Amur Oblast
Amur Oblast is a federal subject
Federal subjects of Russia
Russia is a federation which, since March 1, 2008, consists of 83 federal subjects . In 1993, when the Constitution was adopted, there were 89 federal subjects listed...

 of Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 (an oblast
Oblast is a type of administrative division in Slavic countries, including some countries of the former Soviet Union. The word "oblast" is a loanword in English, but it is nevertheless often translated as "area", "zone", "province", or "region"...

), situated about 8000 kilometres (4,971 mi) east of Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

 on the banks of the Amur and Zeya River
Zeya River
Zeya River , 1,242 km long, is a northern tributary of the Amur River. It rises in the Tokiysky Stanovik mountain ridge, a part of the Stanovoy Range. The first Russian to enter the area was Vassili Poyarkov....

s. It shares its border with the Sakha Republic in the north, Khabarovsk Krai
Khabarovsk Krai
Khabarovsk Krai is a federal subject of Russia , located in the Russian Far East. It lies mostly in the basin of the lower Amur River, but also occupies a vast mountainous area along the coastline of the Sea of Okhotsk, an arm of the Pacific Ocean. The administrative center of the krai is the...

 and the Jewish Autonomous Oblast
Jewish Autonomous Oblast
The Jewish Autonomous Oblast is a federal subject of Russia situated in the Russian Far East, bordering Khabarovsk Krai and Amur Oblast of Russia and Heilongjiang province of China. Its administrative center is the town of Birobidzhan....

 in the east, People's Republic of China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

 in the south, and Zabaykalsky Krai in the west. Amur Oblast had a population of 869,600 in 2008.

Amur Krai or Priamurye were unofficial names for the Russian territories by the Amur River used in the late Russian Empire
Russian Empire
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

 that approximately correspond to modern Amur Oblast.

The administrative center of the oblast, Blagoveshchensk
Blagoveshchensk is a city and the administrative center of Amur Oblast, Russia. Population: -Early history of the region:The early residents of both sides of the Amur in the region of today's Blagoveshchensk were the Daurs and Duchers...

, is one of the oldest settlements in the Russian Far East
Russian Far East
Russian Far East is a term that refers to the Russian part of the Far East, i.e., extreme east parts of Russia, between Lake Baikal in Eastern Siberia and the Pacific Ocean...

, founded in 1856. It is a traditional center of trade and gold
Gold is a chemical element with the symbol Au and an atomic number of 79. Gold is a dense, soft, shiny, malleable and ductile metal. Pure gold has a bright yellow color and luster traditionally considered attractive, which it maintains without oxidizing in air or water. Chemically, gold is a...

 mining. The territory is accessed by two railroads, the Trans-Siberian railway
Trans-Siberian Railway
The Trans-Siberian Railway is a network of railways connecting Moscow with the Russian Far East and the Sea of Japan. It is the longest railway in the world...

 and the Baikal Amur Mainline.


The Stanovoy Range forms the dividing line between the Sakha Republic and Amur Oblast and spreads across the oblast's entire northern border. Dwarf Siberian pine and alpine tundra
Alpine tundra
Alpine tundra is a natural region that does not contain trees because it is at high altitude. Alpine tundra is distinguished from arctic tundra, because alpine soils are generally better drained than arctic soils...

 grow at higher elevations on these mountains and larch
Larches are conifers in the genus Larix, in the family Pinaceae. Growing from 15 to 50m tall, they are native to much of the cooler temperate northern hemisphere, on lowlands in the north and high on mountains further south...

 forests with small stands of flat-leaved birch
Birch is a tree or shrub of the genus Betula , in the family Betulaceae, closely related to the beech/oak family, Fagaceae. The Betula genus contains 30–60 known taxa...

 and pine
Pines are trees in the genus Pinus ,in the family Pinaceae. They make up the monotypic subfamily Pinoideae. There are about 115 species of pine, although different authorities accept between 105 and 125 species.-Etymology:...

 forests grow alongside the river plains. The Zeya River
Zeya River
Zeya River , 1,242 km long, is a northern tributary of the Amur River. It rises in the Tokiysky Stanovik mountain ridge, a part of the Stanovoy Range. The first Russian to enter the area was Vassili Poyarkov....

 begins in these mountains in the northeast. The middle reaches of this great river were dammed to create the huge Zeysky Reservoir, which sprawls over 2500 square kilometres (965.3 sq mi) between the Stanovoy Range and a southern parallel range running across the center of the oblast. The low lands between these two mountain ranges make up the Upper Zeysky Plain, which is primarily marshland with larch and pine forests. South of the second ridge is the vast Amur River plain which covers up to 40% of the oblast.

