Article Open Access

Current Challenges to the Sustainable Development of Rural Communities in Russia's Central Chernozem Region

Rural and Regional Development . 2023, 1(1), 10001;
Institute of Earth Sciences, Belgorod State National Research University, Pobeda 85, 308015 Belgorod, Russia
Federal and Regional Centre for Aerospace and Surface Monitoring of Objects and Natural Resources, Belgorod State National Research University, Pobeda 85, 308015 Belgorod, Russia
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.

Received: 18 Nov 2022    Accepted: 11 Jan 2023    Published: 28 Jan 2023   


The rural community system in the Central Chernozem Economic Region in Russia is undergoing a radical transformation under the interrelated influence of fundamental factors that have rendered the development of many communities unsustainable. This paper analyses the role of urbanisation processes in population changes and transformation of rural community systems in the region; determines the level of horizontal mobility among the rural population, as well as its impact on settlement evolution; assesses the share of small and extremely small communities in settlement composition; and outlines these communities’ future development prospects. The authors believe that the socio-demographic “desertification” of peripheral municipalities can pose challenges to rural development: a shortage of labour resources, changes in population quality, and problems of innovation diffusion. The study recommends improving the comfort of the living environment and accelerating the technical re-equipment and automation of agricultural production.


Teslenok SA, Mushtaikin AP. Mapping excess mortality in the post-Soviet space in 2020–2021 on the background of the Coronavirus Pandemic. Reg. Geosyst. 2022, 46, 513–521. (In Russian) [Google Scholar]
Friedmann, J. Regional Development Policy. A Case Study of Venezuela; Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press: Cambridge, MA, USA, 1966; 354p.
Lisetskii FN, Chugunova NV. Resettlement of the population of municipalities Belgorod region as the main factor in the implementation of <District-Park>. In Scientific Statements of the Belgorod State University. Series: Economy. Informatics; Belgorod State University: Belgorod, Russia, 2014; Volume 172; pp. 46–54. (In Russian)
Lisetskii FN, Zemlyakova AV, Terekhin EA, Naroznyaya AG, Pavlyuk YV, Ukrainskii PA, et al. New opportunities of geoplanning in the rural area with the implementing of geoinformational technologies and remote sensing. Adv. Environ. Biol. 2014, 8, 536–539. [Google Scholar]
Mishchenko IV. Theoretical questions of formation of a sustainable development of rural settlements. Economy 2011, 30, 23–28. [Google Scholar]
Goleusov PV, Chugunova NV, Martsinevskaya LV, Polshina MA, Simon AI. Spatial distribution and renaturation dynamics of post-settlement geosystems of the Central Black Earth Region.  Reg. Geosyst. 2020, 44, 462–473. [Google Scholar]
Del Arco I, Ramos-Pla A, Zsembinszki G, Gracia A, Cabeza LF. Implementing SDGs to a sustainable rural village development from community empowerment: Linking energy, education, innovation, and research.  Sustainability 2021, 13, 12946. [Google Scholar]
Chugunova NV, Yakovenko NV. Assessment of the reality of the tasks to improve the demographic situation in the “Strategy-35” of the Voronezh Region.  Reg. Geosyst. 2022, 46, 311–321 . (In Russian) [Google Scholar]
Chugunova NV, Narozhnyaya AG, Polyakova TA, Kukharuk NS, Morkovskaya DN. Polarizing the space of the Belgorod, Voronezh and Kursk regions: The role of regional capitals.  Izvestiya Russkogo Geograficheskogo Obschestva 2021, 153, 18–29. [Google Scholar]
