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Russia. Physical Geography. The Russian Domain. Russia – United States Size Comparison. Basic Geography. World’s largest country Lies on Europe and Asia High latitude with mostly continental climate but temperature extremes Gigantic size and harsh climates make transportation difficult

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Physical Geography

Basic geography
Basic Geography

  • World’s largest country

    • Lies on Europe and Asia

  • High latitude with mostly continental climate but temperature extremes

  • Gigantic size and harsh climates make transportation difficult

  • Ural Mountains form border between Europe and Asia

  • European Russia is warmer than Asian Russia

  • 75% of population live in European Russia

Ural mountains
Ural Mountains

  • Being located west of the Urals allows for better trade with Europe.


  • Siberia extends thousands of miles. It’s climate is cold with very little precipitation.

    • Tundra in the north

    • Taiga in the south – coniferous forest zone.

Physical geography
Physical Geography

  • Russia touches many inland bodies of water such as Black Sea, Caspian Sea, and Lake Baikal.

  • Lake Baikal is the world’s deepest freshwater lake.

    • It holds almost 20% of the world’s supply of unfrozen freshwater.

    • It is also the world’s oldest freshwater lake, at 25 million years old.

Trans siberian railroad
Trans-Siberian Railroad

  • This railroad helps connect and hold the country together despite its massive size.

Northern landforms
Northern Landforms

  • The Northern European Plain stretches over 1,000 miles from the western border of Russia to the Urals.

    • This is home to one of the world’s most fertile soils – chernozem, or black earth.

Agricultural regions
Agricultural Regions

Agricultural Triangle

(Developed Triangle)

Globalization & Diversity: Rowntree, Lewis, Price, Wyckoff

Southern region
Southern Region

  • The Caucuses Mountains stretch across the land that separates the Black and Caspian seas.

  • These mountains for the border between Russia and Transcaucasia – a region that consists of the republics of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia.

  • Some of these mountains are located along the southeastern border of Central Asia – a region that includes the republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.



Economic Geography

Economic geography
Economic Geography

  • Resources: good farmland, metal, petroleum, natural gas, fish, timber, coal.

  • Despite it’s abundant natural resources, Russia’s economy is not very strong.

    • What do you think caused this?

Economic geography1
Economic Geography

  • Answer: Russia’s economy is not strong due to years of communist control of farms and factories which denied people the experience of creating jobs, starting businesses, and making money.

Major natural resources and industrial zones
Major Natural Resources and Industrial Zones

Globalization & Diversity: Rowntree, Lewis, Price, Wyckoff

Major cities
Major Cities

  • Moscow – political, economic, and transportation center of Russia.

  • Kaliningrad & St. Petersburg – major northwestern port cities.

Volga river
Volga River

  • The Volga River carries almost ½ of Russia’s river traffic.

  • It provides water for irrigation and hydroelectric power.

Russia s petroleum economy
Russia’s Petroleum Economy

  • Russia has 35% of the world’s natural gas reserves.

    • Mostly in Siberia

    • Also the world’s largest gas export

  • Primary destination for Russian petroleum products in western Europe.

    • Former USSR republic depend on Russia’s energy

    • Bringing in foreign investment in new pipelines and other technology

  • Impact: Moscow & Siberia seeing lots of oil investments, but local (small-scale) economies are in decline because they are uncompetitive with industrial areas.





  • Population: over 145 million people belonging to over 150 different ethnic groups.

    • 80% of Russians are Slavs.

  • Religion: The main religion in Russia is Christian, and the major denomination is the Russian Orthodox Church.

    • The church architecture is distinguished by the presence of onion domes.

Onion domes
Onion Domes

  • Why do many Russian buildings have onion domes?

  • The onion domes shed snow and prevent the roofs from getting weighed down and collapsing in Russia’s long, snowy winters.

St. Basil’s Cathedral

Urban Architecture

Rural Architecture

History ivan iv the 1 st czar 1547 1560
HistoryIvan IV: The 1st Czar (1547 – 1560)

  • The first czar of Russia was Ivan IV AKA Ivan the Terrible.

    • Ivan IV helped transform Russia from a medieval state to an empire and regional power.

  • Terrible?

    • Ivan IV earned the nickname “Ivan the Terrible” mostly because of a outbursts of rage and violence due to mental illness.

    • During one of his rages, he beat and unpremeditatedly killed his oldest son and heir.

History peter the great 1672 1725
HistoryPeter the Great: 1672 – 1725

History peter the great 1672 17251
HistoryPeter the Great: 1672 – 1725

  • During his reign, most of Western Europe was evolving from agricultural societies to industrial societies.

  • Because of this, Peter the Great wanted to make Russian more like Western Europe.

History peter the great 1672 17252
HistoryPeter the Great: 1672 – 1725

  • He moved the capital of Russia from Moscow to a new city he built: St. Petersburg.

  • This allowed Russia to have closer ties with Western Europe and have a warm water port.

History catherine the great 1762 1796
HistoryCatherine the Great: 1762 – 1796

  • Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia, was the most renowned and longest-ruling female leader of Russia.

  • During her reign, the Russian Empire was the largest it’s ever been.

