OK, here is my approach to an overarching geographic hierarchy for Russia. The top level categories are based on the newish Russian Federal Districts + one for Kaliningrad. I made a separate category for Kaliningrad because a) this makes the subregions for Northwestern Russia total up to a maximum 9 and b) Kaliningrad is really much more in Northern Europe than in Northwestern Russia, at least from a "getting in" or "getting out" perspective. I don't think we need many smaller subdivisions, at least until a lot more Russia content gets developed.
The two aspects of this hierarchy that I find least satisfying are the sub-regions under Central Russia (Golden Ring, Don-Voronezh Region, and Western Russia) and under Volga Region (West Volga Region and East Volga Region). Of all Russia, I am least familiar with the Central and Volga regions so I had to just improvise to subdivide these regions. It would probably be better if someone could come up with alternative subdivisions for these two top-level regions based on something actually related to differences in culture, geography, history, or politics.
Lastly, I do intend to make maps (and articles where they are lacking) for subdivisions, but would of course welcome help ;) --PeterfitzgeraldTalk 01:43, 7 April 2007 (EDT)
Hey there Peter! Nice work, this seems like quite a large task!
One question about the name (or maybe they existed before and you just combined them), but to me it sounds a little weird to have Western Russia as a subregion of Central Russia. And to a lesser extent, Northeastern & Southeastern as a subregion of Far-Eastern (but I get that one a little more). I don't know anything about Russia, just sounded weird at first sight. :) – cacahuatetalk 14:59, 26 May 2007 (EDT)
Agreed about the weirdness. I would prefer, I think, to leave the Far East as is—Russians refer to the Northeast as such and I don't know of a better name for the Southeast.
I'm not very satisfied with any of the three Central Russia regions (Don-Voronezh Region, Golden Ring, and Western Russia). I don't know this particular region very well (which is odd, since it is the most important region) and I basically just made those up myself for lack of any better ideas. The "Central Russia" name is common use and we shouldn't replace it, but it actually is westernmost Russia. Accordingly, I called the western chunk of it "Western Russia," because "Western Central Russia" seemed too silly. And it is the extreme west of Russia, where the most intense WWII fighting occurred (which destroyed most of the legacy of this historically rich region). There is some basis for calling the "Golden Ring" area as such, but the "Don-Voronezh Region" is a bogus term I just dreamed up for the leftover category and would probably best be replaced. I'm not at all averse to completely resorting the regions of Central Russia—I just don't have any better ideas, let me know if you do. --PeterfitzgeraldTalk 15:20, 26 May 2007 (EDT)
I don't since I don't know Russia at all, but thanks for explaining that. It seems like the way you've divided it is reasonable and digestible to the traveler, and that's the most important part... if someone thinks of a better name later, it's super easy to just move the article then. – cacahuatetalk 16:04, 26 May 2007 (EDT)