Along the eastern border of Amur Oblast is another series of mountains separating the Amur from Khabarovsk Krai. These larch and fir
Firs are a genus of 48–55 species of evergreen conifers in the family Pinaceae. They are found through much of North and Central America, Europe, Asia, and North Africa, occurring in mountains over most of the range...

A spruce is a tree of the genus Picea , a genus of about 35 species of coniferous evergreen trees in the Family Pinaceae, found in the northern temperate and boreal regions of the earth. Spruces are large trees, from tall when mature, and can be distinguished by their whorled branches and conical...

 forests form the watershed of the Selemdzha River
Selemdzha River
Selemdzha River is a river in the Amur Oblast in Russia. It is the biggest tributary of the Zeya River. The length of the river is 647 km. The area of its basin 68,600 km². Its main tributaries are the Ulma and Nora. The Selemdzha River freezes up in early November and stays under the...

, which flows south into the Zeya, continues to the city of Blagoveschchensk, and then into the Amur River. Southeast of the Selemdzha are the Bureya
Bureya River
The Bureya River is a 623 km long south-flowing tributary of the Amur River. Its name comes from the Evenk word birija, meaning river...

 and the Arkhara Rivers, which have the richest remaining forests in the oblast with Korean pine
Korean Pine
The tree species Pinus koraiensis is commonly called Korean Pine. It is native to eastern Asia, Korea, Manchuria, far eastern Russia, and central Japan. In the north of its range, it grows at moderate altitudes, typically to , whereas further south, it is a mountain tree, growing at to altitude...

, Schisandra chinensis
Schisandra chinensis
Schisandra chinensis is a deciduous woody vine native to forests of Northern China and the Russian Far East. It is hardy in USDA Zone 4. The plant likes some shade with moist, well-drained soil...

, Mongolian Oak, and other Manchurian flora. The Zeya, Amur, and Bureya Rivers form a cradle for the highest biodiversity in Amur Oblast—the Zeysko-Burenskaya Plain. Much of this plain has been burned for agriculture, but large patches still remain. Japanese Daurian and Far Eastern western cranes nest here, as well as a host of other rare birds.

Natural resources

Amur Oblast has considerable reserves of many types of mineral resources; proven reserves are estimated to be worth $400 billion. Among the most important are gold
Gold is a chemical element with the symbol Au and an atomic number of 79. Gold is a dense, soft, shiny, malleable and ductile metal. Pure gold has a bright yellow color and luster traditionally considered attractive, which it maintains without oxidizing in air or water. Chemically, gold is a...

 (the largest reserves in Russia), silver
Silver is a metallic chemical element with the chemical symbol Ag and atomic number 47. A soft, white, lustrous transition metal, it has the highest electrical conductivity of any element and the highest thermal conductivity of any metal...

, titanium
Titanium is a chemical element with the symbol Ti and atomic number 22. It has a low density and is a strong, lustrous, corrosion-resistant transition metal with a silver color....

, molybdenum
Molybdenum , is a Group 6 chemical element with the symbol Mo and atomic number 42. The name is from Neo-Latin Molybdaenum, from Ancient Greek , meaning lead, itself proposed as a loanword from Anatolian Luvian and Lydian languages, since its ores were confused with lead ores...

, tungsten
Tungsten , also known as wolfram , is a chemical element with the chemical symbol W and atomic number 74.A hard, rare metal under standard conditions when uncombined, tungsten is found naturally on Earth only in chemical compounds. It was identified as a new element in 1781, and first isolated as...

, copper
Copper is a chemical element with the symbol Cu and atomic number 29. It is a ductile metal with very high thermal and electrical conductivity. Pure copper is soft and malleable; an exposed surface has a reddish-orange tarnish...

, tin
Tin is a chemical element with the symbol Sn and atomic number 50. It is a main group metal in group 14 of the periodic table. Tin shows chemical similarity to both neighboring group 14 elements, germanium and lead and has two possible oxidation states, +2 and the slightly more stable +4...

, etc. Black coal and lignite
Lignite, often referred to as brown coal, or Rosebud coal by Northern Pacific Railroad,is a soft brown fuel with characteristics that put it somewhere between coal and peat...

 reserves are estimated to be 70 billion tons. Probable iron deposits are estimated to be 3.8 billion tons. The Garin deposit is fully explored and known to contain 389 million tons of iron ore. Estimated reserves of the deposit are 1,293 million tons. The deposit's ore contains a low concentration of detrimental inpurities; the ore contains 69.9% iron. Amur Oblast is also a promising source of titanium, with the Bolshoy Seyim deposit being the most important.

