Russia's Monotowns and the Politics of Labor in a Challenging Economic Climate | Wilson Center
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Russia's Monotowns and the Politics of Labor in a Challenging Economic Climate

During the 2008-2009 economic crisis, Russia’s monotowns — one-industry towns left from the Soviet era — gained widespread attention as potential sources of social protest and unrest. While fears about monotowns were exaggerated during the last economic crisis, Russia’s leadership has reason to remain concerned. Despite the dramatic transformations of the last two decades, Russia’s post-Soviet industrial landscape has largely survived intact, leaving a significant number of monotowns with unprofitable enterprises in a precarious position. Yet weak unions and restrictions on legal strikes leave workers with few institutional outlets to express their grievances. Will such worries resurface under the current economic conditions?