Astrakhan region overview
Astrakhan oblast is a federal subject of Russia, part of the Southern Federal District, situated the Caspian Lowlands where the Volga River flows into the Caspian Sea. Astrakhan is the capital city of the region.
The population of the Astrakhan region is about 1,018,000 (2015), the area - 49,024 sq. km.
Astrakhan region history
In ancient times, the territory of the present Astrakhan region was crossed by trade routes of the Persians and the Arabs. In the 8th-10th centuries, the territory belonged to the Khazar Khanate. There is a hypothesis that Itil, the capital of the Khazar Khanate, was located on this territory. It was destroyed by Prince Svyatoslav in 965.
Later, Polovtsy settled on this land. In the first half of the 13th century, the Mongol-Tatars came to the area. After them, Tatars of the Astrakhan Khanate and Kazakhs became the main population of the region.
In 1556, during the reign of Ivan the Terrible, the Astrakhan Khanate was annexed to the Russian state and ceased to exist. Astrakhan krai became the southeastern military outpost of Russia. In particular, in 1569, the Turks unsuccessfully besieged the fortress of Astrakhan.
More Historical Facts…
In the 17th century, trade, fishing and salt industries developed in the region. In the middle of the 17th century, the uprising of Stepan Razin took place on the territory of Astrakhan region. In 1722, near the mouth of the Kutum River, a shipyard called the Astrakhan Admiralty was built. In the 1730s-1740s, the processing of silk and cotton began here.
Astrakhan oblast was created in 1943. The region gained its current borders in 1957.
Sandy landscapes of the Astrakhan region
Steppe road in the Astrakhan region
Astrakhan region features
Astrakhan oblast is located in the south-east of the East European Plain within the Caspian Lowlands. It is an area of deserts and semi-deserts. Astrakhan oblast borders on the Volgograd region in the north, the Republic of Kalmykia in the west and Kazakhstan in the east.
It is located on the border between Europe and Asia, the Volga River gives access to five seas. The main cities of the region are Astrakhan (532,000), Akhtubinsk (38,500), Znamensk (27,000), Harabali (18,000).
The climate of the Astrakhan region is continental, dry. Winters are with little snow, frequent thaws and unstable snow cover; summers are hot. January is the coldest month, the average temperature is minus 10-20 degrees Celsius. July is the hottest month - the average temperature is plus 35-45 degrees Celsius.
According to the 2010 census, the ethnic composition of the local population is the following: Russians (67.6%), Kazakhs (16.3%) and Tatars (6.6%). Orthodox Christianity is the main religion. However, Muslims also make up a significant group of the population (more than 20%). Historically, this province was a place where Kazakhs and Tatars settled. The largest Kazakh community in Russia lives in the Astrakhan region.
Astrakhan oblast views
Paved road in Astrakhan oblast
The Volga-Don Shipping Canal
Astrakhan oblast economy
Natural resources of the region include natural gas, oil, salt, gypsum.
The industrial complex of Astrakhan, the economic center of the region, includes shipbuilding, pulp and paper industry, fish processing industry. The leading industries are fuel industry, mechanical engineering, power engineering, food industry. Astrakhan gas condensate field, the largest in the European part of Russia, is located in the area. Astrakhan Gas Processing Plant produces gas for cars, diesel and boiler fuel.
Agricultural lands make up more than 3.4 million hectares - the cultivation of tomatoes, peppers, aubergines, courgettes, cucumbers, carrots, beets, onions, cabbage, watermelons. Rice is traditionally grown along the Volga. The leading branch of livestock is sheep breeding.
The region stretches for over 400 km in the form of a narrow stripe on both sides of the Volga-Akhtubinsk flood-lands. Flooded for a long time, the territory of the delta serves as spawning-ground for such fish as sturgeon, stellate sturgeon, white sturgeon and others.