How did Russia, with such a low population density, manage to maintain it's territorial integrity throughout history?
In the pre-modern era, how could armies be moved quickly enough to fend off invasion, considering it has such an enormous land border?
By controlling the likely avenues of movement.
Real life isn't like Risk, where anyone can go anywhere adjacent to them. Someone invading up through Siberia from the south would wander for weeks if not months before hitting any sort of settlement, and most likely starving and/or freezing along the way.
They watched the roads and the rivers, and that was enough. And if push came to shove, most of those settlements were fortified, and could last for several months on their own, more than long enough to get a relief force through if you're serious about helping them.
Russia wasn't particularly sparsely populated historically. It only expanded to the Pacific and Siberia relatively recently and the density subsequently plummeted because much of it is useless tundra.
For most of history "Russia" was pic related, where something like 75% of the population still live.
Fun fact: during much of Imperial Russia: most of the owned land just bowed to Russian Suzerainity. But are otherwise largely autonomous/subjects.
Just like how the old Khanates ruled over a lot of those people.
The Soviet Union was the first to actually control all that directly.
Pic related. Alim Khan. Emir of Bukhara. His people are Russian subjects, but he governs them under their own customs & laws.
>reigned 3 January 1911 to 30 August 1920
How the fuck did they get a photograph of such high quality in the fucking 1910s?
Here's a photograph of Lenin from 1917
Well they pretty much colonised land that nobody powerful wanted
Look at how the Atlaic/Turkic/Mongols of Central Asia invaded their richer neighbors(China/India/Persia/ Middle East/ E Europe) when they needed resources, They didn't go and colonise Siberia for Resources because it barely had any
LOL at this pic. we circassians dont want to control chechens and the other scums. north west caucasus with kabardino would be enough.
chechens=rapists, barbarians, shitters that bowed down and surrendered to russians 3 times
circassians=master race, civilized, fought untill we ran out of able men. the russians had to exterminate us in order to take our lands.