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Ukraine's interim prime minister says the country is "on the brink of disaster."
Many observers fear that Russia's military control of the Crimea could lead to more centrifugal forces in the region. In response, pundits are discussing what the U.S. response should be; clearly this will be a major issue for the Obama administration.
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That this could happen at all in this day and age just goes to show that the Cold War may be over but Russia is still flexing its muscles. As a child of the 1980s, this turn of events frightens me. I lived my childhood with the fear that there could be a nuclear war at any time always in the back of my mind. Younger people just don’t understand what it was like living during the cold war and perhaps poo-poo it a bit too much. But the threat was always there and it was something that was real and did not lesson until the fall of the Soviet Union. The fact that this event has occurred just brings up the old fears and memories of the tensions between America and the USSR. I hope that a solution can be found that doesn’t hurt the Ukrainian people.
Crimea has been a region whee Russian traditions have been strong throughout the years and will continue t stay strong but if Putin is going to be the President who decides that he wants to isrupt part of Europe by putting the Ukraine and Russia against eachother on a battle field then there are going to be some drastic differences and not just in Crimea.
World defense spending is expected to go up for the first time in five years, thanks to China and Russia.
The top 3 shouldn't come as any big surprises, but there might be a few farther on down the list though that might raise some eyebrows. There are specific geopolitical, historic, economic and cultural rationales for each of these countries that explain why they are on this list, and discussing those reasons is a conversation would having.
Brazil being in the top 15 of countries with the largest defense budget is not all that surprising considering the political, social, and economic situations of South America. Within Brazil’s sphere of influence, especially areas west of its developed cities, the Amazon jungle still is used by those deemed enemies of the state, whether actual or politically based. Because of that, there comes the difficult task of tracking and deterring rebel activity, arms or drug smuggling, etc. The borders that Brazil share with Bolivia, Colombia, and Venezuela; border security is likely to be a concern due to the history of drug manufacture and shipping from those nations, along with the violence and corruption that comes with that activity. Not to mention the historical and violent political instability these countries have faced, which are still a concern for the region and world. Venezuela, being an “enemy of the U.S.” and Brazil being an ally, this border area is probably highly militarized or monitored. With this in mind, a slight musing could be given towards how much of the military aid and counter narcotics aid from the United States goes into Brazil’s military funding.
Brazil is also the one of the most stable and economically strong countries on the continent and in order to continue that, the government must be able to keep instability coming over from the border in check as well as deal with rebel forces using the Amazon as a safe haven. What is surprising to me however is that with how far away the rest of the countries in South America are from Brazil in military expenditures causes me to pause and think about just what they may be worrying about from their neighbors? Perhaps as they attempt to get a seat at the big table in international affairs, they feel having a stronger military will improve their image. They may not be worried about regional infighting due to the difficult terrain of the area which would make any military campaign extremely difficult and costly, besides a host of other reasons. In conclusion, Brazil is more than likely looking towards international interests in addition to showcasing their swelling national pride by spending $175 U.S. dollars per person on military expenditures while many continue to go hungry living in the famous favelas of Cidade de Deus.
Con 25,2 miliardi di dollari L'Italia si piazza 14esima, prima dell'Iran
Oltre alla spesa complessiva, per i primi 10 paesi è riportato anche l'ammontare di spese militari pro capite.
Stati Uniti 2.000 $
Cina 83 $
Russia 475 $
Arabia Saudita 2.100 $
Regno Unito 900 $
Francia 797 $
Giappone, meno di 400 $
Germania 450 $
India 29 $
Brasile 175 $
E l'Italia? Basta dividere. Sono 413 $ a persona. Ogni anno, la mia famiglia dà ben 2.065 $ alla difesa.
Russia is the third highest goverment military that spends around 143 million people lived in Russia in 2012 and they spent around $475 per person on it's military. Russia compared to China and the US is another story the US is number one in who spent the most on their military forces at $600.4 billion. As far as China is concerened it comes in at number two at spending around $112.2 billion. These numbers make sense especially for the power house that China is and how their values of militarism affect their spending and their way of society/life.
