Amur Region

Amur
Region

The region is located in the southwestern part of the Russian Far East and borders China in the south. Amur farmers grow 40% of the total volume of soybeans produced in Russia. Economy of the region is focused on foreign trade. The largest trading partners of the region are China, Mongolia, and the Republic of Korea. Soya's share in the export exceeds 80%.

The administrative center is the city of Blagoveshchensk

Area 361 900 km².

Population 795 600 people (2018).

Population density 2,2 people per km² (2018)

Web site: www.amurobl.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

Amur Region was annexed to the Russian Empire in the middle of the 19th century, following the results of the war between the Great Britain and France against China. At that time, the Cossacks from Trans-Baikal started resettling to the lower reaches of the Amur. In 1856, they founded Ust-Zeisky post which was later renamed Blagoveshchenskaya village. After the Amur Region finally became a part of Russia, the Amur region was formed and Blagoveshchensk became its administrative center.

The essential role in the settlement of the region was played by construction of the Trans-Siberian railway, the active development of gold mining industry, and agriculture. Two iron foundry plants, a shipbuilding plant, a match factory, five large mills, and dozens of workshops were opened in Blagoveshchensk.

After the end of the World War II, Amur Region remained a part of Khabarovsk Krai. The region had the best combination of raw materials, energy, and land resources compared to some other regions of the Russian Far East.

In 1948, Amur region was separated from Khabarovsk Krai into an independent subject of the Russian Federation. After the war, the construction of new cities, plants, hydroelectric power plants, and Svobodny space launching site began. In the early 1970s, the construction of the Baikal-Amur railway was resumed.

Geographical location

Amur Region is located in the southwestern part of the Russian Far East. In the south it borders the People's Republic of China (the length of the state border is 1250 km), in the north the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), in the east Khabarovsk Krai, and in the west Zabaykalsky Krai. The length of the region from north to south makes 750 km, from north-west to south-east - 1150 km.

Amur Region has no direct access to the seas. Its north-east is only 150 km away from the cold Sea of Okhotsk, and the middle areas - only 500-600 km away from it. It lies 600-800 km away from the warm Sea of Japan.

The biggest part of the region is located in the basin of the Upper and Middle Amur, which gave the name to this area.

Time zone

The region lies in the 9th time zone, together with the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), where the difference with Moscow time makes 6 hours.

Physical and geographical characteristics

Amur Region lies in the moderate geographical zone. By structure of its surface it is divided into mountain and flat zones. Mountains are located in the northern part, plains - in the southern part of the region. The share of mountain areas makes 60%; the plains have a share of 40%. Low-hill terrain and mountains of medium height prevail. The highest peaks are in the north-east, in Stanovy ridge (2312 m), while the lowest place is in the south-east, in the Amur valley (83 m).

Natural resources

Amur Region is a very rich area of Russia in terms of mineral reserves. In the southern and central areas of the region, there are hard coal and brown coal reserves, in Zeysko-Bureinskaya plain - deposits of peat. Gold ore deposits have been developed for more than 100 years. There are numerous deposits of metal ores: iron, copper, tin, titanium, tungsten, mercury, lead and zinc, molybdenum.

In the region, there are more than 60 mineral raw material varieties including the deposits of mercury and antimony, lead, zinc and copper, platinum, diamonds, rare earth elements, brown and hard coal, graphite and talc, apatite and phosphorite, kaolin and alum stone, cement raw materials, precious, semiprecious, and ornamental stones, and various building materials.

Also, there are large deposits of building and glass sands, brick and refractory clay, limestone, tuff, and granite in the region. There are more than 20 large deposits of fresh water and two springs of mineral waters explored in Amur Region.

Climate

The climate of Amur Region is moderate, monsoon, with features of continentality expressed in significant fluctuations in annual temperatures and relatively small amount of precipitation. The average air temperature in July in the south of the region reaches 21,2C. Precipitation regime in the Amur region is largely affected by monsoons which bring moisture from the Pacific Ocean in summer. The biggest share of precipitation falls in the summer - up to 90% or more.

Summers are moderately hot, with high cloudiness and significant rainfall. The biggest share of precipitation falls on July-August. Almost the entire annual rainfall (96- 98%) falls in Amur region in the summer.

Flora and fauna

The region's territory is covered mainly by forest vegetation. There are about 1530 species of trees, bushes, and herbs growing in the region.

Taiga lies the northern part of the region and consists mainly of larch; the ground cover is rich in cranberries. Mixed or broad-leaved and conifer-taiga forests stretch to the south of the taiga.

In the southeastern part of the region, there are mixed forests with northern and southern plants growing side by side. Fir and Korean cedar grow close to each other. The one can find here Amur cork tree, Manchurian walnut, lime tree, maple, ash, black birch here. Trees are often twisted around by lianas: magnolia vine, vine, actinidia.

