How Russia “consumed” the Soviet legacy


Saratov Aviation Plant. Current condition. Photo: Red Textile Worker / wikipedia.org


At a press conference, President Putin touched on an extremely interesting topic related to Soviet industrial heritage. It is believed that the modern Russian Federation "eats" the remnants of the economic potential of the USSR. Is it really?

The head of state directly objected to critics of his rule the following:

75 percent of manufacturing capacity in the manufacturing industry has been established since 2000. The average age of machinery and equipment in the processing industry is 12 years. Do you understand? What is this talking about? This indicates what has been done in recent decades.


Without claiming to be the ultimate truth, we’ll try to add our “five cents” to this difficult topic. The question, indeed, is not entirely unambiguous.

The Soviet Union had enormous industrial potential, its GDP was the second in the world. After the collapse of the USSR, many enterprises, deposits, and infrastructure remained outside the Russian Federation. The privatization of state property was carried out, which to this day is estimated by the population as “predatory”. Many domestic plants and enterprises could not survive the "dashing nineties", others, "seized" by the oligarchs, did better, for which the chief ideologist of privatization Anatoly Chubais now urges Russians to say thanks to them.

However, not even in the nineties, a severe blow was dealt to the Soviet legacy. The era of “effective managers” came into the millennia, and the country was as open as possible to multinational corporations. The result was logical. A list of tens of thousands of Russian enterprises closed over the past two decades is “walking” on the Web. On "Military Review" in 2013 was also posted a visual list of closed largest and high-tech former Soviet enterprises.

In a certain sense, we really have nothing to “parasitize” on. Of course, it was not President Putin who closed them, just “it happened”. And it could not be otherwise when Russia tried to integrate into the global capitalist system, where we were not seen otherwise than a raw materials appendage of the West.

But, in fairness, we note that on the list of closed enterprises there is another counter. We will be objective. During this period, new plants were opened, roads were built, pipelines stretched, fields plowed up.

So, significant success was achieved in the oil and gas sector. Over Putin’s twenty years, more than 600 new fields were discovered, oil refineries were modernized, and the construction of the Amur gas refinery was planned. LNG projects are being implemented. True, in this industry, import dependence is still quite strong. of technologies and accessories.

The auto industry is developing. Many foreign brands have opened their assembly plants, the degree of localization of components is gradually increasing. Some companies, such as Ford, have left our market, but others have come. In particular, Mercedes launched an assembly line in the suburbs.

Western sanctions have shown that Russia has big problems with high-power gas turbines. This forced to begin the revival of their own production. The construction of numerous pipelines provided an incentive for the development of domestic metallurgy, which bypassed some of the achievements of the Soviet period.

Agriculture is growing. By the volume of wheat produced, modern Russia even surpassed the USSR. True, critics point to the relatively low quality of grain, as well as to the fact that the livestock population is not comparable with the Soviet level (then the lion's share of cultivated cereals went to feed farm animals, and not for export). But, in general, the country managed to ensure its food security. The potential of the agricultural sector is great, and it can become one of the locomotives for the development of the Russian economics.
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  1. nnz226 Offline
    nnz226 (Nikolai) 21 December 2019 12: 56
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    Ah, how much has been discovered since 2000! That's just the USSR had 20% in the world economy, and why now (even taking into account the loss of territories of all kinds of limitrophs that used to be union republics) does not have 3% ??? Why not 10-15% ??? Indeed, according to all the stories of the RSFSR (now the Russian Federation), it was the locomotive of the economy in the USSR, having a share of more than 60% of all-union production!
    1. Marzhecki Offline
      Marzhecki (Sergei) 21 December 2019 13: 36
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      Very correct question.
    2. commbatant Offline
      commbatant (Sergei) 22 December 2019 13: 23
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      Quote: nnz226
      Indeed, according to all the stories of the RSFSR (now the Russian Federation), it was the locomotive of the economy in the USSR, having a share of more than 60% of all-union production!

