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Sverdlovskaya Oblast', Russia

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Sverdlovskaya Oblast', Russia

Sverdlovsk Oblast
Свердловская область (Russian)
—  Oblast  —

Flag

Coat of arms
Coordinates: 58°42′N 61°20′E / 58.700°N 61.333°E / 58.700; 61.333Coordinates: 58°42′N 61°20′E / 58.700°N 61.333°E / 58.700; 61.333
Political status
Country Russia
Federal district Urals[1]
Economic region Urals[2]
Established January 17, 1934
Administrative center Yekaterinburg
Government (as of March 2011)
 - Governor Yevgeny Kuyvashev[3]
 - Legislature Legislative Assembly
Statistics
Area (as of the 2002 Census)[4]
 - Total 194,800 km2 (75,212.7 sq mi)
Area rank 17th
Population (2010 Census)[5]
 - Total 4,297,747
 - Rank 5th
 - Density[6] 22.06 /km2 (57.1 /sq mi)
 - Urban 83.9%
 - Rural 16.1%
Time zone(s) YEKT (UTC+06:00)[7]
ISO 3166-2 RU-SVE
License plates 66, 96
Official languages Russian[8]
Official website

Sverdlovsk Oblast (Свердло́вская о́бласть, Sverdlovskaya oblast) is a federal subject (an oblast) of Russia located in the Urals Federal District. Its administrative center is the city of Yekaterinburg, formerly known as Sverdlovsk. Its population is 4,297,747 (according to the 2010 Census).[5]

Geography

Most of the oblast is spread over the eastern slopes of the Middle and North Urals and the Western Siberian Plain. Only in the southwest does the oblast stretch onto the western slopes of the Ural Mountains.

The highest mountains all rise in the North Urals (Konzhakovsky Kamen at 1,569 m and Denezhkin Kamen at 1,492 m). The Middle Urals is mostly hilly country with no discernible peaks; the mean elevation is closer to 300–500 m above the sea level. Principal rivers include the Tavda, the Tura, the Chusovaya, and the Ufa, the latter two being tributaries of the Kama.

Sverdlovsk Oblast borders with, clockwise from the west, Perm Krai, the Komi Republic, Khanty–Mansi Autonomous Okrug, Tyumen Oblast, Kurgan, and Chelyabinsk Oblasts, and the Republic of Bashkortostan.

The area is traversed by the northeasterly line of equal latitude and longitude.

Natural resources

Rich in natural resources, the oblast is especially famous for metals (iron, copper, gold, platinum), minerals (asbestos, gemstones, talcum), marble and coal. It is mostly here that the bulk of Russian industry was concentrated in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Climate

The area enjoys continental climate patterns, with long cold winters (average temperatures reaching −15 °C (5 °F) to −25 °C (−13 °F) on the Western Siberian Plain) and short warm summers. Only in the southeast of the oblast do temperatures reach +13 °C (55 °F) in July.

Administrative divisions

Demographics

Population: Template:Ru-census2010 4,486,214 (2002 Census);[9] 4,716,768 (1989 Census).[10]

Ethnic groups

There were twenty-one recognized ethnic groups of more than two thousand persons each in the oblast. Residents identified themselves as belonging to a total of 148 different ethnic groups, including:[5]

  • 3,684,843 Russians (90.6%);
  • 143,803 Tatars (3.5%);
  • 35,563 Ukrainians (0.9%);
  • 31,183 Bashkirs (0.8%);
  • 23,801 Mari (0.6%);
  • 14,914 Germans (0.4%);
  • 14,215 Azeris (0.3%);
  • 13,789 Udmurts (0.3%);
  • 11,670 Belarusians (0.3%);
  • 11,510 Chuvash (0.26%);
  • 11,501 Armenians (0.3%);
  • 11,138 Tajiks (0.3%);
  • 9,702 Mordovians (0.22%);
  • 9,358 Uzbeks (0.2%);
  • 232,978 people were registered from administrative databases, and could not declare an ethnicity. It is estimated that the proportion of ethnicities in this group is the same as that of the declared group.[11]
  • Births (2011): 58,054[12]
  • Deaths (2011): 60,740
Vital statistics for 2012
  • Births: 61 451 (14.3 per 1000)
  • Deaths: 59 913 (13.9 per 1000)[13]
  • Total fertility rate:

2009 – 1.64 | 2010 – 1.67 | 2011 – 1.70 |[14] 2012 – 1.83(e)

Note: Data for Total fertility rate (2012) is estimate based on age and sex structure of Sverdlovsk Oblast at the beginning of 2012, number of births in 2012 and fertility structure in previous years.[15]

Religion

Template:Pie chart According to a 2012 official survey[16] 43% of the population of Sverdlovsk Oblast adheres to the Russian Orthodox Church, 5% are unaffiliated generic Christians, 3% are Muslims, 2% adheres to other Orthodox Churches, 1% adheres to Rodnovery (Slavic Neopaganism), and 0.3% to Hinduism (Vedism, Krishnaism or Tantrism). In addition, 36% of the population deems itself to be "spiritual but not religious", 9.7% is atheist.[16]