Why would Vladimir Putin want to host the Olympics in an underdeveloped place where terrorists lurk nearby? The answer is not as complicated as it may seem.
This article is an excellent explanation of the geopolitical significance of holding the Olympic Games in Sochi. Geographer Carole McGranahan writes critically about the location of the Olympics given Putin's policies in the Caucasus Mountains (especially in regard to the 2008 invasion of Georgia to protect Russian interests in South Ossetia). Additionally, here is a link from Stratfor discussing the shifting foreign policy concerns of the United States towards Russia.
Tags: sport, political, conflict, devolution, Russia.
It comes at not shock that Russia has had it's share of bad rulers that exzibit totalitarianistic views. Russia has always been in a state of massacre or some time of bad war torn conflict happeening. Russia is also the type of place where you can drive in each way 45 minutes and be able to either swim in the black sea or ski on the snowy trails. I think this is one of the reasons why the winter olympics are hosted here.
There are many reasons as to why the Olympics this year are held in Sochi, Russia i. Although it is an underdeveloped, terrorist driven area, it holds much potential and Vladimir Putin has reasons to why it is the perfect place.
This article explains why Putin wanted the Winter Olympic games to be in Sochi. The Olympics have historically been used as a way for a nation to showcase progress or power, and the case is no different here. By hosting the games in Sochi, Putin was drawing attention to his successful crushing of the Chechen rebels and Russia's reinvestment into the area. Through the games, Putin is trying to make an international statement about the security and progress in this war-torn area. Still, there are a number of Chechen rebel cells and Circassian protesters in the area with a grudge against Russia.
Watch a video that explains Ukraine's crisis in two minutes or read this quick article that covers the same material.
Ukrainians have been protesting since Nov. 21, when President Viktor Yanukovych rejected a deal for closer integration with the European Union, instead drawing the country closer to Russia. They are still in the streets in huge numbers and have seized regional government buildings in several parts of the country. In Kiev, the capital, clashes between protesters and security forces have become violent, killing several people. On Tuesday, the prime minister resigned. No one is quite sure what will happen next.
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Pretty interesting video on Ukraine haha I did not know any of this before!
Ukraine is one of those countries on a fault line between two major regional powers, with it splitting the country almost neatly in half. Could Ukraine become a split country akin to Germany during the Cold War? The clean cut Russian influenced East and the pro-European west seem almost too divided to reach an agreement
"An earlier GeoCurrents post on Chechnya mentioned that the Chechens were deported from their homeland in the North Caucasus to Central Asia in February 1944. However, the Chechen nation was not the only one to suffer such a fate under Stalin’s regime."
This is a painful page in world history, but it needs retelling. The Soviet era profoundly reshaped the cultural, political and economic geographies of the region.
Tags: Russia, migration, Central Asia, historical, war, ethnicity, political, gerrymandering.
Stalin probably did not have the outlook of his country's geography in mind when he deported all of these people. It goes to show that ruthless dictatorships are never the way to go, as impulsive decisions and tyranny can have consequences for the long term.
This article details the ethnic deportation of peoples during the Soviet era. Many peoples were relocated under the guise of creating an ethnically unified Soviet Union but the truth was while some of the deportations were to simply move workers places of planned industry, many were to exile those deemed enemies of the state. The article estimates over 40% of those relocated died of diseases, malnutrition, or mistreatment. These forced migrations changed the demographics of Eastern Europe and Asia while causing major conflicts between various ethnic groups and Russia.
This article describes the practice of Lenin and Stalin of Russifacation. This policy led to many ethnic minorities with in the Soviet Union being deported from their home soil to the interior of Russia. The aim was to place ethnic Russian in boarder areas and to bring the ‘undesirable’ ethnicity into the interior to become Russian or sent to the gulags to die. The effects of this mass relocation of ethnicity is still being felt today. The rising conflict in Ukraine is a direct result from these policies as the country is split between ethnic Ukraine and the decedents of the ethnic Russians move there to secure the ports to the Black Sea.
