Kursk Oblast

Kursk Oblast

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Kursk Oblast is a federal subject
Federal subjects of Russia
Russia is a federation which, since March 1, 2008, consists of 83 federal subjects . In 1993, when the Constitution was adopted, there were 89 federal subjects listed...

 of Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 (an oblast
Oblast
Oblast is a type of administrative division in Slavic countries, including some countries of the former Soviet Union. The word "oblast" is a loanword in English, but it is nevertheless often translated as "area", "zone", "province", or "region"...

). Its administrative center is the city of Kursk
Kursk
Kursk is a city and the administrative center of Kursk Oblast, Russia, located at the confluence of the Kur, Tuskar, and Seym Rivers. The area around Kursk was site of a turning point in the Russian-German struggle during World War II and the site of the largest tank battle in history...

.

Geography


The oblast occupies the southern slopes of the middle-Russian plateau, and its average elevation is from 177 to 225 meters (580–738 ft). The surface is hilly, and intersected by ravine
Ravine
A ravine is a landform narrower than a canyon and is often the product of streamcutting erosion. Ravines are typically classified as larger in scale than gullies, although smaller than valleys. A ravine is generally a fluvial slope landform of relatively steep sides, on the order of twenty to...

s. The central part of Kursk oblast is more elevated than the Seym Valley to the west. The Timsko-Shchigrinsky ridge contains the highest point in the oblast at 288 metres (944.9 ft) above the sea level. The low relief, gentler slopes, and mild winter make the area suitable for farming, and much of the forest has been cleared.

The chernozem
Chernozem
Chernozem , also known as "black land" or "black earth", is a black-coloured soil containing a high percentage of humus 7% to 15%, and high percentages of phosphoric acids, phosphorus and ammonia...

 soils cover around 70% of the oblast's territory; podsol
Podsol
In soil science, podzols are the typical soils of coniferous, or boreal forests. They are also the typical soils of eucalypt forests and heathlands in southern Australia...

 soils cover 26%.
  • Borders:
    • internal: Bryansk Oblast
      Bryansk Oblast
      Bryansk Oblast is a federal subject of Russia . Its administrative center is the city of Bryansk. Population: 1,278,087 .-History:...

       (NW) (border line length: 120 km), Oryol Oblast
      Oryol Oblast
      Oryol Oblast is a federal subject of Russia . Its administrative center is the city of Oryol. Population: -Geography:It is located in the southwestern part of the Central Federal District, in the Mid-Russian Highlands. Kaluga and Tula Oblasts border it in the north, Bryansk Oblast is located to...

       (N, 325 km), Lipetsk Oblast
      Lipetsk Oblast
      Lipetsk Oblast is a federal subject of Russia which was formed on January 6, 1954. Its administrative center is the city of Lipetsk...

       (NE, 65 km), Voronezh Oblast
      Voronezh Oblast
      Voronezh Oblast is a federal subject of Russia . It was established on June 13, 1934.-Main rivers:*Don*Voronezh*Bityug*Khopyor-Economy:...

       (E, 145 km), Belgorod Oblast
      Belgorod Oblast
      Belgorod Oblast is a federal subjects of Russia . Its administrative center is the city of Belgorod. Population: 1,532,670 .-History:...

       (S, 335 km)
    • international: Sumy Oblast
      Sumy Oblast
      Sumy Oblast is an oblast in the northeastern part of Ukraine. The administrative center of the oblast is the city of Sumy.Other important cities within the oblast include Konotop, Okhtyrka, Romny, and Shostka....

       of Ukraine
      Ukraine
      Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

       (W, 245 km)
  • highest point: 288 m

Rivers


Kursk Oblast contributes to two major drainage areas—the Dnieper River
Dnieper River
The Dnieper River is one of the major rivers of Europe that flows from Russia, through Belarus and Ukraine, to the Black Sea.The total length is and has a drainage basin of .The river is noted for its dams and hydroelectric stations...

 and the Don River (78% and 22% respectively). There are 902 rivers and streams in the oblast, with their total length of approximately 8000 kilometres (4,971 mi). Major rivers are the Seym
Seym River
Seym is a river in Russia and Ukraine. Its length is 748 km and its basin area about 27,500 km². It is the largest tributary of the Desna....

 and the Psyol.

