Map Monday: a look at Russia’s territorial reach through history

A short visual history of Russia/Soviet Union/USSR, thanks to Jane.

Robby Robin's Journey

Borders have changed in most parts of the world throughout history, and Russia, whether as Empire, Federation, or Soviet Union, is no exception.  There’s a long history across that vast land of seeking to expand by absorbing neighbouring territory.  Don’t forget, Russia had actually expanded to North America to their east.  They had possession of Alaska (although I’m sure the indigenous peoples there would not have agreed, but what else is new) from the late 1700s until they sold it to the U.S. in 1867.

Let’s take a look at the changing boundaries of Russian influence over the centuries. [Click on any map for a closer look.]

Russian expansion in Asia, starting at 1533.  Notice that Russia consisted only of the area shaded brown in 1533.  And notice that that long-ago area already included what’s now Finland.


Another interpretation of Russian expansion (1300-1796).  This one does not include…

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