Russia extends over 11 time zones from the Baltic Sea to Cape Dzhnyov by the Bering Strait, approximately 9000 km; from north to south there are up to 4000 km. 12 seas with a total of 38,000 km of coastline and 14 countries bordering Russia; many borders with the former Soviet republics have not yet been definitively determined either on the map or in the landscape.
Russia’s territory is predominantly plains. The Eastern European Plain stretches across European Russia with only a few low ridges. Without a marked transition, this plain joins the river plains to the south by the Don, the Volga and the Caspian Sea. The plain is bounded to the east by the Ural Mountains, which is also the agreed border between Europe and Asia. East of the Urals lies the great Western Siberian Plain.
|Overview of the 83 self-governing units (subjects)|
|territory||area (1000 km2)||population 1996 (1000)||capital city|
|The Russian Federation||17075.4||147976.4||Moscow|
|ethnically justified autonomous circles (okruga)|
|Jewish Autonomous Region||36.0||209.9||Birobidzhan|
|regions (oblasti) and territories (kraja)|
|Leningrad Oblast||85.9||1675.9||Saint Petersburg|
|Nizhegorodskaya Oblast||76.9||3726.4||Nizhny Novgorod|
|Population, area, etc. of regions and territories, including the figures for the autonomous districts located in the region or territory|
Further east, the land between Yenisei and Lena is characterized by the low Central Siberian Mountains. Actually mountain country dominates only the southern and eastern parts of Russia. The largest mountain ranges are the Great Caucasus to the south in European Russia (Elbrus, 5642 m) and several chains in southern Siberia: the Altai and the Jablonsk and Sajane Mountains. Farthest to the east are Sikhote Alin and the mountain ranges of Sakhalin, Kamchatka and the Kuriles with active volcanoes such as Klyuchevskaya, 4750 m. Almost everywhere there is a dense network of rivers, and the rivers have always formed an important part of the Russian transport system. However, it has been a minus that most large rivers run south-north rather than west-east, where the greatest need for transport has been. In addition, many rivers flow through largely uninhabited areas. However, this does not apply to the large important rivers to the west, the Don and the Volga, which with tributaries and canal systems continue to be widely branched and important transport routes. For culture and traditions of Russia, please check aparentingblog.
Most of Russia has a temperate mainland climate with icy winters and balmy summers. Farthest to the north, however, the climate is polar, and some localities on the Black Sea coast have a subtropical climate. Russian Far East has a temperate monsoon climate. The gnsntl. January temperatures range from 0 °C off the coast of the Caucasus to −50 °C in Yakutia; in July from −1 °C in the northern Siberian coastal areas to 26 °C on the plain of the Caspian Sea. The frost-free period is 60-75 days in the southern part of the tundra belt, 110-120 days in the Western Siberian Plain and 180-200 days in the northern Caucasus. Precipitation is in most places from sparse to adequate; most rain gets the monsoon areas of the Far East, and least the dry steppe by the Caspian Sea. In winter, snow cover everywhere is long lasting, from 2-3 months in the south to 8-9 months to the north.
The population of the Russian Federation has been declining through the 1990’s. In 1992-98, the population decreased by more than DKK 1.5 million. people. A sharp decline in birth rates and rising mortality rates resulted in an annual population loss of over 5 gennem throughout the 1990’s. From 2001 to 2005, the population decreased by 3 million, and at the end of 2005 it amounted to 143 million. The development can be partly explained by the age development, which is also known from other European populations, but in Russia there are also the social conditions, which in the 1990’s worsened the figures for both mortality, life expectancy and birth rates. In 2003, the average life expectancy for men was 58.8 years and for women 72 years. The development was somewhat mitigated by the fact that many Russians in the former Soviet republics returned to Russia, especially from Kazakhstan and other countries in Central Asia. However, this immigration declined sharply in the late 1990’s. All in all, the described development must be described as a demographic catastrophe and a violent expression of Russia’s deep crisis after 1991 (see also the section on health conditions).
