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The state schools were joined by more than 300 private colleges and universities. Licensed by the state, these schools generally enjoyed better funding than the state schools; however, they were very costly and served mainly Russia’s new middle class.
Russia’s unique and vibrant culture developed, as did the country itself, from a complicated interplay of native Slavic cultural material and borrowings from a wide variety of foreign cultures.
For example, the construction of private housing tripled in urban areas and nearly doubled in the rural areas.
However, there were sharp declines in the construction of public housing, particularly in rural areas.
Finally, in the modern period (since the 18th century), the cultural heritage of western Europe was added to the Russian melting pot.Conditions improved considerably in owner-occupied housing, as the owners in apartment buildings were able to ensure the enforcement of maintenance rules, but public housing, owing to a lack of funds from local authorities, continued to deteriorate.In the 1990s many of the housing shortages characteristic of the Soviet period disappeared, and the floor space of homes per person steadily increased, largely the result of a construction boom for private homes.Prior to the dissolution of the Soviet Union, nearly all of the housing stock of urban areas was owned by the state.Indeed, private property was prohibited in urban areas, and in rural areas the size of private homes was strictly limited.