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: Ten years ago the former Soviet Union was pictured in the West as a monolithic unit governed from Moscow with a firm hand. Today, the geographical area which once constituted the USSR no longer exists and the disparities between regions are increasing all the time. This is the first book to provide an overview of Russia's regional development during the entire Soviet period as well as presenting a penetrating analysis of the array of regional problems facing Russia as we move into the twenty-first century. It analyses factors contributing to cohesion and disintegration in Russia today, stressing the importance of ethnicity, religion and Russian nationalism. In examining regional developments and spatial policy during the Soviet period, the authors reveal a remarkable paradox that the development of heavy industry actually reduced regional inequalities, but as the economy diversified disparities widened. The book is also a document from 'the people who were there' - that is, those trying in the circumstances then prevailing to develop regional science which never achieved practical application under central planning. The authors conclude that the development of Russia is increasingly becoming an issue of the development of its regions. This book will be useful for academics working in the areas of transitional economics, economic geography, particularly those interested in long term regional divergence and convergence, and economic history.