The Russian Federation of the Commonwealth of Independent States, formerly the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), occupies one-sixth of the world's land area. Approximately one-fourth of the world's timber resources and over half of all boreal forests are located there. The history of forest management in Russia covers nearly 400 years, with particularly dramatic changes occurring after the Socialist Revolutions of 1917 and 1991. After decades of forest resource exploitation and degradation, numerous changes in the forest sector provide opportunities for sustainable resource management. Recent changes, known as perestroika and glasnost, have created opportunities for new developments in Russian forest management and for international cooperation in the field of forestry.