"Every so often, if you ride Moscow's crowded subways, you may notice that the commuters around you include a dog - a stray dog, on its own, just using the handy underground Metro to beat the traffic and get from A to B. Yes, some of Moscow's stray dogs have figured out how to use the city's immense and complex subway system, getting on and off at their regular stops."
Even if only a small fraction of strays have figured out how to navigate the subway system, it represents another example of how animals have adapted to the urban ecosystem in a way that human did not intend. The dogs get on the subway in the morning and go downtown searching for food and return to the suburbs to sleep. This has been circulating on social media sites, and I find it endlessly fascinating.
Tags: urban ecology, Russia, environment adapt, biogeography.
This is an increadibly intreaguing article, thinking that dogs could figure out a human baised system and use it to there advantage is crazy! Due to such a large stray dog population in russia some smart pups have discovered new ways to get ahead. These dogs have adaped and leard how to use the human subway system, discoverd new tecniques to begging, and even have come up with there own hit and run system. This absoutly amazes me, though there strong sense and alot of time observing human daily life these dogs have adapted to a new levle of street smarts.
Stray dogs in Moscow use their intelligence to survive. These streets are tough and navigation isn't always easy. These stray dogs in Moscow can be seen at the markets, along the crowds and in the subways. These dogs have adapted to their environment, busy subways, loud noises, crowded areas and are comfortable among the people.
This article shows how intelligent some dogs are. They are adapting to the environment around them and figuring out how to survive within the city. I give them credit, as I am sure they have their tactics to survive, whether its begging for food or traveling subways to look for food.
The Caucasus region, dominated by the imposing Great Caucasus mountain range and stretching between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, has long been known as one of the world’s ethnically and linguistically most diverse areas.
After this weekend it has become glaringly obvious that many are painfully ignorant of the geography of Chechnya and the surrounding Caucasus Mountain region. This article from GeoCurrents discusses the linguistic diversity of the region and this Geography in the News article outlines the contentious geopolitical situation of Chechnya within the Russian Federation. Also, the Washington Post published an article entitled, 9 questions about Chechnya and Dagestan you were too embarassed to ask.
I do not post these materials to lay blame to an entire ethnic group, religion or region for the terrorists acts of two individuals. On the contrary, I post these articles because I find this to be a teaching moment where we as educators can clarify the geographic context of an unknown part of the world to our students. As we teach this context, quick labels and lazy narratives become harder to maintain and our students can become less prejudiced and critically think about the situation with greater depth and clarity.
Using this article helps to teach ourselves, students, and others about particular places in the world that are unknown or very little known. We can use articles such as this one to be less prejudiced and more apt to think about these places of the world in a different context rather than just a negative, terrorism-related one.
Most Americans had never heard Chechnya before the Boston bombing in April 2013. Now, most think that it is full of America-hating terriosts. However, Chechnya is so very complex and diverse a place, that it is ludacris to think that. Over 100 languages are spoken in the country. The southern half speaks languages such as Georgian, Svan and Mingrelian. Turkish, Iranian and Chechens are the languages you will probably hear in the North. Another misconception is that there are many Christians in Chechnya as well as Muslims. This country is made up of so many different groups, it is incredible.
It is amazing to consider such a small area (the size of New England) could hold such a vast area of languages. The mountainous region certainly helps in creating such diversity as it isolated villages from each other in the ages before modern communication and travel.
Given the recent meteor in Russia, interest has been high on the subject. Have you every wanted to simulate a the impact of a meteorite? Then this is just what you've always wanted. If you would rather to see an incredibly entertaining clip from the Daily Show, then knock yourself out (disclaimer: it's a VERY irreverant look at the the dash-cam footage from Russia that many just discovered after the meteor hit last week).
¡¡Realmente, acongoja un poquito!!
In the Caucasus, culinary nationalism is an extension of the region's long-simmering disputes.
"There is perhaps nothing more closely bound up with one's national identity than food. Specific local dishes are often seen as the embodiment of various cultures and many nations promote their food as a celebration of national identity. Sometimes, however, a country's cuisine can also be used to highlight national rivalries."
