Russia
 Background
– Russia and newly independent neighbors once
formed the USSR and cover an enormous area
– European part of region includes Baltic states of
Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania / Belarus, Ukraine
and Moldova. Also includes Transcaucasus states
of Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan
– Asian part of region includes Central Asian
republics of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan,
Turmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tadzhikistan
– region occupies 1/6 of earth’s landsurface,
stretches 6,000 miles from west to east and 3,000
north to south; spans 12 time zones
– image of unlimited raw materials and virgin
lands compromised by difficulty of exploitation,
remoteness of territory, lack of capital, and bad
climate
– Russia occupies 3/4 of former USSR
 Natural
Regions
– large Eurasian landmass and high latitudinal
location strongly influence severe continental
climate (southern most area same latitude as
Memphis, TN)
– Moscow further north than Edmonton, Canada
– 75% of area is north of 49th parallel (northern
border of US/Canada)
 Importance
of Rivers to Russia
– Longest north-south river is Volga which flows
from the north to Caspian Sea
– Dnieper River empties into Black Sea
– Don River into Sea of Azov
– “Mutushka” (mother) name of Volga
– Boatmen towed barges up Volga to Moscow
(The Volga Boatmen)
– Volga-Don canal important for transportation
 Landforms
– European section
 Baltic
states, Belarus, Moldova, Ukraine lie within
Eastern European plain
 drained by numerous rivers like Volga and Dnieper
 fairly flat with low mountains on Kola peninsula
 mountains border plain on south- Carpathian Mts.,
Crimean Mts., Caucasus Mts.
 Mt.. Elbrus 18.5 k, highest peak in Europe
 European plain ends at Ural Mts..
– Siberia
 western
Siberian lowland 1,000 miles to Pacific
 Ob
river drains most of western Siberian lowland
 Yenisey and Lena Kazakhstan and Central Asia
 Kazay uplands to south of western Siberian lowland
 Aral sea fed by two rivers that originate in Pamir and
Tian Shan Mts- Amu Darya and Syr Darya
– Vegetation zones
 Tundra
–
–
–
–
–
13% of Russian republic
mean temperature in warmest month 50-32 degrees F
short growing season, poor soils, only hardy plants
permafrost and high winds
very sparsely populated with only a few military
bases, tribes, hunters, trappers, and miners
 Forest
regions
– taiga of Russia
• coniferous forests with swamps and meadows
• subartic climate with temperatures as low as 90
degrees F
• Permafrost much of the year
• short summers, very cold winters, 100 day
growing season
• transportation and constructions problems
• timber, fur-bearing animals, precious metals, oil and gas
– mixed forests of Baltics, Belarus, Ukraine and European
Russia
• coniferous and broadleaf trees
• temperatures and growing season increase toward south
• less acidic and more fertile soils
– broadleaf forests of Siberia in Far East
• broadleaf forests
• cold, dry winters, hot, humid summers
 Forest
–
–
–
–
steppe and steppe
forest steppe gives way to true steppe in south
Moldova, Ukraine, western Siberia, and Kzakhstan
chernozerm (black earth) soils in steppe
important for agriculture but unreliable rainfall
 Deserts
– trans-Volga area, southern Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan,
Turkmenistan
– 10 inches of rain per year
– very hot, dry conditions in summer; cold in winter
– vegetation consists of grasses and plants that can store
moisture
 Subtropical
south
– east coast of Black Sea (Georgia) and Crimean peninsula in
Ukraine
– Crimean mountains help protect narrow coastal region from
cold north winds
– famous resort areas on Black Sea
– specialized agriculture with tea, citrus fruits, fertile soils, good
moisture
 Mountain
areas
– Central Asia countries of Kyrgyzstan, Tadzhikstan,
Uzbekistan, and Transcaucasus
– Russian Far East
Russia: Physical Map
Kamchata
Peninsula
Russian Plain
Ural Mts
Kazay uplands
Russian Climate Map
 Russian
Climates
– Polar climate (permafrost, very cold)
– Continental climate (cold winters, cool
summers, short growing season)
– Dry climate (mid latitude steppe and desert
with limited rainfall
– Humid subtropical climate (hot summers, mild
