Russian History


Transportation and Telecommunications

Roads: 934,000 kilometers in service in 1995, of which 725,000 kilometers paved or gravel and of which 445,000 kilometers serve only specific industries or farms. Automobile travel expanding, but roads inadequate in quality and quantity.

Railroads: 154,000 kilometers wide-gauge in 1995, of which 87,000 kilometers for common carrier service. 49,000 kilometers diesel, and 38,000 kilometers electrified. Proportion of cargo shipping by rail high by Western standards. System in need of large-scale repair.

Civil Aviation: 2,517 airports, of which fifty-four with paved runways over 3,047 meters. In 1990s hundreds of private airlines formed. Aeroflot, the state monopoly of Soviet Union, now joint-stock company with majority of stock held by government. Major international airports include Sheremet'evo in Moscow and Pulkovo in St. Petersburg. Flights to most major world capitals and major cities within Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

Ports and Shipping: Main ports Arkhangel'sk, Astrakhan', Kaliningrad, Kazan', Khabarovsk, Kholmsk, Krasnoyarsk, Magadan, Moscow, Murmansk, Nakhodka, Nevel'sk, Novorossiysk, Petropavlovsk, Rostov-na-Donu, Sochi, St. Petersburg, Tuapse, Vladivostok, Volgograd, Vostochnyy, and Vyborg. Merchant fleet 800 vessels in 1995. Some 235 ships operating under Maltese, Cypriot, Liberian, Panamanian, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Honduran, Marshall Islands, Bahamian, and Vanuatu registry.

Inland waterways: Total navigable routes in general use 101,000 kilometers.

Pipelines: Crude oil, 48,000 kilometers; petroleum products, 15,000 kilometers; natural gas, 140,000 kilometers.

Telecommunications: 24,400,000 telephones; 20,900,000 in urban areas and 3,500,000 in rural areas in 1995. Development of modern communications lines and acquisition of advanced equipment slow. Diversity in radio and television programming increasing since late 1980s. Access to Internet and cellular phones expanding, but poor state of telecommunications hinders country's modernization.