5th century-10th century

According to the Bei Shi (Dynastic History of Northern Dynasties) and the Sui Shu (Chronicles of the Sui Dynasty), both Chinese records, this area belong originally to the territory one of the five semi-nomad
Nomadic people , commonly known as itinerants in modern-day contexts, are communities of people who move from one place to another, rather than settling permanently in one location. There are an estimated 30-40 million nomads in the world. Many cultures have traditionally been nomadic, but...

ic Shiwei
Shiwei were a Mongolic people that inhabited far-eastern Mongolia, northern Inner Mongolia and northern Manchuria and were recorded from the time of the Northern Wei until the rise of the Mongols of Genghis Khan in 1206 when the name "Mongol" and "Tatar" were applied to all the Shiwei tribes....

, the Bo Shiwei tribes. Their settlements were located on the north of the Yilehuli Mountains in the upper reaches of the Nen River
Nen River
Nen River or Nenjiang , or Nonni is a river in Northeast China. The Nen River flows through the northern part of Heilongjiang Province and the northeastern section of Inner Mongolia, some parts of the river forming the border between the two regions...

, south of the Stanovoy Range, west of the Bureinsky and the Malyi Khingan ranges and reaching the Okhotsk Sea on the northeast. They brought tributary presents to the Tang
Tang Dynasty
The Tang Dynasty was an imperial dynasty of China preceded by the Sui Dynasty and followed by the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period. It was founded by the Li family, who seized power during the decline and collapse of the Sui Empire...

 court and disappeared at the dawn of the 10th century with the foundation of the Liao
Liao can mean:* Liao Dynasty , a former dynasty in northern China founded by the Khitan people**Northern Liao , state founded by the Khitans in northern China...


Medieval period

Later, in the 13th century, the middle-Amur
The Amur or Heilong Jiang is the world's tenth longest river, forming the border between the Russian Far East and Northeastern China .-Course:...

 and the Zeya River
Zeya River
Zeya River , 1,242 km long, is a northern tributary of the Amur River. It rises in the Tokiysky Stanovik mountain ridge, a part of the Stanovoy Range. The first Russian to enter the area was Vassili Poyarkov....

 basin area became the homeland of the Daurs and (further south) the Duchers. The ancestors of the Daurs are thought to be closely related to the Khitans and the Mongols
Mongols ) are a Central-East Asian ethnic group that lives mainly in the countries of Mongolia, China, and Russia. In China, ethnic Mongols can be found mainly in the central north region of China such as Inner Mongolia...

, while the Duchers may have been a branch of the Jurchen people, later known as the Manchus.

17th century-1850s

The area was conquered by the Manchus in 1639-40, after defeating the Evenk
The Evenks are a Tungusic people of Northern Asia. In Russia, the Evenks are recognized as one of the Indigenous peoples of the Russian North, with a population of 35,527...

 Federation led by Bombogor
Bombogor (Evenk chief)
Bombogor was an Evenk chief, leader of the Evenk federation. His power base laid on the basin of the Amur river...

, it was returned to the Qing Dynasty
Qing Dynasty
The Qing Dynasty was the last dynasty of China, ruling from 1644 to 1912 with a brief, abortive restoration in 1917. It was preceded by the Ming Dynasty and followed by the Republic of China....

 in the Treaty of Nerchinsk
Treaty of Nerchinsk
The Treaty of Nerchinsk of 1689 was the first treaty between Russia and China. The Russians gave up the area north of the Amur River as far as the Stanovoy Mountains and kept the area between the Argun River and Lake Baikal. This border along the Argun River and Stanovoy Mountains lasted until...

 and annexed by Russia in 1858 by the Treaty of Aigun
Treaty of Aigun
The Treaty of Aigun was a 1858 treaty between the Russian Empire, and the empire of the Qing Dynasty, the sinicized-Manchu rulers of China, that established much of the modern border between the Russian Far East and Manchuria , which is now known as Northeast China...

 between Russia and Qing Dynasty.

The oblast received its first influx of Russian settlers in the mid-17th century. They were looking for a more temperate climate as an escape from the north. After the Opium War, when the Chinese Empire was exposed to the outside world, Russian explorers once again moved to the region (mostly Cossacks and peasant farmers). The last influx of people arrived upon the completion of the Trans-Siberian Railroad.