winters, longer growing season, good moisture)
Population
–General Observations
population
of 15 republics that once constituted
the former USSR was 290 million; Russia alone has
150 million
6th
most populous country of the world
former
soviet states vary in size from Estonia at 1.5
mil to 52 mil in the Ukraine
–Formation of a Multinational State
present
state of Russia about 3/4 size of USSR
Tsarist and Soviet rulers able to expand territory
at expense of indigenous peoples
 Latvians,
Lithuanians, Armenians, and Tadzhiks also
speak languages belonging to Indo-European family
 pervasive power of state maintained empire with
allowance for a few ethnic rights- native languages,
ethnic customs, etc
 CPSU dominated by Russians
 practice of Russification
 after 73 years of communist rule, ethnic cleavages
could not be contained any longer
– Ethnic Composition
 eastern
Slavs- Russians, Ukrainians, and Belorussians
speak languages belonging to Indo-European family
 50
million in Central Asia speak a language belonging
to the Altaic family. Live in Central Asia, middle Volga
Valley and Caucasus
 small representation of Uralian family (5 million) in
Estonia, northern Europe, western Siberian section
 variety of other languages spoken by Georgians,
Mongols, Koreans, tribes in Siberia
– Religious composition
 Eastern
Orthodox- Moscow core region
 Christianity- Baltic states
 Islam- Southern Muslim Republics
 Roman Catholicism- Baltic states
 Jewish- Russia
– Political Divisions
 Former
political units of USSR were the 15 union republics
(S.S.R.’s)
 In early 90’s all become independent republics
 CIS- Commonwealth of Independent States (12/15 SSR’s)
 host of other ethnic groups wanted representation
 Russians were significant minorities in the Baltics, Central
Asian republics, and other territories
 Gorbachev’s call for “demokratizatsiya” opened up
Pandora’s box
 old Soviet constitution said USSR was a “voluntary”
federation with right of succession
 demonstrations
and conflicts all over Russia
 Lithuania took boldest step in declaring independence
 abortive 1991 coup by right wing Communist officials leads
to other declarations of independence in Latvia and Estonia
 By 1992 all former SSR’s declared statehood
 hammer and sickle on Soviet flag replaced by old Tsarist
flag; Gorbachev resigns as president
– Post-Independence Nationality Problems
 challenge
of political cooperation among different ethnic
groups
 80 border disputes due to ethnic conflicts
 citizenship questions for Russian minorities in ethnic
republics
 Russians
and Ukrainians in Moldova declared Dniester
Republic
 War between Armenia and Azerbaijan over NagornoKarabakh
 Southern Ossetians and Abkhazy declared independence
from Georgia
 Tatars in middle Volga demand independence
 Chechnya war raging since 1990.Devastation of Grozny,
the capital of Chechnya today.
 50 million Muslims in Central Asia desire pan-Islamic
federation
 Russian federation main successor to RSFSR (Russian
Soviet Federative Socialist Republic)
– demographic characteristics
 Slavs
and Baltic peoples have low birth rates and low death
rates
 ethnic groups in Central, Caucasus, and Siberia have high
birth rates and low death rates
 Tadzhikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan and
Azerbaijan have birth rtes like Third World
 between 1979-89 Russian grew by 5.6% and Ukrainians
grew by 4.2%
 Tadzhiks, Turkmen, Uzbeks, Kyrgyz grew by 45%, 34%,
34%, and 33% respectively
 Slavs have declined from 75% of total population in 1959 to
51% today
 life
expectancy in Russia is 64 years for Russian males vs
72 in US
 life expectancy in Russia is 74 years for Russian females vs
79 in US
 Alcoholism and inadequate health care
 imbalance of male/female ratios (USSR lost 20 million men
in WW II)
 imbalances slowly being rectified
 use of females in labor force
 shortages in labor force
 pronatal policies of Marxist ideology plus stipends have not
increase birth rate
 birth rate too high in Central Asia, Kazakhstan, and
Caucasuses but too low in urbanized, Slavic Russia
Russia: Fertile Triangle
– distribution of population
 fertile
triangle from St. Petersburg to Urals to Crimea on
Black Sea (Russian core area)
 distribution varies from 250 people per sq. mile western
