Russia was originally known as the Soviet Union before its collapse in 1991. In the modern world, Russia is one of the major nations which are dominant in the world of politics and economics. Russia geographically borders 12 states and 3 Baltic States all of which are linked to Europe. Russia covers one-eighth of the Earth’s land surface spanning 11 time zones. The capital city of Russia is Moscow which is also the country’s largest city. Most regions in Russia consist of extreme climates making the regions barely habitable by humans and animals. Such areas include deserts south of Russia and the Arctic areas which are in the north of Russia (Blinnikov).
The physical geography of Russia consists of low plateaus and plains. One of the low plateau is the Central Siberian Plateau. In the Western region to the Ural Mountains are the North European Plain while to the Eastern parts of the Ural Mountains is the West Siberian Plain. Some of the major rivers in Russia are the Volga River which flows to the Caspian Sea, the Don river which flows to the Black Sea, and the Yenisey, Ob, and Lena Rivers which are the longest rivers flowing north to Arctic Ocean. For much of the years, the rivers are frozen.
Russia comprises many mountains some of which are recorded to be among the tallest mountains on earth. The world’s tallest mountain, Mt. Everest is found Russia. The Southern Wall mountainous region comprises the Eastern Siberia Uplands, Central Asian regions of Pamir and Tian Shan, the volcanic peaks of Kamchatka Peninsula and the Caucasus mountainous region located between the Caspian and the Black Seas (Blinnikov).
The climate of Russia is mostly swayed by high latitudes. A large part of Russia lies north of 500. The continental climate is also characterized by some of highest temperature differences in the region of Eastern Siberia, extremely hot summers and cold winters, and far from diminishing marine influences. The northern region of Russia is characterized by longer winters and colder climate (Etty). In terms of precipitation, there is a moderate amounts of precipitation except in arid eastern Siberia and Central Asia. Russia precipitation also decreases with the increase of the inland distance. Russia’s climate affects its agricultural practices in several ways. For instance, its agriculture is characterized by short growing season, erosion, and most of areas to the south are prone of drought. Its industries utilize high amounts of energy and an extractive process of using specialized facilities and equipment.
Russia’s natural vegetation is influenced by temperatures and water availability. The south comprised deserts, the deciduous forests contain brown earth soils, and the Steppe Grasslands consist of very fertile black earth soils which is also the key arable region in the country. There are also the Tundra vegetation and the coniferous forests which are carbon absorption and make some of the largest forests in world (Hobbs).
In terms of human geography, Russia is an ethnically diverse region with more than a hundred different groups. Human geography in Russia is influenced by Islam from the South, Christianity from the Southwest, and Mongol culture from the East. The Ethnic groups include the Southern Caucasus who are mostly Christian and Islamic, the Eastern Slavs comprising the Ukrainians, Russians, and the Belarusians, and the Central Asians who are dominantly Islamic and are nomadic in nature (Blinnikov).
In the contemporary world, Russia has been embroiled in several altercations with a number of its neighboring countries. For instance, on March 1, 2014, Russia under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin invaded Crimea citing that it wanted to offer protection to Russians who were attacked by the Ukrainian government in Kiev. The move to annex Crimea attracted global outrage (Simpson).
- Blinnikov, Mikhail. A geography of Russia and its neighbors. New York: Guilford Press, 2011. Print.
- Etty, John. Russia’s climate and geography. 2007. Web. 26 October 2014.
- Hobbs, Joseph. World regional geography. Cengage Learning, 2008. Print.
- Simpson, John. Ukraine conflict: ‘Russia has taken control of Crimea’. BBC, 3 March 2014. Web. 26 October 2014.