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Bibliographic entry 132

Author: Skopin A.

Title: Ekologo-ekonomich´eski´e probl´emy Aralo-Balkhashskogo r´ egiona i puti ikh r´esh´eni´a (Ecological and economic problems in the regions of the Aral Sea and Lake Balkhash)

Publisher: Gosplan Kazakhsko´ SSR, Kazakhski´ Institut naouchno-t´ekhnith´esko´ informatsi´ i tiekhniko-ekonomich´eskikh issl´edovani´, Alma Ata, 41 pp.

Date: 1991 Language: Russian
Available: Gosplan, Alma Ata
Classification: 2B2b, 2B2f, 5D2b ()
Region: Kazakhstan
Summary: Three types of problems are discussed: water consumption, desertification and pollution. The most critical water consumption situation is found in the central part of the Aral Sea region where the annual water deficit is 6-8 km3. In the Balkhash region, this deficit is 2-3 km3. Four degrees of desertification are identified: extreme (total degradation of the ecosystem), strong (70% crop reduction), moderate (50% decline in productivity), light (less than 25%). Approximately 60 % of the area of Kazakhstan is affected by desertification. Problems of deserts are most evident in the eastern Aral Sea region and in the southern Balkhash area.
Today, the level of the Aral Sea is 38.5 m. It is possible to preserve two lakes with a level of 35 m. The author proposes raising this to 41 m. To do so, it is indispensable to introduce new economic structures in order to reduce the amount of land which is inefficiently irrigated. New legislation and a special agreement on water partition among the republics would be necessary. The problem could be solved in three steps: 1) 1991-95 - level of the sea: 38.5 m, 2) 1996 2000 - 39 m, 3) 2001-2010 - 41 m. The author proposes transferring water from the Caspian Sea into the Aral system. The length of the proposed canal would be 450-500 km. The volume of water transferred would be 47-52 km3 annually. The author is optimistic about this three-step program.

Bibliographic entry 133

Authors: Sokolov V.E., Vinodradov B.V.

Title: Man and the Biosphere: the view from above

Publisher: Nature and Resources, vol. XXII, N░ 1-2, pp. 13-23, UNESCO, Paris

Date: 1986 Language: English (French version in "Nature et Ressources")
Available: BiL Moscow, WGiSR UW Warsaw
Classification: 1C1
Region: Central Asia
Summary: This document discusses the possibility of applying satellite imagery and aerial photographs to research on the relation between man and the environment. The methodological text is illustrated with examples from Central Asia: state of pastures in Central Asia (p. 15), irrigation systems in the Golodna´a Steppe (Steppe of Hunger), Uzbekistan (p. 16 - aerial photographs make it possible to identify in advance those lands which are in the process of salinization), the Karakumy Canal (p. 19 - aerial photographs indicate the places where water overflows the banks of the canal, forming water reservoirs around the canal), the formation of sand dunes as a result of nomads overgrazing their herds (p. 21 - Noga´ Steppe, west of the Caspian region, Russia), and the decline in the water level and the drying up of water basins (p. 17 - Karagobaz Bay, Caspian Sea, western part of the Aral Sea).

Bibliographic entry 134

Authors: Svidnitskii B.P., Tsis' A.M., Baran O.V.

Title: Polipsh´enn´a vtorinno-zasol´enikh gruntiv Al´e´sko´ zroshuval'no´ s´st´emi mietodom pilkuvann´a (Restoration of saline lands in the Aleysk irrigation system using the method of sand introduction)

Publisher: T´eorietichni i prikladni probl´emi g´eografii, Visnik L'vyvs'kogo Univ´ersit´etu, 18, pp. 69-73, L'viv

Date: 1992 Language: Ukrainian
Available: Ivan Franko University, L'viv, Ukraine
Classification: 2A2, 2B2g, 5C3
Region: Russia (southern Siberia, Aleysk)
Summary: In the years 1984-1987 it was estimated that over 70% of land in the irrigation system of Aleysk (town in southern Siberia, south of Novosibirsk) was saline. Soils with the highest salinity cover over 20% of the area, forming plots of 0.01-0.05 ha surrounded by less saline soils whose quality is diminished by the presence of the highly saline land. Desalinization has been carried out until now using drainage methods which are sometimes inefficient. In 1988, an experimental method of protecting soils against salinization was tried. Sand was introduced in selected fields of 0.03 ha each. 140 160 tonnes of sand was used per hectare. Then the sand was mixed into the soil by ploughing 30 cm deep. The introduction of sand modified the mechanical and chemical composition of the soil and facilitated drainage.

