Zabaykalsky Krai borders Mongolia and China. The region is rich in nature reserves and parks, healing mineral springs. The region specializes in fine sheep breeding. The climate conditions allow growing of spring wheat, oats, barley, rapeseed, soybeans, and potatoes.
The administrative center is the city of Chita.
Area — 431 500 km².
Population — 1 072 806 people (2018).
Population density — 2,48 people per km² (2018)
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In 1802, by the imperial decree “On the settlement of the middle zone of Siberia”, the lands along Ingota, Chita, Ulunga (Olenguy), and Tura Rivers were transferred to the settlers arriving from the western regions of the country.
In 1937, the resolution of the Central Executive Committee of the USSR formed Agin Buryat-Mongol national district in the structure of Chita region from Agin and Ulan-Onon aimaks (districts) of the Buryat-Mongol Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic. Later the region was renamed Agin-Buryat Autonomous Okrug. Since 1992, the district has been an independent subject of the Russian Federation.
On March 1, 2008, as a result of the decision based on the referendum of the peoples of Agin-Buryat Autonomous Okrug and Chita region, Zabaykalsky Krai was formed. From 2015 till 2018, the region was a part of the Siberian Federal District. On November 3, 2018, it was transferred to the Far Eastern Federal District.
Zabaykalsky Krai lies in the Eastern Siberia, in the eastern half of Transbaikal. The greatest length of the region from north (Kodar ridge) to the south (Priononskaya plain) reaches almost 1000 km, from the west (Yablonovy ridge) to the east (Argun river) - slightly more than 850 km. 3073 high BAM peak is the highest point in the territory of Zabaykalsky Krai.
Zabaykalsky Krai is located in MSK +6 time zone (Yakutia time). The offset of this time zone relative to UTC makes +9:00.
The territory lies in mountain-taiga, forest-steppe, and steppe natural zones.
The relief of Zabaykalsky Krai is represented by plains and mountains, thus, the latter prevail. The northern part is covered with mountain ridges, the middle zone - with numerous hills, and the southern part - with vast steppe plains. There are 65 ridges and 50 valleys in total in the region.
More than 40,000 water streams flow across the region's territory. 98—99% of them are rivers and streams with the length of less than 25 km. 14 rivers are the largest (more than 500 km long). Five of them flow completely in the region's territory - Gazimur, Ingoda, Kalar, Nercha, and Shilka.
Close to the city of Chita there is Ivano-Arakhleiskaya lake system. On the Yablonovy ridge, there is a unique place in the world - Pallas mountain, which slopes bear flows to three major rivers of Asia: Yenisei (through Selenga and Baikal), Lena and Amur.
The largest rivers of the region include Argun, Shilka, Onon, Ingoda, Khilok, Chikoy. Large lake groups are formed by Toray, Ivano-Arakhleiskoye, and Kuando-Charskoye lakes.
Zabaykalsky Krai is one of the oldest mining areas of Russia enjoying significant mineral resources. The depths of Zabaykalsky Krai conceal 38% of explored reserves of fluorspar of the Russian Federation, 31% of zirconium, 21% of copper, 27% of molybdenum, 18% of titanium, 16% of silver, 9% of lead, and 6% of gold.
In the territory of the region, there are deposits and shows of combustible minerals (coal, methane), ferrous metals (iron, chromium, manganese), non-ferrous metals (copper, nickel, cobalt, lead, zinc, molybdenum, tungsten, tin, antimony, mercury, etc), rare metals (lithium, tantalum, caesium, niobium, germanium), precious metals (gold, silver, platinum-group metals), radioactive metals (uranium), mining and chemical raw materials (fluorite, magnesite, synnyrite, apatite, graphite), precious and ornamental stones, building materials, ground water.
Zabaykalsky Krai is the largest fluorine-bearing zone of the world, where more than 100 shows and deposits are concentrated. More than a half of all explored reserves of fluorite (fluorspar) of the CIS are located in the territory of the region.
Zabaykalsky Krai is one of the rare regions of our planet with a unique diversity and saturation of the territory with mineral water springs, having a wide range of balneological properties.
The climate is distinctly continental. The winter is long and snowy. The spring and the autumn are short. The summer is short and warm, dry in its first half and wet in the second half. The average temperature in July makes +13°C in the north and + 20.7° C in the south. Frost-free season makes 80-140 days. Specific feature of climate in Zabaykalsky Krai consists in significant duration of sunshine per year, from 1873 to 2592 hours. The annual precipitation rate makes 200 - 600 mm.
The region territory is divided into three vegetation zones: mountain-taiga, forest-steppe, and steppe.
The mountain-taiga vegetation zone is covered by light coniferous forests. The main forest species are larch, pine, fir, and spruce. Scotch pine has the second place by areas covered in the mountain taiga zone. The other two pine species are Siberian pine (cedar) and Siberian dwarf pine. Dark coniferous species - Siberian spruce, Siberian fir - are less common.
Forest flora is formed by birch, larch and birch, aspen, and pine forests. The herb layer is sparse, with prevailing miscellaneous herbs, legumes, and cereals.
