Chapter 13 - Eastern Europe and Western Russia
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Physical Geography of the Region
Define the following: upland, steppe, Balkan.
upland - the high land away from the coast of a country
steppe - a partly dry grassland often found on the edge of a desert
Balkan - a Turkish word for mountain
What is the importance of the Ural Mountains?
To form a boundary between Europe and Asia.
What is the Balkan Peninsula like?
- The Balkan Peninsula is a mountainous region. The Carpathian Mountains run through the peninsula;s north and are linked to the Balkan Mountains.
What are the importances of the following four rivers: Volga, Dnieper, Dniester, Danube?
Volga - The Volga River is the longest river in Europe and Russia's most important waterway. Originating northwest of Moscow, the Volga and its many tributaries carry more freight and passenger traffic than any other river in Russia. It provides hydroelectric power and water to many parts of Russia.
Dnieper - The Dnieper River also originates in Russia. It flows through Belarus and Ukraine before empting into the Black Sea. Dams and reservoirs southeast of Kiev provide hydroelectric power. They also irrigate farmlands and help relieve water shortages in parts of Ukraine.
Dniester - Originating in the Carpathian Mountains and emptying into the Black Sea, the Dniester River is the second-longest river in Ukraine. The Dniester carries freight and passenger ships, and it serves as an important route to the Black Sea.
Danube - From its origins in southwestern Germany, the Danube flows toward the east through several countries before emptying into the Black Sea. The Danube provides transportation, hydroelectric power, fishing, and water for irrigation. Historically, the river transported traders as well as invading armies. Today, many cities are located along its banks, including three capital cities: Vienna, Austria; Budapest, Hungary; and Belgrade, Serbia. The Main River became connected to the Danube via the Main-Danube Canal, which linked the North Sea with the Black Sea.
How much of Russia's landscape is suitable for agriculture?
About one-sixth (1/6)
How much of the world's forests are in Russia?
More than one-fifth (1/5+)
What happened to Russia in 2010?
In 2010 Russia experienced the hottest summer in 130 years, with drought conditions and temperatures reaching 104 degrees Fahrenheit. That summer, wildfires destroyed 37 million acres (about 15 million ha) of forests, agricultural crops, and other vegetation. The impact of these fires was tremendous, taking lives, destroying homes, and damaging Russia's forestry and agricultural industries.
What natural reserves are found in Siberia?
Most of Russia's vast coal, oil, and natural gas reserves are in Siberia.
Where is fishing important to the economy in this region?
Russia's fishing industry is an important part of the country's economy. Romania's fishing industry is concentrated in the southeastern area of that country.
History of the Regions
Define the following terms: Czar, serf, genocide, and communism.
Czar - the title given to an emperor of Russia's past
serf - a farm laborer who could be bought and sold along with the land
genocide - the mass murder of people from a particular ethnic group
communism - a system of government in which the government controls the ways of producing goods
What are Slavs or Slavic people/languages?
Slavs are an ethnic group that includes Poles, Serbs, Ukrainians, and other Eastern Europeans.
What happened to the serfs in Russia?
In 1861 Czar Alexander II abolished serfdom. The new law, however, did little to help the serfs. They had no education and few ways to earn a living. Industrialization drew some serfs to cities, where they worked long hours for low wages.
Was the Soviet Union larger or smaller then present day Russia?
What triggered World War I?
A Bosnian terrorist named Gavrilo Princip assassinated Archduke Francis Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary on June 28, 1914, in Bosnia. By August, nearly all of Europe was at war.
What major genocide occurred during World War I?
Russia encouraged Armenians in Turkish-controlled lands to fight alongside them. The Turks responded by deporting 1.75 million Armenians to Syria and Mesopotamia. During this mass deportation, about 600,000 Armenians starved or were murdered by Turkish soldiers and police.
Who introduced communism into Russia in 1917 (group, leader, and whose writings was it based on)?
The Bolsheviks had strong support all over Russia. Inspired by the writings of Karl Marx, they remade Russia into a communist state. The Bolsheviks, who had become the Russian Communist Party, took control of all land and industry. Their leader, Vladimir Lenin, became the first premier of the new Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (also known as the Soviet Union).
What was Russia's involvement in World War II?
Russian Involvement in World War II. Formally Russia formed part of the Soviet Union, and the Soviet Union was involved in World War II by the un-announced and unprovoked attack of the Axis powers in June 1941. Of course, the Soviet Union had already been part of the military-political development of the war.She had waged her own war of aggression against Finland and Poland (both in '39) and a defensive war against Japan ('38) as well as a proxy war (Spain). All being events that are usually considered part of the world war in a wider sense. She had also annexed the Baltic states and forced territorial demands on Romania (Bessarabia). The Soviet Union also had several internal armed conflicts, thoughby the late 30s of minor character. So politically, she was already involved by June '41.
What super powers were the main players in the Cold War?
The Soviet Union and the United States of America.
What was created in 1949 after World War II to help reduce the risk of this happening again?
The United States and its allies created the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in 1949. Any attack on a member country would be considered an attack on all of them, and NATO countries agreed to respond as a group.
