The Russian Ego Was Trained on the Wrong Map

Peter McClard
4 min readJun 5
We all grew up looking at this map of the world which highly distorts northern countries to appear much larger than the are.

The Mercator Projection creates some real delusional perception problems for Northern countries. Yes, it’s a convenient map that normalizes the lines of latitude and longitude into a nice even grid but helps us to forget about Reality—we live on a sphere.

Forget about the fact that most of what lies above the Arctic Circle is vast emptiness, barren, fairly inhospitable and largely unpopulated. It might as well be Mars for humans who like warmth and to grow things and pick fruit from trees. Yes, hardy Native folks do know how to make the most of it but we certainly don’t see bustling cities up there.

Notice the difference between the Real Greenland and Russia vs. the Imaginary ones above.

I think it’s plausible the Mercator Map is responsible for a certain percentage of the Imperial Mindset that has plagued Russia and is currently ruining it under fragile, diminutive shorty, V. Putin. Being tiny, he sees everything as big, naturally. So the Mercator Map really feeds his insecure ego and makes him believe Russia is far bigger and more relevant than it is. Given that most of it is wasteland it’s no surprise that the Russian economy is smaller than Italy’s which you can see is a mere blip on the map.

Similar flags, not so similar heights.

Russians are very proud of their square kilometers. Indeed, it is large and is even larger than the square kilometers of Pluto’s surface. However, beside consisting of gigantic areas of blank, frozen polar land, much of the area was ill gotten and even worse, ill-retained. Folks in the far East of Russia and the sparse middle lands are detached from Moscow both in culture and history and are not exactly happy about their Imperial Fate determined by some violent conquering Tzar of the past and later brutally reinforced by the USSR. In this era, their youth are being harvested as cannon fodder to satisfy the whims of Vladimir Putin in an effort to secure even more land in a greedy violent attack on Ukraine. They are not happy and many are looking for a way out and a path to autonomy. So Russia’s size, as it has in the past, is likely going to get a lot smaller…

Peter McClard

As a creative type, entrepreneur and philosopher, I write on many topics and try to offer solutions to, or useful insights into common problems.