Jewish Autonomous Region

Jewish
Autonomous Region

The region is located in the southern part of the Russian Far East and has access to the seas of the Pacific Ocean through the Amur waterway. The territory of the region is crossed by the Trans-Siberian Railway, offering the shortest route from the Western Europe and the Middle East to the Asian countries. Climate of the region is favorable for growing of wheat, barley, oats, corn, soybeans, and potatoes.

The administrative center is the city of Birobidzhan

Area 36 300 km².

Population 162 014 people (2018).

Population density 4,47 people per km² (2018)

Web site: www.eao.ru

Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) Chukotka Autonomous Region Magadan Region Kamchatka Krai Sakhalin Region Khabarovsk Krai Amur Region Primorsky Krai Jewish Autonomous Region Republic of Buryatia Zabaykalsky KraiRussian Far East

History

Exploration and development of the basin of the Amur River and the Pacific coast by the Russians began in the middle of the 17th century. The efforts of the earliest explorers, Cossacks, along the Amur River led to foundation of the first stockaded towns and settlements.

In 1861, the tsarist government declared Amur lands open for settlement of peasants without plots of land and other adventurous people of all classes, willing to move there at their own expense. In that period, the society of the old-timer peasants was formed and the Amur lands were populated by exile settlers, temporary settlers, retired soldiers, and Cossacks.

Construction of the Amur railway (1908 1916) has significantly affected the settlement of the Russian Far East outskirts. During the construction process, new settlements populated by builders and maintenance personnel of the railway were founded in the territory of the future region.

The events of 1917 marked a new era in the history of the Russian Far East. In the early 1920s, the plans for land utilization by the Jewish workers and exploration of the territory for their dense settlement began being actively discussed. In 1927, Birobidzhan was chosen as the area of future colonization and mass resettlement of the Jewish population to the Amur strip started.

The increased influx of population, strengthening of inter-regional relations, rapid economy development created conditions for the organization of the Jewish Autonomous Region; industrial, social and cultural, housing construction began.

Geographical location

The Jewish Autonomous Region is located in the southern part of the Russian Far East and has a favorable geographical location. In the west it borders the Amur Region, in the east - the Khabarovsk Region, and in the south its border along the Amur River forms the state border between Russia and China.

The region is located in close proximity to the coast of the Pacific Ocean and the key economic partners of the region; through the Amur waterway it has access to the Pacific Ocean. The region territory is crossed by the Trans-Siberian railway providing the shortest route from the Western Europe and the Middle East to the countries of the Asian and Pacific region.

The territory surface is represented by two kinds of relief: mountains and plains. Mountains are mostly low and feature smooth peaks and large-hilly landscape.

Time zone

Standard time zone: UTC+10:00

Physical and geographical characteristics

The length of the Jewish Autonomous Region from west to east - 330 km, from north to south - 200 km.

The region lies in close proximity to the main international economic partners located on the Asia-Pacific coast and has access to the Pacific Ocean through the Amur waterway. In the territory of the region, there are three border-crossing points with the People's Republic of China; he Trans-Siberian railway offering the shortest routes from Europe to the Asia-Pacific countries stretches through the region.

Natural resources

The basis of the regional land resources is formed by the forest resources, forest reserves, and specially protected natural areas. Only 10% of the territory is allocated for the agricultural lands.

The raw material base of the region includes the following resources: iron, graphite, manganese, magnesium and carbonate raw materials, tin, brown coal, peat, zeolite, alluvial gold, indium, precious, semi-precious, and facing stones.

The region has the second largest graphite deposit in the world.

The Kuldura thermal mineral spring is of great value; its waters have a unique chemical composition and contain aluminum, iron, manganese, titanium, chrome, copper, silver, chlorine, lithium, barium, strontium, and fluorine.

Climate

By its climatic conditions, the region is considered as one of the most favorable corners of the Far East. Winters are snowy and cold, summers are warm and humid.

The warmest month is July, the coldest month is January. The average temperature of July makes +20 degrees. The average January temperature in the south makes -24 degrees. The first autumn frosts begin on September 20 - October 7 and stable snow cover is usually formed in the third decade of October.

The greatest part of the region lies in a zone of sufficient moisture. 85% of the precipitation, which is distributed unevenly over the months, falls in the warm season. At the beginning of summer, the rains are rare, which leads to the lack of moisture. But at the end of July and the beginning of August, the precipitation increases sharply and exceeds its amount in the first half of the summer twice.

Flora and fauna

Forest is the dominant type of vegetation in the Jewish Region. It accounts for 45% of the territory.