History

The Russian conquest of the Khanate of Kazan in the 1550s paved the way further east, which was now free from Tatar depredations (see Yermak Timofeyevich). The first surviving Russian settlements in the area date back to the late 16th – early 17th centuries (Verkhoturye, 1598; Turinsk, 1600; Irbit, 1633; Alapayevsk, 1639). In the 18th and 19th centuries the area became the industrial heartland of Russia, due to its rich resources of iron and coal (see above). In the 1930s many industrial enterprises were established and built with the help of forced labour.[17] Local industry received another impetus during World War II, when important producing facilities were relocated here from the European part of Russia to safeguard them from the advancing Germans (for example, IMZ-Ural). In the postwar period much of the region was off-limits to foreigners and it was over Sverdlovsk that the American pilot Gary Powers was shot down on May 1, 1960, while on a reconnaissance mission. Another historic event that took place in Yekaterinburg was the execution of Nicholas II of Russia and the Imperial family in July 1918.

In 1993, Governor Eduard Rossel responded to perceived economic inequality by attempting to create a "Urals Republic." Sverdlovsk led the "Urals Five" (Kurgan Oblast, Orenburg Oblast, Perm Krai, Chelyabinsk Oblast and Sverdlovsk) in a call for greater regional power. They argued that the oblasts deserved as much power as the ethnic homeland republics. The Urals Republic Constitution went into effect on October 27, 1993. Then Russian President Boris Yeltsin dissolved the Urals Republic and the Sverdlovsk Parliament 10 days later (on November 9).

Yekaterinburg has had its share of notoriety. A particularly gruesome discovery occurred in July 2012. Four barrels containing 248 human fetuses left in a forest a few miles away from a highway linking the region's capital, Yekaterinburg, with another big city, Nizhny Tagil.[18]

Politics

The oblast's Charter, adopted on December 17, 1994, with subsequent amendments, establishes the oblast government. The Governor is the chief executive, who appoints the Government, consisting of ministries and departments. The Chairman of the Government, commonly referred to as the Prime Minister, is appointed with the consent of the lower house of the legislature, a process similar to the appointment of the federal Prime Minister. But the Governor cannot nominate the same candidate more than twice, yet he/she can dismiss the house after three failed attempts to appoint the Premier. The Legislative Assembly consists of the Oblast Duma, the lower house, and the House of Representatives, the upper house. Members of the legislature serve four year terms. However, half of the Duma is re-elected every two years. The Duma (28 members) is elected by party lists. The 21 members of the House of Representatives are elected in single-seat districts in a first-past-the-post system. The Sverdlovsk Legislative Assembly was the first bicameral legislature outside an autonomous republic, and the first regional legislature in Russia to elect members based on both party lists and single-seat districts.

Compliance with the Charter is enforced by the Charter Court. The existence of such regional courts in Russia, formed and functioning outside the federal judiciary, although challenged, has been upheld and persisted successfully in most constituent members of the Federation where they were established.

Until President Putin's reforms of 2004, the Governor was elected by direct vote for terms of four years. Eduard Rossel has been the only elected governor (first elected governor for an oblast in Russia) since 1995 (appointed in 1991 and dismissed in 1993 by President Yeltsin), re-elected in 1999 and 2003.

Since 2012, the oblast's Governor is Yevgeny Kuyvashev.

Chairmen of the Oblast Duma

Name Period
Vyacheslav Surganov April 20, 1996-April 2000
Yevgeny Porunov April 26, 2000-April 2002
Nikolay Voronin April 24, 2002-April 23, 2003
Alexander Zaborov (acting) April 23, 2003-July 3, 2003
Nikolay Voronin July 3, 2003-March 23, 2010
Elena Chechunova March 23, 2010-Incumbent

Chairmen of the House of Representatives of the Legislative Assembly

Name Period
Aleksandr Shaposhnikov April 20, 1996-May 1998
Pyotr Golenishchev May 14, 1998-April 2000
Viktor Yakimov April 21, 2000-April 2004
Yury Osintsev April 6, 2004-September 2007
Lyudmila Babushkina October 2007-Incumbent

Economy and transportation

Even though it could do with modernizing, the region's industries are quite diverse. 12% of Russia's iron and steel industry is still concentrated in Sverdlovsk oblast. Iron and copper are mined and processed here, the logging industry and wood-processing are important, too.

Yekaterinburg is a prominent road, rail and air hub in the Urals region. As the economic slump subsided, several European airlines started or resumed flights to the city. These include Lufthansa, British Airways, CSA, Turkish Airlines, Austrian Airlines and Finnair. Malév Hungarian Airlines used to be among those carriers but they had to drop their flights to SVX (IATA airport code for Sverdlovsk) after a few months.

The Alapaevsk narrow-gauge railway serves the communities around Alapayevsk.

Sister relationships

See also

References

External links

  • Facebook
  • Investment portal of Sverdlovsk Oblast
  • (Russian) Official website of the Government of Sverdlovsk Oblast
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