In Russia we have vast areas of land given to agriculture, as well as huge tracts of forest. They are subjected to severe and costly outbreaaks of diseases caused by the spread of various plant pathogens.
The diseases have been studied in research institutes, agricultural stations, and in the agricultural and biological faculties of universities.
Phytopathologists in Russia, and earlier in the Soviet Union, have not had their own journal. The journal Mycology and Phytopathology is restricted to papers on the bilolgy of phyto-pathogenic fungi, and the journal Plant protection against Pests and Diseases is directed towards farmers rather than scientific researchers. Also, these journals are published only in Russian, so are not easily accessible to most foreign phytopathologists.
Many Russian phytopathologists have been deterred from publishing their findings in international journals because of their insufficient command of English and a corresponding difficulty in identifying the main foci of current international interest. To the world community of phytopathologists the majority of Russian publications are known only from brief entries in Review of Plant Pathology.
The want of a Phytopathology Society, as well as the expense and difficulties of trips to international meetings, have caused Russian specialists to become somewhat detached from the international community.
The President of the International Phytopathology Society, Professor R.Hamilton, visited Moscow in the autumn of 1997. His visit has stimulated the phytopathologists of the Russian Institute of Phytopathology, and Moscow University, to take the initiative in founding the Russian Phytopathology Society and this journal asociated with it.
The publication of the Journal in English has the following aims:
We are happy to see our first issue of the Journal. Of course, it would give satisfaction to present, not the first issue, but, say, the tenth or fortieth to show that it has truly come alive. But as we say in Russian "The first step is the hardest."
Chairman of Interregion Russian Phytopathology Sociaty Dr. S.S.Sanin
General Editor of the Journal Professor Yu.T.Dyakov