Пленники географии: 10 карт, которые сообщат вам всё, что нужно знать о мировой политике

автор: Денис Песков

Marshall, Tim. “Prisoners of Geography.” Scribner, 2015

Хотел я для SLON.ru в их раздел "Книги" написать об этом произведении, но по ходу чтения и конспектирования понял, что краткий пересказ из него в своей краткости будет убогим. Потому оставил я эту затею, но представлю вам выдержек, касющихся России. В книге 10 глав, посвящённых разл. странам и регионам. Открывается она как раз Россией. Из неё будет большинство цитат, а потом приведу ещё из глав о США, Китае и ЕС.

Тренд на объяснение текущего положения вещей наличествующими географическими и биологическими факторами запустил Дж. Даймонд своими "Ружьями, микробами и сталью". Относительно недавно тему продолжил Р. Каплан в "Месть географии. Что могут рассказать географические карты о грядущих конфликтах и битве против неизбежного". Зачем вышла теперь эта книга — не знаю, но т.к. от прочтения Каплана меня отговорил главред Альпины Серёжа Турко, то тема читалась свежо. С какой колокольни автор писал утверждать не берусь, но по многим вопросам, живо волнующим россиян, он часто давал оценки в ключе, могущем им понравиться. Итак, почему геоположение влияет на прошлое и настоящее страны (или целого континента)? Говорит Маршалл:

“The landscape imprisons their leaders, giving them fewer choices and less room to maneuver than you might think.”

“The land on which we live has always shaped us. It has shaped the wars, the power, politics, and social development of the peoples that now inhabit nearly every part of the earth.”

“Overall there is no one geographical factor that is more important than any other. Mountains are no more important than deserts, nor rivers than jungles. In different parts of the planet different geographical features are among the dominant factors in determining what people can and cannot do.”

“…but also climate, demographics, cultural regions, and access to natural resources. Factors such as these can have an important impact on many different aspects of our civilization, from political and military strategy to human social development, including language, trade, and religion.”


“In Russia we see the influence of the Arctic, and how it limits Russia’s ability to be a truly global power. In China we see the limitations of power without a global navy. The chapter on the United States illustrates how shrewd decisions to expand its territory in key regions allowed it to achieve its modern destiny as a two-ocean superpower. Europe shows us the value of flatland and navigable rivers in connecting regions and producing a culture able to kick-start the modern world, while Africa is a prime example of the effects of isolation.

The chapter on the Middle East demonstrates why drawing lines on maps while disregarding the topography and, equally important, the geographical cultures in a given area is a recipe for trouble. We will continue to witness that trouble this century. The same theme surfaces in the chapters on Africa and India/Pakistan. The colonial powers used ink to draw lines that bore no relation to the physical realities of the region, and created some of the most artificial borders the world has seen. “In the Middle East, an attempt is now being made to redraw them in blood.

Very different from the examples of Kosovo or Syria are Japan and Korea, in that they are mostly ethnically homogenous. But they have other problems: Japan is an island nation devoid of natural resources, while the division of the Koreas is a problem still waiting to be solved. Meanwhile, Latin America is an anomaly. In its far south it is so cut off from the outside world that global trading is difficult, and its internal geography is a barrier to creating a trading bloc as successful as the EU.

Finally, we come to one of the most uninhabitable places on earth—the Arctic. For most of history, humans have ignored it, but in the twentieth century we found energy there, and twenty-first-century diplomacy will determine who owns—and sells—that resource.”

Теперь, собственно, о России:

“This early Russia, known as the Grand Principality of Muscovy, was indefensible.”

“Enter Ivan the Terrible, the first tsar. He put into practice the concept of attack as defense—i.e., beginning your expansion by consolidating at home and then moving outward. This led to greatness”

“Whatever its European credentials, Russia is not an Asian power for many reasons.”
“The empty depopulating spaces of Russia’s Far East are even more likely to come under Chinese cultural, and eventually political, control.”

“This lack of a warm-water port with direct access to the oceans has always been Russia’s Achilles’ heel, as strategically important to it as the North European Plain. Russia is at a geographical disadvantage, saved from being a much weaker power only because of its oil and gas. No wonder, in his will of 1725, that Peter the Great advised his descendants to “approach as near as possible to Constantinople and India. Whoever governs there will be the true sovereign of the world”

“Anti-Russian factions, some of which were pro-Western and some pro-fascist, took over the government [of Ukraine]. From that moment the die was cast. President Putin did not have much of a choice—he had to annex Crimea, which contained not only many Russian-speaking Ukrainians but most important the port of Sevastopol.”