- Countryaah: Do you know how many people there are in Russia? Check this site to see population pyramid and resident density about this country.
Of the 143 million citizens of Russia are approximately 115 million Russians. The remaining 20% are distributed among over 100 different peoples, some of whom have their own republics and autonomous circles within the Russian Federation; many of these, however, have a Russian majority. The largest non-Russian peoples are the Tatars (5.5 million in 2002) and the Ukrainians (2.9 million in 2002). The distribution of the population is highly uneven. Most live in the southern and central parts of European Russia with many large industrial cities. The concentration is increasing, as there has been an exodus from the outlying areas in the north and east since the early 1990’s. East of the Urals, just over 39 million people lived in 2002, of which 26.7 million in the Siberian Federal District and the Far Eastern Federal District, which was 1.3 million. fewer than in 1989; most lived along the Trans-Siberian Railway and the great rivers. In addition, an unknown number of immigrants from China, in whose border regions to Siberia and the Far East live over 120 million. people.
A particular problem is the Russian diaspora: over 20 million. Russians live outside Russia in the former Soviet republics, where in several places they constitute quite large minorities. The national and partly anti-Russian policies of the new republics gave rise to some political unrest in the 1990’s, but only in Moldova did there be a direct uprising when the Slavic-speaking population established the breakaway state of the Dniester Republic in 1990.
Russia. The Kharkov-Vladivostok express train east of the Ural Mountains. During the week-long journey with the Trans-Siberian Railway, the landscape changes very little; all the way the railway goes through major or minor clearings in the world’s largest coniferous forest. Photography from 1995.
Just over 12% of the country’s area, 215 million. ha, used for agriculture. In large parts of the country, neither climate nor soil conditions are favorable for agriculture, but with the country’s large north-south extent, the conditions are very different. Farthest north on the tundra, only reindeer breeding is possible. The taiga and coniferous forest south of it have barren pods in a relatively humid and cool climate; there is therefore a great need for drainage, and a large supply of fertilizer is necessary. The forest steppe country has a better climate and more fertile soil. 15% of Russia is covered by a very fertile black soil, and in this chjernozem- belt is 3/4of the country’s arable land. Here the evaporation is greater in the hot summer, and irrigation is necessary in most places.
Since tvangskollektiviseringerne in the 1920’s and 1930’s, Russian agriculture has been organized in very large operating units either state farms, soviet, or collective farms, collective farms.Under both forms, the rural population was entitled to a private plot of land of 0.4 ha. After the political system change in 1991, a change in the ownership and operation of agriculture began, and by 1996, 95% of the farms had been reorganized. The majority had been taken over by joint stock companies or cooperatives without any real changes in operations and management. 10% of the land had been taken over by individuals, but family farming has a hard time making an impact as a market-oriented production unit. This is mainly due to the completely inadequate distribution system and lack of opportunities for processing the products in the agricultural districts. Many farmers choose to travel with their goods to the open markets that have sprung up in the cities. Prices of consumables and fertilizers rose through the 1990’s more than food prices, and the industry therefore, regardless of property or mode of operation, had very difficult conditions, and investment in agriculture fell sharply with the consequent decline in production. From 1990 to 1995 alone, food production fell by 20%; Overall, developments in Russian agriculture have been catastrophic, with food accounting for a large and growing share of imports.
Large-scale farming is characterized by grain and cattle breeding with wheat as the main crop; barley, oats and rye are also important for bread and cattle feed as well as malt and vodka. Hectare yields are generally low and decreased through the 1990’s due to less fertilization. Large cattle farms with dairy located about markets in large cities, but 1/3 of the cows belong to the family farm, which, incidentally, especially breeds potatoes, vegetables and fruit. Overall, the livestock population has declined sharply in the 1990’s.
