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Economy
 
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Most likely you have already got time to get accustomed to the idea that the territory of Russia is simply tremendous. It is much easier to cross the whole Europe than the only Russia. Such huge extent from west to east and from south to north has imposed print on a national economy. Ural Mountains divide territory of Russia into European and Asian parts. These two regions differ one from another by economic parameters very much. Historically the population was populating the territory of the country from west to east therefore 73 % of the population lives in its European part. And it is the main reason for industrial enterprises to be concentrated here. About 80 % of agricultural production, industry and mechanical engineering, 20-25 % of gas, petroleum, 10 % of coal is producing in the western zone. At the same time in the east zone - in Siberia and on the Far East these figures following: up to 85 % of petroleum, gas and coal about 20 % of agricultural production and mechanical engineering. It's not a secret, that fuel and energy are the steadiest and most profitable sectors of Russian economy. It has less than others suffered in result of reorganisation of economy. At present more than 2/3 of export from the country is a contribution of fuel and energy industrial complex. The increasing flow of gas, coal and petroleum is received in a European part of Russia from East Siberia as well as in many European countries. Novosibirsk is a native capital of Siberia having a powerful economic potential but also having just short 100 years of history to grow in huge transport and industrial centre. Ural is also a region made by history. It is a centre of metallurgy, production and processing of colour metals, really endless source of useful minerals. The largest cities are Chelyabinsk and Ekaterinburg. These cities have a favourable geographical position due to they are large transport units and industrial centres. Central Russia is economic, political and administrative core of Russia. A huge technological potential is concentrated here. In Moscow is engaged 1/5 science officers of the whole country, in Leningrad I/ 15. A staff of highest qualification is prepared in Central Russia. Scienceconsuming and labourconsuming manufactures determining the technological progress are mainly located here. Two Russian capitals - Moscow and Saint Petersburg - are especially allocated, where there are many famous and prestigious institutes. More than 220 educational institutions of Central Russia prepare staff for all branches of a national economy. In a roughly developing Russian market there is plenty of possibilities to display self in business. Therefore people not evading to risk looking for an application knowledge and creative potential have many opportunities for selfrealisation. Notwithstanding any crisis.

Living standards

The Soviet system provided accommodation with very low rent, free social services, subsidised vacations through the workplace, low priced factory canteens, shops and sport facilities etc. To a small extent these things still remain, although prices have increased considerably and are in some instances higher than one would pay abroad and the quality of a lower standard. Wages during the Soviet period were also very low and this has carried over to the present day. Faced with high inflation during the early 90's and the inconvertibility of the rouble, individual buying power dropped substantially in real terms. Now inflation has been reduced and somewhat kept in check, but average Russian wages amount to approximately $200-300/month. Those individuals working at major Russian enterprises, banks, and other foreign enterprises receive considerably more especially in Moscow. Wages vary considerably in the other regions although the costs of living do not differ that much throughout Russia. A significant share of the population (especially pensioners) has been forced well below the poverty line due to rapid inflation outstripping increases in State benefits. Conversely, the wealth of the rich has risen and may continue to do so during a period where business opportunities abound.
 
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"Moscow:

... I was unable to spend any meaningful amounts of time in Moscow, but was given the whirlwind tour by 2 lovely ladies, Sveta and Olga, University students in Moscow. I saw the Kremlin, St. Basil's Cathedral, the KGB HQ, Red Square and Lenin's Tomb. I even managed to attend a pro-communist rally in the square. Something that really stood out for me was the Moscow subway. The central stations were literally works of art. They seemed more like art galleries or ballrooms than train stations - so completely opposite of North American subways. Definitely go see the sites in Moscow. I only had 1 day so I only had time to see very little. Just before I left I managed a quick trip to the famous Moscow CD market. Here you can buy any piece of software or music for US $2. It is all pirated so if you do bring some back to Canada and customs finds them it will be seized. Sadly my visa ran out and I had to leave the next day.
Moscow is as modern and developed as any major western city. In fact Moscow is a nation with a nation. Russians have a popular idiom that there are two Russias - Moscow and the rest.
Moscow is expensive!
I spent more on one meal in a shopping mall food court in Moscow than I would spend in an entire day in Novosibirsk. The vast difference in lifestyles made me helped me understand that animosity I felt from non-Muscovites to their big city cousins. It also explained the noticeable disdain that Muscovites held for everything non-Moscow..."