1. What economic regions are part of Central Russia? What do you think are the conditions that underlie the division of Central Russia into the Central, Central Black Earth and Volga-Vyatka regions?
In Central Russia, there are 3 economic regions: Central, Central Black Earth and Volga-Vyatka. Their natural differences are underlined even in the names: Central Black Earth region – a zone of steppes and forest-steppes with fertile soils; The Volga-Vyatsky is a deaf, mostly wooded corner of Central Russia, where the Volga and Vyatka have long been the main roads; The central district is the center of the Russian state, the capital region. The differences in nature and geographical location predetermined the different paths of development and the historical destinies of these regions.
2. What features of the natural conditions of Central Russia can you identify as the most characteristic?
One of the interesting features of Central Russia – a dense river network is illustrated in the atlas on the “Scheme of volost connections of the Moscow River with adjacent basins.” By these drags, dragging heavy boats from one river to another, Old Russian merchants advanced and mastered the forested areas of Central Russia. The most famous such way – the way “from the Varangians to the Greeks”, according to which in the Middle Ages was the trade of Russia and Northern Europe with Byzantium, ran from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea.
Central Russia improved its economic and geographical position, towering itself. Becoming the center of political power, then – the religious center, and then the commercial and industrial, Central Russia established contacts with its environment, developed transport. Although after the collapse of the USSR, the Central District, in its position, turned out to be a western border, it continues to be central in its functions and role in the life of the country. A significant number of highways connecting the western and eastern regions, the countries of the near abroad and the regions of the North and the Urals, pass through the territory of the region; it accumulates most of Russia’s economic ties, and despite all the changes, the economic and geographical position of the district continues to be profitable.
4. How did the politico-geographical situation of Central Russia change in the 1990s? Is the change in the GWP of Central Russia connected with the change in the GWP of the country as a whole? Give examples.
The political and geographical position of Central Russia deteriorated when, with the collapse of the Soviet Union, the region became a border region, and the prospect of neighborhood with the once hostile NATO bloc was already quite visible.
Ukraine expressed its desire to join NATO.