Forestry. Forests, especially coniferous forest, stretches in a broad belt through the country from west to east and is almost 1/5 of the world’s forest area. Wood products – mostly in the form of pulp and other, only slightly processed products – were important export products during the Soviet era, mainly from Siberia and the Far East. The felling was often very uneconomical, and the cellulose factories polluted lakes and rivers. Russia’s general crisis and sharply rising transport prices have reduced both exports and domestic consumption.
Fishing. The Soviet Union had a large high seas fishery in both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, but with increases in oil prices it is no longer profitable, and state fishing associations in Murmansk, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatka and Nakhodka have had to leave large parts of the fishing fleet stationary or have tried to sell the vessels with serious consequences for the fishing and shipbuilding industry. Canned fish Industrial production was thus in 1997 only 1/4 of production in 1990. However, there is still an extensive coastal fishing and commercial fishing in lakes and rivers, including crabs from the Okhotsk Sea and caviar from the large catch in the Caspian Sea and the Volga are still important export products.
Mining. Russia has very large reserves of most minerals; for more metals and minerals are more than 1/3of the world’s known reserves in Russia, 33% of natural gas reserves, and the country is the leading producer of several other raw materials. The most important mining areas are in the Urals and Siberia, but also in European Russia there is still a lot of activity on the Kola Peninsula (nickel and aluminum) and at the iron ore deposit at Kursk, one of the world’s largest. The main oil and gas fields are located in western Siberia between Ob and Irtysh, but more distant areas to the east and north are being used continuously and under increasingly difficult working conditions. A large part of the natural gas is utilized in power plants, but overall, oil and natural gas are the backbone of Russia’s exports. A network of pipelines connects the fields with the often remote markets, including the foreign ones in Eastern and Western Europe (see Druzjba). In the early 2000-t. oil production has increased. Much of the business takes place in the privatized company Gazprom. In the domestic market, natural gas amounts to approximately 50% of energy consumption; it is a larger proportion than in almost all other countries.
Industry. Russian industry was already from the Tsarist period characterized by very large companies. During the forced industrialization in the 1930’s and with the development after World War II, this trend continued, and industrial combinations with 25-30,000 employees are not uncommon. Many Russian cities are characterized and dependent on a single or quite a few companies. There are still important heavy industrial and petrochemical centers such as the Urals, but in general the industry is widespread throughout European Russia, in Siberia more concentrated in a few urban centers such as Omsk, Novosibirsk, Barnaul, Novokuznetsk and Irkutsk.
Russian industry has been in deep crisis since the dissolution of the Soviet Union. In the first 3-4 years, there was a decline in production that surpassed what Western countries experienced during the crisis in the 1930’s, and the decline has continued since then, so that the level in 1999 is estimated at half of 1991 production. Employment has decreased by approximately 25%. The decline is least in energy and parts of the metal sector and greatest in consumer goods and especially military production. Investment has fallen to 1/3, and efforts in research and development have declined. The development has particularly affected the old, large heavy-industrial combinations, while reforms have increased the proportion of small and medium-sized enterprises. Privatization has progressed rapidly, and in 1999 private companies accounted for over 90% of production and employment. The decline has varied regionally; worst affected by the North Caucasus, the northwestern and central parts of European Russia and the Far East. In some areas, however, there has been significant growth in private companies. Foreign investment has so far been entirely concentrated in areas with raw material extraction.
Energy. Early on, electricity supply was a high priority in the Soviet Union. The majority of the electricity is still produced from coal, oil and gas at thermal power plants, but hydropower and nuclear power have become very important with resp. 20% and 14% of electricity production (1997). The hydropower plants are located on a strip in the industrial areas of the Volga and Kama, as well as in Karelia, on the Kola Peninsula and in the Caucasus. In the 1970’s and 1980’s, some of the world’s largest hydropower plants were built in Siberia; Saja-Susjenskoje near Irtysh, Bratsk near Angara and Zeja in the Amur district.