Bibliographic entry 135

Author: Szabolcs I.

Title: Salinization potential of European soils

Publisher: In - Brower F.M., Thomas A.J., Chadwick M.J. (eds.), "Land Use Changes in Europe", pp. 293-315. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dortrecht-Boston-London. The GeoJournal Library, vol. 18

Date: 1991 Language: English
Available: Private collections
Classification: 2A2, 2B2h-i
Region: Ukraine and the European part of Russia
Summary: An informative text on the extent of saline soils in Europe. These lands are almost exclusively located in the ex-USSR, where saline soils occupy 29.5 million ha. This includes 16 million ha of sodium and alkaline soils with B horizon structure, and 7.5 million ha of salty soils. In European countries, the area of saline soil is respectively: 840,000 ha in Spain, up to 386,000 a in Hungary, up to 255,000 ha in ax-Yugoslavia, 250,000 ha each in France and Romania. According to estimates (p. 300), the present-day area of saline soil in the ex-USSR is 28 million ha and the area of potentially saline soil is 18 million ha. A map of salinized soils in Europe is given p. 301. This map shows clearly a concentration of salinized soil in the southern European part of the ex-USSR, particularly west of the lower Volga.

Bibliographic entry 136

Author: Tanasi´enko A.A.

Title: Erodirovanny´e ch´ernoz´emy iuga Zapadno´ Sibirii (Eroded chernozems in southwestern Siberia)

Publisher: Rossi´ska´a Akad´emi´a Naouk. Sibirsko´e otd´el´eni´e (Academy of Sciences of Russia. Siberian Section) - Naouka, Novosibirsk, 152 pp.

Date: 1992 Language: Russian
Available: BiL Moscow (in May 1993 - not yet available)
Classification: 2A1, 2A5 (snow melting on frozen soil), 2B2f, 5C4, 5C5 (embankments)
Region: Southern Siberia
Summary: This work centers on the semi-arid zone of southern Siberia. The most intense soil erosion occurs there in the spring when melting snows carry off the upper layer of soil while the deeper ground remains frozen.
Erosion also occurs during violent summer rains and during dust storms.
Recommended anti-erosion techniques are described (strips of perennial grasses, the planting of shrubs, embankments on slopes more than 5░, change in ploughing technique -without turning furrows, leaving strips of land unploughed.

Bibliographic entry 137

Authors: Tulokhov A.R., Dambi´ev E.T.

Title: Antropog´enno´e opustynivani´e v st´epnykh kotlovinakh Ba´kal'skogo r´eg´ona (Development of deserts affected by human activities in the steppes of the Baikal Region)

Publisher: Probl´emy osvo´eni´a pustyn', N░ 1, pp. 65-66, Ashkhabad

Date: 1991 Language: Russian
Available: BiL Moscow, IG RAN Moscow, KR FAK Alma Ata
Classification: 2A1, 2B2g, 3C2-3
Region: Russia, Baikal region
Summary: The natural preconditions of desert formation exist on vast stretches of sandy steppes in the Baikal region with an arid climate and low humidity. Agricultural development began here in the 19th century. The area of arable land increased most rapidly in Buryat Republic during the years 1954-1958: 288,000 ha. The area of rangelands was reduced; at the same time, the number of sheep doubled. This caused degradation and soil erosion on pastures. During the 1980's 66% of arable land and 17% of pastures degraded. Sand dunes cover 10% of the arable area. The dunes move 3-10 m per year.

Bibliographic entry 138

Author: Volovik V.V.