“Another strategic problem is that in the event of war the Russian navy cannot get out of the Baltic Sea, either, due to the Skagerrak Strait, which connects to the North Sea.”

“Having annexed Crimea, the Russians are wasting no time.” To counter this, in the next decade we can expect to see the United States encouraging its NATO partner Romania to boost its fleet in the Black Sea while relying on Turkey to hold the line across the Bosporus.”

“You could make the argument that President Putin did have a choice: he could have respected the territorial integrity of Ukraine. But, given that he was dealing with the geographic hand God has dealt Russia, this was never really an option. He would not be the man who “lost Crimea” and with it the only proper warm-water port his country had access to.”

“It is far less painful, and cheaper, to encourage unrest in the eastern borders of Ukraine and remind Kiev who controls energy supplies, to ensure that Kiev’s infatuation with the flirtatious West does not turn into a marriage consummated in the chambers of the EU or NATO.”

“Russia will continue to push its interests in the Baltic States”

“Why would the Russians want Moldova? Because as the Carpathian Mountains curve around southwest to become the Transylvanian Alps, to the southeast is a plain leading down to the Black Sea. That plain can also be thought of as a flat corridor into Russia, and just as the Russians would prefer to control the North European Plain at its narrow point in Poland, so they would like to control the plain by the Black Sea—also known as Moldova—in the region formerly known as Bessarabia.”

“A Russian military advance in Moldova is unlikely, but the Kremlin can and does use its economic muscle and the volatile situation in Transnistria to try to influence the Moldovan government not to join the EU or NATO.”

“From the Grand Principality of Muscovy, through Peter the Great, Stalin, and now Putin, each Russian leader has been confronted by the same problems. It doesn’t matter if the ideology of those in control is czarist, Communist, or crony capitalist—the ports still freeze, and the North European Plain is still flat.
Strip out the lines of nation states, and the map Ivan the Terrible confronted is the same one Vladimir Putin is faced with to this day.”


“Large-scale migration south to north can be expected, which will in turn give China more leverage in its relations with Russia. From a military perspective the best place to cross would be near the Russian Pacific port of Vladivostok, but there are few reasons, and no current intentions, to do so.”

“[текущие проблемы] have driven Russia into massive economic deals with China on terms that are favorable to the Chinese. [Давить её в ближайшее время смысла нет — она сама всё приносит]”

There were now only three places from which a challenge to American hegemony could come: a united Europe, Russia, and China. All would grow stronger, but two would reach their limits.”

“The recent pushback by Putin’s Russia is a thorn in America’s side, but not a serious threat to America’s dominance. When President Obama described Russia as “no more than a regional power” in 2014, he may have been needlessly provocative, but he wasn’t wrong. The bars of Russia’s geographical prison, as seen in chapter one, are still in place: they still lack a warm-water port with access to the global sea-lanes and still lack the military capacity in wartime to reach the Atlantic via the Baltic and North Seas, or the Black Sea and the Mediterranean.

The United States was partially behind the change of government in Ukraine in 2014. It wanted to extend democracy in the world, and it wanted to pull Ukraine away from Russian influence and thus weaken President Putin. Washington knows that during the last decade, as America was distracted in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Russians took advantage in what they call their “near abroad,” regaining a solid footing in places such as Kazakhstan and seizing territory in Georgia. Belatedly, and somewhat half-heartedly, the Americans have been trying to roll back Russian gains.”

ЕС, достойного внимания мало, разве что по касательной:
“…the French… successfully helped tie Germany down inside the EU, only to find that, after German reunification, they became the junior partner in a twin-engine motor they had hoped to be driving. This poses a problem that Paris does not appear to be able to solve. Unless it quietly accepts that Berlin calls the European shots, it risks further weakening the Union. But if it accepts German leadership, then its own power is diminished.
France is capable of an independent foreign policy—indeed, with its force de frappe nuclear deterrent, its overseas territories, and its aircraft carrier–backed armed forces, it does just that—but it operates safe in the knowledge that its “its eastern flank is secure and it can afford to raise its eyes to the horizon.
Both France and Germany are currently working to keep the Union together and are discussing various ways of binding themselves together within the eurozone: they see each other now as natural partners. But only Germany has a plan B—Russia.”