The Soviet state invested early on in nuclear power, which was considered a safe and environmentally friendly energy source. The power plants were located where the energy demand was greatest, the first in 1954 at Obinsk near Moscow. The accident at the Chernobyl plant in 1986 postponed but did not change the expansion of nuclear power.
The service sector, which was economically and politically a low priority in the Soviet economy, has grown and now accounts for half of GDP. The crisis in the other sectors, together with reforms, has promoted private crafts, shopkeeping and liberal professions. This is especially true in the largest cities, where foreign companies also play a role. Many service activities take place unregistered as a black economy. It is estimated that this rapidly growing unofficial economy contributes 30% of the country’s total production value.
Transportation. Transportation is one of the sore points of the Russian economy. The road network is not very fine-meshed and the quality of the roads is generally poor; apart from the actual main roads, only a few roads are paved. However, there are big differences; the densest and best road network is found around Moscow. 1/3 of Russian villages have no road connection with the solid coating, and in addition, all transportation is difficult or impossible spring and autumn due. Climate.
The railway therefore plays a crucial role in transport, not least freight transport. A network of railways was built in Russia before 1917, primarily in the European part of the empire, but also the Trans-Siberian Railway and railways to Central Asia. The network was greatly expanded during the time of the Soviet Union, and after World War II, almost half of the railways were electrified. Leaving aside the transport work in pipelines, railways account for 75% of freight transport in Russia. Aviation plays a major role in the vast country, but aircraft’s share of passenger traffic is declining: from 20% in 1990 to 12% in 1998.
Russia is suffering from a strained environment, which is partly due to the old heavy industry centers with outdated technology, and partly to the crisis, which has limited new investment, including investment in the environment. Huge amounts of harmful substances are discharged into rivers and streams, mostly in the Volga system, whose strong pollution threatens fish stocks in the Caspian Sea. Intense air pollution is an urgent problem in the industrial centers, in the Kuznet Basin, in the Urals and on the Kola Peninsula with its nickel works. Lack of maintenance of oil pipelines has led to serious spills, and nuclear waste from both military and civilian use is causing concern for the Arctic Ocean and many sites in the Urals and Siberia.
Russia (Plant Geography)
Farthest to the north is a tundra belt of varying width. The vegetation here is characterized by creeping shrubs such as dwarf birch, reef, species of willow as well as star, kæruld and other half-grasses. Large areas are swampy with marshes and raised bogs; in dry places, corpses often dominate. South of the tundra is a mosaic of forest tundra, the taiga, which merges into the boreal coniferous forest zone, in the west mainly Scots pine and spruce, in the central parts Siberian spruce and larch, and in Siberia other species of spruce, pine, larch and birch. In central Siberia, the coniferous forest belt extends between approximately 45 ° and 70 ° n.br. Coniferous forest is also found in mountainous areas further south. Podsol soil is the dominant soil type, and approximately 2/3of the zone is within the range of permafrost. Floristically, the coniferous forest zone is poor and fairly uniform. In western Russia south of the boreal zone, deciduous forest occurs with species of oak, linden, maple, elm, etc.; beech only in the Crimea and in the Caucasus. In the central parts of European Russia as well as in western and central Siberia, deciduous forest is of minor importance, but in the far east, in the Amur region, species-rich deciduous forests of the East Asian type occur.
Southern Russia and adjacent parts of western Siberia form a large steppe area with fertile black loose soil. The vegetation is dominated by feather grass, fescue species, etc., and here is a rich flora in many places with many species in basket flower, pea flower and lip flower families as well as spring flowering bulbous and tuberous plants. North of the Caspian Sea, the grass steppe turns into salt steppe and semi-desert with species of horseradish, saltwort, sodaurt and millet; along the streams there are bushes of tamarisk and licorice bush. On the south coast of the Crimean peninsula, vegetation and flora have a Mediterranean character. The greatest species richness is found in some of the southern peripheral areas, especially in the Caucasus. For Russia there is a very extensive floristic literature; the standard work is Flora SSSR, 1-30 (1934-60).