Title: Osnovny´e etapy antropog´ennogo izm´en´eni´a landshaftov s´ev´ernogo Turkm´enistana (Main stages of land change caused by human action in northern Turkmenistan)

Publisher: Probl´emy osvo´eni´a pustyn', N░ 1, pp. 27-34, Ashkhabad

Date: 1992 Language: Russian
Available: BiL Moscow, IG RAN Moscow, KR FAK Alma Ata
Classification: 2D, 3C
Region: Turkmenistan
Summary: Human pressure in northern Turkmenistan goes back 5,000-7,000 years. The author analyzes changes in the surface area of irrigated land and in the canal system from Antiquity to the present day. In Antiquity there were 552 km of principal canals, and irrigated agriculture was practiced on 70-100 m of land on each side of the canals.
Aerial photos are used to show that the irrigation systems were very different. Only the differences are shown; the causes are not explained.
Desertification dates from the early 20th century; according to the author, it is strictly connected to the introduction of the capitalist system. The savage and uncontrolled exploitation of mineral resources has caused the devastation of vegetation and the movement of dunes. The most intense human pressure has been during the last 70-75 years. The author sees this as basically a problem of pollution.

Bibliographic entry 139

Author: Wallis J.

Title: Land, Man and Sand. Desertification and its solution.

Publisher: Macmillan, New York, N.Y., 336 pp.

Date: 1980 Language: English
Available: National Library, Warsaw
Classification: 2B2c, 2B2e, SA2-3, 5C1-2, 5D1a-b
Region: Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan
Summary: This book is a collection of regional studies on desertification and its prevention. Two chapters concern the ex-USSR: (12) Golodna´a Steppe (the Steppe of Hunger), pp. 213-225, and (13) Turkmenistan, pp. 227-243. These chapters were prepared mainly on the basis of Soviet documents presented at the 1977 UN Conference on Desertification in Nairobi. The economic development of deserts is emphasized. The Golodna´a Steppe (the Steppe of Hunger) in Uzbekistan extends over 600,000 hectares of arable land. In the years 1923-1956, 250,000 hectares were irrigated, to which 262,000 ha were to be added in the future, diminishing the area of saline soil and the degree of salinization. In irrigated regions, new inhabitants were installed, and the transport and industry infrastructures were developed. The author of the report on Turkmenistan discusses irrigation (Karakumy Canal) and sand dune fixation.
An interesting new issue: can nomadic populations adapt to life on sovkhozes (state farms) and kovkhozes (cooperative farms), considering the difficulties of African nomads in the Sahel region? This question remains unanswered.

Bibliographic entry 140

Author: Zal´eta´ev V.S.

Title: Ekologich´eski d´estabilizirovanna´a sr´eda. Ekosist´emy aridnykh zon v izm´eniaiushchims´a gidrologich´eskom r´ejim´e (The ecological environment destabilized. Ecosystems in arid zones with changing water systems)

Publisher: Naouka, Moscow, 148 pp. + 1 map (separate plate)

Date: 1989 Language: Russian
Available: BiL Moscow
Classification: 0, 1A-B, 1C4 (cartography), 5C4
Region: Central Asia
Summary: A description of changes in flora and fauna on lands where man has significantly modified the water system. Two types of land are analyzed: irrigated lands and the Aral Sea region.
Several examples are given of the degradation in the biocenosis of the two regions. In the case of the Aral Sea, the dried up area covered 25,000 km2 in the years 1961-1988, but the negative influences of the drying extended much further.
Information is presented on soil salinization and on colonization by flora and fauna of dried up lands.
There are several schematic maps included which are one of the book's most useful features. These maps show, among other things:

1) changes in the ecosystems of deserts in Central Asia and Kazakhstan resulting from changes in the water system caused by human activities;
2) desert and semi-desert terrains suitable for future revegetalization (p. 82).

Note: This book is difficult to read, not to say almost inaccessible, given the numerous complicated terms used.

Bibliographic entry 141

Author: Zonn I.S.

Title: Antropog´enno´e opustynivani´e v aridno´ zon´e i bor'ba s nim (Desertification caused by human activities in the drylands zone, and the combat against it)

Publisher: Akad´emi´a Naouk Turkm´ensko´ SSR. Institut Pustyn' (Academy of Sciences of Turkmenistan. Institute of Deserts), Ashkhabad, 48 pp.

Date: 1990 Language: Russian
Available: BiL Moscow
Classification: 1A, 1B
Region: Global
Summary: This text is the presentation of a doctoral thesis. The author proposes his own definition of desertification (see below), using vectorial calculation. He also presents a chart of the negative effects of various types of human activity on elements of the natural environment (very simple formula: yes/no, with no qualification). This allows him to construct a very simple typology of desertification caused by human activities. In Africa the "irrigatio-agro-pastoral" type dominates, in Asia it is the "agro-irrigatio-pastoral" type, in South America the "techno-agro-pastoral" type.
The author also discusses very general technological interventions in combating desertification (pp. 35-41).