Ukraine to virtually nothing in Russian tundra and Asian
deserts
 75% of total population lives in European Russia
 outside European Russia, heaviest populations
concentrated in foothills and valleys of Central Asia, along
rivers, and irrigated areas
– urbanization
 18%
of population lived in cities in Tsarist Russia
 industrialization in Stalinist Russia increased urbanization
to 33% before WW II
 today
75% of Russian live in cities
 70% of Estonians, Belarussians, Latvians, and Lithuanians
live in cities
 30-40% of Tadzhiks, Kyrgyz and Uzbeks live in cities
 most large cities in European Russia
 large cities in Russian Siberia mostly in southern part of
region or along Trans-Siberian railway
– Summary
 Russia
has diverse environmental and human resources
 serious environmental disruption, polluted atmosphere and
contaminated lakes, rivers, soil
 Nuclear wastes Novaya Zemlya; biological toxins Aral Sea
 control over diverse ethnic mosaic very challenging
problem for Russian government
Russia: Political Map
Russia
Russia-Economic Activities
 Background
– prior to Russian Revolution 80% of population
were peasants
– grinding rural poverty, high debts, no land,
inadequate food, unyielding autocracy
– industry growing in 1890’s
– history of revolts, revolutions, demands for
freedom and democracy in Russia
– influence of World War I and the Bolshevik
Revolution
– Bolshevik Revolution and establishment of Union of
Soviet Socialist Republics
 Soviet Approach
to Development
– Dictatorship of Communist Party of Soviet Union
would lead backward country through economic
development and eventually communism
– significant achievement of industrialization under
Stalinist Five-Year Plans
– heavy costs on workers and rural peasants
– human toll of Stalinist economic policy in 20’s and
30’s
 Planned
Development
– Stalinist Five-Year Plans
– planned economy, production goals for all goods
and services
– complexity of economic blueprints created
problems in allocating resources
– achievement of notable success in heavy industry
and military arms (“heavy metal eaters”)
– performance in agriculture and light industries poor
– performance in consumer industries dismal
 Gorbachev’s
–
–
–
–
–
–
economic reforms
economic stagnation and decreasing growth in 70’s
USSR could not feed itself, importing food
ruble valueless (not convertible) outside Russia
military spending consuming 25% of budget
nothing available to buy in state stores
Gorbachev promised glasnost (more openness),
demokratizatsiya (democratization), and perestroika
(restructuring of the economy).
– plan was to improve economic performance by
introducing market reforms
– high inflation unemployment in the short run
– unemployment increased, prices rose, inequality of
incomes apparent, decrease in the standard of living
for many people, political instability
 Challenge
of Development
– reformers losing political influence; nationalists
and ex-communists gaining influence
– level of economic well-being differs from republic
to republic
– difficulties in privatizing state enterprises
– by 1993 most retail shops in private hands
– agricultural and industrial production dropped by
50% in 5 years of market reforms
– defense spending and other government spending
cut, land privatized, inflation, declining economic
growth, joblessness, poverty
– centrally controlled distribution system curtailed
– Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Belarus, and Azerbaijan
have made fewest changes
– Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Armenia, Lithuania and
Moldova committed to reform but little progress so
far
– Estonia and Latvia experiencing some success
– military/security problems with soldiers not being
paid, equipment deteriorating, command and control
structures fragile, possibility of nuclear thefts
– former republics highly dependent on trade with other
republics; under market reforms trading between these
former republics is more complicated
– inability to pay for imported goods
– Commonwealth of Independent States created to
facilitate trade and political ties; most new republics
suspicious of Moscow, fear dominance
– Russia benefiting today due to high prices for gas and
oil. New markets East and West.
