A Geography of Russia and Its Neighbors

Second Edition

Mikhail S. Blinnikov

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February 17, 2021
ISBN 9781462544615
Price: $125.00
518 Pages
Size: 7" x 10"
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ISBN 9781462544592
Price: $65.00
518 Pages
Size: 7" x 10"
January 22, 2021
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518 Pages
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518 Pages
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Authoritative yet accessible, the definitive undergraduate text on Russian geography and culture has now been thoroughly revised with the latest data and hot topics, such as the political crisis in Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol. Thematic chapters provide up-to-date coverage of Russia's physical, political, cultural, and economic geography. Regional chapters focus on the country's major regions and the other 14 former Soviet republics. Written in a lucid, conversational style by a Russian-born international expert, the concise chapters interweave vivid descriptions of urban and rural landscapes, examinations of Soviet and post-Soviet life, deep knowledge of environmental and conservation issues, geopolitical insights, engaging anecdotes, and rigorous empirical data. Over 200 original maps, photographs, and other figures are also available as PowerPoint slides at the companion website, many in color.

New to This Edition Pedagogical Features

“Both students and teachers will learn from this 'must-read' second edition of one of the best available geography texts on the former Soviet realm. The text provides a winning combination of geographical knowledge; historical dimensions; economic, political, and cultural topics; and regional themes. My students have praised this book as interesting, easy to read, brilliantly organized, concise, unbiased, and illustrated with great charts and images.”

—Dmitrii Sidorov, PhD, Department of Geography, California State University Long Beach

“Blinnikov’s second edition is an indispensable resource for understanding Russia’s past, present, and future—there’s no other text like it. The entire book is a compelling read, yet individual sections stand alone as important references. Blinnikov offers fascinating detail about aspects of Russia that might be invisible to non-Russians, while also providing a comprehensive, scholarly overview that students and instructors will find most useful.”

—Jessica K. Graybill, PhD, Department of Geography and Director, Russian and Eurasian Studies Program, Colgate University

“A clear and candid source of information on a critical part of the globe today. I tell my students that in addition to the straightforward information provided by the text, they get the advantage of absorbing a Russian perspective on this region. Students like the price of the book and enjoy the numerous, bite-sized chapters.”

—Randy Bertolas, PhD, Department of History, Politics, and Geography, Wayne State College

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Russia and Post-Soviet Northern Eurasia

I. Physical Geography

2. Relief and Hydrography

3. Climate

4. Biomes

5. Environmental Degradation and Conservation

II. History and Politics

6. Formation of the Russian State

7. The Soviet Legacy

8. Post-Soviet Reforms

9. The Geopolitical Position of Russia in the World sample

III. Cultural and Social Geography

10. Demographics and Population Distribution

11. Cities and Villages

12. Social Issues: Health, Wealth, Poverty, and Crime

13. Cultures and Languages

14. Religion, Diet, and Dress

15. Education, Arts, Sciences, and Sports

16. Tourism

IV. Economics

17. Oil, Gas, and Other Energy Resources

18. Heavy Industry and the Military Complex

19. Light Industry and Consumer Goods

20. Fruits of the Earth: Agriculture, Hunting, Fishing, and Forestry

21. Infrastructure and Services

V. Regional Geography of Russia and Other FSU States

22. Central Russia: The Heart of the Country

23. Russia's Northwest: Fishing, Timber, and Culture

24. The Volga: Cars, Food, and Energy

25. The Caucasus: Cultural Diversity and Political Instability

26. The Urals: Metallurgy, Machinery, and Fossil Fuels

27. Siberia: Great Land

28. The Far East: The Russian Pacific

29. The Baltics: Europeysky, Not Sovetsky

30. Belarus and Moldova: Eastern Europeans

31. Ukraine and Crimea: Together or Not?

32. Kazakhstan and Central Asia: The Heart of Eurasia

33. Epilogue: Engaging with Post-Soviet Northern Eurasia

About the Author

Mikhail S. Blinnikov, PhD, is Professor of Geography and Graduate Coordinator at St. Cloud State University in Minnesota and Associate Researcher at Kazan Federal University Laboratory of Interdisciplinary Archaeological and Ethnological Studies in Kazan, Russia. A native of Moscow, Russia, he has traveled extensively in the former Soviet Union, including doing field work on the White, Baltic, and Black Seas; in Central Russia; on the Volga; and in Crimea, the Caucasus, and the Altay. Besides his work in Russia, he has visited Ukraine, Belarus, Latvia, Lithuania, Georgia, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan on extended field trips. Dr. Blinnikov’s research focuses on the late-Pleistocene biogeography of grasslands; phytolith analysis; remote sensing and geographic information systems; protected natural areas and green spaces in and near cities; young naturalist movements; and Orthodox religious landscapes. He has worked with the Biodiversity Conservation Center, the Center for Russian Nature Conservation, Nearby Nature, The Nature Conservancy, and the World Wildlife Fund Russia, among others. Dr. Blinnikov has also worked as an interpreter and translator for Russian–American exchanges and has written two books in Russian. He is a past president of the International Phytolith Society and president of the Eurasian Specialty Group of the American Association of Geographers.


Students and instructors in Geography and Slavic or Eurasian Studies.

Course Use

Serves as a primary text in undergraduate courses on the Geography of Russia or as a supplement in related courses in world geography, political science, Slavic studies, and Eurasian studies.
Previous editions published by Guilford:

First Edition, © 2011
ISBN: 9781606239209
New to this edition: