Not true about Russia.
They were exposed to the West via the Byzantine Empire.
How did the Rys ppl get their language? From the Greeks.
They didn’t pay attention to Europe because to them, Europe was still the “Latins” – Apostates to the separated Church of Rome.
You can thank the Byzantines for injecting ancient Greek knowledge into the relatively impoverished Europe – Council of Florence.
This novel environmental interpretation of world history sounds great in a gloss-over view, but it doesn’t hold up to scrutiny.