From the Black sea to the White sea, or How many seas is Russia washed by

Fighting for maritime borders

This dispute arose not from scratch. In all ages, countries that had water boundaries were in an advantageous position. The military and merchant fleet, fisheries, border protection, rich ports, regularly supplied hard cash to the treasury - these are just some of the advantages of access to the sea. Up until the end of the nineteenth century, one of the most honorable and desirable titles for many such states was the recognition of their "Lady of the Sea". Starting from the 15th century, Spain, Portugal, Holland, England, Russia fought for the title, and after that Germany came to the world stage too late. The struggle for the seas of Russia was very difficult. Only under Peter the Great, the once lost Baltic returned to us. And Russia was able to rejoin the Black Sea only a half century later, under Catherine the Great. And the struggle for it with its closest neighbors until the XX century was very fierce. This can be understood just by looking at the numerous memorials on the Black Sea coast. Such, for example, as a monument to the dead sailors in Sevastopol.

What's the catch?

It would seem that answering the question of how many seas are washing Russia is very easy: it’s enough to open the map and carefully examine it. But ... Here lies the stumbling block. Scientists have been arguing about the number of maritime borders of Russia for decades. How many of them? 12? Or is it still 13? And maybe even 14?

The whole difficulty lies in what is considered the seas. But the world scientific thought still cannot reach agreement on this issue. In general, the very concept of “sea” is rather vague. For example, the Mediterranean includes the Aegean, which is separated only by the irregularities of the bottom, and the Arctic Ocean is divided along the coast of Russia into a good ten seas. And there is in fact also colloquial designations. “Ladoga Sea”, “Glorious Sea - Sacred Baikal”.

According to the hydrologists

And yet, what is called the sea in scientific circles?

1) This is the name of a part of the World Ocean, separated from it by land or an underwater mountain range, but having a connection with it. This classification is most common. It includes most of the famous seas. But in this case, the question remains of the “internal seas”, which are not connected with any ocean at all.

2) According to the second tradition, the sea is considered to be any large salt water reservoir, regardless of whether it has access to the ocean or not.

These disagreements are one of the reasons why scientists cannot agree in any way on how many seas wash Russia. Should the Caspian Sea and the Aral, which currently have no connection with the oceans, be considered as such? Or let them be attributed to salt, but still lakes?

Water borders on a country map

The map shows impartially how many seas are washing Russia, and their names. We consider. In the south - the Black and Azov Seas. Unfortunately, it is not known how long the latter will maintain its status. Now it is growing shallower, its maximum depth barely reaches 20 meters. So, perhaps, soon we will be poorer by one sea.

In the north, our country is washed at once by 7 seas, which belong to 2 oceans. Baltic - to the Atlantic. Barents, White, Kara, Laptev, East Siberian and Chukotka - to the Arctic.

In the east, we border the United States and Japan with the Bering, Japanese and Okhotsk seas, which belong to the Pacific Ocean.

Disputed Seas

Thus, it turns out everything. But here again the question of how many seas are washing Russia rises to its full height. It turns out that there are 3 more water objects, whose status is still questionable.

Caspian. Like many seas of Russia, it belongs to the Atlantic Ocean, but only nominally. The fact is that it has no direct correlation to them. The Caspian is a fragment of those times when the salt waters of the ancient Tethys ocean splashed on the site of present-day Siberia and China. Now the Caspian Sea is endless, and only the commonness of the animal and plant worlds reminds of its connection with the Atlantic. For many years geographers could not agree on whether it could be considered the sea by definition or should be ranked among the class of salt lakes. However, the status of the sea has recently been officially returned to the Caspian.

Pechora. Another stumbling block. It is formed by irregularities in the water relief and, strictly speaking, is only the coastal part of the Barents Sea, at the confluence of the Pechora River. Despite the fact that some scientists refuse to allocate it as a separate object, it is officially present on the map of Russia.

Aral. Speaking objectively, the question of it has long been considered closed. A few decades ago there was a heated debate about this drying up drainage reservoir. Like the Caspian, it has no connection with the ocean; moreover, due to the shallowing of the rivers that feed it, the Amudarya and the Syr Darya, it retreats every year. And despite the fact that many habitually call the Aral Sea, legally it is a salty drainless lake.

On this table you can see how many seas wash our country.

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