Loading...

GEOG101: World Regional Geography

Unit 3: The Russian Realm   Russia is the largest country in the world in terms of physical area – almost twice the size of the United States.  The country is so large in fact, that a train journey from St. Petersburg to Vladivostok – the respective western and eastern termini of the Trans-Siberian Railway – takes about one week of constant travel to complete.  On this incredible journey from coast to coast, you would travel through eight time zones!   

Russia extends from its European core (where most of the population lives) across the Ural Mountains, into Siberia, and along to the Russian Far East.  Its extensive landscape includes major metropolitan areas, such as Moscow; vast territories in the Arctic north; immense forests of Siberia; grain farms rivaling those in Kansas; and mountain communities in the Caucasus.  Russia has a complicated history of monarchy and totalitarianism, rich natural resources, extremes of wealth and poverty (in fact, in the less populous areas, residents have more economic and social connections with China than with Europe), and a slowly declining population.  It is a dynamic country transitioning from a Communist state to one that is becoming a vital part of the global economy.

Unit 3 begins with the exploration of the physical characteristics of the Russian realm, along with an analysis of its cultural diversity and regional environmental problems.  You will explore the historical development patterns of Russia and its economy, beginning with the Bolsheviks and Vladimir Lenin.  Next, you will examine the collapse of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) and the post-Soviet economic and political situations that arose.  Finally, the unit ends with a more detailed exploration of specific regions within the Russia Realm.

Unit 3 Time Advisory
This unit should take you approximately 8.75 hours to complete.

☐    Subunit 3.1: 2.75 hours

☐    Subunit 3.2: 4.5 hours ☐    Introduction: 2.75 hours

☐    Sub-subunit 3.2.1: 0.75 hour

☐    Sub-subunit 3.2.4: 1 hour
 

☐    Subunit 3.3: 1.5 hours

Unit3 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, the student will be able to:
- Describe the physical geography of the Russian realm. - Determine how the Czars expanded their territorial power to create the Russian Empire. - Compare and contrast how issues of ethnic diversity were handled under the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union. - Describe some of the environmental problems facing the Russian Republic today. - Define the main tenets of a socialist economy. - Describe some of the conditions of life in the Soviet Union. - Discuss the collapse of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). - Describe the post-Soviet economic and political situation. - Identify the major cities, rivers, and economic base of Russia’s core region. - Identify the economic base of cities in the Eastern Frontier.  - Explain the Chechen-Russian conflict. - Discuss why Russia invaded Georgia in 2008.

3.1 Introducing the Realm   - Reading: World Regional Geography: People, Places, and Globalization: “Chapter 3: Russia:” “Section 3.1: Introducing the Realm” Link: World Regional Geography: People, Places, and Globalization: “Chapter 3: Russia:” “Section 3.1: Introducing the Realm” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Please click the link above, and read Section 3.1 in its entirety.  Before you begin the reading, review the Study and Discussion Questions.  Answer these questions as you complete the reading.  This reading covers the topics outlined in sub-subunits 3.1.1 through 3.1.3.
 
This reading provides an introduction to the physical and cultural characteristics of Russia.  In addition, the reading explores the history of the Russian Realm, including the creation of the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union (and how issues of ethnic diversity were “handled” under both regimes).  Finally, the reading explores some of the environmental problems facing the Russian Republic today.
 
Reading and answering the associated Discussion and Study Questions should take you approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes to complete.
 
Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

  • Lecture: iTunes U: Binghamton University: Professor Mark Reisinger’s “World Regional Geography:” “Russia: Part 1” Link: iTunes U: Binghamton University: Professor Mark Reisinger’s “World Regional Geography:” “Russia: Part 1” (iTunes U)
     
    Instructions: Please click on the link above, locate the lecture titled “0015Russia Part 1,” and select “View in iTunes” to launch the lecture.  View the entire video for an introduction to the Russian Domain.
     
    Watching this lecture and pausing to take notes should take approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes to complete.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

3.1.1 Physical Characteristics   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 3.1.  In particular, focus on the first two paragraphs of the reading as well as study Figure 3.2.

3.1.2 Expansion of the Empire (Including the Soviet Socialist Republics)   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 3.1.  In particular, focus on the text below the heading, “Expansion of the Empire (Including the Soviet Socialist Republics).”

3.1.3 Regional Environmental Problems   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 3.1.  In particular, focus on the text below the heading, “Regional Environmental Problems

3.2 The USSR and the Russian Federation   - Reading: World Regional Geography: People, Places, and Globalization: “Chapter 3: Russia:” “Section 3.2: The USSR and the Russian Federation” Link: World Regional Geography: People, Places and Globalization: “Chapter 3: Russia:” “Section 3.2: The USSR and the Russian Federation” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Please click on the link above, and read Section 3.2 in its entirety.  Before you begin the reading, review the Study and Discussion Questions.  Answer these questions and keep them in mind as you read the text and complete your study of this resource.  This reading covers the topics outlined in sub-subunits 3.2.1 through 3.2.5.
 
This reading provides an introduction to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), including the major cultural and economic tenets of a socialist economy.  The reading also explores the reasons behind the eventual collapse of the USSR.
 