Lakes


The inland waters of Kursk oblast consist of 145 artificial lakes and about 550 small ponds.

Natural resources


Kursk Oblast is one of the nation's major producers of iron ore. The area of Kursk Magnetic Anomaly
Kursk Magnetic Anomaly
Kursk Magnetic Anomaly is a territory rich in iron ores located within the Kursk, Belgorod, and Voronezh oblasts in Russia, and constitutes a significant part of the Central Chernozyom Region...

 has one of the richest iron ore deposits in the world. Also, rare-earth
Rare earth element
As defined by IUPAC, rare earth elements or rare earth metals are a set of seventeen chemical elements in the periodic table, specifically the fifteen lanthanides plus scandium and yttrium...

 and base metal
Base metal
In chemistry, the term base metal is used informally to refer to a metal that oxidizes or corrodes relatively easily, and reacts variably with diluted hydrochloric acid to form hydrogen. Examples include iron, nickel, lead and zinc...

s occur in commercial quantities in several locations. Refractory loam
Loam
Loam is soil composed of sand, silt, and clay in relatively even concentration . Loam soils generally contain more nutrients and humus than sandy soils, have better infiltration and drainage than silty soils, and are easier to till than clay soils...

, mineral sands
Heavy mineral sands ore deposits
Heavy mineral sands are a class of ore deposit which is an important source of zirconium, titanium, thorium, tungsten, rare earth elements, the industrial minerals diamond, sapphire, garnet, and occasionally precious metals or gemstones....

, and chalk
Chalk
Chalk is a soft, white, porous sedimentary rock, a form of limestone composed of the mineral calcite. Calcite is calcium carbonate or CaCO3. It forms under reasonably deep marine conditions from the gradual accumulation of minute calcite plates shed from micro-organisms called coccolithophores....

 are quarried and processed in the region. Oblast's sufficient reserves of artesian well water
Artesian aquifer
An artesian aquifer is a confined aquifer containing groundwater under positive pressure. This causes the water level in a well to rise to a point where hydrostatic equilibrium has been reached. This type of well is called an artesian well...

 are proving useful for medical purposes.

Climate


The oblast's location at the center of the European part of Russia gives the region a medium continental climate
Climate
Climate encompasses the statistics of temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure, wind, rainfall, atmospheric particle count and other meteorological elemental measurements in a given region over long periods...

: warm summers and relatively mild winters. In July, the average daytime high temperature is 19.3 °C (66.7 °F). In January the average high is -8.6 °C. The average number of frost-free days ranges from 150 in the north to 160 in the south. The growing season in Kursk Oblast varies, from 180 days in the north to 195 days in the southwest. The average annual precipitation for the oblast is 584 mm (23 in), but it ranges from 634 mm (25 in) in the northwest, to about 500 mm (20 in) or less in the southeastern corner. The maximum of the rain falls during June and July. The snow depth in Kursk Oblast differs considerably, from 300–400 mm (12–16 in) in the north of the oblast, to 150–250 mm (6–10 in) in the south. Annual sunshine is 1,775 hours.

Flora and fauna


Kursk Oblast is a part of the Eastern European forest-steppe. One-quarter of Kursk oblast was once heavily wooded. Hardwood timbers included oak
Oak
An oak is a tree or shrub in the genus Quercus , of which about 600 species exist. "Oak" may also appear in the names of species in related genera, notably Lithocarpus...

, ash
Ash tree
Fraxinus is a genus flowering plants in the olive and lilac family, Oleaceae. It contains 45-65 species of usually medium to large trees, mostly deciduous though a few subtropical species are evergreen. The tree's common English name, ash, goes back to the Old English æsc, while the generic name...

