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  • 1. A Geographic Profile ofRUSSIA ANDTHE NEAR ABROADChapter 5
  • 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. 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. Russia and the Near Abroad
  • 5. Population Distribution of Russia and the Near Abroad
  • 6. Population Cartogram of Russia and the Near Abroad
  • 7. 5.2 Physical Geography & Human Adaptations Factors affecting this immense region:  Cold Temperatures  Infertile Soils  Marshy Terrain  Aridity  Ruggedness
  • 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. 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. Climates of Russia and the Near Abroad
  • 11. Biomes of Russia and the Near Abroad
  • 12. High Arctic Building Erected on Pilings
  • 13. Land Use in Russia and the Near Abroad
  • 14. The Taiga: Earth’s Largest Continuous Forest Biome
  • 15. Grazier on the Southern Russian Steppe
  • 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. Physical Geography of Russia and the Near Abroad
  • 18. Lock in the Volga-Don Canal
  • 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. 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. Ethnolinguistic Distributions
  • 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. Religions of Russia and the Near Abroad Today, Russia has 4 official religions:Orthodox Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and Judaism
  • 24. Russian Orthodox Church in Vyborg
  • 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. Soviet Agricultural Expansion (1954-1957)
  • 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. 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. Poverty in Post-Soviet Russia
  • 34. Western-Style Overconsumption Moscow’s 2009 Millionaire Fair
  • 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. 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. 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. Political Units of the Russian Federation
  • 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. Physical and Political Obstacles to Caspian Oil Exports
  • 41. The Caucasus
  • 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. Russian Icebreaker brings Tourists to the North Pole
  • 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. 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. 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