Alexeev AI, Safronov SG.  Changes in rural settlement patterns in Russia during the late 20th–early 21st centuries.  Vestnik Moskovskogo Universiteta, Seriya 5 Geografiya 2015, 2, 66–76. [Google Scholar]
Krupko AE. Modeling and Forecasting of Sustainable Development of Municipalities of the Central Chernozem Region; Voronezh State Pedagogical University: Voronezh, Russia, 2014; 176 p. (In Russian)
Ovsyannikov AS. Modern Processes of Resettlement of the Population of an Old-Developed Region of Russia (On the Example of the Voronezh Region). Abstract of the Dissertation of the Candidate of Geographical Sciences. Voronezh, Russia, 2014; 24 p. (In Russian)
Giddens, A. Runaway World: How Globalization Is Reshaping Our LivesRoutledge: New York, NY, USA, 2000.
Nefyodova T, Trejvish, A. Goroda i vesi: polyarizovannoe prostranstvo Rossii. Demoskop Weekly 2010, 437–438. Available online: (accessed on 10 November 2022).
Chugunova NV, Polyakova TA. Modern Trends in the Evolutionary Development of Rural Settlement in the Region. In Geography: History, Modernity, Prospects; KGU: Krasnodar, Russia, 2012; 531–543. (In Russian)
Chugunova NV, Likhnevskaya NV. Spatial differentiation of the standard of living in the population as a representation of disproportions in socioeconomic development: A case study of Belgorod oblast. Reg. Res. Russia 2019, 9, 267–277. [Google Scholar]
Chugunova NV, Morkovskaya DN. “Dead” Villages in the Structure of Rural Settlement of the Central Black Earth Region. In Geographical Studies of Siberia and Adjacent Territories; Publishing House of the V.B. Sochavy Institute of Geography SB RAS: Irkutsk, Russia, 2019, pp. 97–101. (In Russian)
Morkovskaya DN, Chugunova NV, Kukharuk NS. Mobility of the population of rural areas of the Central Black Earth region and the possibility of diffusion of innovations.  Geopolit. Ecogeodyn. Reg. 2021, 7, 116–127. (In Russian) [Google Scholar]
Yakovenko NV, Chugunova NV. A multi‐factor approach to assessing the socio‐economic and metropolitan environmental development of border areas in the Central Black Soil Region of Russia (Belgorod, Voronezh and Kursk regions) in order to develop a model concept.  South Russia Ecol. Dev. 2022, 17, 163–174. [Google Scholar]
Regions of Russia. Socio-economic indicators. 2010: Statistical compendium. Moscow: Rosstat, 2010. Available online: (accessed on 10 November 2022).
Starikova AV. Space-time approach in social geography: Foreign and Russian experience. Izvestiya Rossiiskoi Akademii Nauk. Seriya Geograficheskaya 2014, 6, 17–29. [Google Scholar]
Lisetskii FN, Buryak ZA, Prisny AV, Belevantsev VG, Pavlyuk YV, Zazdravnykh EA, et al. Geographical Atlas of the Belgorod Region: Nature, Society, Economy; Konstanta: Belgorod, Russia, 2018. ISBN 978-5-906952-92-9.
Yeprintsev SA. Geoinformation and analytical assessment of environmental safety of the cities of the Central Chernozem Region.  Reg. Geosyst. 2022, 46, 398–409 . [Google Scholar]
Lisetskii FN, Ilyashenko SV, Buryak ZA. Development of the information retrieval system to analyze the dynamics of the formation of settlements network.  InterCarto InterGIS 2021, 27, 202–217. [Google Scholar]
David PA. Path Dependence: Putting the Past into the Future of Economics. In The Economic Series Technical Report 533; Institute for Mathematical Studies in the Social Sciences, Stanford University: Stanford, CA, USA, 1988; 62p.
Results of the All-Russian Population Census 2021. Volume 1. Number and Distribution of the Population. Available online: (accessed on 10 November 2022).
Qin X, Wu H, Shan, T. Rural infrastructure and poverty in China.  PLoS ONE 2022, 17, e0266528. [Google Scholar]
Creative Commons

© 2024 by the authors; licensee SCIEPublish, SCISCAN co. Ltd. This article is an open access article distributed under the CC BY license (