 Economic
Development Potential
– Russia and Ukraine have best chance of economic
success
– Ukraine has extensive agricultural land, industrial
resources, good manufacturing capability
– Russia has extensive natural resources, largest
industrial regions, good agricultural land
– Baltics have good prospects for industrialization and
agricultural development
– most other regions except the Baltics have economic
problems
– Central Asian Republics particularly weak
 Industrial
Resources
– Russian region ranks among the leaders in natural
resources, but these are not evenly distributed
– many resources in remote areas, costly to obtain,
harsh environment
– Energy
 good
growth potential for oil and gas production
 USSR prior to 1992 was world’s leading producer of oil
and gas
 1/2 of region’s oil comes from West Siberian fields
 problem of permafrost
 antiquated equipment and poor management
 Volga
Urals fields second most important oil-producing
area
 Caspian Sea area has major reserves rivaling that of the
Persian Gulf
 Japan and US interested in foreign investment
 Soviet Union was world’s leading producer of coal
 good reserves in Siberia; most coal production today in
western Russia and Ukraine
 Donets Basin is major source of coal
 electric generation from peat, coal, oil or gas
 atomic power about 10% now could rise to 25% soon
 15% of generation from hydroelectric with Volga and
Kama rivers particularly important
Caspian Oil
– Metallic Ores
 diverse
base of metals
 iron ore reserves largest in world (40% of known
reserves)
 50% of iron ore extracted in USSR came from Ukrainian
Krivoi Rog fields
 Urals and Kursk deposits
 manganese and mercury in Ukraine
 Kazakhstan has bauxite, tungsten, molybdenum,
chromium, led, zing, and world’s largest copper deposits
 mercury and gold in Uzbekistan
 Industrial
Regions
– Soviets attempted to disperse location of industrial
regions for security reasons
– Kuznetsk metallurgical base in Siberia
– impact of German occupation in WW II
– Soviet planning favored development of
manufacturing in several areas: (1) Center around
Moscow; (2) St. Petersburg; (3) Mid-Volga area;
(4) the Urals; (5) Kuznetsk Basin in Siberia;
(6) Ukraine Industrial District
– Center
 Moscow
most populous and largest industrial city
 large market; good supply of skilled labor; good
transportation
 good electrical supply from Volga hydroelectric and gas/oil
pipelines from Ukraine
 manufacture linen, cotton, wool, silk fabrics
 machine construction, engineering, chemical, food
processing and woodworking
– St. Petersburg
 Peter
the Great, window to the West
 deficient in resources
 machine tools, shipbuilding
– Mid Volga
 extensive
energy resources
 petroleum producing areas in “Volga-Urals fields
 hydroelectricity
 good transportation along Volga with 60% of all freight
transported by river
 automotive plant build at Tolyatti with Fiat
– Urals
 third
largest industrial production center
 iron and steel industries
 copper smelting, zinc refining, aluminum production
 Yekaterinburg major rail center
– Siberia
 rich
coal deposits in Kuznetsk Basin
 Novosibirsk, major rail junction on Trans-Siberian line
 great industrial potential but high transportation costs and
high production costs
 location of industries with high power requirements
because of good hydroelectric potential
 Baikal-Amur Mainline Railroad (BAM)
 development of Siberia could be facilitated by Japanese but
political problems complicate relations
– Ukraine Industrial District
 principal
heavy-manufacturing area
 good availability of coal, iron, ore, ferroalloys, heavy
machinery construction
 gas fields to north and oil fields in Caucasus
 high productivity of agriculture
 food processing and agricultural equipment
 Kiev- capital with diversified industrial base
 Kharkov- important in production of heavy machinery
 Odessa- main port city
Russian Industrial Regions
 Agriculture
– agriculture not as developed historically as industry
– production increases from 1950’s to 1980’s
– productivity of Soviet farms poor with one American
farm worker producing 8 times more than his Soviet
counterpart
– 22% of Soviet work force in agriculture vs 2% in US
– one Soviet farm worker feeds 8 Russians while one
US farmer feeds 52 Americans
– Collectivization of agriculture in 20’s proved to be a
disaster
– Problems of Collectives
 peasants
thought to be a latent capital class
 wanted to control peasants
 forced peasants into collectives
 control of agricultural prices and wages at low levels
 feed industrial labor force cheaply
 mechanization possible
 millions of peasants (kulaks) killed
 livestock herds slaughtered rather than surrender them
– Types of farm organization
 collective
farms (kolkhoz)
 state farms (sovkhoz)
 collective
farms brought several villages together with
centrally located machinery and private plots near houses
 state farms paid a set wage with bonuses for extra
performance
 insufficient incentives to increase production
 state investment in fertilizers, machinery and technology
inadequate
 private plots took up 4% of cultivated land but produced
48% of vegetables, 52% of meat, 67% of milk, and 84%
of eggs.
 agriculture was Achilles heel of Soviet system
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Russia - Saint Martin's University