A. 6,591,100 sq. miles (17,075,200 sq. kilometers)
B. 12% of world's landed surface
C. 9 time zones (see
D. From Moscow to Vladivostok is 5,778 miles
E. Population of about 140 million
F. Roughly 75% of Russia's population lives in European Russia
G. Roughly 75% of Russia's land is in Asia
a. Natural resources separated from centers of industry.
b. Dependent upon railroad. Few adequate roads.
1. European Russia
a. Don (south, Black Sea)
b. Volga (South, Caspian Sea)
a. Ob (North, Arctic Sea)
b. Yenisei (North, Arctic Sea)
c. Lena (North, Arctic Sea)
d. Irtysh (North, Ob)
3. Amur River
a. Flows east
b. Forms border with China
G. Despite size and coastlines, Russia lacks warm
a. Longest Coastline opens on Arctic Ocean
b. Baltic and Black Seas connect with broader expanses of water only through narrow
c. Caspian sea is isolated
d. Eastern Coastline subject to cold, inclement weather
H. Reasons for size
1. Most of Russia is an immense plain. Ural Mountains do not constitute an
2. Lack of barriers make expansion to the East natural.
I. Size creates administrative problems.
2. NORTHERN LOCATION
A. "Southern" Russia is about the same latitude
as North and South Dakota.
B. Moscow is on the level of the Hudson Bay.
C. St. Petersburg is as far North as Anchorage, Alaska.
1. Much of the land in the North has not thawed since glaciation.
2. Difficult to build roads and construct buildings.
3. Only the top few feet thaw in the summer.
E. Only eight percent of Russian land is arable.
F. Three Major Vegetation Zones.
Tundra: virtually uninhabited frozen waste of swamps, moss, shrubs. 15% of
Taiga: coniferous forest running into
mixed forest. M
1. Cold weather and lack of precipitation are a problem.
2. Chernozem (Black Earth). Fertile soil in the southern steppe.
A. Far from moderating influence of oceans
B. Greater extremes in temperature, drier on average
C. Coldest settled place in world is Verkhoyansk, in Siberia.
Baikal is one of the wonders of the natural world.
a. Deepest and most voluminous
freshwater lake in the world.
b. Contains roughly 20% of the worlds unfrozen fresh water.
c. Home to over 1000 plants and animals that are unique to the region.
4. Common CONCLUSIONS with which your professor has taken issue. My comments
are in blue.
a. Northern location has created cultural patterns: boredom during winter months,
sense of isolation, introspection, gloom, alcoholism.
(Cold winters lead to toughness and ingenuity. Time spent indoors in winter leads to
inventive solutions for how to spend time and keep spirits high: this leads to artistic
and creative nature. People gathering indoors leads to good cheer and feelings of
b. Unwieldy size is perhaps reason for more authoritarian government.
(Distance from central powers allows for rebellion and/or passive non-compliance with
c. Easy accessibility (through steppe) has meant invasions, therefore distrust of
(The lack of barriers allowed for contact with people of many different cultures who did
not always come as invaders. The Russians are accustomed to dealing with many
different peoples and may be less xenophobic than peoples who were protected from invasion
by mountains or seas but did not benefit from contact with other cultures.)