GGH305 Geography of Russia

for S2B 2009

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GGH 305 Geography of Russia


S2B 2009 BL


Khelemsky, Vitaly


Instructor, Adjunct Faculty


BS, Professional Aeronautics
MS, International Relations

Office Location


Office Hours

By appointment only.

Daytime Phone



Semester Dates

Mar 16-May 6, 2009

Class Days


Class Time

7:40 - 10:10 PM

Credit Hours



Governments and Politics in Russia and the Post-Soviet Region, Hesli, Vicki, Publisher: Houghton Mifflin, Inc, ISBN
(13)  978-0-618-34736-0
(10)  0-618-34736-4

Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

Additional Resources:
 May be found on, or will be distributed in class.

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Course Description:
GGH305 Geography of Russia: This comprehensive course will study the physical and cultural geography of the regions of Russia and the former Soviet Union (Near Abroad). Topics will include: economic problems, environmental problems, population dynamics, and current political geographical issues involving Russia and its neighbors. 3:0:3

Educational Philosophy:

 All humans should engage in a life-long pursuit of learning and obtain a solid grounding in the fundamentals of your chosen discipline.  To that end, I will work intensively to present you with the thinkers of our discipline and challenge you to absorb their academic views and develop your own, unique view.  I emphasize that students engage in critical thinking and dare to challenge the status quo of conventional wisdom.  Students should be prepared to engage in lively debate and a passionate pursuit of knowledge and personal academic development. Park University, Fort Bliss Campus is a non-traditional college format that requires the same effort as a traditional setting.  Consequently, students should expect to perform similar amounts of academic work to ensure they receive a thorough and quality education. 

  Instructor Learning Outcomes

  1. Analyze geographical expansion of the Russian State from Political and Demographic perspective
  2. Define Major Regions of Russia and Near-Abroad and their Politico-Economic relationship
  3. Discuss Current Russian Political System and it's impact on Foreign Relations
Class Assessment:
A.  Mid-Term Examination
   1.  5 Essay Questions
   2.  Held In Class
B.  Final Examination
   1.  5 Essay Questions
   2.  Held In Class
C.  Research Paper
   1.  Research Paper must include:  
      a.  A cover page
      b.  Introduction  
      c.  Main body
      d.  Conclusions
      e.  Reference page
   2.  Research Paper must be in APA format


Attendance 80 points (5 points per session)
Mid-Term Examination 150 points
Final Examination 150 points
Research Paper 150 points
Total possible points:  530
A 477-530
B 424-476
C 371-423
D 318-370
F Below 318

Late Submission of Course Materials:
Late work will receive a 10% deduction per class session late.Unexcused absences on major examination dates will result in a zero grade for the exam.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:
  Students are expected to read the assigned textbook chapters and to be familiar with their chapter content before each class session.  Plagiarism and unauthorized collaboration on class work, or cheating is considered a serious violation by Park University and is not tolerated.  Students may be dismissed or given a failing grade if found cheating or plagiarizing.  Absences should be kept to a minimum.  If an absences exceed two then students will receive a letter grade deduction from the final score whether the absence is excused or unexcused for each absence thereafter.  Leveling work for absences may include detailed written summaries of chapters or completion of review questions or definitions at the end of chapters, or any other class-related assigned task as determined by the instructor.  Late class work will not be accepted.  Tardiness over thirty minutes, or failure to attend the entire class will be considered an absence.  Two unexcused absences will be reported immediately to the Park University administrative office for appropriate action.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

Session (1), March 16
Class Administration. Introduction, Course expectations and student responsibilities. Chapter 1, Post-Soviet States in Comparative Perspective. Overview of Geography of Russia and Near-Abroad. Lecture and Discussion. Read chapter prior to class.
Session (2), March 18
Class Administration. Chapter 2, The Ideological Foundations of Russian Socialism.  Lecture and Discussion. Read chapter prior to class.
Session (3), March 23
Class Administration. Chapter 3, The Legacy of the Past.  Kievan Rus, Russian Empire and The Soviet Union. Expansion of the Russian state through history.  Lecture and Discussion. Read chapter prior to class.
Session (4), March 25
Class Administration. Chapter 4, Russia as a Multinational State: Federal Structures and Ethnic Cleavages.  Lecture and Discussion. Read chapter prior to class.  Assignmant of the Research Paper Topics. 
Session (5), March 30
Class Administration. Chapter 5, Russian Political Culture.  Lecture and Discussion. Read chapter prior to class.
Session (6), April 1
Class Administration. Chapter 6, Russia's Governing Institutions in Comparative Context.  Lecture and Discussion. Read chapter prior to class.
Session (7), April 6
Class Administration. Chapter 7, Political Participation and Public Opinion in Russia.  Lecture and Discussion. Read chapter prior to class.  Mid-Term Review.
Session (8), April 8
Class Administration.  Mid-Term Examination.
Session (9), April 13
Class Administration. Chapter 8, Political Parties in Russia from a Demographic and Comparative Perspective.  Lecture and Discussion. Read chapter prior to class.
Session (10), April 15
Class Administration. Chapter 9, Russia's Associational Groups in Comparative Perspective.  Lecture and Discussion. Read chapter prior to class.
Session (11), April 20
Class Administration. Chapter 10, Public Policy Issues in Russia and the Former USSR.  Foreign Policy, Security and Trade.  Lecture and Discussion. Read chapter prior to class.
Session (12), April 22
Class Administration. Chapter 11, Lithuania.  Country and Baltic Region Study.  Lecture and Discussion. Read chapter prior to class.
Session (13), April 27
Class Administration. Chapter 12, Ukraine.  Country and European Region Study.  Lecture and Discussion. Read chapter prior to class.
Session (14), April 29
Class Administration. Chapter 13, The Republic of Georgia.  Country and Transcaucasian Region Study.  Lecture and Discussion. Read chapter prior to class. Research Paper Due.
Session (15), May 4
Class Administration. Chapter 14, Uzbekistan.  Country and Central Asian Region Study.  Lecture and Discussion. Read chapter prior to class. Final Review.
Session (16), May 6
Class Administration. Final Examination.  Course Debriefing. 

Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life.   Park University 2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87

Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. Park University 2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  3. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "F".
  4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  5. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  6. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

Park University 2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog Page 89-90

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: .


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Last Updated:3/8/2009 3:14:03 PM