In the cold regions, freezing of the ground presents major geotechnical and environmental challenges. In Russia, oil and gas gives these regions special economic and geopolitical significance. After glasnost, it became evident that research there was more comprehensive but the problems far greater than elsewhere. This translation of a wide-ranging account of the effects of freezing and their importance for geotechnical undertakings, has been prepared by an international team of specialists. It makes available a uniquely readable and technically accurate review, especially valuable to international organisations and those involved in joint ventures. The English edition of the 16-sheet geocryological map of Russian has been prepared by the same international team. For more details please see: www freezingground.org/map or contact Scott Polar Research Institute, (Attn. Prof. P. J. Williams), Lensfield Rd., Cambridge, CB2 1ER, UK. - or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.