The Soviet Union industrialized under a series of five-year plans, which increased the industrial output of the USSR by 50% in the first five years (all this while the most of the West was reeling from the Great Depression).
The Soviets built new cities, centered upon entirely new industries. Large cities such as Moscow and Leningrad doubled in size, as the country became more urban (and more industrial). Much of the hard work, like mining, was done by prison labor and gulag became part of the Stalinist economic system. Because of the urbanization and forced prison labor, the USSR would transform from an agrarian nation to and industrial power in just a few years.