Economics: Russian company towns

The iron and steel plant at Nizhny Tagil dominates the town   (photo: dpa)
The iron and steel plant at Nizhny Tagil dominates the town (photo: dpa)

The massive inflow of petrodollars is allowing Russia to project a profile of wealth and economic stability. But under the gloss is a fabric of decay in the form of rustbelt towns, single-industry towns which are now productively redundant yet home to millions of under or unemployed. What is to become of them, asks Professor Stefan Hedlund?

THE Russian economy is kept afloat by massive revenues from hydrocarbon exports.

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The Russian leadership pretends to realise that this is not an economically viable course but it is, in reality, quite happy to coast along.

There are few problems that cannot be made to go away by simpl...

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