Kursk Oblast

Kursk Oblast

Infobox Russian federal subject
EnglishName=Kursk Oblast
RussianName=Курская область


CoatOfArmsLink=Coat of arms of Kursk Oblast

FlagLink=Flag of Kursk Oblast
AdmCtrOrCapital=Administrative center
FoundationDate=June 13, 1934
PoliticalStatusLink=Oblasts of Russia
EconomicRegion= Central Black Earth
HeadName=Alexander Mikhaylov
PrimeTitle=First Deputy Governor
PrimeName=Alexander Zubarev
Legislature=Oblast Duma
ConstitutionName=Charter of Kursk Oblast

Kursk Oblast ( _ru. Ку́рская о́бласть, "Kurskaya oblast") is a federal subject of Russia (an oblast). Its administrative center is the city of Kursk.


The oblast occupies the southern slopes of the middle-Russian plateau, and its average elevation is from 177 to 225 meters (580–738 ft). The surface is hilly, and intersected by ravines. The central part of Kursk oblast is more elevated than the Seym Valley to the west. The Timsko-Shchigrinsky ridge contains the highest point in the oblast at m to ft|288 above the sea level. The low relief, gentler slopes, and mild winter make the area suitable for farming, and much of the forest has been cleared.

The chernozem soils cover around 70% of the oblast's territory; podsol soils cover 26%.
**"internal": Bryansk Oblast (NW) (border line length: 120 km), Oryol Oblast (N, 325 km), Lipetsk Oblast (NE, 65 km), Voronezh Oblast (E, 145 km), Belgorod Oblast (S, 335 km)
**"international": Sumy Oblast of Ukraine (W, 245 km)
*"highest point": 288 m

Time zone

Kursk Oblast is located in the Moscow Time Zone (MSK/MSD). UTC offset is +0300 (MSK)/+0400 (MSD).


Kursk Oblast contributes to two major drainage areas—the Dnieper River and the Don River (78% and 22% respectively). There are 902 rivers and streams in the oblast, with their total length of approximately km to mi|8000|precision=-2. Major rivers are the Seym and the Psyol.


The inland waters of Kursk oblast consist of 145 artificial lakes and about 550 small ponds.

Natural resources

Kursk Oblast is one of the nation's major producers of iron ore. The area of Kursk Magnetic Anomaly has one of the richest iron ore deposits in the world. Also, rare-earth and base metals occur in commercial quantities in several locations. Refractory loam, mineral sands, and chalk are quarried and processed in the region. Oblast's sufficient reserves of artesian well water are proving useful for medical purposes.


Kursk Oblast's location at the center of the European part of Russia gives the region a medium continental climate: warm summers and relatively mild winters. In July, the average daytime high temperature is C to F|19.3. In January the average high is C to F|-8.6. The average number of frost-free days ranges from 150 in the north to 160 in the south. The growing season in Kursk Oblast varies, from 180 days in the north to 195 days in the southwest. The average annual precipitation for the oblast is 584 mm (23 in), but it ranges from 634 mm (25 in) in the northwest, to about 500 mm (20 in) or less in the southeastern corner. The maximum of the rain falls during June and July. The snow depth in Kursk Oblast differs considerably, from 300–400 mm (12–16 in) in the north of the oblast, to 150–250 mm (6–10 in) in the south. Annual sunshine is 1,775 hours.

Flora and fauna

Kursk Oblast is a part of the Eastern European forest-steppe. One-quarter of Kursk oblast was once heavily wooded. Hardwood timbers included oak, ash, and elm. Now forests cover only 10% of the oblast. Animals native to the area are numerous. Pike, bleak, and perch are abundant in local rivers. Otter and badger, as well as wild boar, red deer, and Roe Deer remain numerous in many parts of the area.