Reading and answering the associated Discussion and Study Questions should take you approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes to complete.
 
Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

  • Lecture: iTunes U: Binghamton University: Professor Mark Reisinger’s “World Regional Geography:” “Russia: Part 2” Link: iTunes U: Binghamton University: Professor Mark Reisinger’s “World Regional Geography:” “Russia: Part 2” (iTunes U)
     
    Instructions: Please click on the link above, locate the lecture titled “0016Russia Part 2,” and select “View in iTunes” to help launch the lecture.  View the entire lecture, which gives even more insight into the Russian domain with specific attention to the cultural, political, and economic geography of the region.
     
    Watching this lecture and pausing to take notes should take approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes to complete.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

3.2.1 A Short History of the Bolsheviks, Lenin, and Stalin   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 3.2.  In particular, focus on the first few paragraphs that discuss the Bolsheviks, Lenin, and Stalin.

  • Lecture: iTunes U: The Choices Program at Brown University – The Russian Revolution: Professor’s Tom Gleason and Patricia Herlihy’s “Podcasts Regarding the Russian Revolution” Link: iTunes U: The Choices Program at Brown University – The Russian Revolution: Professor’s Tom Gleason and Patricia Herlihy’s “Podcasts Regarding the Russian Revolution” (iTunes U)
     
    Instructions: Watch the entire Podcast lecture series produced by the Choices Program at Brown University.  There are 25 segments ranging from 30 seconds to 3 minutes in length.  The podcast series focuses on the Russian Revolution.
     
    Viewing these podcasts and pausing to take notes should take approximately 45 minutes to complete.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

3.2.2 Marxist-Leninist Central Planning   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 3.2.  In particular, focus on the text below the heading, “Marxist-Leninist Central Planning.”

3.2.2.1 Capitalism   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 3.2.  In particular, focus on the text surrounding the bolded term, “capitalism.”

3.2.2.2 Communism   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 3.2.  In particular, focus on the text surrounding the bolded term, “communism.”

3.2.2.3 Socialism   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 3.2.  In particular, focus on the text surrounding the bolded term, “socialism.”

3.2.3 The Cold War   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 3.2.  In particular, focus on the text below the heading, “The Cold War.”

3.2.3.1 The Iron Curtain   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 3.2.  In particular, focus on the text surrounding the bolded term, “Iron Curtain.”

3.2.3.2 Summary of Russia's Historical Geography   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 3.2.  In particular, focus on the text in the box titled “Outline of Russia’s Historical Geography.”

3.2.4 Twenty-First Century Russia   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 3.2.  In particular, focus on the text below the heading, “Twenty-First Century Russia.”

  • Lecture: iTunes U: London’s Global University: Dr. Alena Ledeneva’s “How Russia Really Works” Link: iTunes U: London’s Global University: Dr. Alena Ledeneva’s “How Russia Really Works” (iTunes U)
     
    Instructions: Please click on the link above, locate the lecture titled “How Russia Really Works,” and select “View in iTunes” to launch the lecture.  Watch Dr. Ledeneva’s lecture in which she describes how Russia functions.  Rather than focusing on the problems with Russia, Dr. Ledeneva discusses how and why businesses and politics are working in Russia today.  By analyzing post-Soviet politics and business from the perspective of informal practices, Dr. Ledeneva will dispel a number of commonly held stereotypes about corruption and illegality in Russia.
     
    Watching this lecture and pausing to take notes should take approximately 1 hour to complete.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

3.2.5 The Russian Language   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 3.2.  In particular, focus on the text below the heading, “The Russian Language.”

3.3 Exploring Russia’s Regions   - Reading: World Regional Geography: People, Places, and Globalization: “Chapter 3: Russia:” “Section 3.3: Regions of Russia” Link: World Regional Geography: People, Places, and Globalization: “Chapter 3: Russia:” “Section 3.3: Regions of Russia” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Click on the link above, and read Section 3.3 in its entirety as well as the end material in Section 3.4.  Before you begin the reading, review the Study and Discussion Questions.  Answer these questions and keep them in mind as you read the text and complete your study of this resource.  This reading covers the topics outlined in sub-subunits 3.3.1 through 3.3.6.
 
This reading provides an introduction to the physical, cultural, and economic characteristics of the major cities of Russia’s regions, including the core region and the Eastern Frontier.  The reading also explores the reasons behind the Chechen-Russian conflict and why Russia invaded Georgia in 2008.
 
Reading and answering questions associated Discussion and Study Questions should take you approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.
 
Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

3.3.1 The Core Region   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 3.3.  In particular, focus on the text below the heading, “The Core Region.”

3.3.2 The Eastern Frontier   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 3.3.  In particular, study Figure 3.13, and review the text below the heading, “The Eastern Frontier.”

3.3.3 Siberia   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 3.3.  In particular, focus on the text below the heading, “Siberia.”

3.3.4 The Far East   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 3.3.  In particular, focus on the text below the heading, “The Far East.”

3.3.5 Southern Russia   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 3.3.  In particular, focus on the text below the heading, “Southern Russia.”  Study Figure 3.16

3.3.6 Transcaucasia   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 3.3.  In particular, focus on the text below the heading, “Transcaucasia.” Study Figure 3.17.