Russia and the Eurasian Republics. The Largest region we will study, spanning two continents and including eleven time zones. Countries as ranked by GDP • Kazakhstan •Turkmenistan Countries as ranked by land size • Kazakhstan •Russia Physical Region Vast areas of: • Permafrost: permanently frozen subsoil. Taiga: sub arctic coniferous forests. Steppe: semi-arid grasslands. • The Ob river flows northward into the Arctic Ocean Black Earth Belt: rich-fertile soil. • Chernozem Water Features • • • • • • • • • Volga River Ob river Amur River Lake Baikal Caspian Sea Aral Sea Bering Strait Pacific Ocean Atlantic Ocean Mountains: Caucasus located between the Black and Caspian Seas. Mountains: Urals ( divides Europe from Asia) Russian Natural resources • Not well-developed due to harsh climate • Limited transportation links and vastness of the country • Foreign competition for investment in the region (oil pipelines) • Widespread pollution • Shrinking of the Aral Sea • Political and Economic difficulties after the breakup of the Soviet Union • Cotton production in Central Asia Siberia • The Sleeping Land: located east of the Urals • Major oil, natural gas, and mineral resources Human Impact on the Environment • Water diversion from the Aral Sea: for irrigation Before 1996 After 2003 Environmental Changes • Pollution: (Chernobyl) • Nuclear power plant explodes after meltdown and radioactive fallout spreads across Europe After the Chernobyl explosion entire towns had to be evacuated. A Nuclear Reactor A concrete tomb was built to try to contain the radioactive ruins. The Trans-Siberian Railroad Connecting European Russia with Siberia and the Pacific Coast. From Moscow to Vladivostok. Trains at one of the many stations. Miles of track cross sparsely populated countryside. Climatic conditions are often cold in these sub arctic areas. Typical sights are Siberian villages like this one. Or perhaps old Soviet style block Apartments. The route ends at the harbor of Vladivostok. Lake Baikal, the world’s deepest Lake is located in western Russia near the TransSiberian R.R. Novosibirsk A city that grew up along the Trans-Siberian Railroad Cultural Characteristics • Diverse ethnic groups, customs and traditions • Many of Turkic and Mongol Heritage Faberge Eggs Created to celebrate… Coronations, Royal births, Easter, etc. The Bolshoi Ballet. It is the most famous in the world. Trained in the classical style. They travel the world to perform. Catch a performance if you go to Moscow. Icons • Religious Paintings and mosaics of the Jesus, the Saints and other religious figures. Symbols that decorate Eastern Orthodox churches with Saints and other religious figures from Christian tradition. Matrioshka Dolls: handmade nesting dolls resembling a Russian peasant woman have been a favorite for centuries. Oriental Carpets or rugs: very popular in the southwestern republics.(Caucasus) A Kazakh Rug Samovars Samovars are traditionally used to brew tea to ward off the Russian chill. St. Basil’s Cathedral. St. Basil’s was commissioned by Ivan the Terrible to celebrate the Russian conquest of the Mongols. The Church of the Annunciation. Evidence of Eastern Orthodox Religion These cathedrals are part of the complex that became known as the Kremlin. It is the heart of Moscow and contains Red Square. Red Square(next slide) was the site of the famous May Day Parades held during the Communist era and where Lenin, the Father of the Bolshevik revolution, is entombed. The Kremlin at night. St. Petersburg: named after Peter the Great. Here is the winter palace of the Czars. Peter the Great moved the Russian capital to St. Petersburg to be closer to the capitals of western Europe. Economic Characteristics • Transition from Communist to Free Market economies Russia is struggling with the transition from Communism.. To Democracy and Capitalism. Farming • Concentrated in the Fertile Triangle Region • Rich Chernozem soils: good for wheat farming Energy Resources • Hydroelectric power • Oil • Natural Gas THE END.