Monday, June 10, 2024

No Bos-Wash Corridor in Russia: Land Between Two Capitals ‘Empty,’ Prokofyev Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, June 6 – St. Petersburg economist Dmitry Prokofyev says that when Russia’s first railroad was built between Moscow and St. Petersburg in the reign of Nicholas I, many expected that the land in between the two capitals would rapidly develop. But that hasn’t happened; and if the current system continues, it won’t.

            The two capitals form more than a fifth of the country’s population and a far larger share of the economy, but between them is “an empty space” which is either vacant or filled with dying villages, he says (

            According to Pavel Pryanikov, a Russian commentator and blogger, the main reason for the existence of poor and depressed regions between the two rich agglomerations is “the administrative-command economy” (

            Money and taxes remain in the two capitals, and no one there has much interest in developing the regions around these cities. Instead, the rich get richer and the poor poorer – and not just in the distant periphery of the Russian Federation but right around its most important economic and political centers.

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