Russia’s Climate and Geography
John Etty examines how far history has been moulded by enviroment.
Modern textbooks on Russian history often include an introductory chapter on the country’s climate and natural geography. Writers, it seems, believe Russia’s physical environment is either so significant or so widely misunderstood that students must receive an explicit description. Natural geography and climate are not always important in a region’s history, however, and it is possible to overstate the impact that Russia’s geography has had on its history. The winter defeats of Napoleon and Hitler, for instance, were more than just seasonal coincidences. Nevertheless, the nature of Russia’s physical environment has undoubtedly had a significant impact on its history in recent centuries.