      Do you believe stories? In one USSR, 1/3 of the entire industry of the USSR was ... and production, which produced competitive products with capitalist countries (and not CMEA countries), was partially produced only in the military-industrial complex ..... moreover, after the "victory" "a market economy in the Russian Federation, many enterprises in the Russian Federation could not compete with each other, not like the West ... (AMO-ZIL, AZLK, KZKT, etc.), in addition, there were many duplicate enterprises ...
      Even after more than 1/4 of the century after the collapse of the USSR, the CIS market is the market for its products of the former Soviet republics ....
      Former ATS members faced the same problem when entering the EU, losing entire industries, although they had stronger production technologies and discipline than most Soviet enterprises, before entering the EU and the collapse of the USSR, their market was mostly the USSR and the country CMEA ...
      For example, the Ukrainian SSR in 1991 exceeded the level of Poland’s GDP by 6 times, but all these years it ate its Soviet legacy, did not give in to the development and modernization of its production base, having cheap energy resources before coming to power in the Russian Federation ....
      If not for the mess in Ukraine, we probably have not yet developed a gas turbine engine for ships and helicopters, etc.
      1. NordUral Offline
        NordUral (Eugene) 22 December 2019 21: 49
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        For these 1/3, I hope very much, the devil wasn’t lazy that they placed production facilities and research institutes in Ukraine in the 60-70s, instead of that, to develop Siberia and the Far East.
        1. commbatant Offline
          commbatant (Sergei) 22 December 2019 21: 56
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          Quote: NordUral
          For these 1/3, I hope very much, the devil wasn’t lazy that they placed production facilities and research institutes in Ukraine in the 60-70s, instead of that, to develop Siberia and the Far East.

          You don’t speak Soviet-style ... why do you need to place an aircraft plant in Tashkent, where IL-76 was produced and are now being manufactured, and why in the BSSR to build MAZ, MZKT, BelAZ, etc., the Soviet Union tried to develop high-tech enterprises in all republics, even in the Georgian and Armenian SSR even then they managed to shove the KAZ and YERAZ car factories, then such a line of the Party and the Government was ... probably ....
          1. NordUral Offline
            NordUral (Eugene) 22 December 2019 22: 11
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            I did not say anything about these republics, only the Ukrainian SSR called it, the sister was very difficult at all times. What is in the Union, about now I will not say anything. Although, in my opinion, new strategic production should have been placed in the Urals, Siberia and the Far East.
            1. commbatant Offline
              commbatant (Sergei) 22 December 2019 22: 20
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              Quote: NordUral
              I did not say anything about these republics, only the Ukrainian SSR called it, the sister was very difficult at all times.

              At what other times, Ukraine, as a state entity, appeared under the Bolsheviks and expanded with its neighbors, including and to a greater extent at the expense of the RSFSR, they wanted to increase the proletariat as part of Ukraine, so they gave up the industrial Southeast, and Khrushchev, to appease the Ukrainian elite from the local Communist Party, gave the Ukrainian SSR Crimea ....
              Most of the time the USSR existed was controlled by either Georgians or Ukrainians from all the republics of the USSR;
              And as for Ukraine, I’ll say the same as about other republics (excl. BSSR), having received free then, they don’t appreciate ....
            2. Victor N Offline
              Victor N (Victor n) 23 December 2019 12: 27
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              And what, the separatists in the Urals have already transferred?
  2. Potapov Offline
    Potapov (Valery) 21 December 2019 15: 43
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    Not eaten, but effectively plundered ...
  3. Port Offline
    Port 21 December 2019 16: 02
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    And who did not eat, and did not steal, are there such? The USSR and collapsed, to plunder.
  4. boriz Offline
    boriz (boriz) 21 December 2019 16: 06
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    ... the country has managed to ensure its food security.

    Well, what kind of security is it? They will give us seeds - we will grow crops. If they don’t give it, we won’t grow it.
    The search for the extreme has already begun. Matvienko is a fool: it turns out that "energy" is to blame for the absence of seeds.
    In 2010, I communicated with a researcher at the Michurinsky Garden TSHA. His words were remembered:

    We have not had science for 15 years.

    Seed production is a constant, CONTINUOUS work of thousands of competent specialists.
    In Leningrad, during the blockade, people were starving to death next to bags of grain, but they saved the Babylonian collection, collected around the world. As I understand it, she is no longer there. The Ministry of Agriculture requires "energy" by seed, and something goes to work for money, not for energy.
    Under the USSR, it was sown exclusively with its seeds and varieties. Bezostaya 1 is a classic of the genre.