This opening paragraph nicely shows how cultural traditions from a similar cultural hearth may have much in common. However, since these groups are neighbors, the geopolitical relationship may be strained despite the cultural commonalities.
Tags: food, culture, unit 3 culture.
This is a great addition to include for my World Food Problems course this semester.
A nations food is often used to celebrate their national identity but it can also be used to highlight national rivalries. For example the Czechs reffer to their Slovak cousins as Halusky after one of their traditonal dishes. Culinary flashpoints can also arise when nations claim the same dishes as their own.
Azerbaijanis, Turks, and Armenian share a lot of the same foods. Instead of enjoying the similarities and cultural nationalism, they are disputing. Eat, drink and be merry?
At the dacha, the soul of Russia--and its cultural divide--is on display. In vacation cottages the women are in housedresses. The men, Speedos and rubber boots. They brood, plant, party, and restore their souls.
The dacha (a seasonal second home or a vacation spot) is incredibly important in Russia. It is is estimated that over 50% of city residences in Russia own a dacha as a way to culturally connect with the countryside. This is a nice glimpse into that life.
This article talks about the almost mythical feelings of a Russian summer spent in a dacha. The brief summer is enjoyed and experienced from a home in the country that is a representation of freedom to the Russian people. The oppressive Soviet sate was hard to escape but for a few months out of the year, people who owned dachas could get away and enjoy life. It gave city dwellers a place to garden and to relax from the city. The dacha is still an integral part of the Russian soul.
Workers at an ailing paper mill in Siberia are clinging to their jobs in the face of financial pressure and criticism from environmentalists.
The environment, industry and politics play key roles in this story of an old style Soviet mono-town on Lake Baikal. Monotowns had planned economies that revolved around one industry and today many of these are struggling in the post-Soviet era. While the particulars of the political situation are a bit dated, the overall issue is still quite relevant to understanding Russia today.
Tags: Russia, industry, labor, environment, economic, water, pollution, environment modify, unit 6 industry.
We never heard about this during the Soviet Union as the news was controlled. Also during the Soviet time I do not believe environmentalists would have gotton the chance to investigate the area. With the fall of the USSR the world can now see some of the environmental effects that communism had on Russia. These towns are built around the factory. Much like the old steele towns in PA, like Allentown. However Allentown chnaged with the times and is able to support, although it is difficult, the population that was focused on the steele industry. Here is this remote area of Russia, there is nothing else in the area. There is no service economy in the area, just the paper factory. It has been kept open because of Putin who basically said to ignore all environmental laws and regulations and he made sure the environmental groups are not an issue anymore. Not surprising from a former KGB Lt. Colonel and the Director of the FSB, the sucessor of the KGB. To solve the issue in these monotowns I think there needs to be government intervention to transition the economies in theses areas. To keep these factories running in the long run will just hurt all the people in the towns with no end in sight. However, I do not think this will happen unless there is a change in the leadership of Russia, something I do not think will happen anytime soon.
The story of this particular mono-town is very tough to "pick sides". The factory undoubtedly pollutes the air and land like most other industrial areas, but being so close to Lake Baikal gives environmentalists a stronger reason to complain. The lake is considered one of the purest and most unique in the world, yet the paper mill located on its banks raise controversy. This is where the locals and workers are stuck between a rock and hard place. Located in Siberia, such a vast and open region with little settlements compared to the western part of the country reminds the people living there that their resources are limited. Closing down the factory would almost eliminate income and economy for the mono-town. This is where the fine line is drawn; the workers surely aren't happy about the pollution and environmental hazards that go along with keeping the mill open, but at the same time the people could wither away if it wasn't up and running.
THough the Soviet Union has been gone since the early 90s, it's hold on Russia is still creating problems. The creations of monotowns were already flawed. But to have this one monotown on Lake Baikal has gained the attention of enviromentalists. All odds are against that monotown. Without it's paper factory they have no jobs and no need for the town. It is a fight between enviromental geography and human geography in this area of the world. These people are stuck in a time where even the Soviet Union looked a little better than the constant wondering of your finacial stability in an up and coming capitalist nation.