, and elm
Elm
Elms are deciduous and semi-deciduous trees comprising the genus Ulmus in the plant family Ulmaceae. The dozens of species are found in temperate and tropical-montane regions of North America and Eurasia, ranging southward into Indonesia. Elms are components of many kinds of natural forests...

. Now forests cover only 10% of the oblast. Animals native to the area are numerous. Pike, bleak
Bleak
The common bleak is a small pelagic fish of the Cyprinid family. It is often referred to simply as a "bleak", though this term can refer to any species of Alburnus.-Description:...

, and perch
Perch
Perch is a common name for fish of the genus Perca, freshwater gamefish belonging to the family Percidae. The perch, of which there are three species in different geographical areas, lend their name to a large order of vertebrates: the Perciformes, from the Greek perke meaning spotted, and the...

 are abundant in local rivers. Otter
Otter
The Otters are twelve species of semi-aquatic mammals which feed on fish and shellfish, and also other invertebrates, amphibians, birds and small mammals....

 and badger
Badger
Badgers are short-legged omnivores in the weasel family, Mustelidae. There are nine species of badger, in three subfamilies : Melinae , Mellivorinae , and Taxideinae...

, as well as wild boar
Boar
Wild boar, also wild pig, is a species of the pig genus Sus, part of the biological family Suidae. The species includes many subspecies. It is the wild ancestor of the domestic pig, an animal with which it freely hybridises...

, red deer
Red Deer
The red deer is one of the largest deer species. Depending on taxonomy, the red deer inhabits most of Europe, the Caucasus Mountains region, Asia Minor, parts of western Asia, and central Asia. It also inhabits the Atlas Mountains region between Morocco and Tunisia in northwestern Africa, being...

, and Roe Deer
Roe Deer
The European Roe Deer , also known as the Western Roe Deer, chevreuil or just Roe Deer, is a Eurasian species of deer. It is relatively small, reddish and grey-brown, and well-adapted to cold environments. Roe Deer are widespread in Western Europe, from the Mediterranean to Scandinavia, and from...

 remain numerous in many parts of the area.

Demographics


Kursk Oblast is one of the most ethnically homogeneous regions in Russia. The population is about 96% Russians
Russians
The Russian people are an East Slavic ethnic group native to Russia, speaking the Russian language and primarily living in Russia and neighboring countries....

. Ukrainians
Ukrainians
Ukrainians are an East Slavic ethnic group native to Ukraine, which is the sixth-largest nation in Europe. The Constitution of Ukraine applies the term 'Ukrainians' to all its citizens...

, the largest minority group, make less than 2% of population. The annual growth rate of the Oblast's population is negative; death rate exceeds overall birth rates and immigration.

2010 Census
  • Population: 1,126,504
    • Urban: 734,070 (65.2%)
    • Rural: 392,434 (34.8%)


2002 Census
Russian Census (2002)
Russian Census of 2002 was the first census of the Russian Federation carried out on October 9 through October 16, 2002. It was carried out by the Russian Federal Service of State Statistics .-Resident population:...

  • Population: 1,235,091
    • Urban: 756,480 (61.2%)
    • Rural: 478,611 (38.8%)
    • Male: 564,321 (45.7%)
    • Female: 670,770 (54.3%)
  • Females per 1,000 males: 1,189
  • Median
    Median
    In probability theory and statistics, a median is described as the numerical value separating the higher half of a sample, a population, or a probability distribution, from the lower half. The median of a finite list of numbers can be found by arranging all the observations from lowest value to...

     age
    : 40.1
    • Urban: 37.9
    • Rural: 43.5
    • Male: 37.2
    • Female: 42.5
  • Number of households: 462,607
    • Urban: 273,674 (59.2%)
    • Rural: 188,933 (40.8%)

History


Although territory of Kursk Oblast had been populated since the end of the last Ice Age
Ice age
An ice age or, more precisely, glacial age, is a generic geological period of long-term reduction in the temperature of the Earth's surface and atmosphere, resulting in the presence or expansion of continental ice sheets, polar ice sheets and alpine glaciers...

