Billie Silvey
An eclectic website about Women, Christianity,
History, Culture and the Arts--
and anything else that comes to mind.
Russian History
Russian Culture
Arkady Renko
February 2013
Map of Russia (clockwise from upper left) St.
Petersburg Summer Palace, reindeer herd in
Siberia, Ural Mountains and the capital, Moscow.
For most of my life, there have been three kinds of
countries--first-, second- and third-world.  First-world
countries were mostly in the northern hemisphere of the
West, and their people had plenty to eat (even too much!),
running water, electricity and electronic technology in their

Third-world countries were mostly in the southern
hemisphere and lacked some of these things.   
Second-world countries were mostly in the East with
Communist governments and less efficient economies.

Recently, there has been a new group of nations--known
as the BRICs--Brazil, Russia, India and China.  They are
moving rapidly from second- or third- to first-world status,
and they are the nations to watch.

In September 2008, my website was about
China, and in
February 2009,
India.  I haven't done a website
specifically on Brazil, but October 2011 was on the
Amazon, which covers much of the nation, and the
Olympics are set to be held there.  So this month I wanted
to write about Russia.

Then during the presidential campaign, Mitt Romney,
when asked about our country's greatest enemy, said
Russia.  It felt like he was stuck in a time warp--back in
the 1950s, and I felt that it was important to write about
Russia, to explore this nation that prompted such differing

The sheer size of the country, the beauty of its topography
and the diversity of its population were impressive.  I
wanted to write about it because it sounded interesting.

Russia is the largest country in the world.  It covers 6.6
million square miles from Europe to the Pacific Ocean and
from the
Arctic Circle to hot deserts in the south.

Siberia in the northeast includes frozen tundra, lakes and
forests.  The Ural Mountains in the west divide Siberia
from Europe.  In the south, the
Caucasus Mountains
stretch from the Black to the Caspian Seas.

Most of the population lives in the cities and farm lands of
East European Plain.

Russia was a part of the
Union of Soviet Socialist
Republics (USSR) from 1922-91, together with now
independent Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania on the west and
Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan on
the south.

Other articles in the website include those on
history and Russian culture as well as an article about
Arkady Renko, hero of Martin Cruz Smith's Russian
detective series, which includes
Gorky Park, Polar Star
Red Square
and others.

To contribute your thoughts about any of these topics, I
hope you'll write me at
Caucasus Mountains
Lake Baikal
Wheat Field on Northern European Plain