Problems of Geography: Military and Economic Transport Logistics in Russia’s Far East

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This webinar examines the transport and logistical inadequacies in Russia’s Far East and assess the implications for the country’s economy and security.

The Russian Far East (RFE) is essential to maintaining Russia’s status as a military and economic power. But to connect up Russia’s vast territory and join the European part of Russia to the RFE, adequate transport infrastructure is critical. Major questions still remain about Russia’s ability to maintain this vital asset.

Most of Russia’s dense transport networks, and its civilian population, are located in the west of the country, leaving the Russian Far East underfunded, under-populated and under-resourced. Poor connections between the East and West of the country, and inadequate links between Russia’s railway, road and port systems, are all preventing Russia from fulfilling its military and economic ambitions in the Asia-Pacific region.

RUSI Research Fellow Emily Ferris will discuss the conclusions of her paper Problems of Geography: Military and Economic Transport Logistics in Russia’s Far East, examining whether this uneven transport network density has impacted Russia’s economic and security interests.

This session aims to unpack:

  • How the Kremlin's strategy has changed toward the RFE changed in recent years, and why Moscow has not been able to develop and improve the region.
  • How the Far East fits into Russia thinking about its strategic geography, and some of the challenges that the  terrain in the Far East pose to Russia’s efforts to achieve its economic and military interests in the region.
  • The extent to which inadequacies in Russia's transport infrastructure - including road, rail and port links - impact on the Kremlin's ability to develop economically the RFE, as well as to achieve its security ambitions in the Asia-Pacific region.
  • The RFE’s future, notably if Moscow continues to mismanage and misunderstand the region's fundamental needs.


The event will be chaired by Dr Neil Melvin, Director, International Security Studies, RUSI.

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