, information about the area was scanty until 1596 when the Kursk stronghold
Fortification
Fortifications are military constructions and buildings designed for defence in warfare and military bases. Humans have constructed defensive works for many thousands of years, in a variety of increasingly complex designs...

 was built. A real growth of the area around Kursk began soon after that, with a large migration from Central Russia after famine in the beginning of the 17th century. Between 1708 and 1719, Kursk was a part of the newly created
Administrative divisions of Russia in 1708-1710
The administrative division reform of 1708 was carried out by Russian Tsar Peter the Great in an attempt to improve the manageability of the vast territory of the Russian Empire...

 Kiev Governorate
Kiev Governorate
Kiev Governorate , or Government of Kiev, was an administrative division of the Russian Empire.The governorate was established in 1708 along with seven other governorates and was transformed into a viceroyalty in 1781...

. From 1719 to 1727
Administrative divisions of Russia in 1719-1725
-Major events:The second administrative reform of 1719 was carried out by Peter the Great in order to fix the deficiencies of the original system. On June 9 , 1719 Peter issued an ukase that abolished the division of the governorates into lots...

 it was a part of Belgorod
Belgorod
-Twin towns/sister cities:Belgorod is twinned with: Wakefield, England, United Kingdom Herne, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany Palembang, South Sumatra, Indonesia Opole, Poland Vyshhorod, Ukraine Kharkiv, Ukraine-External links:...

 province of Kiev Governorate. Later
Administrative divisions of Russia in 1727-1728
-Major events:The administrative reform of 1727 was carried out soon after Peter the Great's death, when it became apparent that previous reform was not working as planned. The fast pace of the reforms came into contradiction with the traditional ways of doing things. Newly created bureaucracy...

 Kursk uyezd
Uyezd
Uyezd or uezd was an administrative subdivision of Rus', Muscovy, Russian Empire, and the early Russian SFSR which was in use from the 13th century. Uyezds for most of the history in Russia were a secondary-level of administrative division...

 was a part of Belgorod Governorate. On May 23, 1779, Kursk Governorate was established. The latter subdivision existed until 1928, when the territory of Kursk Governorate became a part of Central Chernozem Oblast. As Central Chernozem Oblast was very large its administration was very difficult, on June 13, 1934 it was divided into two oblasts: Kursk Oblast and Voronezh Oblast. In the period between 1934 and 1954, oblasts' borders were frequently adjusted. However, the area and borders of the oblast have remained stable from 1954.

During World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, the territory of Kursk Oblast was occupied by the German troops from fall of 1941 until summer of 1943. The Battle of Kursk
Battle of Kursk
The Battle of Kursk took place when German and Soviet forces confronted each other on the Eastern Front during World War II in the vicinity of the city of Kursk, in the Soviet Union in July and August 1943. It remains both the largest series of armored clashes, including the Battle of Prokhorovka,...

, which was one of the major battles of World War II, took place in the region between July 5 and August 23, 1943.

Politics


The Parliament
Parliament
A parliament is a legislature, especially in those countries whose system of government is based on the Westminster system modeled after that of the United Kingdom. The name is derived from the French , the action of parler : a parlement is a discussion. The term came to mean a meeting at which...

 of Kursk Oblast is the Kursk Oblast Duma which consists of 45 members elected for four-year term. The head of the oblast is a governor who is appointed by the President of Russia.

The center-right United Russia
United Russia
United Russia is a centrist political party in Russia and the largest party in the country, currently holding 315 of the 450 seats in the State Duma. The party was founded in December 2001, through a merger of the Unity and Fatherland-All Russia parties...