Definition: Desertification - "A group of processes in the degradation and the destruction of arid and semi-arid ecosystems, of natural or human origin. These processes lead to the aridification of vegetation and soil, to the reduction of biological productivity, even to its total elimination and the transformation of these areas into bare lands" (p. 10).


Author: Zonn I.S.

Title: Novy´e m´etody osvo´eni´a z´em´el' aridnykh t´erritorii (New methods of soil improvement in arid areas)

Publisher: Probl´emy osvo´eni´a pustyn', N░ 1, pp. 46-55, Ashkhabad

Date: 1972 Language: Russian (summary in English and Turkoman)
Available: BiL Moscow, IG RAN Moscow, KR FAK Alma Ata, WGiSR UW Warsaw, UAM Poznan
Classification: 5A3, 5A4, 5C1, 5C2
Region: North America, the Mediterranean region, Australia
Summary: Irrigation is of paramount importance in the economic development of deserts. The author describes techniques which up to now have not been used in the USSR, but could be very useful there: drip irrigation, widely used in the United States, Mexico, Australia and in the Mediterranean region, desalinization of sea water for irrigation purposes, and the bituminization of soil (to form an impermeable bituminous layer) applied in the United States. The text demonstrates, using examples from different countries, how drip irrigation, using a pre-determined quantity of water, allows for more abundant harvests and a reduction of salt concentration in plant leaves. Forming a bituminous layer at a depth of 0.6 m using ploughing and special sprinklers requires 14,195 kg of bituminous mass and costs US $750 per hectare. This process reduces water infiltration by 20%. The bibliography contains 22 titles, 12 of which are in English.

Bibliographic entry 143

Author: Zonn I.S.

Title: O podkhodakh k tipologii opustynivani´a (Desertification Typology Approach)

Publisher: Probl´emy osvo´eny pustyn', N░ 2, pp. 20-29, Ashkhabad

Date: 1990 Language: Russian
Available: BiL Moscow, IG RAN Moscow, KR FAK Alma Ata, WGiSR UW Warsaw, UAM Poznan
Classification: 1A, 1B
Region: Global
Summary: Diverse definitions of Desertification are presented, and one is adopted (see below). On the basis of this definition, the author proposes a typology of desertification corresponding to process-effects and process-causes. Preceding typologies of Desertification (including those accepted by FAO/UNESCO/UNEP in the 1977 Desertification Map are judged to be incomplete. The proposed typology is illustrated with the example of irrigation. Irrigated fields are part of causal processes which can involve process-effects such as erosion resulting from irrigation, secondary salinization, siltation, waterlogging, the lowering or raising of the water table, changes in the albedo, etc., leading to the modification of soil, ground and surface water, the vegetation and the climate (chart p. 25). A Desertification typology is proposed by continent and region (chart p. 26, after S.V. Zonn, 1983, cf. bibl. entry 146).

Definition: "Desertification is a very general concept designating the group of processes relating to the degradation of natural ecosystems in arid and semi-arid lands, resulting from irrational human activity" (p. 23).

Typology of desertification by specific continent and region. Below, the example of Africa:


Type of desertification

Mediterranean Erosion
Sahara Erosion and deflation
Sahara Wind erosion and deflation with erosion caused by industry and transport
West African Erosion, savannah type
Southern African Erosion and deflation, desert and savannah type
East African Erosion caused by irrigation and overgrazing

Bibliographic entry 144

Author: Zonn I.S.