Decades of war, migration and chaotic sprawl have turned the Afghan capital into a barely functioning dust bowl. The city's tired infrastructure is crumbling; water, sewers and electricity are in short supply.
Keeping an urban system running smoothly is a difficult proposition in developed countries that are stable--what is in like a place like Afghanistan? This podcast is a excellent glimpse into the cultural, economic, environmental and political struggles of a city like Kabul. This is urban geography in about a problematic a situation as possible.
This was a really interesting podcast. Kabul has been damaged by wars and chaos. Now, the city does not have room for all of the people who have migrated in. It is now so cramped that amenities such as water, sewer and electricity are difficult to come by. The infastructure and streets were not meant for the amount of people. The government does not know what to do, so they are doing nothing. There is so much pollution, traffic and lack of resources, that the wealthy are moving out, which is just making room for more immigrants who the city cannot support. It is a very messy and dangerous problem. I think the government needs to deter people from migrating in, because they truly sound like they cannot handle more people.
I am very surprise that people still live in Kabul because of all the wars. If those wars continue they could probably die by any attack or any thing else that can kill them. They are in the middle of devastation. They can get killed at anytime. But some people live a bit well because they are not so close to the fighting war. But also the city of Kabul could probably see an increase in there economy because more and more people want to move there because it seems that there economy is getting better. In Kabul there are many stories available that some of them just break your heart.
The podcast details the capital city of Kabul, Afghanistan. War has caused a population boom in the city as people migrate away from the war-torn areas of the country to the safer city. There are some serious problems with transportation infrastructure in the city and the population increases have only made the problem worse. War has also increased opium production and trade. The city is now dotted with opulent looking "Opium Houses" which are shoddily constructed and just rubble waiting for the next earthquake. Outside the metropolitan area of the city, planned communities of the more wealthy and educated are cropping up, leaving the city itself full of the poverty stricken with no place else to turn.
Photojournalist Diana Markosian spent the last year and half covering Russia's volatile North Caucasus region.
These 33 photos are arranged to tell the cultural story of life in Chechnya, especially the life of young women coming of age in the aftermath of the war. As the architecture of this mosque suggests, the influence of traditional Islamic values and Russian political authority have greatly shaped the lives of the Chechen people.
I find learning about the young women during the rapid redefiniition of their culture into a Muslim state is of great interest. It is also of interest that the society is meshing traditional Islam with the Russian way of governing to create a reemerged society.
These pictures show many examples to how life in Chechnya for women is very different for women in the United States. We can see that these woman take part in similar day to day activities, but in very different ways. This is why their lives overall are much different than ours.
"Western nations have called on Russia to ease tensions in Ukraine's Crimea region after armed men seized the local parliament and raised the Russian flag."
This article is about the rising tension in the Crimean region of Ukraine. There is a strong pro-Russian sentiment among many in this region and the recent ousting of Russia-friendly Viktor Yanukovych has caused unrest in Crimea. The former president of Ukraine was removed due to protest of his refusal to partner with European Union. These events highlight the lasting effects of the Soviet Union on Ukraine and the division it has caused in the country.
I've been watching this inernest. I doubt that Russia will invade any further.
Czar Alexander II may have freed the serfs, but his war against the stateless people of the Caucasus cannot be ignored
The czar’s approval of this rapid expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Circassians to the Ottoman Empire resulted in an ethnic cleansing through disease and drowning as overcrowded ferries crossed the Black Sea. The Ottomans were unprepared for the influx of refugees, and the absence of adequate shelter caused even more deaths from exposure. Those Circassians who attempted to remain in the Russian Empire and fight for their land were massacred. Sochi’s “Red Hill,” where the skiing and snowboarding events will take place during these Olympic Games, was the site of the Circassian last stand, where the Imperial Russian armies celebrated their “victory” over the local defenders.
I mentioned this before, but it is worth repeating. As the international spotlight in on Sochi, our students interest in the region is also heightened. This makes it the perfect time to shine a light on parts of history that many have conveniently tried to brush aside.
