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Soviet Union Table of Contents

Soviet Union


Size: Approximately 22,402,200 square kilometers (land area 22, 272,000 square kilometers); slightly less than 2.5 times size of United States.

Location: Occupies eastern portion of European continent and northern portion of Asian continent. Most of country north of 50° north latitude.

Topography: Vast steppe with low hills west of Ural Mountains; extensive coniferous forest and tundra in Siberia; deserts in Central Asia; mountains along southern boundaries.

Climate: Generally temperate to Arctic continental. Winters vary from short and cold along Black Sea to long and frigid in Siberia. Summers vary from hot in southern deserts to cool along Arctic coast. Weather usually harsh and unpredictable. Generally dry with more than half of country receiving fewer than forty centimeters of rainfall per year, most of Soviet Central Asia northeastern Siberia receiving only half that amount.

Land Boundaries: 19,933 kilometers total: Afghanistan 2,384 kilometers' China 7,520 kilometers; Czechoslovakia 98 kilometers; Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) 17 kilometers; Finland 1,313 kilometers, Hungary 135 kilometers; Iran 1,690 kilometers; Mongolia 3,441 kilometers; Norway 196 kilometers; Poland 1,215 kilometers; Romania 1,307 kilometers; and Turkey 617 kilometers.

Water Boundaries: 42,777 kilometers washed by oceanic systems of Arctic, Atlantic, and Pacific.

Land Use: 11 percent of land arable; 16 percent meadows and pasture; 41 percent forest and woodland; and 32 percent other, including tundra.

Natural Resources: Oil, natural gas, coal, iron ore, timber, gold, manganese, lead, zinc, nickel, mercury, potash, phosphates, and most strategic minerals.

Data as of May 1989