Regional steppes are the northern frontier of steppes on Eurasia continent. In the steppe, there are some annual plants, typical for the European part of Russia, Western Siberia, and Kazakhstan. Steppes are notable for diversity of species composition and fuzzy boundaries of specific formations.
In Zabaykalsky Krai, there are five main types of fauna typical for natural formations of Transbaikal - highlands, taiga, forest-steppes, steppes, and reservoirs.
Animals of the highland tundra include reindeer, and bighorn sheep. Wall-creeper, chipmunk, and black-capped marmot are the most widespread small mammals in this zone. The main mammals of taiga include ungulate mammals, rodents, and predators. Typical inhabitants of this region are Manchurian deer, roe deer, musk deer. Mountain hare, squirrel, ermine, sable, and wolf are also very widespread. The brown bear, preferring places rich in berries and pine nuts, is a real overlord of taiga. The wide spread bird species include hazel-grouse, owl, and eagle-owl.
Rodents and hoofed mammals prevail in the forest-steppe. The largest rodent is Mongolian marmot (tarbagan). A typical ungulate living in forest-steppe is Siberian roe deer. Black-tailed gazelle can be found in the steppe zone. Various field, small, grey, and Mongolian larks are widespread.
The soils feature great originality, which is caused by the widespread permafrost and the mountainous nature of the relief. Specific natural conditions of the region formed a great variety of soils. All the main types of soils, except subtropical ones, can be found here.
Plain soils are rare. They are found only on flat watersheds and plains. Permafrost-taiga, mountain-permafrost sod-taiga, mountain podzolic and sod-podzol; in forest-steppe - grey forest, permafrost dark grey, forest, meadow, meadow-chernozem, mountain brown forest; in the steppe — chernozem and chestnut soils.
Soils peculiar to semi-desert and desert zones, solonetz and saline soils can be found in the steppe zone. The region has azonal soils, namely alluvial soils. Marsh and meadow-marsh soils dominate in the northern areas.
The majority of the population lives in the southern and central regions of the federal subject; the northern regions are poorly populated. National composition: Russians — 89.9%, Buryats — 6.8%, Ukrainians — 0.6%, Tatars — 0.5%, Armenians — 0.3%, Azerbaijanis — 0.3%, Kyrgyz — 0.2%, Belarusians — 0.2%, Uzbeks — 0.2%, and Evenkis — 0.1%.
The structure of Zabaykalsky Krai includes 31 districts, 38 urban-type settlements, 814 rural settlements and Agin-Buryat Okrug - administrative and territorial unit with a special status.
The administrative and cultural center of the region is the city of Chita.
In 2018, Zabaykalsky Krai showed the increase in production volumes in the following sectors: extraction of minerals, power, gas and steam supply, water supply and wastewater disposal, retail trade, paid services for the population, public catering. Real wages have grown. At the same time, there was a decrease in the following spheres — manufacturing enterprises, agriculture, building, vehicles freight turnover.
The volume of industrial production increased by 2.3% compared to the same period of 2017. Agricultural production index amounted to 98.5%.
The average monthly nominal accrued salary in January-August 2018 amounted to 37 812.3 rubles and increased by 14.1% compared to the same period of the previous year. Real wages increased by 11.4%.
The registered unemployment rate as of October 01, 2018 made 1.3 % of economically active population (as of October 01, 2017 — 1.5 %).
The network of pre-school educational establishments and general educational organizations of Zabaykalsky Krai includes 477 pre-school educational establishments and 570 general educational organizations. More than 15,000 teachers work in secondary schools in the region. There are 11 universities and branches, 6 secondary educational establishments, and 22 vocational colleges under the supervision of the Ministry of Education.
Higher education establishments
Secondary technical schools
The network of cultural institutions of the Transbaikal region includes 569 cultural centers, clubs, leisure centers, 616 libraries, 27 museums, 63 additional education establishments, 1 center for the aesthetic development of children, 6 performance and entertainment establishments, 2 theatres, 2 professional educational institutions, 1 zoo, 11 cinemas, as well as the state cultural institutions: “Educational and training center of culture and folk art of Zabaykalsky Krai”, “Center for development of Buryat culture of Zabaykalsky Krai”, “Publishing center of culture of Zabaykalsky Krai”, “Chita state film company”.
In 1741, Empress Elizabeth of Russia issued a decree establishing staffing schedule of the Buryat Buddhist clergy. Lamas were put on oath to allegiance, and Buddhism became one of the official religions of the Russian Empire. Tsygolsky temple, erected in the village of Tsugol in 1801, became the first Lamaist temple in the territory of the region.
Shamanism is the traditional folk belief of one of the indigenous peoples of Transbaikalia - the Evenkis. Orthodoxy came to the region in 17th century, as settlement of the Russian population began. At that time, the Old Believers also settled in Transbaikal after the church dissent. In the second half of the 18th century, exiled Semeiskie Old Believers began to settle along Chikoy River, in the south-western part of the territory of the modern Zabaykalsky Krai.
The first Orthodox Church, Voskresenskaya, was built in 1670 in Nerchinsk town. The independent Transbaikal eparchy was formed in 1894.
Protestantism and other Christian schools appeared relatively late in Transbaikal.
There are also followers of Judaism and Islam living in the region.
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