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Campus inSaint Petersburg

Elena Kochetkova Receives an Award of the Estonian Institute of Historical Memory

Elena Kochetkova, Senior Lecturer at the Department of History and a Research Fellow at the Laboratory for Environmental and Technological History, has received a prize for the best research on socialism awarded by the Estonian Institute of Historical Memory. Researchers from 13 countries participated in the competition.

Elena Kochetkova’s article ‘Industry and Forests: Alternative Raw Materials in the Soviet Forestry Industry from the mid-1950s to the 1960s’ which appeared in the periodical Environment and History, Vol. 24 (2018) was selected as the best.

In the 1950s-60s many experts began to talk about rapidly disappearing forests in the USSR and the necessity to find alternative sources of raw materials for industrial production. Despite numerous attempts to develop technologies for some particular enterprises and research institutes, the alternative to unsustainable industrial forest management has never been found on a national scale.

The article emphasizes the role of technology transfer from the capitalist countries to the USSR during the Cold war. The study shows that the contacts of engineers with their peers were important for the transfer of technologies from other countries, such as Finland, but did not help to transform existing industrial forest management practices. The origins of the failure relate to the features of the Soviet technological system, in particular, the problem of supply, inter-institutional contacts and other factors.

Elena Kochetkova

Senior Lecturer of the Department of History

I am flattered that the article was appreciated by the commission. Currently, I am working on incorporating this topic into a monograph about the role of forests in the Soviet economy during the Cold war. This year, my colleague and I will be preparing an article for the ‘Laboratorium’ journal. We will consider the problem of industrial pollution in the pulp and paper industry by conducting a microstudy of several paper plants.

For more information, please also visit the Estonian Institute of Historical Memory website