What was the Warsaw Pact and how was this formed?
When NATO admitted West Germany in 1955, the USSR responded by creating the Warsaw Pact. Member countries were Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and the USSR.
What was the Cuban Missile Crisis?
The two superpowers came close to war during the Cuban Missile Crisis. In October 1962, after learning that the Soviets were sending missiles to Cuba, the US set up a naval blockade around Cuba to prevent the shipment of missiles. Both sides seemed prepared to go to war. As tensions grew, Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev agreed to stop shipping the missiles to Cuba. Another crisis was brewing, however. The Soviet satellite countries in Eastern Europe began yo rebel against Soviet control.
Why were the sweeping reforms in Czechoslovakia put down by the Soviets?
In 1968 Czechoslovakia's leader Alexander Dubcek announced sweeping reforms. He wanted to give the press more freedom and to guarantee citizens' civil rights. The Czech people welcomed the reforms, but the Soviets removed Dubcek from power.
What was Solidarity in Poland and what did the Soviets think of it?
In 1980 dozens of Polish trade unions joined together to form Solidarity. Solidarity used strikes to put pressure on the government. The Polish government responded by declaring Solidarity illegal and putting its leaders in jail. Solidarity became an underground, or secret, organization.
Who was Mikhail Gorbachev and what makes him a memorable leader?
Then in the 1980s, a new Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, came to power and implemented new policies. Glasnost, which means "openness," was an attempt to allow the people in the USSR and its satellite countries to have more social and political freedoms. Perestroika, which means "restructuring," was an attempt to reform the Soviet economy.
What happened to the country known as Yugoslavia?
When Eastern Europe shook free of Soviet domination in 1989, ethnic tensions flared in the Balkan Peninsula. The former Yugoslav republics used to be one large country called Yugoslavia. In the early 1990s, disputes among ethnic groups tore the country apart. Croatia, Slovenia, Macedonia, and Bosnia, and Herzegovina broke free of Yugoslavia and became its own country in 2006.
When and how did communism end in Eastern Europe?
The Revolutions of 1989 (also known as the Fall of Communism, the Collapse of Communism, the Revolutions of Central and Eastern Europe and the Autumn of Nations ) were a revolutionary wave which overthrew the communist states in various Central and Eastern European countries.
Life in Eastern Europe and Western Russia
How did Russia respond economically to the fall of the USSR and communism?
Russia faced enormous challenges following the collapse of the USSR. The economy that was centrally controlled by the communist government had been in decline for years. Most of its industry had centered on military hardware and heavy industrial machinery. The country was not prepared to transform into a producer of consumer products that are the real engine of free market economies.
Why did Russia want Chechnya to remain part of Russia?
When the Soviet Union existed, the central government kept tight control over its many ethnic groups. Some groups wanted to from their own countries. Among them are the Chechens, who live in Chechnya near the Caspian Sea and Caucasus Mountains in southern Russia. The region has many oil reserves, and its oil pipelines transport fuel to major Russian cities. Russian troops fought Chechen rebels to keep Chechnya a part of Russia. When Russia finally pulled out in 1996, the Chechen rebellion was still not over. President Boris Yeltsin was widely blamed for being unable to solve these problems.
What are the two biggest cities in Western Russia?
Moscow and St. Petersburg.
What is the dominant Religion of Eastern Europe and Western Russia?
Eastern Orthodox Church.
How might you describe the presidency of Vladimir Putin?
At the end of 1999, Yelstin resigned and was replaced by Vladimir Putin, ,who was elected president in 2000. Putin, a former officer in the KGB, the country's secret police, was viewed as someone who wanted to keep a tight rein on government power. Putin launched reforms to reduce the power of the oligarchs and encouraged economic development. Although Putin helped stabilize the Russian economy, he dealt harshly with those who opposed him.
What does it mean when a country places travel restrictions on its citizens?
It probably means the country is a bad one and knows it. They don't want all the people to leave and go somewhere better because then the population will be like the size of a small city. So, they put travel restrictions so they can keep more people in the country and prevent more from leaving.
How might you keep traditions alive when you are forbidden to practice them openly?
Don't practice it openly. Do what people back in the olden days did when they couldn't practice their religion. Just do it in secret. Go into the woods with a group of people that also want to practice and just have a little quiet party. Or you can make like a little club that only you know about to keep it secret.
What problems might occur when Slavic people from different parts of Eastern Europe try to communicate or live near each other?
They used to all speak the same language, but now since they were separated they don't. There are different variations of the language. So, when they try to communicate and not understand each other and be like what.
How would the opinions and general attitude toward life of adults who grew up in communist USSR be different from Russian young people growing up in the post-Soviet era?
One issue in Russia is the generation gap that exists between people who grew up in communist USSR or are old enough to remember it, and those people who have lived most or all of their lives in the post-Soviet era. One big question is how to teach the history of the USSR to young people who never experienced life under the Soviet system.
Describe the economy of this region.
Russia is a leading supplier of oil and natural gas. Russia is a major supplier of iron ore and other metals. Many of the industries in Eastern Europe fell on hard times after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
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