Primorsky Krai (Primorye)

Primorsky Krai

Primorsky Krai is located in the south of the Far East. It borders China and North Korea. The capital of the region is Vladivostok, one of the largest ports of the Pacific coast. Primorsky Krai takes the 3rd place in Russia by soybean production. The region's climate is favorable for growing of corn, rice, and beans.

The administrative center is the city of Vladivostok.

Area 164 673 km².

Population 1,913,037 people (2018).

Population density 11.62 people per km² (2018)

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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


In 1861, the Russian government took the path of state encouragement of resettlement to Amur and Primorsky regions: these territories were declared open for settlement by peasants who had no land plots and any adventurous people of all classes willing to resettle there at their own expense. The construction of the Trans-Siberian railway was of great importance for economic development of the Russian Far East.

Industrial development of Primorye was carried out basically through the development of the rich deposits of natural resources: coal, gold, complex ores. At the beginning of the 20th century, manufacturing industry developed more dynamically. Mining industry progressed and timber export grew.

In the 1930s, Primorye was considered by the state as the raw materials base of the country. Extensive construction of roads, new industrial enterprises relating to mining, forestry, fishery, and ship repair sectors began.

In the geopolitical system of the Soviet Union, Primorye, same as in the pre-revolutionary period, took the lead among the other parts of the Russian Far East. In 1938, Primorye was divided into two regions (Krais) Khabarovsk Krai and Primorsky Krai. Primorsky Krai received its modern name and acquired the current administrative and territorial status.

Geographical location

Primorsky Krai lies in the south of the Russian Far East, in the southeastern part of the Russian Federation. In the north, it borders Khabarovsk Krai, in the west - China, in the southwest - North Korea. In the south and in the east it is washed by the Sea of Japan.

The maximum extent of the region (from the mouth of the Tumannaya River to the river head of the Samarga River) makes about 900 km. The greatest width (from the valley of the Ussuri River to the coast of the Sea of Japan) is about 280 km. The total length of the region's borders makes 3000 km including about 1500 km of sea borders.

Time zone

Local time: Moscow time +7 hours, GMT +10 hours.

Physical and geographical characteristics

The central and eastern parts of the region are covered by Sikhote-Alin Mountains. Ussuri and Prikhankai lowlands lie in the west. The spurs of the Manchurian-Korean Mountains spread along the southern borders with China. The highest peak of the region is 1933 m high Anik Mountain located in the north-east of the region, near the border with Khabarovsk Krai. Large islands: Russky, Putyatina, Askold, Popova, Rikord, Reyneke, Bolshaya Pelis. In the south-west, there is a large Khanka Lake which forms a border with China. The greatest river of the region is Ussuri which source lies on the slopes of Snezhnaya Mountain.

Natural resources

Minerals - mining & chemical and mining raw materials for non-ferrous metallurgy (tin, lead-zinc and boron-containing ores, tungsten), coal and brown coal, peat, building materials.

The largest lake of Primorye is Khanka. Its area makes 4190 sqm, depth - up to 10.6 m. The main river is Ussuri (right tributary of the Amur River), a part of which flows along the border with China. Almost all rivers of the region are suitable for timber rafting and are important sources for water supply and water power. The rivers are used for irrigation of rice paddies. In addition to the great economic importance, the rivers are valuable spawning area of passing salmon fishes salmon, cherry salmon, chum salmon.

On the coast of Primorsky Krai the Sea of Japan reaches the depth of 50-100 m, and the height of tides makes 1.8 m. From December to March, and in the northern parts until April, the sea at the coast is covered with ice. Dense and long fogs are caused by cold current moving from north to south along the coast.


The climate is mild monsoon. The winters are dry and cold, with cloudless weather. The springs are long, cool, with frequent temperature fluctuations. The summers are warm and humid; typhoons are frequent in July-August. Heavy rainfall and fog are distinctive features of the regional summer. The autumns are usually warm, dry, with cloudless weather. The average temperature in July ranges from +17 to +26C. The daily mean January temperature ranges from −8 to −18C on the coast, which, together with humidity and winds, reduces it twice compared to mainland areas with a drier climate, where the temperature reaches −38 −54C. Precipitation rate makes 600900 mm per year.

Flora and fauna

There are 2200 2500 species of vascular plants including about 250 species of trees, shrubs, and woody lianas, more than a third of the Russian ferns, thousands of algae and mushroom species, hundreds of moss species, and 600 species of lichens growing in Primorsky Krai.

Forests cover 79% of the region territory. Spruce-fir, cedar-spruce, and cedar-broad-leaved forests prevail in the mountains and gradually pass into more diverse and warm-requiring black fir and broad-leaved forests in the south-west of Primorye. In the river valleys, there are broad-leaved forests of ash, elm and Manchurian walnut.

Vegetation types similar to flora of Kamchatka dominate in the highlands: stone birch forests, thickets of dwarf pines, and mountain tundra. Willow beds, alder thickets, and forests formed by various poplars and Chosenia stretch along the riverbeds.

Fauna of the region is rich in species composition and features a combination of fauna elements of the northern and southern zones. Hoofed mammals include goral, axis deer, Manchurian deer, roe deer, musk deer, elk, wild boar; predators - Siberian tiger, lynx, leopard, wolf, bear, sable, raccoon dog, Ussuri cat, fox, Siberian weasel, otter, glutton; rodents squirrel, Manchurian hare, chipmunk, field mouse. Many species, such as sable, Siberian weasel, otter, squirrel, deer, have commercial importance.

