Socioeconomic differences in different parts of Russia’s borderland are analyzed. Based on a compiled database of statistical indicators for 2000–2016 characterizing demographic, economic, and social development, as well as external economic ties of Russia’s border regions and neighboring countries, the territorial gradients on both sides of the Russian border are assessed on a comparative basis. An increase in differences in the demographic potential has been identified in the Russian–Chinese and Russian–Kazakhstan regions. In the post-Soviet borderland, a growing inward turn of the borderline economies for the respective countries and an increasing marginality of border zones have been identified, which hinders interaction and cooperation. It has been established that the largest gradients in the level of economic development are observed at the old borders in the European part of the country inherited from the former Soviet Union. With an analysis of the economic and trade relations between the border regions of Russia and neighboring EU countries, as well as China, it has been shown that the larger the gap between their demographic and socio-economic indicators, the higher the probability of unequal economic relations.
The migration balance of urban municipal areas (hereinafter, okrugs — Russ.) and municipal dis¬tricts in Russia in 2012-2014 is analyzed from the standpoint of its impact on the concentration and decon-centration of the population. The paper reviews the distribution of urban okrugs and municipal districts by population density and the current ratio of sparsely and densely populated areas across the country. Calcula¬tions show that the conditions in Russia today contribute to concentration of the population and, hence, the polarization of space between densely populated major cities and deserted poorly developed areas. Unlike in many European countries and the United States, where concentration and deconcentration processes have been alternating for decades, concentration of the population is an ongoing process in Russia. Two directions of migration are analyzed: (1) from the intraregional periphery to regional centers: the farther from the center, the more intense the outflow; (2) from low-populated municipalities to densely populated territorial units, primarily, large cities. The contributions of individual migration flows (intraregional, interregional, and international) to the concentration and deconcentration of the population are evaluated.
The article analyzes the internal and external connectivity of passenger transport systems in Russian regions with vast peripheral areas based on a case study of three key regions with average and low development levels—Krasnoyarsk krai, the Sakha Republic (Yakutia), and Magadan oblast. These regions differ from each other by their position in the country’s transport system and are characterized by significant intraregional differences in the level and nature of transport connectivity. To solve this problem, the authors use an integrated methodology to analyze transport connectivity and isolation. This approach includes not only analysis of statistics on transport networks, frequency, time expenditures, and fares for all modes of passenger transport in regions, but also qualitative sociological methods: in-depth interviews with passengers and employees of transport terminals. Differences in the accessibility of the main regional settlements are determined, and transport areas differing from each other in terms of transport reliability are distinguished. The public transport systems of the studied regions are notable for the low regularity of connections, the absence of alternatives along many routes, occasional and insufficient reliability of transportation due to the pronounced seasonal nature, as well as the important role of implicit (shadow) transport services