Tags: Russia. historical, colonialism.
For every genocide I have heard of, there are usually two more which I haven't, this being one of them. Usually behind every leader who sounds too good to be true, there is something horrible blighting their reign. The Muslim Circassians didn't bow to Alexander's Christian Orthodox authority, and the rest is history.
Czar Alexander II was a horrific leader who " ethnicially cleansed" the people of Sochi and cleansed them through disease and drowning as over populated ferries crossed the Black Sea. This act of innaliation of the war against the stateless people is just outrageous and unforgiving. In Sochi the "red hill" where the skiiers and snowboarders are set to take off is the site at which one of the massacres happened, it makes you wonder if the rest of the world knows this or are they ignorant to the fact that the Olympics at Sochi is glorified as having the two veritile terrains in which you can swim and ski in the a couple miles form eachother. I wonder what people who thnk if they knew the truth about Sochi.
It is interesting to learn the history of a place that most American’s didn’t know existed until the Olympics. It is always helpful to have things placed in a historic perspective. The historic background makes understanding modern day events easier
ESPN Video: Jeremy Schaap details the threats to the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.
It's not everyday that ESPN will use terms like insurgency, region, state, suicide bombs, attacks, threats, heightened security, terrorists and black widows during a video clip, but when they do it's worth paying attention to the geographic context of their story. Here is an additional NY Times interactive, also on the geopolitical context of Sochi.
While the security concern in Sochi is a major issue, I'm more interested in the fact that ESPN is talking about these issues. It's not too often that wars and regional conflicts make sports headlines, and I'm sure it will serve to spread knowledge to some fans who might not know much about world politics otherwise.
Security is a major concern in Sochi! There have been suicide bombers and many other forms of bomb threats. The athletes are under MAX security and in my opinion need to be because they are in danger because of the way their society is over there and the current issues they have been dealing or not dealing with.
The Olympics being held in Sochi, Russia concern many across the globe. Located very close to neighboring terrorists, Olympic athletes question whether it is safe to go or not. ESPN discusses the concerns, threats and increase of security at the games this year.
The tug-of-war for Ukraine.
Strategically, Ukraine matters much more to Russia than it doesn't the EU, which is why Russia is flexing there muscles. Russia's major market for their natural gas are linked through these key pipelines.
O lugar da Ucrânia...
With gas being the key factor to the Russia-Eu tug of war over Ukraine, Russia fights hard to win this battle. Russia needs Ukraine as their own due to all the pipelines that transport the gas to Europe. Who will win this tug-of-war?
This infographic gives an idea of why Russia is so invested in Ukraine. The energy infrastructure built during the Soviet era runs almost entirely through Ukraine. A significant amount of gasoline consumed in Europe comes from Russia via Ukraine, while over 2/3rds of all the gas Russia exports to the EU goes through Ukraine. This puts Ukraine in a position of power, but the country itself is divided between the East and West making siding with the EU or Russia difficult. These are lasting effects of the Soviet era.
"Dust blows from what was once the Aral Sea floor. Tragic mismanagement of a natural resource."
The collapse of the Aral Sea ecosystem is (arguably) the worst man-made environmental disaster of the 20th century and 21st century has seen the continuation of the desertification set in motion. Soviet mismanagement, water-intensive cotton production and population growth have all contributed the overtaxing of water resources in the Aral Sea basin, which has resulted in a the shrinking of the Aral Sea--it has lost more of the sea to an expanding desert than the territories of the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg combined. The health problems arising from this issues are large for the entire Aral Sea basin, which encompasses 5 Central Asian countries and it has profoundly changed (for the worse) the local climates. Compare the differences with some historical images of the Aral Sea on Google Earth or on ArcGIS Online (also see this article from GeoCurrents)
Tags: environment, Central Asia, environment modify.
The destruction that man can cause is sickening and will be our ultimate downfall as all the major resources of the world are used up for industry. The shrinking of the Aral Sea has had harsh consequences on the region making it much harder to sustain the populations in the area because agriculture and fishing industries have been ruined. Health problems and drought are now rampant in the area and it is all because of humankind.
