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Russia and the Republics. A Land of Extremes. Northern Landforms Northern European Plain Chernozem – black earth West Siberian Plain Ural Mountains separate later and former Central Siberian Plain – high plateaus (east of Yenisey River)

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a land of extremes
A Land of Extremes
  • Northern Landforms
    • Northern European Plain
      • Chernozem – black earth
    • West Siberian Plain
      • Ural Mountains separate later and former
      • Central Siberian Plain – high plateaus (east of Yenisey River)
      • Russian Far East (east of Lena River) - Kamchatka Pen.
  • Southern Landforms
      • Caucasus Mtns – Transcaucasia: Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia
      • Tian Shan Mtns – Central Asia: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan
      • Tural Plain – Kara Kum and KyzylKum Deserts
a land of extremes1
A Land of Extremes
  • Rivers drainages: Caspian, Black, Aral Seas + the Pacific and Artic Oceans
  • Lakes: Some of the world’s longest lakes (Caspian and Aral Seas)
    • Lake Baikal = deepest lake in the world
  • Abundant Resources – coal, iron ore, oil and natural gas, forests and river for hydroelectric power
    • Difficulty with access – SIBERIA
  • Climate: ranges from humid continental to subartic
    • Continentality - distance inland from moderating influence of the sea
  • Vegetation: Tundra, Forest (taiga), Steppe and Desert
history of russia
History of Russia
  • Early Kievan state of Rus (Eastern Slavs) 7th century
    • Between Black and Baltic Seas
    • Dnieper River settlement of Kiev
    • Mixed Slavs with Viking explorers who

settled and adopted local customs

    • Dominated local scene from 9th century to

11th century

      • Golden Age of Kiev - Vladimir the Great

(980-1015) &Yaroslavthe Wise (1019-1054)

Orthodox Christianity from Byzantium – legal code ‘Russkaya Pravda’

history of russia1
History of Russia
  • 11th and 12th Centuries see migrations north b/c of Turkic tribes
  • 13th century brings Mongol Tatar (Golden Horde) invasions ending KievanRus (1237-1240AD)
    • Control region until 15thcentury
  • Grand Duchy of Moscow asserts influence
    • Ivan the Great, Prince of Moscow

throws off Tatar dominance

      • Unites both Central and Northern Rus

and assumes legacy of ERE (Byzantines)

history of russia2
History of Russia
  • Under Ivan the Great, Russia expanded east
  • Empire extends to Pacific by end of 17th century
history of russia3
History of Russia
  • Czar Peter the Great (1682-1725)
    • Moves capital to St. Petersburg
      • Direct access to Western Europe
      • Builds a strong navy
      • Gains new lands and makes some

necessary reforms to align with West

  • Serfs emancipated in 1861
    • Leads to rapid industrialization
    • Eventually leads to harsh working

conditions, low wages and other

hardships = unhappy Russians

history of russia4
History of Russia
  • Russian Revolution (October Revolution), 1917
    • Began during WWI
    • Ends rule of czars (Nicholas and his family were murdered)
    • Bolsheviks led by V.I.Lenin take power and control economic decisions and government
      • Capitalism bad . . . Communism good (Karl Marx)
  • U.S.S.R. created in 1922 by Communist


    • Moscow becomes official capital
    • Joseph Stalin ascends to power in 1924
history of russia5
History of Russia
  • Command Economy
    • Gov’t owns the land, factories,

mines, banks and transpo

    • Collective Farms
      • Gov’t determines what to grow

who to sell to and how much

it is worth

    • What was the cost of this kind


    • Cost to the population under

Stalin’s harsh rule??

history of russia6
History of Russia
  • World War II, 1939-1945
    • “The Enemy of my enemy is my friend”

– U.S. stance concerning the Soviet Union

and Stalin

    • As the war dragged on, relations


    • Post-war Europe split into

Eastern and Western

history of russia7
History of Russia
  • Cold War, 1947-1991
    • Characterized by:
      • Mutual distrust and espionage between 2 Superpowers
      • Nuclear arms proliferation and assured destruction
      • Split between Western ‘democratic/capitalist’ and Eastern

‘communist’ sides around world

      • Never turned hot (save for Korea 1951-1953, Vietnam 1965-1975 and Cuba 1962)
    • Détente (1985-1989)
      • Mikhail Gorbachev enforces reforms called perestroika
      • Also introduces glasnost within country opening up freedoms
    • U.S.S.R. collapsed in 1991, creating a new Russian Federation and its independent republics