The Disappearing Villages of the Soviet Union

In the 1980’s there was a resurgence of immigration from the rural Siberian villages into the big cities. In 20 years the number of villages in the Western part of Siberia with less than 200 residents decreased by 50 percent.(Ryvkina)  The rural population of the whole Soviet Union decreased from 130.2 to 97.7 million from 1939-1989.(Siegelbaum) The reasoning behind this decrease population includes the better lifestyle which the city offers. As depicted in the picture above many of these villages had poor roads and some probably didn’t even have roads which made their villages inaccessible. As also depicted in the images above the government did not fix these issues for the villagers. The disappearing of the villages is impart a result of the unsatisfied soviet farmer, the government failed to enact policies to improve the life style of those who live in rural areas.

These villages remained underdeveloped as a cause of the government’s ill-adequate expenses being directed to these villages. (Ryvkina) These villagers see no other choice but to move towards larger villages are even make the travel to a city. Which, nevertheless, resulted in a plethora of villages becoming ghost towns.

To view a photo collection of Russian villages by Gennady Bodrov click here.











4 thoughts on “The Disappearing Villages of the Soviet Union

  1. Interesting topic! The population decrease that you mentioned was truly staggering; that large of a migration signals that something was not right, or policies weren’t working for that group. Did the government have a response to this migration?

  2. Fascinating topic! It is easy sometimes to forget how big Russia as a country is and these villages that are so easily cut off from the rest of the population. It is sad to hear that they were just forgotten and left to their own devices by the government when they needed help. Was this lack of help a specific choice in order to centralize more of the rural population or was it a genuine lack of ability to help?

  3. The “dying village” in the Soviet Union has so much in common with the vanishing family farm in the US. (Think about the “fly over states”….). That poster is terrific — especially the new breed of long-legged chickens (adapted to the mud!).

  4. Very informative, and unique post! I enjoyed the poster you attached and the photo collection as well. It is heartbreaking to think that these villages and those that resided within them were left behind with no form of outside help. What kind of cultural impact did the migration have within the cities?

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