In all areas, there are meadows which can be found mainly in the river bottomlands.

The territory of Amur Region is rich in different animals, mainly forest animals. Same as in flora, a number of the northern and southern region animals peacefully coexist in the Amur region. There are animals of the Amur region (Manchurian deer, roe deer, hazel-grouse, Manchurian black water snake), East Siberian (brown bear, squirrel, Siberian elk), Mongolian and Daurian fauna (long-tailed souslik, bustard).

The most widespread forest animals of the region are brown and black bears, lynx, sable, elk, reindeer, Manchurian deer, roe deer, and snow sheep.

In the spring, a lot of waterfowl - ducks and geese - fly to nest on the numerous rivers and lakes of the region.

There is a lot of fish in the rivers and lakes of Amur Region. Amur is the richest river in the Russian Federation by the number of fish species. In the Amur basin, there are 103 species of fish, 60 of them can be found in the waters of Amur Region. Important commercial fish species include grass carp, European carp, golden carp.

Soils

In Amur Region, there are eight main soil types: the biggest area is occupied by mountain and podzolic soils followed by brown forest, then marsh, meadow, chernozem-like, sod-podzol, brown, mountain-forest, mountain-tundra, and floodplain soils.

Meadow chernozem-like soils are the most important for field crop cultivation. They are located in the south-western and the southern part of the Zeisko-Bureinskaya plain. Meadow chernozem-like soils contain many nutrients and are the most fertile in the region.

Population

The urban population of Amur Region dominates over the rural population and accounts for 67% of the total number of people living in the region. Almost one third of the total population of the region (29%) lives in the administrative center the city of Blagoveshchensk.

In ethnic terms, the Russian ethnic group traditionally prevails, as historically dominant. The main five nationalities, after the Russians, include Ukrainians, Belarusians, Tatars, Armenians, and Azerbaijanians. The northern regions are home to the indigenous people of the region Evenk.

Administrative and territorial division

Amur region consists of 9 urban districts and 20 municipal districts. Their structure includes 7 regionally governed cities, 2 cities under the district's jurisdiction, 21 urban-type settlements, 599 rural settlements.

The administrative and cultural center of the region is the city of Blagoveshchensk. It is located in the south of the Amur region and is the only regional center of the Russian Federation located directly on the state border. Blagoveshchensk and the Chinese city of Heihe are separated by only 800 meters of the Amur River.

Economy

More than 70% of the gross regional product (GRP) is generated by industry, transport, construction, trade, and agriculture.

The main types of the industrial production are mining, power, gas and steam generation, air conditioning, processing plants. Significant hydro power potential predetermined the development of power engineering sector. Hydropower engineering resources forming 67% of the resources of the South of the Russian Far East and the existing hydroelectric power plants make the region very promising for arranging large power-consuming projects in this region.

Rich mineral resource base, first of all, significant reserves of gold and coal, led to development of the mining sector. Manufacturing facilities in the region have historically developed for serving the needs of gold miners, timber producers, and farmers.

Climate and 34% of the total agricultural lands of the Russian Far East allow Amur farmers to produce more than 1.2 million tons of soybeans (40% of the total soybean production volumes in Russia).

Economic activity of the region is focused on foreign trade - the largest trading partners of Amur Region are China, Mongolia, the Republic of Korea, the Republic of Belarus.

Education

Vocational education is offered by 16 state secondary schools and 11 independent higher education institutions and branches.

Priority specialties within the scope of primary and secondary vocational education are the specialties demanded by enterprises of the building complex, mining, and wood processing industry, metalworking, road construction, and agriculture.

There are 5 universities in the region: Amur State University,

Blagoveshchensk State Pedagogical University, Far Eastern State Agrarian University, Amur State Medical Academy, Rokossovsky K.K. Far Eastern Higher General Commanding Academy of the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation.

Culture

Over more than three centuries of history, Amur Region experienced mutual enrichment of cultures of different nations: traditions of Russians, Belarusians, Ukrainians, and Koreans were combined with the original culture of the indigenous population of the region. In the Amur region, there are numerous culture and art institutions including 2 theatres (Amur regional drama theater, Amur regional puppet theater); regional philharmonic hall, libraries, G.S. Novikov-Daursky museum of local studies. The system of culture educational institutions includes Regional Learning and Teaching Center of Culture and Arts, Amur Culture College, Amur Regional Music College, children's music and arts schools. There is a Center for Preservation of Historical and Cultural Heritage of the Amur Region.

Religion

Same as in most regions of Russia, Orthodoxy has the leading position in the Amur Region. This religion is especially typical for small villages in the northern part of the region. In the center and in the north of the region, the Russian Orthodox Church has a prevailing role; mono-concessionalism dominates. However, the role of this church gradually decreases as moving to the south, while the number of church concessions grows. Protestantism represented by different types of churches takes the lead in the south of the region.