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Russia’s geography has influenced the course of its history. Its location on the East European plain contributed directly to most of the historic events. The Russian Realm includes the country of Russia and the three-transcaucasian countries of Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan (De Blij et, al, 2011). Later, the location of Russia made it fall prey to the Mongolian invasion and remain for several centuries totally isolated from Europe, which was under the Renaissance and Reformation. The landscape of Russia is flat, hence presenting no natural barriers to invasion or expansion. In addition, Russia is a vast region, particularly the Siberian wilderness (De Blij et, al, 2011).
Russia has fertile soils, endowed with mineral resources, and various mighty rivers. During the Czarist Russia, Ukraine was the breadbasket of Russia and then of the Soviet empire. The resilience of the Russian people is bestowed on the harsh climatic conditions. Geography made Russia to be vulnerable to invasion and instability provided opportunities for expansion. Thus, Russia would invade neighboring countries. Russia would annex them, create empire and pursue expansion of its territories in quest for the nation’s security. The rulers of Russia created stability problems by imposing non-Russians into the empire. For instance, the Czar never fully achieved Russification of these groups (Magstadt). Geography also affected powerful economic and commercial incentives to engage in building the empire. For example, the desire to gain access to the warm water ports that sprang directly from Russia’s geographic predicament. Furthermore, geography also affected the political culture of Russians.
In conclusion, geography has played a significant role in shaping Russia’s history; however, the greatest constraints in the history of Russia are its vast space and daunting distances, the majestic forests, the plains, and the harsh winter climate (Magstadt, 2011).