20th Century

In April 1920, the Far Eastern Republic, with its capital in Chita, was formed from Amur, Transbaikal, Kamchatka, Sakhalin
Sakhalin or Saghalien, is a large island in the North Pacific, lying between 45°50' and 54°24' N.It is part of Russia, and is Russia's largest island, and is administered as part of Sakhalin Oblast...

, and Primorye regions as a democratic "buffer" state in order to avoid war with Japan. It existed until November 1922, when it joined the RSFSR. In January 1926, Amur Region became part of the Far Eastern Territory, which was subsequently divided into Khabarovsk and Primorye territories in 1938. Amur Region itself was included in Khabarovsk Territory.

In 1948, Amur Oblast was finally separated from Khabarovsk Territory and became an independent region of the RSFSR. Rapid economic growth based on gold production began at that time, and living standards improved with the arrival of young specialists. As the Far Eastern District expanded, the demand for services such as electric power and housing
A house is a building or structure that has the ability to be occupied for dwelling by human beings or other creatures. The term house includes many kinds of different dwellings ranging from rudimentary huts of nomadic tribes to free standing individual structures...

 also increased, which stimulated a new round of construction projects. New cities were built, along with the Zeya Hydroelectric Power Plant (Zeiskaya GES), which still supplies electricity
Electricity is a general term encompassing a variety of phenomena resulting from the presence and flow of electric charge. These include many easily recognizable phenomena, such as lightning, static electricity, and the flow of electrical current in an electrical wire...

 to most of the Far Eastern District.

Administrative divisions

The largest urban centers of the oblast are Blagoveshchensk
Blagoveshchensk is a city and the administrative center of Amur Oblast, Russia. Population: -Early history of the region:The early residents of both sides of the Amur in the region of today's Blagoveshchensk were the Daurs and Duchers...

 (219,000 inhabitants), Belogorsk
Belogorsk may refer to:*Belogorsk, Amur Oblast, a town in Amur Oblast, Russia*Belogorsk, Kemerovo Oblast, an urban-type settlement in Kemerovo Oblast, Russia*Bilohirsk , also known as Belogorsk, a town in Crimea, Ukraine...

 (67,400), Svobodny
Svobodny , Svobodnaya , or Svobodnoye may refer to:*Svobodny , name of several inhabited localities in Russia...

 (63,900), Tynda
Tynda is a town in Amur Oblast, Russia. It is an important railway junction, often referred to as the capital of the BAM. The name is of Evenk origin, tendy translating roughly as on the river bank. Population: -Geography:...

 (40,100), and Raychikhinsk
Raychikhinsk is a town in Amur Oblast, Russia. 2002 population—24,498.-Geography:Raychikhinsk lies in the Zeya-Bureya basin in the Russian Far East, around 40 km from the Amur River and the border to China...



According to the 2002 Census, ethnic Russians, at 831,004, made up 92% of the population. Other prominent ethnic groups in the Oblast include Ukrainians
Ukrainians are an East Slavic ethnic group native to Ukraine, which is the sixth-largest nation in Europe. The Constitution of Ukraine applies the term 'Ukrainians' to all its citizens...

 at 31,475 (3.5%), Belorussians at 7,827 (0.8%), and Tatars
Tatars are a Turkic speaking ethnic group , numbering roughly 7 million.The majority of Tatars live in the Russian Federation, with a population of around 5.5 million, about 2 million of which in the republic of Tatarstan.Significant minority populations are found in Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan,...

 at 4,889 (0.5%). The rest of the residents identified with over 120 different ethnic groups, with each ethnic group making up less than .5% of the population. A small number of respondents (1,447 people) chose not to state their ethnicity.
  • Total population: 902,844
    • Urban: 594,386 (65.8%)
    • Rural: 308,458 (34.2%)
    • Male: 435,483 (48.2%)
    • Female: 467,361 (51.8)
  • Females per 1000 males: 1073
  • Average age: 33.5 years
    • Urban: 32.9 years
    • Rural: 34.9 years
    • Male: 31.3 years
    • Female: 36.1 years
  • Number of households: 329,650 (with 876,241 people)
    • Urban: 220,774 (with 577,222 people)
    • Rural: 108,876 (with 299,019 people)

Vital statistics for 2007
  • Births: 10,956
  • Birth Rate: 12.37 per 1000
  • Death Rate: 14.17 per 1000
  • Net Immigration: -3.9 per 1000
  • NGR: -0.18% per Year
  • PGR: -0.57% per Year

Vital Statistics for 2008
  • Births: 11,290 (12.98 per 1000)
  • Deaths: 13,117 (15.08 per 1000)

The economically active population amounts to 463,100 people (52.6% of total resident population.) Unemployment in 2006 was 5.5%. Amur Oblast is one of the few federal subjects in Russia where natural decline of population worsened in 2008. Population in 2008 was 869,600, while in 2002 it was .


