The main post-war achievements in the north-east area can be summarized as follows: a) great effort to enhance the wood industry (which has tripled its production in recent years), especially to supply the destroyed cities with construction timber from the war in the west of the country; b) development of coal mining (mainly used by Leningrad industries); c) construction of the large steel plant in Čerepovec, to supply steel mainly to the north-west.
5) Western area: includes the prov. of Smolensk, of Velikie-Luki, of Kalinin, of Kaluga, of Briansk. This area suffered greatly from the German invasion. Numerous cities (Kalinin, Smolensk, Velikie-Luki, Kaluga and Briansk) were destroyed. They were rebuilt according to a plan which also led to hundreds of new villages. At the same time the whole agricultural and industrial economy was reorganized. New power plants were created to exploit the large deposits of peat, the cultivation of flax was favored, and the textile industry developed even more.
6) Kaliningrad area: constitutes a strip of territory, which stretches along the southern coast of the Baltic Sea (not subject to frost); to the north-east it reaches Lithuania, and extends south to Poland. It was united with the USSR in 1945. The country’s economy, severely damaged by the war, quickly recovered. Wood industries, food industries, mechanical industries have had a notable development in this decade.
7) Volga area: includes the basin of the great river starting from the confluence with the Oka (near Gor′kij) up to the Caspian Sea. Major works have been carried out along the river to extend irrigation areas, obtain electricity and facilitate navigation. See the entry volga in this Appendix.
8) Don and Caucasus area: includes the provinces of Rostov, Groznyj; the terr. of Krasnodar, with the rep. autonomous of the Adige; the terr. of Stavropol ′, with the prov. aut. of the Caraciai-Circassians; the rep. aut. of the Kabardinis, of North Ossetia, and of Dagestan. The economy is based on the coal fields of the Donbass, the oil deposits of the Caucasus and the methane of Dagestan.
9) Ural area: the eastern provinces of Perm ′ Sverdlosk, Čeljabinsk, Čkalov and the rep. aut. of Bashkiria and Udmurti. Many industries from the West were transported there during the war. The presence of raw materials has facilitated the creation of large factories of precision machines and instruments.
In the decade 1949-59 the economy of European Russia, from what we have mentioned, resumed its pace of development, interrupted by the war. Agriculture, traditional and fundamental activity of the Russian people, has been transformed by assuming rational and modern methods and organization, with widespread mechanization. A particular development has recently taken on the cultivation of sugar beet, especially in the regions of Kursk, Tambov, Penza and Krasnodar, obtaining (in 1957) unitary yields of 325 q per hectare in some kolkhozes. Of particular importance is also the cultivation of wheat, considered one of the national treasures; the European Russia participates widely in this crop. In total, the USSR currently dedicates an area of 70 million ha to wheat (1958), while in 1950 it was 38 million. Particular attention has been devoted in recent years (1950-58) to horticulture, which has reached very high productions in the Rostov, Volga and Urals regions; this crop is extending, with particular adaptations, to the more northern regions of recent populations. All other traditional crops have also undergone a notable increase: maize, long-fiber flax, potatoes, hemp, vines, and, for some time, cotton in the Don region.
According to transporthint, the steppe nature of the Sarmatic plain, for all this new enhancement, required, as we have already mentioned, great hydraulic works. Irrigation canals, fed by rivers and dam basins, are the fundamental factor in the development of agriculture, especially in the southernmost regions of the Don and Ciscaucasia. Lake Shcherbakov, north of Moscow, Lake Cimlyansk, between the Don and the Volga, the irrigation system of the Gorky region, etc. they are among the most important hydraulic works created to supply electricity to industries and water to agriculture.
The breeding still occupies a very important place, as in the past. In 1957, they were counted in the rep. 38 million cattle, 76 million sheep and goats, 30 million pigs, most of which in Europe. Given the extension of mechanization in agriculture, it is noted that cattle breeding tends to favor the increase of dairy animals, more than working ones (of the cattle more than 16 million are cows). Wool production is also on the rise; the rep. Russia produces 83% of the fine wool of the whole USSR, and much of it comes from European Russia of the black lands and steppes north of the Caucasus.