Title: P´ervy´e itogi vypoln´eni´a vs´emirnogo plane d´e´stvi´ po borb´e s opustynivani´em (First results in implementing the world programme for combating desertification)

Publisher: Probl´emy osvo´eni´a pustyn', N░ 6, pp. 10-18, Ashkhabad

Date: 1981 Language: Russian (summary in English)
Available: BiL Moscow, IG RAN Moscow, KR FAK Alma Ata, WGiSR UW Warsaw, UAM Poznan
Classification: 1D, 5A1, 5A4
Region: Aral Sea
Summary: Information on the implementation during the years 1977-1980 of resolutions passed during the Nairobi conference of 1977. The Soviet Union occupied an important place there.
The Soviet Union expressed its willingness to become a member-observer of the Consulting Group on Combating Desertification, UNEP (1978).
A brief analysis of programmes implemented by UNEP is given. During the years 1978-1980 in the USSR, training courses were organized for representatives from developing countries: "Pasture improvement and sand dune fixation" and "Combating salinization on irrigated lands." The quality of these courses was evaluated during the Alma Ata conference in May 1979 with the participation of representatives from UNEP, FAO and UNESCO. It was decided to add a supplementary course, "Ecology and pasture management and productivity" which trained approximately 100 specialists, the first of whom finished the course in June 1980.
The Centre of International Projects (UNEP/USSR) published the monograph: "Combating Desertification in the USSR: Problems and Experience" (cf. bibl. entry 12).

Bibliographic entry 145

Authors: Zonn I.S., Ska´ni M.

Title: Tiekhnologi´a bor'by s opustynivani´em (Technology for combating desertification)

Publisher: Gosplan Turkm´ensko´ SSR, Ashkhabad, 72 pp.

Date: 1990 Language: Russian
Available: BiL Moscow
Classification: 5A3, 5C1-2, 5C4-5 (artificial ecosystems), 5D2b
Region: Africa
Summary: The authors describe various traditional and modern technologies (irrigation systems, purely artificial ecosystems, methods of sand dune fixation) which can serve in combating desertification or in desert management. Most of the examples are of North Africa. The authors are mainly interested in large, even huge, hydrological programmes, such as the project to build a navigable trans-Sahara canal from Nouakchott, Mauritania, to the Mediterranean Sea (through Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Chad and Libya). This text gives only a very general view of technologies for combating desertification; the authors note that these interventions can also stimulate desertification if they are poorly adapted.

Bibliographic entry 146

Author: Zonn S.V.

Title: Sovr´emienny´e probl´emy g´en´ezisa i g´eografii pochv (Current issues in the origin and geography of soils)

Publisher: Naouka, Moscow, 168 pp.

Date: 1983 Language: Russian
Available: BiL Moscow
Classification: 1A, 2B
Region: Global
Summary: This work contains a chapter (pp. 59-67) on desertification problems on different continents. It includes a discussion of various definitions of desertification (p. 59). This term can be understood to mean "the impoverishment or total destruction of biological equilibrium due to the influence of unfavourable conditions." This means that desertification can take place in any climatic condition. This definition should be broadened to include the "processes of impoverishment or decline in productivity in a given territory" while considering desertification caused by human factors. Desertification is most intense in semi-deserts, savannahs, steppes and in part of the forest zone.
The author describes the regional diversity of degradation processes in Africa, South America, Southeast Asia and India. He identifies 22 regions which are characterized by a given type of desertification, presented on schematic maps (p. 61, cf. bibl. entry 143).

Note: The typology and maps presented could raise some questions. Desertification is basically understood to include all types of degradation processes. In the eastern Amazon, fluvial erosion and erosion caused by modernization are understood to be desertification. At the same time, sub-Saharan Africa is judged to be exempt from the desertification process, which is difficult to understand.

Definition: Desertification - "the impoverishment or total destruction of the biological equilibrium due to unfavourable conditions"

Bibliographic entry 147

Author: Zonov G.V.

Title: V´etrova´a erozi´a pochv na pastbishchakh s´ev´erno´ B´et Pak Daly (Wind erosion in grazing lands north of Biet Pak Daly)

Publisher: Probl´emy osvo´eni´a pustyn', N░ 3, pp. 38-42, Ashkhabad

Date: 1974 Language: Russian
Available: BiL Moscow, IG RAN Moscow, KR FAK Alma Ata, WGiSR UW Warsaw, UAM Poznan
Classification: 2A1, 2A3, 2B2b, 3C4, 4A2
Region: Kazakhstan, Biet Pak Daly (northern Golodna´a Steppe - the Steppe of Hunger)
Summary: At the same time as state farms (sovkhozes) were organized in the western part of Golodna´a Steppe, the number of sheep multiplied and grazing time in any one area lengthened to 30 days. The pressure on the environment increased to such an extent that degradation began, particularly of the vegetation and soil. Analyses of the climate, vegetation and soil have been made. A regional classification of environmental conditions is presented in the form of charts and description. Steppes are categorized by type. Field studies show that deflation is from 10 to 24 tonnes per hectare per year depending on the density of the vegetation and the method of land use. The author concludes that there is a correlation between the intensity of grazing and deflation, and recommends adapting animal production to the productivity of pastures. This publication points out the problem; it neither calculates the productivity of the biomass, nor estimates the maximum herd size.

