Russia Between 1949 and 1959 Part I

By | February 18, 2022

According to timedictionary, the Russian Soviet Socialist Federal Republic (RSFSR), which is by far the largest and most important of the 15 republics of the Soviet Union, spans both Europe and Asia. From the administrative point of view it is currently divided into 49 provinces (oblasts), 6 territories (krai) and 16 autonomous republics, 5 autonomous provinces and 10 national areas.

While we refer to the USSR entry (in this App.) As regards the Asian regions, we indicate here the main changes that have occurred in the European part of Russia, which extends west of the Urals, from the Arctic Ocean to the Black Sea and to the crest of the Caucasus and bordered to the West by Norway, Finland, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Romania. And since the vast territory presents very varied geographical-physical and anthropic aspects, it is customary to distinguish it in various parts in which economic life developed differently, in the pre-war decades and in the subsequent decade.

1) Central area with a prevalently industrial character: it includes seven provinces which take their name from their capital: Moscow; Vladimir; Ivanovo; Jaroslavl ′; Kostroma; Ryazan ′; Tula. The main occupation is industry, with a higher percentage of employees than in other well-populated areas, such as those of the Ural and Ukraine. In the area of ​​the industrial center this activity has developed for centuries even though there is no subsoil rich in minerals and fuels. It was the industries that spurred the populations to search for mineral deposits, unlike what happened in other areas where the mineral deposits created industries. The central position certainly favored economic development. The population varies in density (from 100 residents per km 2in the area between Volga and Oka, it drops to 30 in the forested area to the north). The urban population now reaches 70%. Agriculture (flax, hemp, wheat) favored industrial development with a prevalence of textile and food industries. But the center where the textile industry dominated was transformed into a country with mechanical and chemical industries, while maintaining the traditional industries (linen, hemp, wool, silk fabrics).

2) Land area: includes the four provinces of Orël, Kursk, Voronež, Tambov. After the war it was necessary to almost entirely rebuild a large number of cities and rebuild the completely destroyed economy; they also wanted to highlight the rich iron mines of the “Kursk magnetic anomaly” and rebuild the irrigation system necessary for agricultural production in the driest southern regions.

3) North – west area: includes four provinces: Leningrad, Pskov, Novgorod, Murmansk. Various parts are distinguished: a) A southern part (Leningrad, Pskov and Novgorod), more populous, which during the war was devastated by the German occupation; not only cities and cultivated countryside were destroyed, but also the forests, set on fire by bombing. After the war, the economy of this region had to be rebuilt, firstly with the reconstruction of Leningrad and its industries, and then with the creation of a large steel plant intended to supply metal to the mechanical constructions of the city. A large factory was also built (using coal from Pečra and minerals from Kola) in Čerepovec, outside the Leningrad region, not far from its eastern borders. In this southernmost part there are also the centers of Volkhov, near a large hydroelectric plant, b) An average part of the northwest, corresponding to the rep. aut. of Karelia, formerly a wooded and poor country, today transformed for the enhancement above all of forest riches. In recent years, the construction of power plants for wood processing has intensified. c) A northern part of the northwest, the Murmansk region, covered with forest and tundre. The mineral riches have partly transformed the economy; a new small town, Kirovsk, was founded beyond the polar circle, near Lake Vudjiavr, in a region rich in apatite and nefalina deposits. Near the city there is a sovchoz for swamp crops and for breeding, and a polar botanical garden.

4) North – east area: includes the provinces of Arcangelo and Vologda, in addition to the rep. aut. of the Komi. Forests are the main wealth here; also extended the tundras, where breeding is practiced; fishing is active at the mouth of the rivers. Agricultural activity has also recently developed in the southern part of the Vologda region. In recent years, the valorisation of considerable mineral wealth has also begun; especially coal and oil; two new cities have sprung up, Vorkuta and Uchta, joined by rail to Archangel. The new polar Donbass (Vorkuta basin) was created. Coal from Pečra is sent by rail to Leningrad, and a new railway line, under construction, will allow oil to be transported to Uralic industrial centers.

Although the sea and river routes are the essential transport routes, there is a railway network of some importance. Recall: the Leningrad-Kirov line, which crosses the Vologda region; the Arcangelo-Vologda line; the new Vorkuta-Kotlass, continued westwards to Arcangelo; there is also a Kirov-Kotlass line, which joins the Dvina basin with the Urals and Siberia. The great Pečra line (Kotlass-Vorkuta with branch to Salechard for the Northern Urals) has recently been planned and partly built. A railway section connects Belomorsk and Obozërskaja, starting from the Archangel-Vologda line.

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