No. 3, 2004

Alexander Makarov ,
Alexander Lyskin


Simply to state that Usinsk is the oil capital of the Republic of Komi is to leave much unsaid.

This city literally lives for oil: its enterprises and organizations account for three-quarters of the oil produced in the Republic as a whole. The population employed in the oil industry is distributed in roughly the same proportions. Figuratively speaking, the most selfless feats in the history of the city and its great labor present are written in oil and all its plans for the future are connected with oil, too.

Man does not live by production plans alone, however, and it is clear that the oilmen are also looking after their town. Thanks to original wall-coloring, the rather ordinary panel-built blocks of flats add to the city's quite unique, bright and memorable image. The bus station, unusual in form and fantastically beautiful, is quite amazing. There is a capacious cinema hall, library, museum, and a hospital, to say nothing of a multitude of kindergartens, schools and other educational and children's institutions, as well as all sorts of special-interest clubs, cafes, restaurants and discotheques. There is a swimming pool with three baths, one of which is 50 meters long. This is one of the best swimming pools in North-West Russia. There is a very popular indoor hockey complex. There is a wonderful Palace of Culture with a winter garden.

The town also has its own majestic wooden Russian Orthodox cathedral, while on the other side of the town a second one is being built, the Church of the Holy Spirit, much bigger and this time of stone.

Neither have the Muslims in the town been forgotten - a beautiful mosque has been built for them.

Usinsk has its own airport, capable of receiving all classes of aircraft, including international flights. To be fair, it should be mentioned that many ancient Russian towns with the same 50,000 population as Usinsk still do not enjoy such an infrastructure.

One interesting example of the relationship between the oilmen and the administration of the town is worth noting: according to the social partnership agreement, the oil companies are responsible, together with the town administration, for the state and cleanliness of entire streets of Usinsk.

In this connection, it is indicative that JSC LUKOIL-Komi has assumed responsibility for Usinsk's main street, which bears the symbolical name of "Oilmen Street".

Today Usinsk is the youngest town in the Republic of Komi, and not only because, in 2004, the town reached the age of only 33, but also because the average age of its inhabitants is only 35. On the streets and the shady boulevards of the town, here and there one meets young mothers, wandering slowly with their youngsters, while the squares and back yards are always filled with joyful chattering of children.

And, in spite of the snow that might quite possibly fall on the first day of calendar summer here, Usinsk gives the impression of a town in the spring. In a word, you realize that something good is happening here, heralding the birth of a new Russia.

All articles
Oil of Russia, No. 3, 2004
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