Soviet Union Table of Contents
The textile and wood pulp industries are traditional branches of light industry that remain essential to the Soviet economy. The major textile center is northeast of Moscow. Because the industry receives most of its raw material from the cotton fields of the Transcaucasus and Central Asia economic regions, transport is expensive. Although large-scale cotton cultivation began in the Soviet Union only in the early 1900s, textile plant locations were established in the nineteenth century, when the country still imported most of its raw cotton. Soviet planners have tried to shift the textile industry into the Transcaucasus and Central Asia economic regions, nearer the domestic cotton fields. But textiles have been a well-established economic base for the Moscow area, and in the 1980s the bulk of the industry remained there. The Soviet wood pulp and paper industry is based on a vast supply of softwood trees. This industry is less centralized and closer to its raw material base than Soviet textiles; plants tend to be along the southern edge of forested regions, as close as possible to markets to the south and west (see Forestry , ch. 13). After the industrial stagnation in the 1970s and early 1980s, planners expected that consumer industries would assume a more prominent role in Soviet production beginning with the Twelfth Five-Year Plan. But despite a greater emphasis on light industry and efforts to restructure the entire planning and production systems, very little upturn was visible in any sector of industry in 1989. High production quotas, particularly for some heavy industries, appeared increasingly unrealistic by the end of that plan. Although most Soviet officials agreed that perestroika was necessary and overdue, reforming the intricate industrial system had proved difficult.
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The USSR Energy Atlas, prepared by the United States Central Intelligence Agency, is a detailed picture of Soviet fuels and power generation in the mid-1980s, with forecasts of future developments. It includes extensive maps, tables, and a gazetteer. Konstantin Spidchenko's USSR: Geography of the Eleventh FiveYear Plan Period provides an overview in English (from a Soviet perspective, which must be taken into consideration but does not mitigate its value) of the geographical distribution of industry and the rationale of expansion and location. It also describes major industrial areas and their resource bases. Gorbachev's Challenge by Marshall I. Goldman provides a general background for the restructuring goals of Soviet industry in the late 1980s, with emphasis on technology transfer and the domestic research and development area. William F. Scott's article, "Moscow's Military-Industrial Complex," is a comprehensive look at the system of military planning and its relation to the overall industrial system. Siberia and the Soviet Far East, edited by Rodger Swearingen, is a collection of articles describing in detail the economic and political factors in planning development of fuel and energy east of the Urals, with emphasis on oil and natural gas. J.P. Cole's Geography of the Soviet Union contains two chapters describing the geographical influence on Soviet industrial policy, including all major branches. Vadim Medish's The Soviet Union offers chapters on the scientific research establishment and economic planning, valuable background information in understanding Soviet industrial policy. Also, the collection of study papers for the Joint Economic Committee of the United States Congress, entitled Gorbachev's Economic Plans, covers Soviet economic planning and performance, industrial modernization, the role of the defense industry in the economy, and Soviet energy supply, with short articles on specific subtopics. (For further information and complete citations, see Bibliography.)
Data as of May 1989
Soviet Union Table of Contents