Northern mountainous areas are covered by dark coniferous forests, which have been severely affected by forest fires and logging. Cedar and broad-leaved forests notable for a great variety of species of both dendroflora and grassy plants grow in the middle mountain zone. The coniferous neighbors of the Korean cedar are Yezo spruce and white fir, and the deciduous neighbors are Amur lime tree, fine-leaved and greenbark maple, Amur cork tree, Manchurian walnut. Oak woods are the main plant formation of the low-mountain areas, the bank of the Amur River, and the plains.

The region's fauna was formed at the junction of four landscape complexes. Amur region fauna is associated with the mountain and valley cedar broad-leaved and floodplain forests. The animals forming this type of fauna include Himalayan bear, Amur leopard cat, mountain weasel, Manchurian hare, raccoon dog, Far Eastern turtle, Japanese tree toad.

Okhotsk and Kamchatka fauna type can be found in the dark coniferous taiga. These forests are inhabited by animals most of which are typical for the mountain taiga of Siberia and the Russian Far East. This fauna includes brown bear, musk deer, sable, squirrel, mountain hare, nutcracker, Ussurian bullfinch, siskin, common crossbill, rustic bunting, coal tit, Siberian wood frog.

East Siberian fauna is inherent in light-coniferous forests - larch and pine forests, and maris (high larch forests). This fauna includes elk, ermine, red vole, northern red-backed vole, Siberian jay, rock capercaillie, bullfinch, Naumann's thrush, willow tit, common lizard, Siberian salamander.

The Daurian and Mongolian fauna of dry steppes and mountain forest-steppe is sparsely represented in the region. These are such species as striped hamster, white-naped crane, Daurian partridge, Siberian toad.

Soils

The region territory features the following main types of soil cover: mountain and forest brown podzolized soils, brown-podzolic soils, sod-podzol soils, meadow grey soils, and marsh soils.

Loam soils are the best arable land in the region. They are mainly concentrated in the floodplain of the Amur River. These soils are covered with oak woods with hazel brushwood or white-birch forests with a shrub level of willows. The humus layer on the virgin lands makes up to 12 cm and has the grey color. It features high water permeability, but low potential fertility.

Population

The urban population of the Jewish Autonomous Region makes 68.77%.

Administrative and territorial division

The region includes 1 city of regional status - Birobidzhan, and 5 districts: Birobidzhan district, Leninsky district, Obluchensky district, Oktyabrsky district, Smidovichsky district.

The administrative center of the region is the city of Birobidzhan.

Economy

The mining sector takes the lead in the region's economy. The mined resources include tin, graphite ore, and manganese.

62 agricultural enterprises, 278 peasant (farm) companies, 12 individual entrepreneurs are engaged in the agricultural production in the Jewish Autonomous Region and 23.9 thousand of citizens have private farm households.

The area of agricultural land in the Jewish Autonomous Region makes 464.2 thousand ha.

Agricultural consumer cooperatives in the Jewish Autonomous Region receive the grant support for creation and development of their business.

The measures aimed at improvement of the housing conditions of citizens living in the rural areas, including young families and young professionals, are being taken.

Education

There are 83 kindergartens, 65 schools, 7 professional educational institutions, 1 university, Sholem Aleichem Amur State University, in the region.

In addition to the implementation of vocational educational programs, vocational educational institutions offer quite a wide range of vocational training programs: short-term vocational training programs for blue-collar jobs and office workers, advanced training and retraining of blue-collar and white-collar workers.

The Institute for Complex Analysis of the Regional Problems of the Far East Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences is located in the territory of the Jewish Autonomous Region.

Culture

Cultural and leisure activities of the population are provided by 78 clubhouses, 65 of which are located in rural areas. 38 amateur performance teams have Honoured rank. More than one and a half thousand people, including more than a thousand children and teenagers, are involved in them.

Creative teams and soloists successfully perform not only on venues of the region and Russia, but around the whole world. There are Birobidzhan regional philharmonic hall and puppet theater in the region.

The library network of the region consists of 49 libraries. 39 of them are located in rural areas.

There are 19 museums in the region, including the Regional Museum of Local Studies and the Museum of Modern Art of the Jewish Autonomous Region; 5 children's music schools, 2 fine art schools, 1 art school, 1 dance school. The personnel working in the field of culture is trained at Birobidzhan Regional College of Culture.

Religion

Currently, there are 55 religious organizations including two Jewish and one Muslim community, registered and working in the territory of the Jewish Autonomous Region. Various schools of Protestantism and Neo-Protestantism unite people of the following confessions: the traditional Protestants, the Evangelical Christian Baptists, the Seventh-Day Adventists, the Pentecostals Evangelical Christians, the Evangelical Christians adhering to the charismatic church, the Presbyterians.