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A History of Russian, Soviet, and Post Soviet Empire   

A useful construct for thinking about contemporary Russia is the geographical and geopolitical space of Eurasia. A look at Google Maps shows a zone of arctic tundra, boreal and deciduous forests, temperate grasslands, and high arid plateaus, surrounded by mountains, deserts, and seas. It encompasses much of northern and central Asia and extends westwards across the low-lying Ural Mountains toward an indeterminate line dividing eastern from western Europe. The location of that dividing line, and the desire to be on one or the other side of it, has been a central question for the history of this region throughout the modern era. A succession of Russian states, beginning with 16th-century Muscovite tsars and extending through both the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union to include today the Russian Federation under Vladimir Putin, has laid claims to some or all of this Eurasian space.


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