Contrast - St. Petersburg and Vologda
Russia's many landscapes, geography influences the problems
people face and the solutions they are considering since
the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The case study
St. Petersburg: Russia's Window on the West
shows a capital city originally founded to link Tsarist
Russia to the culture of Western Europe. Under Communist
rule and isolationism, the city lost its preeminence,
its name, and, in part, the strength of its economic
base as a port city. Emergence of the market system
has introduced serious problems into its economy, but
it has also presented new opportunities for revitalization.
St. Petersburg was deliberately located and built for
specific purposes based upon its particular locational
advantages. The resulting functions and structures in
this city illustrate the problems the Russian economy
faces as it undergoes a transition from communism to
a market economy where competition rewards individual
to this case study include examination of how Russian
lives have changed during the transition to a free market
economy, with commentary by Dr. Susan Hardwick and Dr.
case study Vologda: Russian Farming in Flux
shows us a quintessential Russia. This region of the
northwest interior, which surrounds the administrative
center bearing its name, is remote and rural. Many of
the changes that have occurred since the collapse of
the Soviet Union have not yet reached Vologda. We focus
on Voldoga's dairy industry, the logical agricultural
activity given the region's harsh, continental climate.
Although there is evidence of entrepreneurial activity,
we find an uncertain future as most farms have not privatized,
investment money is scarce, markets are hard to find,
and most farmers have yet to make the "mental transition"
to a free market philosophy. In some ways, collective
farms here operate in much the same fashion as they
did under communist rule.
update to this program includes new information about
privatization of farming, the continuing function of
collective farms, and how shrinking cultivation is turning
Russia into an archipelago of widely spaced urban areas.
Commentary by Dr. Grigory Ioffe.
of Physical Geography on Agriculture
Demographics in Russia's Rural Areas