Russia & Its Neighbors
by Rachael Brady
Defining the Region (Standard 1)
Distinctive Physical Geography (Standard 5)
Distinctive Human Geography (Standard 6)
Many ethnic Russians live outside Russia and compose a significant percentage of neighboring countries' populations. When the countries were still together as the Soviet Union, Russia strongly encouraged ethnic Russians to migrate to the surrounding countries in an attempt to have greater power over them. This has resulted in conflicts within these countries in recent years.
Geographic Diversity (Standard 2)
One significant difference between Russia and its neighbors is the access Russia has to a wide variety of resources. Other countries are dependent on it for things like water and natural gas supply. In this way Russia remains dominant over the region.
Contemporary Geographic Issues (Standard 3)
Russia has also recently become involved with the war in Syria and has made nuclear deals with Iraq. It has played a significant role in keeping Bashar al-Assad in power. This in particular is significant to the United States as it involves itself in the conflict in Syria, and tries to end the Assad regime.