Post-Soviet transformation of forest settlements in the north of the Non-Black Earth Region

Averkieva K.V. Post-Soviet transformation of forest settlements in the north of the Non-Black Earth Region // The Russian Peasant Studies. 2021. V.6. №3. P. 90-110.

DOI: 10.22394/2500-1809-2021-6-3-90-110


The article considers forest settlements—the former centers of timber industry—in the Vologda and Arkhangelsk Regions during the Soviet period. They represent a special type of mono-specialized rural settlements which in a short period turned from the local growth points and centers of attraction into depopulating settlements with shrinking labor markets and social infrastructure. The article is based on field studies conducted in three municipal districts of the Vologda and Arkhangelsk Regions (grassroots statistics and analytical materials, in-depth interviews with local residents, representatives of local governments and municipal authorities). The outflow of population from logging stations is determined, on the one hand, by the collapse of timber industry and institutional restructuring of logging industry; on the other, by modernization of logging which no longer needs permanently inhabited settlements. Due to the higher population density of forest settlements (compared to small rural settlements in the Non-Black Earth Region), their population losses in the past twenty years affect the general migration dynamics of municipal districts. Unlike historical settlements, the geographic location of forest settlements (often remote from transport networks) and the deplorable state of housing do not leave them hopes for at least seasonal redevelopment or new functions. The current state of forest settlements depends on a set of factors: geographical location, type of development, type of community, readiness of residents to self-organize, and so on.


Forest settlement, logging settlement, rural settlement system, logging, NonBlack Earth Region, Vologda Region.

About the author

Averkieva Kseniya V., PhD (Geography), Senior Researcher, Institute of Geography of the Russian Academy of Sciences. 119017 Moscow, Staromonetny Per., 29, bldg. 4.
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 


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