The most exotic animals of the region are the Siberian tiger - a symbol of Primorsky Krai - Amur leopard, Amur forest cat, Asiatic black bear, Ussuri cat, and goral.


The soil cover of Primorsky Krai is formed mainly by brown and grey forest soils that are podzolized to different extents. The difference in the soil cover nature of the region is caused by diversity of the landscape. Sod-podzolic, marsh, and grey forest soils are widespread in Prikhankaya lowlands; solodic meadow soils can be also found here, though they are sparser. Grey forest and brown forest podzolized soils prevail in the foothills and on the western and southern slopes of Sikhote Alin.


Urban population of the region makes 77.21%. There are more than 160 ethnic groups living in Primorye. 85.66% of inhabitants are Russians, 2.55% - Ukrainians, 0.96% - Koreans. Aboriginals of Primorsky Krai are the Udegeis, the Nanays, the Orochis, the Taz people. The number of indigenous people who have not moved to the city but preserved their traditional way of life does not exceed 1 500-2 000. They live mainly in the northern areas of the region.

Administrative and territorial division

The structure of Primorsky Krai includes 12 urban districts and 22 municipal districts that are formed by 22 urban and 101 rural settlements. The center of the region is the city of Vladivostok.


The basic industries of Primorye are industrial production, building, wholesale and retail trade, transport and communication, agriculture, hunting and forestry, fishing, fish farming.

Transport and logistics are one of the leading industries. The transit trade routes between Europe and East Asia, between North-East Asia and North America stretch through the region. The transport lines connecting ports of the region and land border crossing points between Russia and China converge here.

The entire territory of the region from north to south is crossed by the largest railway in Russia and the whole world - Trans-Siberian railway. The main line reaches the sea and ends in Vladivostok, while two more branches stretch to the ports of Nakhodka, Zarubino, and Posyet.

International transport corridors Primorye-1 and Primorye-2, connecting the Chinese provinces of Heilongjiang and Jilin with the seaports of Primorsky Krai, pass through the territory of the Free Port of Vladivostok.

Primorsky Krai has the key role in support of the sea transports in the Russian Far East. The main seaports are Vladivostok, Nakhodka, Vostochny, Posyet, Zarubino.

The main air hub of the region is the airport Vladivostok which is allowed to perform international flights.

The fish industry is the basic sector in the regional industry structure and has a great impact on the economy of not only the region and the Russian Far East, but the entire Russia. There are more than 130 fishery enterprises in the region. Annual production volume exceeds 1.5 million tons of fish and seafood.

Agriculture is developed throughout the territory of Primorsky Krai, though the main volumes are concentrated in the southern and south-western zones. Climate conditions are favorable for cultivation of almost all crops including warm-requiring (rice, melons and gourds, eggplant, pepper). Soy, corn, potatoes, and vegetables form the main share in the regional crop production. Breeding of livestock and poultry, as well as milk production are fundamentals of the animal husbandry in the region. In 2017, the region received a record soybean yield more than 380 thousand tons.

The area of agricultural land allocated to the land users of the region makes 1 194.1 thousand hectares including 707.6 thousand hectares of arable land.


There are 130 elementary schools in 24 municipalities of the region. In the system of secondary vocational education there are 44 state and private establishments and 11 branches and colleges of higher education, where about 40 thousand young people study.

The system of higher education in Primorye includes five state universities (Far Eastern Federal University, Vladivostok State University of Economics and Service, Far Eastern State University of Arts, Far Eastern State Technical Fisheries University, Admiral G.I.Nevelsky Marine State University, Pacific State Medical University), as well as S.O. Makarov Higher Naval Academy which provides the fleet of Russia with staff.

Scientific activities are carried out at 20 institutes and branches of the Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, as well as at the Far Eastern Federal University.


Maxim Gorky Primorsky Academic Theatre, founded in 1932, remains the only academic theatre in the Far East. Actors of the theater actively tour with performances across the region and perform in the other regions of Russia and abroad. A few years ago, the Primorsky stage of the legendary Mariinsky Theatre was opened in the city of Vladivostok. The halls of the theater are provided with state-of-the-art equipment and can easily compete with the major concert venues around the world.

In addition to the permanent exhibition, Primorsky State Art Gallery regularly exhibits unique borrowed works of the famous artists Aivazovsky, Levitan, Vasnetsov, and many others. Vladivostok Circus is another one striking element of the cultural life in the region. Amazing building resembling a sea shell appeared in Primorye in the 70s and at the end of 2017, after a large-scale reconstruction, it was reborn. The circus, equipped with the latest high-tech outfits, attracts circus troupes from all over Russia and welcomes the circus stars from all over the world.


Most of the main religions of Russia are presented in Primorye. Orthodoxy is the largest confession in the territory of the region in terms of the number of church members. There are also organizations of the Old Believers, Catholicism and Protestantism, Islam, Buddhism, Krishna worship, Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons in Primorye.

Primorsky Krai is considered a region with strong influence of Protestant Christianity. Despite the smaller number of parishioners, according to mass media, there were 178 officially registered Protestant communities in the region in 2010; while the number of Orthodox communities made 89.

The share of atheists among the population of Primorye is 35%; this is the highest rate among the regions of Russia (average value makes 13%).

The largest religious association in the region is Primorsky metropolitanate of the Russian Orthodox Church of Moscow Patriarchate which is divided into Vladivostok and Primorsky, Arsenyevsk and Nakhodka eparchies.

There are also three relatively large unions of the Protestant churches in the region: the Union of churches of Evangelical Christian-Baptists of Primorsky Krai, Primorsky Union of the missionary churches of Evangelical Christians, and the Northeast Union of Evangelical churches.