DWNR in Russia

The history of Russia begins with that of the East Slavs. The first East Slavic state, Kievan Rus’, adopted Christianity from the Byzantine Empire in 988, beginning the synthesis of Byzantine and Slavic cultures that defined Russian culture for the next millennium. Kievan Rus’ ultimately disintegrated as a state, finally succumbing to Mongol invaders in the 1230s. During this time a number of regional magnates, in particular Novgorod and Pskov, fought to inherit the cultural and political legacy of Kievan Rus’

After the 13th century, Moscow gradually came to dominate the former cultural center. By the 18th century, the Grand Duchy of Moscow had become the huge Russian Empire, stretching from Poland eastward to the Pacific Ocean. Expansion in the western direction sharpened Russia’s awareness of its separation from much of the rest of Europe and shattered the isolation in which the initial stages of expansion had occurred. Successive regimes of the 19th century responded to such pressures with a combination of halfhearted reform and repression. Russian serfdom was abolished in 1861, but its abolition was achieved on terms unfavorable to the peasants and served to increase revolutionary pressures. Between the abolition of serfdom and the beginning of World War I in 1914, the Stolypin reforms, the constitution of 1906 and State Duma introduced notable changes to the economy and politics of Russia, but the tsars were still not willing to relinquish autocratic rule, or share their power.

The Russian Revolution in 1917 was triggered by a combination of economic breakdown, war weariness, and discontent with the autocratic system of government, and it first brought a coalition of liberals and moderate socialists to power, but their failed policies led to seizure of power by the Communist Bolsheviks on October 25. Between 1922 and 1991, the history of Russia is essentially the history of the Soviet Union, effectively an ideologically based state which was roughly conterminous with the Russian Empire before the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk. The approach to the building of socialism, however, varied over different periods in Soviet history, from the mixed economy and diverse society and culture of the 1920s to the command economy and repressions of the Stalin era to the “era of stagnation” in the 1980s. From its first years, government in the Soviet Union was based on the one-party rule of the Communists, as the Bolsheviks called themselves, beginning in March 1918. However, by the late 1980s, with the weaknesses of its economic and political structures becoming acute, the Communist leaders embarked on major reforms, which led to the collapse of the Soviet Union.

The history of the Russian Federation is brief, dating back only to the collapse of the Soviet Union in late 1991. Since gaining its independence, Russia was recognized as the legal successor to the Soviet Union on the international stage. However, Russia has lost its superpower status as it faced serious challenges in its efforts to forge a new post-Soviet political and economic system. Scrapping the socialist central planning and state ownership of property of the Soviet era, Russia attempted to build an economy with elements of market capitalism, with often painful results. Even today Russia shares many continuities of political culture and social structure with its tsarist and Soviet past.

The petroleum industry in Russia is one of the largest in the world. Russia has the largest reserves, and is the largest exporter, of natural gas. It has the second largest coal reserves, the eight largest oil reserves, and is the largest exporter of oil. It is the third largest energy user.

Russia is the largest oil producer in the world, producing an average of 9.93 million barrels of oil per day in 2009 for a total of 494.2 million tons. It produces 12% of the world’s oil and has a same share in global oil exports. In June 2006, Russian crude oil and condensate production reached to the post-Soviet maximum of 9.7 million barrels per day (b/d). Exceeding production in 2000 by 3.2 million b/d. Russian export consists more than 5 million b/d of oil and nearly 2 million b/d of refined products, which go mainly to the Europe market. The domestic demand in 2005 was 2.6 million b/d in averaged. It is also the main transit country for oil from Kazakhstan.

The Russian oil industry is in need of huge investment. Strong growth in the Russian economy means that local demand for energy of all types (oil, gas, nuclear, coal, hydro, electricity) is continuing to grow.

Russian Forest based industries financials

Profitability ratio of Russian forest industry companies decreased harshly in 2008, as indicated in the annual Top 50 Russian Forest Industry rating published by Lesnaya Industriya Russian magazine.

Following the results of 2008, joint revenue of companies listed in the Lesnaya Industriya’s Top 50 amounted to 216.34 billion roubles ($7.19 billion). Ten largest companies had over 70% of the total Top 50 joint revenue. Joint net benefit of 50 companies made up 6.26 billion roubles ($208.1 million). Share of woodworking companies that do not deal in pulp and paper business was slightly over 27% of the total revenue and 26.8% of the total net benefit.

Average profitability ratio of Top 50 companies decreased to 0.7%, compared to 9.0% in the previous year. Woodworking companies’ profitability was slightly higher than that of pulp and paper companies (5.7% and 4.9% respectively). Only four of the Top 50 companies managed to reach a double-digit profitability ratio.

Zelenodolskiy plywood plant had the highest profitability ratio (17%) in 2008. The fastest-growing forest industry company in Russia was United Panel Group, which revenue boosted by 89.5% up to 3.04 billion roubles. Among pulp and paper companies, the fastest-growing was Obyedinyonnye bumazhnye fabriki (United paper mills, +49.6% up to 1.76 billion roubles).

Ilim Group gained the largest net benefit un 2008 (1.67 billion roubles) and was also listed in the Top 50 forest industry companies as having the largest revenue (37.92 billion roubles).

The Top 50 Russian Forest Industry rating is prepared and published by Lesnaya Industriya magazine on the base of companies’ accounting reporting and data provided by the companies.

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