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Baku, the center of the Russian and then Soviet oil industry, represented the raw economic potential of early Soviet industry. At the head of the industry was Alexandr Serebrovskiĭ, head of Azneft, the largest Soviet oil trust, and a pivotal figure in reviving Soviet oil production across the 1920s. His trip to the United States in 1924 and his subsequent plan to restore Baku’s productive capacity via American technology and methodology would not only improve the industry’s output but allow Azneft to directly compete with American oil companies on the international stage, thus demonstrating the latent potential of the Soviet Union for exportation. However, while this project seemed initially successful, it created a difficult fiscal legacy as Azneft became increasingly financially insolvent across the 1920s.

In: The Soviet and Post-Soviet Review