    ... there is another counter to the list of closed enterprises. We will be objective.

    Well, let's sing the International: "... we will destroy. To the ground, and then ...". Rake dance. What is developing is that in the 90s it was under the control of the security forces and was not completely destroyed. And based on these residues, something is developing.
    1. NordUral Offline
      NordUral (Eugene) 22 December 2019 21: 52
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      So think, are fools in our power, or enemies? I have been thinking about seed addiction for a long time. They will cut us off krantik, that’s all the food, for the most part, and without this far-fetched independence.
  5. Sapsan136 Offline
    Sapsan136 (Sapsan136) 22 December 2019 02: 56
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    Come to VASO and see what the average age of equipment is there ... If it’s not enough, go to Rudgormash ... Machine tools of the 70s, 80s of the last century, there are older ones, new ones can be counted on the fingers and they don’t everywhere ... So, tell tales about the average age of equipment at 12 years old in bars to drunken blondes, maybe it’ll go there ...
    1. Victor N Offline
      Victor N (Victor n) 22 December 2019 14: 45
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      There were so many machine tools in the USSR that there weren’t enough workers to use them - a lot lay in warehouses. There was no physical wear and tear. So they can be used for a long time, only they are morally outdated. We survive the mistakes of the State Planning Commission.
      1. Sapsan136 Offline
        Sapsan136 (Sapsan136) 22 December 2019 17: 54
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        These machines are not in stock, not new, they have been used for decades ...
        1. Victor N Offline
          Victor N (Victor n) 23 December 2019 12: 31
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          It’s good to search nearby - there will be brand new peers.
          1. Sapsan136 Offline
            Sapsan136 (Sapsan136) 23 December 2019 15: 00
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            You can’t find a black cat in a dark room if it’s not there ... If you are told that the equipment is old and worn out, the people who worked there, then take it on faith, but no, then go and see for yourself, but don’t write about that you don’t know.
            1. Rusa Offline
              Rusa 25 December 2019 14: 51
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              In Kansk, for example, almost all enterprises were closed, but nothing new was built in the last 20 years. The city is degrading, people are leaving.
  6. Sergey Latyshev Offline
    Sergey Latyshev (Serge) 22 December 2019 10: 30
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    So someone is lying. Do not get used to it. We’ll choose anyway.
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  8. NordUral Offline
    NordUral (Eugene) 22 December 2019 21: 45
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    But, in general, the country managed to ensure its food security.

    Impudent lie! However, like almost everything else.
  9. Roarv Offline
    Roarv (Robert) 23 December 2019 06: 08
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    The author, learn to compare, if you do not know how to use archival data .... Do something else.

    Food security.
    This is when instead of 40 million cows, 8 million cows remain in the country.
    And all dairy products, all confectionery, oil and fat products are replaced by palm oil, which we feed children, pregnant
    Women, and then we collect SMS money for their treatment ..
    Think about how many machines the RSFSR produced and today Russia, how many bearing products ....
    Author, you are an amateur and a populist. In different countries in industry, among engineers, there is a “correlation index” of technical specialists with managerial personnel, compare it with us in other countries, compare how many bearing plants there were, how many are left. How many aircraft factories were civil aviation - we AN-2 maize dorms and small and medium-sized aircraft ceased to produce. But they succeeded in that - in the sale of their land and mineral deposits, and the laying of pipelines.
    The economy of the USSR was ruined by the arms race and fraternal financial assistance to other countries.
    Today, we again want to compete with the $ FRS printing press without developing our production, but importing everything from China .... Nobody asked the President how China takes 1-2 places for the export of forest products, despite the fact that there is deforestation there prohibited by law.
    1. Vladai Offline
      Vladai (Vlad) 23 December 2019 09: 00
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      Best post
    2. Rusa Offline
      Rusa 25 December 2019 14: 55
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      And what would you like if the political power in the country is oligarchic type?
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  12. NordUral Offline
    NordUral (Eugene) 31 December 2019 15: 22
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    "Says" like Trotsky.