Policy Memos

Southern Russia: The Heartland or Russia's Soft Underbelly?

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Southern Russia is undoubtedly of strategic importance. Its figures are not too impressive: with about 13% of Russia's total population, the region produces 15.5% of the country's agriculture and just slightly over 5% of its industry. Looking at a map (see below), however, we see that the two southernmost oblasts--Rostov and Volgograd--shape the southern Russian "bottle neck." It is conveniently situated on the shortest possible transport route between Kazakhstan and Ukraine, which bypasses the unstable Caucasus. The Caspian Pipeline Consortium has designated that route for construction of an oil pipeline from Kazakhstan's Tengiz field. [...]

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European University at St. Petersburg