Devastation breeds innovation

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WWII brought a building boom to USSR

Andrey Polevoy for Rusvesna

On October 13, president of Ukrainian Energoatom Yuriy Nedashkovsky suggested to turn off the power supply to LPR and DPR.

“Now the power is supplied to the territory, which is captured by separatists, and no payments are received. I think we need to disconnect this region,”- said Nedashkovsky.

This threat is quite real. Kiev has already tried to organize a blockade of dependent regions. Over the past months, Ukrainian government tried several times to turn off the water supply and electricity to the Crimean Peninsula.

In comparison to Novorossia, Crimea was able to avoid the “love” of Kiev with minimal losses. Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics certainly have to deal with a range of problems – it is necessary to restore the infrastructure, primarily water, electricity, gas, significantly affected by the bombing of the housing stock.

Roads and railways, highways are significantly damaged, airports destroyed. The restoration of all the damage will require significant time and resources. Thus, according to the Ukrainian side, the position of which was announced by the Minister of Finance of Ukraine, Oleksandr Shlapak, the rebuilding of the territory, which is controlled by Ukraine, will require about $ 2 billion. The final figure will probably be much greater.

There is little doubt that the military successes of Novorossia are guaranteed – Ukrainian army is too degraded, suffering from not only supply problems, but also soldiers’ riots. But tasks of peaceful life are no less important. The leadership of Novorossia will have to solve a huge number of problems in the shortest possible time, most likely – with an innovative approach. War and destruction become a motivator, which forces to search for cost-effective, reliable and efficient solutions to administrative and technological problems.

One of the most famous examples of post-war experiment in the development and implementation of technology needed “right now” has been the development and widespread adoption of the project of frame-panel construction, better known as “Khrushchevki”.

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Despite its common name, the project was developed immediately after WWII, which destroyed up to 70% of all housing in the European part of Russia: it was necessary to built millions of square meters of residential and non-residential construction in a short period of time.

The author of the project was Lagutenko B. N. The first buildings were erected in 1948 in Moscow, on Sokolinnaja Gora and Khoroshevskoe highway, designed by  Gosstroiproject (City Building Project) with the participation of the Academy of Architecture of the USSR and Mosgorproject (Moscow City Project). From 1950, besides frame-panel houses with associated joints, construction of frameless panel houses began in Moscow, Leningrad, Kiev, Magnitogorsk and other cities.

It may well be that Novorossia has no choice but to implement the most advanced and innovative technologies in construction, infrastructure, energy and transport. There is such a concept as ‘closing technology’ – innovation category which reduces the need for resources, including human.
Usually, the introduction of such technologies is hampered by the inertia of the existing technological and raw resource order. As well as the interests of the elites, whose power is based on the use of specific technologies and methods, and maintaining the status quo is one of their main priorities.

The situation in Novorossia is in all senses unique. Leaders are emerging, who are aware of responsibility for fellow countrymen, and want to restore normal life in the region as soon as possible. Representatives of regional Ukrainian elite had largely lost their clout due to objective political and economic changes, and the awakening of public consciousness.

One can frequently hear the opinion that the future Novorossian state will be free of oligarchs, and therefore maximally free of economic and technological barriers of monopolies and corporate solidarity, expressed in the conscious torpedoing of threatening breakthrough developments and ideas.

Newborn, but not yet a state in the full sense of the word, Novorossia has become an ideological and philosophical phenomenon, as the place where a new Russian identity is forming. Under favorable circumstances, a new mentality and new conditions in Novorossia may become a starting point for implementation of those industrial, technological and economic innovations that have not yet pushed their way to life in more stable – and therefore risk-averse of innovation – regions of the Russian world.

Translated by Kristina Rus

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