larger share of its cities
  44. 44. 5.6.2 The Ukraine Ukrainians  Second largest ethnic group in the Slavic Core  Closely related to Russians in language and culture Ukraine means “at the border” or “borderland”  A buffer between Russia and neighboring lands  Industrial and agricultural assets were vital to USSR  Fertile black earth soils have made Ukraine a great “breadbasket” of wheat, barley, livestock and other products  Generous endowments of coal and iron ore
  45. 45. 5.6.3 Chernobyl Site of a 1986 nuclear power station explosion  North of Kiev, Ukraine Rendered parts of Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia incapable of safe agricultural production  There is still an 18-mile exclusion zone today Aftermath  100,000 to 200,000 people still severely affected  4,000 deaths expected to ultimately be attributed to this disaster  Ukraine decommissioning all of its Chernobyl-type nuclear plants
  46. 46. 5.6.4 Farming in the Fertile Triangle Most of the Fertile Triangle is within Russia  Russia still faces difficulties in transforming state-run into free-market farming  Russia has been slow to privatize farming  Russia remains a net food importer Global-scale production of wheat, barley, oats, rye, potatoes, sugar beets, flax, sunflower seeds, cotton, milk, butter, and mutton
  47. 47. 5.6.5 Russia’s Far East & Northern Lands The Far East  Russia’s mountainous Pacific edge  Mostly thinly populated wilderness  Economy driven by ports, fisheries, and forest industries  Most people live along two transportation arteries  The Trans-Siberian Railroad  The lower Amur River Island of Sakhalin  Geopolitics involving Russia and Japan over its control  Important for its off-shore petroleum and natural gas  Contains about 1 percent of global oil reserves
  48. 48. 5.6.5 Russia’s Far East & Northern Lands The Wild North  Subregion lying north and east of the Fertile Triangle, and west of the Pacific coast  Taiga (coniferous forest)  Tundra  Northern Sea Route  Waterway developed by the Soviets to provide a connection with the Pacific via the Arctic Ocean  Ports of Murmansk and Arkhangelsk  Navigation of full route was only possible for about 4 months per year with the help of icebreakers, but global warming is now allowing navigability a greater proportion of the year  Possibility of constructing a rail link between Siberia and North America (Alaska)
  49. 49. Russian Icebreaker brings Tourists to the North Pole
  50. 50. 5.6.5 Russia’s Far East & Northern Lands Lake Baikal  Deepest body of freshwater in the world  More than 1 mile deep in places  Contains one-fifth of the world’s unfrozen freshwater  Oldest lake in the world at 30 million years of age  Contains 1,800 endemic plant and animal species
  51. 51. 5.6.6 The Caucasus: Cauldron of Conflict Caucasian isthmus has been an important north-south passageway for thousands of years  Dozens of ethnic groups have migrated into this region  Mostly small ethnic populations confined to mountain areas  Different nationalities have maintained their ethnic characteristics and cultural traditions (e.g., language, religion, etc.) History of animosity between Armenians and Azeri Turks  Armenian genocide resulted in deaths of around 1.5 million Armenians between 1915 and 1918  Twice as many Armenians live outside Armenia than live in it  Armenian-Azeri dispute over Nagorno-Karabakh enclave  Turkey and Armenia established diplomatic relations in 2009, which helps Turkey’s application to the EU
  52. 52. 5.6.7 Central Asia Central Asia almost entirely a region of interior drainage  With exception of the Irtysh, all other streams drain into enclosed lakes and seas, or gradually lose water and disappear Historically, peoples in this region were pastoral nomads  Over time they drifted away from nomadism, with the Soviet government forcibly collectivizing the remaining nomads into permanent villages Most people today live in heavily irrigated valleys  Irrigation is essential for farming  Causing water shortages in some areas  Shrinking of the Aral Sea