Annex 4: List of consultants 5

5 English transliteration of Russian letters. In parentheses, the English version of names as shown on business cards.

Adam´enko Ol´eg Maksimovich (Adamenko Oleg M.) - Geologist, retired professor at the Institute of Ecological Monitoring, Academy of Sciences of the Ukraine (Institut ekologichnego monitoringu, Akad´emi´a naouk t´ekhnologichno´ kib´ern´etiki Ukraini), Ivano-Frankovsk, Ukraine.

G´el'dy´eva Galina Viktorovna (Heldyeva Galina V.) - Chairperson of the Ecosystems Studies Department, Institute of Geography (Kaz.: Geografi´a Instituty; Russian: Institut G´eografii), Academy of Sciences of Kazakhstan, Alma Ata, Kazakhstan.

G´ennadi´ev Al´eksandr Nikola´evich (Gennadiyev Alexander N.) - Professor of soil science, vice-senior member of the Geography Department (Russian: G´eografich´eski´ Fakult´et), MGU, Moscow, Russia.

Janali´eva Gulchan Mukhitovna - Head of the Physical Geography section of the Department of Geography, University of Alma Ata, Alma Ata, Kazakhstan.

M´ed´eov Akhm´edkan Rakhm´enta´evich - Vice-director of the Geographical Institute (Kaz.: Geografi´a Instituty; Russian: Institut G´eografii), Academy of Sciences of Kazakhstan, Alma Ata, Kazakhstan.

N´efiedova Tat'´ana Grigor'´evna (Nefedova Tatyana G.) - Ph.D., Institute of Geography (Russian: Institut G´eografli), RAN, Moscow, Russia.

Ogar' Natal'´a Pietrovna (Ogar Natali P.) - Ph.D., Cartography of Vegetation, Botanical Institute (Kaz.: Botanika Instituty; Russian: Institut Botaniki), Academy of Sciences of Kazakhstan, Alma Ata, Kazakhstan.

Rachkovska´a Iekat´erina Pietrovna (Rachkovskaya Ekaterina P.) - Professor, `Cartography of Vegetation, Botanical Institute (Kaz.: Botanika Instituty; Russian: Institut Botaniki), Academy of Sciences of Kazakhstan, Alma Ata, Kazakhstan.

Rud´enko L´eonid G. (Rudenko Leonid L.) - Cartographer, Director of the Geographical Institute, Academy of Sciences of the Ukraine (Institut G´eografii AN Ukraini), Kiev, Ukraine.

Skopin Al´eks´e´ - Researcher, Council for the Organization of Productive Forces (Russian: Sov´et pro Organizatsii Proizvodit´el'nykh Sil - SOPS), Alma Ata, Kazakhstan.

Sto´ko St´epan (Stoiko S.) - Professor. of Ecology, Academy of Sciences of the Ukraine, L'viv section, Ukraine.

Udra Ivan F. - Botanist, Ph.D., Academy of Sciences of the Ukraine, Kiev, Ukraine.

Zonn S´erg´e´ V. - Retired professor of Soil Science, member of the Scientific Council of the University of Moscow, MGU Moscow, Russia.

Annex 5: Explanation of Russian terms used in this report

Solon´etz (solonetz, solonets) - black saline soil, characteristic of arid and semi-arid zones, which forms in better drainage conditions than does solonchak soil.

Solonchak - White alkaline soil, highly saline, found in arid and semi-arid zones. Soluble salt accumulation on the surface of the soil (white efflorescence) or just beneath the surface.

Takyr (takir) - clay depression, shallow and without water flow, found in the deserts of Central Asia. Periodically submerged; after the water evaporates, a dried crust with fissures forms on the surface. Profile of structured soil (see N.G. Kharin, M.P. Petrov, entry 38).

Annex 6: Transliteration from the Russian alphabet

Transliteration from the Russian alphabet

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