This video has been making the rounds on Reddit and stacking up tons of positive comments. The narrator takes you through Russian history explaining how geography helped define the nation politically.

Zach Noble of The Blaze provides a description:

‘Russia in a Nutshell’: Learn the Real Reasons Why Russia Is So Big — And So Brutal

Geography determines destiny — so goes the historian’s saying.

Does Russia’s geography explain the nation’s history of bloodshed, overbearing government, secret police and poverty — and does it explain why Vladimir Putin is such a bellicose president?

In a video published on YouTube earlier this year, geopolitical guru Caspian Report took a look at Russia’s history and geography and made the essential connections: Occupying a vast, flat land without significant mountains or seas to serve as natural barriers, the Russian people were forced to become brutal and bureaucratic in order to survive.

After throwing off Mongol and Tatar domination in the first half of the last millennium, Russia’s rulers found themselves in a “conquer or be conquered” situation, Caspian Report noted.

Seeking security, Russia’s czars led their people on a massive quest to expand, taking over lands to the south, west and especially east.

They could not keep invaders from attacking, but by taking over huge swathes of territory, Russia’s rulers could ensure that Russia always had a “backup plan” to fall back on — and that plan proved invaluable when Napoleon and Hitler came rampaging through.

Anyone with an interest in history will find this entertaining and informative:

The message in the video may explain some recent developments in Russia.

Putin seems to think America has designs on Siberia. No, really.

Robert Mackey of the New York Times reported:

Putin Cites Claim About U.S. Designs on Siberia Traced to Russian Mind Readers

Speaking to reporters in Moscow on Thursday, Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin, claimed that economic sanctions were not primarily a response to the annexation of Crimea but part of a long-running plot by Western powers to weaken his nation and steal its natural resources.

As evidence, Mr. Putin cited first what he called “direct and fully fledged support for terrorism in the North Caucasus” in the immediate aftermath of the Soviet Union’s demise.

Then, he said, even before Russia annexed Crimea earlier this year, “unprecedented and clearly orchestrated attempts were made to discredit our efforts to organize and host the Olympics” in Sochi.

Finally, after an extended detour into metaphor, with Mr. Putin comparing Russia to its national symbol, the bear — beset, he said, by enemies who wish to seize its territory — he referred to one last piece of evidence that he was only acting to protect his nation from the aggressive designs of the West. “We have heard it even from high-level officials,” he said, “that it is unfair that the whole of Siberia with its immense resources belongs to Russia in its entirety.”

Hey Vlad, the 80’s called…

Featured image via YouTube.