A geographical map of eastern Europe depicts important natural features, including rivers such as the Volga and Danube and elevations such as the Carpathian and Balkan Mountains, whereas a political map of eastern Europe focuses on political borders and major cities. Other features, such as the Balkan Peninsula, might appear on both types of maps.
The eastern border of Europe follows the Ural and Caucasus Mountains and the Ural River, but the region's border with western Europe is not as clear. Many features, such as the Great European Plain, stretch across both sides of the continent, and the mountains have an east to west orientation, so no major geographic feature divides eastern Europe from the rest of the continent.
A political map of eastern Europe often includes the countries east of Russia and west of Germany, Austria and Italy. Some scholars include Greece and the countries on the Adriatic Sea, but others group them separately as southern Europe. This area includes three sub regions. The Baltic Republics include Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. The Balkan countries include Bulgaria, Romania, Albania and the rest of the Balkan Peninsula between the Black and Adriatic Seas. The inland region includes the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ukraine, Hungary, Belarus and Moldova.