Prisoners of Geography
You may think that no one is intent on invading Russia, but this is not how the Russians see it, and with good reason. In the past 500 years they have been invaded several times from the west. The Poles came across the North European Plain in 1605, followed by the Swedes in 1708, the French under Napolean in 1812, and the Germans, twice, in both world wars. Looking at it another way, if you count from Napoleon’s invasion of 1812, but this time includes the Crimea war of 1853-6 and the two world wars up to 1945, then the Russians were fighting on average in or around the Northern Plain once every thirty-three years.
By Tim Marshall
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