A plan initiated in 1953 to open up vast areas of Kazakhstan steppe to grain production.
A vast network of pipelines used to transport oil and gas deposits from Russia and central Asia to markets in Europe and China.
Russian name for World War II.
Countries that were part of the Soviet Union, some of which maintained some relative autonomy.
The world's first communist state established in 1917 and encompassed modern day Russia along with a number of countries that surround it. The USSR collapsed in the late 1991.
A significant and highly influential ancient trade route that linked Europe with China.
Refers to those countries that were formerly part of the old Soviet Union, but decided to separate from Russia after its fall.
The money that temporary and permanent migrants send back to their home country.
A sect of Islam distinct from Shia in that its adherents do not believe that the succession of the Prophet Mohammed should be hereditary and follow family bloodlines.
A former industrial site affected by environmental contamination.
A type of economic system that is not controlled by a central authority but rather left to the free and open collaboration and decisions of the participants in the market.
A very rich business person who might also maintain a great deal of political authority. Oligarchs proliferated in Russia after the fall of the USSR as many previously state owned assets were acquired below market value.