Soviet Exploration of the Unused Lands

Soviet Exploration of the Unused Lands

In Soviet times, it was kind of trendy among the young people to go to the “exploration of the new lands” – like the great campaign on gaining food independence of the Soviet Union – as they were importing grains and more. So they decided to use the huge land masses that they already had but where nobody was farming them. Because private farming was forbidden at the time, they did it through governmental structures. Let’s read on:

Soviet Exploration of the Unused Lands

They formed tens or hundreds of special Soviet farms called “Sovkhoz” –  like “Soviet Farm” and then started moving people into them, often promising benefits, especially to the young ones.

Soviet Exploration of the Unused Lands

Soviet Exploration of the Unused Lands

Soviet Exploration of the Unused Lands

They say they spent over 20% of whole Soviet budget in the years 1955-1965 to make this happen. Soviet Exploration of the Unused Lands

Soviet Exploration of the Unused Lands

So thousands of people moved there. Soviet Exploration of the Unused Lands

Soviet Exploration of the Unused Lands

However, even Krushev himself in his memoirs remembers that often the natural and geological particularities of the places were not taken into account, so often harmful things happened like “When we already had plowed and sowed big fields in Kazakhstan, the sand storms that nobody expected happened but that was a regular thing there.” However Krushev adds to this that even with all these difficulties and mistakes, the prices of the grain and bread farmed this way was the lowest they could achieve in the whole Soviet country.

Soviet Exploration of the Unused Lands

Soviet Exploration of the Unused Lands

Many youngsters really believed in the idea of them helping to feed the whole country.Soviet Exploration of the Unused Lands

So they went there to help, altruistically sometimes.Soviet Exploration of the Unused Lands

Soviet Exploration of the Unused Lands

Soviet Exploration of the Unused Lands

They got free housing, free food and were paid for the work. Soviet Exploration of the Unused Lands

Soviet Exploration of the Unused Lands

Still, many Soviet leaders have criticized this endeavor, like for example Molotov – the one who signed a peace treaty with Hitler: “We started doing this too fast. It was too huge and because of that adventurous. I was offering to spend these colossal funds on the places where people were already living and farming to help them scale the resources and grain production and just a part of it to put into exploration of the new lands. However, they spent billions on this project and then they faced logistic problems – tons of grain were spoiled, there were no roads, you couldn’t even take it away from there! It was all Krushev – he was like a mad horse – he got an idea and started moving fast. The idea means nothing – there had to be the calculations, economical reasons, etc. Talk to people, etc. But no – he was like Come on! Come on, lets’ do it! Started planting grains on over 50 million hectares of land! And it was all useless!”

Of course he wrote all this after Krushev was no longer in this world.Soviet Exploration of the Unused Lands

However, a lot of movies devoted to these people and this project were filmed, artists made paintings, etc.

Soviet Exploration of the Unused Lands

Songs were created by composers – all glorifying the new bold project to feed all of the Soviet Union.Soviet Exploration of the Unused Lands

Soviet Exploration of the Unused Lands

Soviet Exploration of the Unused Lands

Soviet Exploration of the Unused Lands

Also, there is a conspiracy theory that all this movement of people and machinery on to the East to the unused lands was made to cover the construction of the Baikonur rocket launch center which was built there around then, too. Soviet Exploration of the Unused Lands

Soviet Exploration of the Unused Lands

Soviet Exploration of the Unused Lands

Soviet Exploration of the Unused Lands

Many kids were born in these 10 years.Soviet Exploration of the Unused Lands

Soviet Exploration of the Unused Lands

Soviet Exploration of the Unused Lands

Soviet Exploration of the Unused Lands

Soviet Exploration of the Unused Lands

Soviet Exploration of the Unused Lands

Soviet Exploration of the Unused Lands

After all of this ended in 1965, many of the people working there had been there for ten years and understood that they were strongly connected with this new place, which for them quickly became their home. So over six million Russian slavic people were left in what is now Kazakhstan and called it home. However after the USSR collapsed a lot started migrating back to Russia – like in 2000 alone around 1 million Russians moved from Kazakhstan back to Russia.

11 thoughts on “Soviet Exploration of the Unused Lands”

  1. My uncle, who was a farmer, visited some years ago the collective farms in Eastern Europe, and was ashamed by the local productivity. He kept saying that, with such great lands, these countries (including Ukraine and some parts of Russia) ought to have fed the world. Unfortunately, the local technologies were far insufficient for that…

    • Yeah…I bet you’re all for Monsanto, us monster farms, destroying small farmers like they do in the US, destroying homsteaders, etc. Thanks, I take Soviet Collective farms over this. I has experienced both.

      • I am not for Monsanto. At all. I wish it could be condemned and closed. And I am from a farmer family, so I perfectly know the subject 🙂

        Beside this, Russia just destroyed a complete sea (Aral). And the kholkhozs and sovkhozs were known worldwide for their inefficiency (as the State pretended to pay the farmers, the farmers pretended to work – except for themselves 🙂 )

        Beside the US farms and the collective farms, there is a world you seemingly do not know 🙂

        • Since you don’t know anything about USSR (or know anything about US agriculture), please abstain from your ignorant comment (and juvenile emoticons). I’m the land owner, FUI. Good luck eating what Mexican slaves are picking for less than minimum wage in US fields, this is the only reason why entitled, ignorant ones like you are alive — you would not last an hour out there. Stay away from this site, hater, soon your vampire murdererd country will be destroyed, typical Ameri-wuss.

        • You use slave labor by Mexican nationals, US hypcrite, whose suffering, low wages and deaths due to pesticide use keep ones like you alive. US will be off the face of earch as a country–the one that was built and exists upon slavery.

          • With friends like you, Russia do not need enemies : you obviously do not know how to read, nor have ever been in a field in your life. Go back play with blocks…

  2. Well, at least Khrushchev tried, but as Molotov observed, he rushed in too fast without proper economic, logistical , scientific (and meteorological) studies. Called the Virgin Lands Program, no one even bothered to check on whether there was enough water for this enormous, basically desert region. Hardly anyone lived in that Kazakhstan steppe, for good reason.

    Similar farming disasters in USA: farmers improperly tilled and wore out soils, leading to production drops, flash floods taking away topsoils, and in Oklahoma these practices, combined with drought, wiped out thousands of farmers in the 1930’s.

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