This is a sad reality humans must live with forever and something we as people must learn from. A man made disaster that occurred many years ago has a negative impact on areas surrounding the shrinking Aral Sea to this day. People cannot exploit an area of water this large, as this is not only harming the environment, but many human beings, as well
This startling picture from space of the Aral Sea is heartbreaking. The destruction of this inland sea is a terrible thing to behold.
I wish I had seen this video from the Washington Post when I was preparing last week's Geography of Chechnya post.
Chechnya is an area of terror, death and conflict. The best way to understand a country such as Chechnya is to look into their background. This YouTube clip shows a brief summary of Chechnya's background and why things have gotten so bad.
It appears Russia and Chechnya have a violent past. Chechnya, although small in size, wants to be a country. As a result, some people of Chechnya perform acts of terror to show they are serious about becoming a country. Even today tensions between the two areas remain high.
This video gives a good background to understand Chechnya. The dislocation and genocide that the people had to suffer under Soviet Russia certainly has led to the violence in the region. We are not separate from our pasts and if anything this video explains where that violence and hatred comes from. It doesn't excuse the violence but it does explain it.
MOUNT GERIZIM, West Bank (AP) — The Samaritans, a rapidly dwindling sect dating to biblical times, have opened their insular community to brides imported from eastern Europe in a desperate quest to preserve their ancient culture.
Some folk cultures, such as the Samaritans, have historically intermarried and have been plagued by genetic diseases. Recently, they have turned to global solutions to their local demographic woes. "Five young women from Russia and Ukraine have moved to this hilltop village in recent years to marry local men, breathing new life into the community."
Tags: folk culture, gender, population, Russia, religion, culture, Middle East.
I know a man who is Indian, and his grandparents came from India. He tells me that their people do not formally or very much at all approve of interbreeding between their people and other cultures. He says Indians stick with Indians, and that's how it's supposed to be. I think in the future that the genetic diseases will be abolished by selective characteristic modification through reproductive alteration using technology- I think DNA modification will become a popular trick in both reproduction and everyday life that will allow for the end of illness. This would allow people to marry into other cultures without fear of genetic complications, but they would still have that cultural barrier my Indian acquaintence referred to. That same dude has some funny insight about Italians and other cultures, and noted that Italian-Americans are not really Italian at all. We had a couple of interesting discussions regarding different cultures, and he told me that he is 100% Indian. I don't mean to seem degrading AT ALL but the first thing that popped into my head was how people breed dogs to be purebreds, which are coveted and expensive, as well as pure. I'm a blend of many different nationalities, and I'm proud of it... The universe is a blend of many nationalities, and I ever-ponder my connection with the Universe, and it's nice to know that I have a commonality with the Universe!
It's a very interesting and sad phenomenon when groups that thrived in the past begin to dwindle to a point where the acts of individuals can decide the entire future of the demographic. It brings in questions of tradition and if those people have a duty to propagate their genes to keep their group alive. I can only imagine how tense the environment could be when single accidents or deaths could mean the end of your people.
This is a rich and fascinating angle on history enhanced by a bounty of beautiful reproductions. Rare is a book this aesthetically pleasing and intellectually original.
"Maps are not merely distilled representations of geographic realities. Over time, they come to represent an organic bundling of history: reconstructed, imagined, and manipulated. Historically, they have been the tools with which expanding empires have legitimized their conquests, imposed identities, and created administrative order, and with which victims have constructed alternative narratives and salvaged their own national memories. Never was this truer than in the period in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries when a burgeoning Romanov empire joined Austria and Prussia in wiping Poland-Lithuania from the map and absorbing it into their swelling realms. Seegel intricately analyzes the cartography of imperial Russia and Poland-Lithuania as the science evolved and historical demands were placed on it. This is a rich and fascinating angle on history enhanced by a bounty of beautiful reproductions. Rare is a book this aesthetically pleasing and intellectually original. Seegel should be congratulated for creating it, and the University of Chicago Press, for producing it." You may also see this title on Amazon.
