In the decade 1948-1958, fishing also increased its output, which is of fundamental importance for the population’s nutrition, as it is practiced not only in the sea, but also in the many inland waters, rivers and lakes, the surface of which has in recent years, its extent has increased considerably. The fish collected from the sea and inland waters throughout the USSR was 2,535,000 t in 1957, of which a considerable part in the European Union.
Forests extend in the European region for 225 million ha, corresponding to 20% of the total land area. Conifers prevail (75%). Numerous and continuously increasing sawmills, especially in the northern part of the country, the richest in forests; Kondopoga in Karelia, Sjas ′ and Sokal ′, in central-western Russia, Krasnovišersk, Krasnokamsk and Novaya Ljalja in the Ural region are centers of sawmills, of wood industries in general (furniture, cellulose, paper, matches, etc.) recently developed.
In the decade from 1948 to 1958, the research and exploitation of mineral products had a particular intensification. Coal is extracted from the large deposits of the Donec (Donbass) and those of the Urals: the main centers of extraction are (1958) the Donbass (181.7 million tons out of a total of 495.8 million tons for the whole Union), the Moscow Basin (47.2), the Pečra Basin (16.8) and the Urals Basin (61). For oil and iron too, the European Union now prevails, by virtue of the fields of the Second Baku and the Krivoj-Rog basin. Platinum is mined in the Tura, Ish, and Losova (Urals) basins; copper in those of Bajmak, Degtjarka, Krasnoural′sk; bauxite from the Krasnaja, Serov, Kalia basins, etc.). Nepheline is extracted on the Kola Peninsula; potash is found in Solikamsk (Urals); asbestos is also abundant in the Urals. For some years, sulfur deposits have been discovered in the regions of the Middle Volga (Vodino). Such a wealth of useful metals has favored the development of powerful metallurgical, iron and steel and mechanical industries. The metallurgical and iron and steel zones in particular in the RSFSR are two: one central and another Uralic. The data we possess concern the whole great Federation, however they can give us an idea of metallurgy in European Russia. In 1950, 10 million tons of crude iron were produced; in 1959, 43 million; in 1959 45 million tons of steel were produced, in 1959, 59 million: rolled products in 1950 reached a production of 18 million tons, in 1956, 21 million.
In Russia the central region extends between Moscow, Tula, Vyksa, Lipeck, Noginsk; the Ural area boasts the grandiose plants of Magnitogorsk, Nizne Tagilsk, Chelyabinsk (considered among the largest in Europe), Zlatoust (special steels), Sverdlovsk, Serov, Lys′va, Alapaevsk. Also of great importance are the Stalingrad facilities on the Volga.
Copper metallurgy boasts modern foundries in the Ural regions. The processing of bauxite, for the extraction of aluminum, is carried out in the factories of Krasnoufimsk (Ural bauxite). Lead and zinc are processed in Chelyabinsk. The large Uralian metallurgical industries are also supplied by newly discovered and exploited Siberian raw materials (Siberian fluorites).
An impressive effort was made, after the war (1946), for the reconstruction of the various mechanical industries severely damaged by war destruction. Currently the RSFSR owns all branches; in considerable part they are localized in the European Russia For other details on the industries see in this Appendix the entry USSR.
The intensification of industrial activity in the Russia was also favored by a development of the fluvial, railway, road and air communication routes. Rivers and canals regulated and arranged in their course form the system of the five seas, as the White Sea, the Baltic Sea, the Black Sea, the Caspian Sea, the Azov Sea have been put in communication with each other. In recent years (from 1954 to 1959) more than 5,000 km of inland waterways have been built in European Russia.
According to travelationary, the Moscow region is also the convergence location of a great railway system, which unites the capital with all the more distant regions of the USSR. Moscow is also the main center of air services, the fastest way to unite the very distant localities of the immense country, which extends for over 12,000 km, in the sense of longitude. Air vehicles have a transport function not only for passengers but also for goods.
Of great importance in this decade has been the effort to spread the culture of every order and degree. The main cultural institutions of the Union are located in Moscow, including the Academy of Sciences, which has sections throughout the USSR. In Moscow it is also the most important university, attended by 22,000 students. Centers of culture are also: Leningrad, which boasts 53 high schools, with over 100,000 students, 39 museums and, in the vicinity of the city, in Pulkovo, the large astronomical observatory in which the mirror telescope (6 m) is being built. big of the world; Kirovsk, center of scientific (geological) studies; Ivanovo, in the surroundings of which is the village of Palech, where a cooperative of painters who are inspired by ancient traditions works; Kazan ′, famous for its university; Saratov, seat of the university.