ONE of the first aims of the Russian Academy of Science founded by Peter I in 1724 was the geographical study of the country's natural resources and populations. Geography and geology have also been kept in the forefront of the manifold activities of the present Academy of Sciences. In 1920 a systematic scientific study of raw materials was undertaken with the view of co-ordinating the industrialization of the Soviet Union with the distribution of essential minerals. The work has borne fruit, for example, in the development of great apatite, copper and nickel industries in the arctic tundras, and of the sulphur industry in the sands of Karakum, and in the exploration of the vast oilfields known as the 'second Baku', lying between the River Kama and the Ural Mountains. These last explorations proved of inestimable value when the wholesale transfer of industry to the east was made necessary by the German invasion.