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Social Sci LibreTexts

3: Russia

  • Page ID
    21066
    • 3.1: Russia's Physical Geography and Climate
      Russia is the largest country in the world, containing 1/8 of the entire world’s land area. Russia is also the northernmost large and populous country in the world, with much of the country lying above the Arctic Circle. Its population, however, is comparatively small with around 143 million people, the majority of whom live south of the 60 degree latitude line and in the western portions of Russia near Moscow and Saint Petersburg. Russia stretches across eleven time zones, spanning 6,000 miles.
    • 3.2: Settlement and Development Challenges
      Russia’s size and varied physiographic regions have presented some challenges for its population. Much of Russia is simply too cold for widespread human settlement. Thus, even though Russia is the largest country, the area that is suitable for agriculture and intensive development is much smaller. In Russia’s northern regions, agricultural development is restricted by short growing seasons and frequent droughts. As snow melts, it takes topsoil with it, and thus erosion is a serious issue.
    • 3.3: Russian History and Expansion
      Russia’s current geographic landscape has been shaped by physical features, such as climate and topography, as well as historical events. In the 13th century, Moscow was actually an important principality, or city-state ruled by a monarch. The Grand Duchy of Moscow, or Muscovy as it was known in English, became a powerful state, defeating and surrounding its neighbors and claiming control over a large portion of Rus’ territory, an ancient region occupied by a number of East Slavic tribes.
    • 3.4: Russian Multiculturalism and Tension
      During the period of Russia’s expansion and development as an empire, and later during the time of the Soviet Union, Russia’s territory included not only ethnic Russians but other surrounding groups as well. Ethnicity is a key feature of cultural identity and refers to the identification of a group of people with a common language, ancestry, or cultural history. Many of these minority ethnic groups harbored resentment over being controlled by an imperial power.
    • 3.5: Economics and Development in the Soviet Union
      The Soviet Government, led by Lenin and later by Stalin, advocated a communist system. Those who control the means of production, known as the bourgeoisie in the Marxist philosophy, are much wealthier than the workers, known as the proletariat. In a communist system, however, the means of production are communally owned, and the intended result is that there are no classes of rich and poor and no groups of landowners and landless workers.
    • 3.6: The Modern Russian Landscape
      The collapse of the Soviet Union had far-reaching effects on the Russian landscape and even today, Russia is affected by the legacy of the Soviet Union. The remnants of Soviet bureaucracy, for example, affect everything from the cost of road building to the forms needed to get clothes dry cleaned. After the immediate collapse of the Soviet Union, the government transitioned to a market economy.

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