 Party and the left Communist Party of the Russian Federation
Communist Party of the Russian Federation
The Communist Party of the Russian Federation is a Russian political party. It is the second major political party in the Russian Federation.-History:...

 are Kursk Oblast's major political parties. Traditionally, the Communist Party is the strongest in the Oblast's rural area.

Industry


The oblast's industrial production dropped rapidly during the 1990s, as an industrial crisis was stimulated by the nationwide economic crisis which followed the collapse of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

. However, by the end of the decade output was increasing. Moreover, the manufacturing sector, despite a sagging economy in the late 20th century, continues to accounts for about 40% of the oblast's GDP
Gross domestic product
Gross domestic product refers to the market value of all final goods and services produced within a country in a given period. GDP per capita is often considered an indicator of a country's standard of living....

. The engineering, electric-power, metal-working, chemicals, and food processing are the dominant industries.

Agriculture


Most of the main farming areas are used for natural pastures or cultivation, which involves mainly wheat
Wheat
Wheat is a cereal grain, originally from the Levant region of the Near East, but now cultivated worldwide. In 2007 world production of wheat was 607 million tons, making it the third most-produced cereal after maize and rice...

, sugar beet
Sugar beet
Sugar beet, a cultivated plant of Beta vulgaris, is a plant whose tuber contains a high concentration of sucrose. It is grown commercially for sugar production. Sugar beets and other B...

, and fodder
Fodder
Fodder or animal feed is any agricultural foodstuff used specifically to feed domesticated livestock such as cattle, goats, sheep, horses, chickens and pigs. Most animal feed is from plants but some is of animal origin...

 crops. The main categories of productive holdings are wheat farms, dairy farms, poultry farms, and beef cattle. Agricultural lands cover 23000 square kilometres (8,880.3 sq mi), or 77% of the oblast's territory.

Transportation


Transportation industry of Kursk Oblast, with easy access to national and international markets, is the basis for the oblast's development. The most important modes of transport throughout the oblast are by railway and road. Total length of railway network is 1100 kilometres (683.5 mi). Two major rail links pass through Kursk Oblast: Moscow–Kharkiv
Kharkiv
Kharkiv or Kharkov is the second-largest city in Ukraine.The city was founded in 1654 and was a major centre of Ukrainian culture in the Russian Empire. Kharkiv became the first city in Ukraine where the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic was proclaimed in December 1917 and Soviet government was...

 and Kiev
Kiev
Kiev or Kyiv is the capital and the largest city of Ukraine, located in the north central part of the country on the Dnieper River. The population as of the 2001 census was 2,611,300. However, higher numbers have been cited in the press....

Voronezh
Voronezh
Voronezh is a city in southwestern Russia, the administrative center of Voronezh Oblast. It is located on both sides of the Voronezh River, away from where it flows into the Don. It is an operating center of the Southeastern Railway , as well as the center of the Don Highway...

. Region roads serve all towns and rural settlements through 5600 kilometres (3,479.7 mi) road network. In addition, there is an airport in the oblast which was opened to international flights in July 1997.

Education


The largest universities of Kursk Oblast is Kursk State University
Kursk State University
Kursk State University is Kursk's oldest higher educational institution, founded in 1934 as Kursk State Pedagogical Institute, later in 1994 transformed into Kursk State Pedagogical University and has a current status since 2003.-University today:Today, the University is a science and education...

, Kursk State Technical University, Kursk State Medical University
Kursk State Medical University
Kursk State Medical University is a Russia Government University of higher professional education and ministry on health and social medicine...

 and Kursk State Agricultural Academy which are located in the city of Kursk. There are also 19 other higher education facilities in Kursk Oblast.

Tourism


Kursk Oblast's natural attraction is the State Central-Chernozem national park, which offers great opportunity for hiking. Oblast's forests and others undeveloped areas are ideal for hunting, fishing, and camping. Traditional art and architecture are preserved in the town-museum of Rylsk and others historical towns of Kursk Oblast.

External links