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This Google Mashup Map shows the full length of our Spine of Russia route through Russia, from North to South, with interesting waypoints and notes.
The original planned route of the trip was to be 3700 kilometers along the E105, from its start in Kirkenes, to its termination in Yalta, Crimea. Yet political realities (mainly the inability to transit from Ukraine to Crimea along the E105) and a deeper consideration of the goals of the trip (a desire to focus 100% on Russia) has led to a remapping.
The new route will begin in Kirkenes and head down the E105 for 2700 km – nearly as long as is possible within Russia. At Oryol it veers east to Voronezh, and then straight south to Krasnodar. It will conclude with a drive down the coast of the Black Sea, to Sochi.
In all, the month-long trip (now 5400 km, or 3300 miles) will traverse 15 of Russia’s regions and nearly two dozen major cities, as well as numerous towns and villages. Half of Russia’s population lives in the regions we will transit.