Tags: book reviews, Russia, cartography, historical.
Thousands of members of the Russian Orthodox Church marked Epiphany on January 19 with a dip in freezing waters blessed by a cleric. Epiphany is a celebration of the baptism of Jesus Christ and the...
Some of the photography and photo galleries of this cultural event are breathtaking--literally for those taking the plunge. Russians cut the ice in the shape of a cross and bath in water that is blessed and considered holy. This appears to be a religious tradition that is particularly adapted to the environmental conditions of the religious adherents (since it appears that the extreme climate plays a critical role in the activity). Part of the practice involves sacrifice; the colder the swim, the greater the manifestation of religious devotion.
Tags: Russia, religion, culture.
The stories and photographs pictured embrace the cultural celebration of Russian Orthodox. These Russians take a dip into the frigid blessed waters to become clean again with a religious epiphany.
These photographs show how intense this purification process is. The members of this religion suffer, as they submerge themselves into ice-cold water. This epiphany the Russian Orthodox members go through seem to be painful, but it proves they are dedicated to their faith.
These photos are an excellent example of how geography influences culture. The extremely cold climate of Russia has led to this baptism-like ritual in the Russian Orthodox religion. The practitioners are cleansing themselves and showing dedication by bathing themselves in the freezing lakes of Russia.
Over a bottle of vodka and a traditional Russian salad of pickles, sausage and potatoes tossed in mayonnaise, a group of friends raised their glasses and wished Igor Irtenyev and his family a happy journey to Israel.
My regional class has been learning about Russia this week and when I first started teaching a few years ago, I would teach that Russia had a population of 145 million. Today it is 141 million and part of that is due to migrants leaving a country that they see as lacking in economic opportunities and political freedoms (another part of the story is that birth rates plummeted after the collapse of the Soviet Union in what demographers have called the "Russian Cross"). In the last few years the population appears to have stabilized, but there are still many who do not see a vibrant future from themselves within Russia.
Tags: Russia, migration, Demographics, immigration, unit 2 population.
In the last 10 years about 1.25 million russians have emigrated out of Russia, but the way they do it is interesting. When they leave they dont sell their houses, or aparments, or cars they simply lock their doors and quietly slip away to the airports at night. The reasons for leaving are different thought, some are leaving because the prime minister is expected to return while some are leaving because of the awful econonmy. Either way the massive amounts of emigration is leading to a higher death rate then birth rate overall.
This article from a couple years ago is about Russian emigration. A large number of Russians were leaving the country for better economic opportunity. Some cite the overbearing rule of Putin, but the pay in other countries is just better than what Russia can offer. This was particularly the case for the more educated, another instance of "brain drain" hurting a nation which is already in trouble.
By moving the slider, the user can compare 1990 false-color Landsat views (left) with recent true-color imagery (right). Humans are increasingly transforming Earth’s surface—through direct activities such as farming, mining, and building, and indirectly by altering its climate.
This interactive feature includes 12 places that have experienced significant change since 1990. This is an user-friendly way to compare remote sensing images over time. Pictured above is the Aral Sea, which is and under-the-radar environmental catastrophe in Central Asia that has its roots in the Soviet era's (mis)management policies.
Tags: remote sensing, land use, environment, geospatial, environment modify, esri, unit 1 Geoprinciples, zbestofzbest.
See how much the Aral Sea has changed due to the impact of humans on their environment for yourself. Drag the slider tool to see a before and after. Reference your textbook (p61) for the whole story.
Afghanistan supplies virtually all of the world's illegal opium. For Afghans themselves, however, feelings about poppy are conflicted: It's harmful to their ...
Part 1 of an 8 part series on youtube documenting the opium-growing process and how the Taliban manages it. Agricultural production and rural land use can absolutely play a huge role in geopolitics and cultural patterns and processes, as evidenced by this example. For more resources on the Afghanistan drug issue, see: www.scoop.it/t/funding-the-taliban-with-opium