Administrative divisions


Kursk Oblast is one of the most ethnically homogeneous regions in Russia. The population is about 96% Russians. Ukrainians, the largest minority group, make less than 2% of population. The annual growth rate of the Oblast's population is negative; death rate exceeds overall birth rates and immigration.
*Population: 1,235,091 (2002 Census)
**"Urban": 756,480 (61.2%)
**"Rural": 478,611 (38.8%)
**"Male": 564,321 (45.7%)
**"Female": 670,770 (54.3%)
*"Females per 1,000 males": 1,189
*Median age: 40.1
**"Urban": 37.9
**"Rural": 43.5
**"Male": 37.2
**"Female": 42.5
*Number of households: 462,607
**"Urban": 273,674 (59.2%)
**"Rural": 188,933 (40.8%)


Although territory of Kursk Oblast had been populated since the end of the last Ice Age, information about the area was scanty until 1596 when the Kursk stronghold was built. A real growth of the area around Kursk began soon after that, with a large migration from Central Russia after famine in the beginning of the 17th century. Between 1708 and 1719, Kursk was a part of the newly created Kiev Governorate. From 1719 to 1727 it was a part of Belgorod province of Kiev Governorate. Later Kursk uyezd was a part of Belgorod Governorate. On May 23, 1779, Kursk Governorate was established. The latter subdivision existed until 1928, when the territory of Kursk Governorate became a part of Central Chernozem Oblast. As Central Chernozem Oblast was very large its administration was very difficult, on June 13, 1934 it was divided into two oblasts: Kursk Oblast and Voronezh Oblast. In the period between 1934 and 1954, oblasts' borders were frequently adjusted. However, the area and borders of the oblast have remained stable from 1954.

During World War II, the territory of Kursk Oblast was occupied by the German troops from fall of 1941 until summer of 1943. The Battle of Kursk, which was one of the major battles of World War II, took place in the region between July 5 and August 23, 1943.


The Parliament of Kursk Oblast is the Kursk Oblast Duma which consists of 45 members elected for four-year term. The head of the oblast is a governor who is appointed by the President of Russia.

The center-right United Russia Party and the left Communist Party of the Russian Federation are Kursk Oblast's major political parties. Traditionally, the Communist Party is the strongest in the Oblast's rural area.



The oblast's industrial production dropped rapidly during the 1990s, as an industrial crisis was stimulated by the nationwide economic crisis which followed the collapse of the Soviet Union. However, by the end of the decade output was increasing. Moreover, the manufacturing sector, despite a sagging economy in the late 20th century, continues to accounts for about 40% of the oblast's GDP. The engineering, electric-power, metal-working, chemicals, and food processing are the dominant industries.


Most of the main farming areas are used for natural pastures or cultivation, which involves mainly wheat, sugar beet, and fodder crops. The main categories of productive holdings are wheat farms, dairy farms, poultry farms, and beef cattle. Agricultural lands cover km2 to mi2|23000|precision=-2, or 77% of the oblast's territory.


Transportation industry of Kursk Oblast, with easy access to national and international markets, is the basis for the oblast's development. The most important modes of transport throughout the oblast are by railway and road. Total length of railway network is km to mi|1100|precision=-1. Two major rail links pass through Kursk Oblast: Moscow–Kharkiv and KievVoronezh. Region roads serve all towns and rural settlements through km to mi|5600|precision=-1 road network. In addition, there is an airport in the oblast which was opened to international flights in July 1997.


The largest university of Kursk Oblast is Kursk State Technical University, which is located in the city of Kursk. There are also 22 other higher education facilities in Kursk Oblast.


Kursk Oblast's natural attraction is the State Central-Chernozem national park, which offers great opportunity for hiking. Oblast's forests and others undeveloped areas are ideal for hunting, fishing, and camping. Traditional art and architecture are preserved in the town-museum of Rylsk and others historical towns of Kursk Oblast.

External links

*" [http://www.travellerinfo.net/content/view/17/26/ Travel to Russia, Kursk] ". Retrieved June 27, 2006.
* [http://www.kommersant.com/tree.asp?rubric=5&node=393&doc_id=-50 Kursk Region History and General Information]

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