The Effects of Globalization and Economic Expansion on Russia



As a result of this, Russia obtained international acknowledgement as the sovereign successor to the Soviet Union. Russia was honored with a permanent seat to represent the Soviet Union in the United Nations Security Council, and various positions in regional and international organizations. 7 Russia sits on both Europe and Asia. However, it is neither Asian nor European in its standpoint and culture. Russia has remained the largest country in the world, even after the division of the Soviet Union in 1991. Ziegler points out that the nation “occupies about 6.6 million square miles of territory, and is nearly twice the size of the United States. From East to West, the country stretches over 5,000 miles and occupies 11 time zones” (1). After the breakup of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, Russia abandoned much of its access to the Black sea. As a result of this fragmentation, Russia was left smaller, landlocked, and geographically isolated. The former Soviet Union was the third-largest nation in the world with a population of approximately two hundred and ninety million people. Despite the fact that Russia is physically the largest nation in the world, its population has been declining over the years. In this regard, it becomes the ninth largest nation in the world following “China, India, the United States, Indonesia, Brazil, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Nigeria” (Ziegler 2) in terms of population. Over eighty percent of the population of Russia lives on the western side of the nation, while the rest of the population lives in Siberia and Russia’s Far East. 8 Western Russia is populated with majority of Russia’s roads, railways, and air routes. Ziegler asserts that “Siberia is extremely rich in natural resources-oil, natural gas, gold, diamonds, furs, and timber-but much of its wealth is virtually inaccessible or very costly to extract due to the country’s weak transportation system” (2). Today, Russia is more ethnically united compared to the former Soviet Union and imperial Russia. This is because before the downfall of the Soviet Union, it had only fifty one percent ethnic Russians. However, the Russian Federation today comprises of eighty two percent ethnic Russians. Tatars are the second largest ethnic group in the Russian Federation. the group comes from Mongols descendants, who controlled the lands in Russia in the thirteenth century. Three percent of Russia’s population comprises of the Ukrainians, who are Russian’s Slavic cousins. Twelve percent of the population is made up of Jews, Germans, Belarusians, Turkic people, Caucasians, and small tribes form Siberia. The ethnic groups in Russia generally relate very well, but from time to time, outbursts of violence occur against non-Russians. 9 According to Ziegler “Russia as a whole lies much further north than the United States. in this sense it is more comparable to Canada” (2). Russia has a lot of fertile agricultural land, but its location in the north results in cold weather and very short growing seasons. As a result of this, most crops do not fare well on Russian soil. When it was part of the Soviet Union, Russia had great cropland. This was however lost when the Soviet Union was dissolved, great cropland located in Kazakhstan and Ukraine was lost. Crops grown in Russia include rye, winter wheat, potatoes and sugar