History catherine the great 1762 17961
HistoryCatherine the Great: 1762 – 1796

  • Russia stretched from Europe to Alaska and even has claimed lands in California during her reign.

History alexander ii 1855 1881
HistoryAlexander II: 1855 – 1881

History alexander ii 1855 18811
HistoryAlexander II: 1855 – 1881

  • During the 19th century, most people in Russian society were serfs – farm laborers who were attached to the land they worked.

    • Serfs lived hard lives, and few could read or write.

History alexander ii 1855 18812
HistoryAlexander II: 1855 – 1881

  • In 1861, Czar Alexander II freed the serfs from being tied to their land.

    • Alexander II became known as Alexander the Liberator.

  • After the peasant emancipation, Russia began to industrialize and rely more on manufacturing and less on farming.

    • Other effects: self-governance in rural areas, a progressive judicial system, education reform.

    • Overall, the peasant emancipation greatly altered political and social life in Russia and made Russians more aware and involved in the political process.

History nicholas ii the last czar 1894 1917
HistoryNicholas II: The Last Czar (1894 – 1917)

History nicholas ii the last czar 1894 19171
HistoryNicholas II: The Last Czar (1894 – 1917)

  • Nicholas II got Russia involved in World War I (1914 – 1917).

    • Millions of Russians died fighting. Soldiers were ill-equipped on the front lines.

    • The war drained the Russian economy and at home the citizens began to suffer.

History russian revolution
HistoryRussian Revolution

  • In February 1917, political leaders, soldiers, and factory workers forced Czar Nicholas II to give up the throne.

  • Vladimir Lenin led a second revolution in October 1917 (Bolshevik Revolution) and seized control.

History russian revolution1
HistoryRussian Revolution

  • Lenin, a Marxist, wanted to create a communist state in Russia where all citizens would share the wealth.

  • In 1922, Russian Communist leaders formed the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics AKA USSR AKA the Soviet Union.

History soviet russia
HistorySoviet Russia

  • Under communist control, the Soviet Union developed a command economy.

  • Who controls industry in a command economy?

History soviet russia1
HistorySoviet Russia

  • Answer: In a command economy, the central government makes all economic decisions for the country.

  • Lenin moved the capital of the country back to Moscow, and the Moscow Kremlin became the center for the Soviet Union’s government.

History soviet russia2
HistorySoviet Russia

  • After Lenin’s death in 1924, Joseph Stalin took power. Under his rule, the government took even tighter control of the country.

  • Stalin was known as a ruthless dictator who was responsible for killing millions of Russian citizens in the Great Purge.

History cold war
HistoryCold War

  • After World War II, Stalin set up communist governments in many neighboring Eastern European countries.

  • From the late 1940s through the late 1980s, the US and USSR competed for world influence without actually fighting each other – the Cold War.

History cold war1
HistoryCold War

  • In 1985, Mikhail Gorbachev took power and relaxed Soviet control.

  • Gorbachev also introduced perestroika and glasnost to the country.

    • Perestroika – economic restructuring

    • Glasnost – increased political openness to the West and more freedom of information

History cold war2
HistoryCold War

  • In late 1991, each of the 15 republics that made up the Soviet Union declared independence, and the Soviet Union dissolved.

Change from communism
Change from Communism

  • Russia changed from communism to free enterprise immediately following the collapse of the USSR.

  • Under communism everyone had jobs. Workers today can lose their jobs when business is poor.

  • Without government controls, prices have risen making it harder to buy necessities such as food and clothing.

  • Major environmental issues due to the old Soviet government have developed. Factories and nuclear plants polluted the environment which has led to certain diseases.

Challenges of change
Challenges of Change

  • Russia is a democracy today.

  • The Russian president has more power than that of the U.S. president and can implement plans that are not passed by legislature.

  • Different ethnic groups want to form their own countries.

    • Chechens of Chechnya want their own nation-state and have used terrorism to get attention. Russia has had to use force to keep them in the country.




Culture quick facts
Culture: Quick Facts

  • The Russian Orthodox Church is incredibly popular and thriving even though communism tried to eliminate it.

  • Russians use a Slavic alphabet called Cyrillic.

    • Russian Translation: Русские используют Славянский алфавит по имени Кириллица.

  • New Years is the most festive holiday.

Population geography
Population Geography

  • ¾ of Russian people live in cities.

  • Most city-dwellers live in large apartment blocks, made popular during the Soviet period.

Population geography1
Population Geography

  • In rural areas, like Siberia, people live in small farming villages or are nomadic.

Cultural heritage ballet
Cultural Heritage: Ballet

  • The Bolshoi Opera & Ballet theater is world famous.

    • Random Fact: Tickets are more expensive for foreigners than Russian citizens.

Olympic medals
Olympic Medals

  • Russia (including it’s time competing as the USSR) has a total of 1701 Olympic medals.

  • They have the second highest total of medals.

  • The United States has the most with a total of 2654 Olympic medals.

Great authors
Great Authors

  • Fyodor Dostoyevsky

  • Leo Tolstoy

  • Boris Pasternak

Peter tchaikovsky
Peter Tchaikovsky

  • Tchaikovsky was a famous Russian composer. He composed the music for three of the most popular ballets of all time: Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, and The Sleeping Beauty.