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Russian Geography

Ms. Pace's Russian Geography and History

chernozem Rich, black topsoil found in the Northern European Plain, especially in Russia and Ukraine, that supports the production of wheat, barley, rye, oats, and other crops.
Volga River Although frozen almost half of each year, it provides hydroelectric power, or power generated by falling water, and water for drinking and irrigation.
permafrost A permanently frozen layer of soil beneath the surface of the ground, which underlies much of Russia.
tundra A vast, treeless plain that dominates the Russian landscape.
taiga A forest belt that covers two-fifths of European Russia and extends into much of Siberia.
czar Supreme ruler; from Caesar.
serf A virtually enslaved workforce bound to the land and under the control of nobility.
Russification A government introduced policy that required everyone to speak Russian and follow Eastern Orthodox Christianity.
socialism A belief that calls for greater economic equality in society. Many Russian workers and thinkers were attracted to this ideology because they were frustrated and discontented with the harsh treatment of the government.
Bolsheviks A revolutionary group led by Vladimir Ilyich Lenin that seized control of Russia in the Russian Revolution of March 1917.
communism A philosophy based on Karl Marx's ideas that called for the violent overthrow of government and the creation of a new society led by workers.
satellite In Russia, they were the countries controlled by the Soviet Union. East Germany, Hungary, Poland, and Czechoslovakia strengthened the Soviet Union's military and supplied critically needed raw materials, such as coal and iron ore.
Cold War A struggle between the Soviet Union and the United States over competing systems - communist and capitalist - for world influence and power.
perestroika A policy begun by Mikhail Gorbachev of economic restructuring.
glasnost A policy of greater political openness.
atheism The belief that there is no God or other supreme being. The Soviet government strictly discouraged religious practices after the communist revolution in 1917.
pogroms Organized persecution and massacres of the Jews.
intelligentsia The intellectual elite in Russia made up of technology-focused government officials as well as prominent educators, writers, and artists.
command economy Under Communist leaders, the Soviet Union operated as a central authority making key economic decisions.
consumer goods Goods needed for everyday life.
black market An illegal trade in which scarce or illegal goods are sold at prices even higher than those set by the government.
market economy An economy in which businesses are privately owned.
privatization A change to private ownership of companies and industries that were once state-owned, such as mining and oil extraction and processing.
kolkhozes Small farms worked by farmers who shared, to a degree, in the farm's production and profits.
sovkhozes Large farms run more like factories, with the farm workers receiving wages.
radioactive material Material contaminated by residue from the generation of nuclear energy.
pesticide Chemicals used to kill crop-damaging insects, rodents, and other pests.
nuclear waste The by-product of producing nuclear power that can remain radioactive for thousands of years, posing great dangers to people and the environment.
Created by: miapace