Russian projects in the Arctic: the continuity of tasks and solutions

Tyumen State University Herald. Humanities Research. Humanitates


2019, Vol. 5. №1

Russian projects in the Arctic: the continuity of tasks and solutions

For citation: Zubkov K. I., Karpov V. P. 2019. “Russian projects in the Arctic: the continuity of tasks and solutions”. Tyumen State University Herald. Humanities Research. Humanitates, vol. 5, no 1, pp. 173-187. DOI: 10.21684/2411-197X-2019-5-1-173-187

About the authors:

Konstantin I. Zubkov, Cand. Sci. (Hist.), Head of the Sector of Historiography and Methodology, Institute of History and Archeology of the Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Ekaterinburg);

Viktor P. Karpov, Dr. Sci. (Hist.), Professor, Department of Humanities and Technologies, Industrial University of Tyumen;


The Soviet strategic approaches to the development of the Arctic in the 1920s-1930s are studied. The focus is on the first Soviet institutions in the Arctic, their role in the organization of life in the Far North. Achievements and miscalculations in the development of the Soviet Arctic should be used to optimize modern approaches to the development of the region. The difficulty of the task lies in the fact that, despite the abundance of impressive plans and programs, the development of the territories of the Soviet North at different stages inevitably assumed a selectively one-sided character (due to the environmental factors and the profile of the extracted resources) and was far from the ideal process. Therefore, the solution of the task should be sought not so much at the level of the theory of socialist planning, as empirically, according to the specific results of the real Arctic policy. Until now, the question of its effectiveness has not received an unequivocal resolution. Therefore, the reconstruction of the Soviet Arctic policy, understanding the logic of decision-making and implementation remains an urgent task of historiography. The authors of the article examined the first Arctic projects of the USSR through the prism of comparison with the previous, imperial, and post-Soviet approaches to the development of the Arctic. The geopolitical aspect of making major decisions on the development of the economy and transport communications at high latitudes is analyzed. The continuity of the tasks and problems of state policy towards the Arctic is shown. The article substantiates the conclusion that it is not the scale of projects and not the scientific, technical, and organizational decisions but the economic conditions and the environment that are most conducive to increasing the effectiveness of the Arctic public policy.


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