Gross regional product
Gross Regional Product
A metropolitan area's gross regional product, i.e. GMP or GRP, is one of several measures of the size of its economy. Similar to GDP, GRP is defined as the market value of all final goods and services produced within a metropolitan area in a given period of time.-See also:*List of European...

 per capita in 2007 was 131,039.60 rubles
Russian ruble
The ruble or rouble is the currency of the Russian Federation and the two partially recognized republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Formerly, the ruble was also the currency of the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union prior to their breakups. Belarus and Transnistria also use currencies with...

, while the national average was 198,817 rubles.


The industrial section contributes 18.3% to the total GRP. The most important industrial sector in 2007 was manufacturing, constituting 25.7% of the industrial output. The sector is dominated by food products and beverages, which constitute 13% of industrial output. Machine building includes shipbuilding machinery, lifting and transport vehicles, mining equipment, agricultural machinery, metal assemblies and goods, electrical appliances and electrical machines and tools. The largest engineering companies in the oblast include OAO Svobodny Railroad Car Repair Plant, OAO Blagoveshchensk October Revolution Ship Building Plant and OAO Bureya-Kran.

Mining and quarrying amounted to 19.9% of industrial output in 2007. Amur Oblast ranks sixth in Russia for gold mining, and has the largest gold reserves in the country. There is a large site of uranium mining
Uranium mining
Uranium mining is the process of extraction of uranium ore from the ground. The worldwide production of uranium in 2009 amounted to 50,572 tonnes, of which 27% was mined in Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan, Canada, and Australia are the top three producers and together account for 63% of world uranium...

 and processing facilities in Oktyabrsky, near the Russia–China border. There are plans to develop other mineral deposits as well, such as titanium, iron, copper, nickel, apatite, etc. Total coal production amounts to 3,398 tons. As of 2007, four coal deposits are being operated by the company OOO Amur Coal, and two more have been explored. In total, the oblast is estimated to have over 90 deposits of lignite and black coal, with overall reserves of 70 billion tons. In addition, fuel extraction amounted to 2.9% of industrial output.


Amur Oblast enjoys an energy surplus; it's energy consumption in 2007 was 6.9 TWh, while production was 9.3 TWh. Electricity output in 2007 was 9.9 TWh. The most important electricity producer is the Zeyskaya Hydroelectric Power Station with an installed capacity of 1,330 MW and a yearly output of 4.91 TWh. The station is owned by RusHydro
RusHydro , previously known as Hydro-OGK, is a Russian hydroelectricity company. As of 2008 it has a capacity of 25 gigawatts. It is the world's second-largest hydroelectric power producer and is the country's largest power-generating company and the largest successor to RAO UES...

. The company also owns the 2,010 MW Bureyskaya Hydroelectric Power Station, opened in 2009. Its annual output is 7.1 TWh.


Gross agricultural product in 2006 was $462.612 million. This includes crop output ($244.07 million) and livestock and farming products ($139.77). Amur Oblast produces 60% of Russia's national output of soybean
The soybean or soya bean is a species of legume native to East Asia, widely grown for its edible bean which has numerous uses...

 with a yearly production of about 240,000 tons.

Foreign trade

The oblast's main foreign exports are raw timber (1,172,900 cubic meters going to China, North Korea, Japan, Kazakhstan and Ukraine), metal goods (68,300 tons to China and Kazakhstan), and machinery, equipment and transport (12,300 tons to China, Japan, South Korea, Kazakhstan and Ukraine.) Main foreign imports are food and beverages from China, Kazakshtan, Uzbekistan and Philippines; textiles and footwear from China; and machinery and equipment from Ukraine and Japan.

Vostochny cosmodrome

In July 2010, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin announced that the area would be the site of a new Vostochny cosmodrome
Vostochny Cosmodrome
The Vostochny Cosmodrome is a planned Russian spaceport, to be located at 51 degrees north in the Amur Oblast, in the Russian Far East. It is intended to reduce Russia's dependency on the Baikonur Cosmodrome, which is located in Kazakhstan...

 ("Eastern Spaceport"), to reduce Russian dependence on the Baikonur cosmodrome
Baikonur Cosmodrome
The Baikonur Cosmodrome , also called Tyuratam, is the world's first and largest operational space launch facility. It is located in the desert steppe of Kazakhstan, about east of the Aral Sea, north of the Syr Darya river, near Tyuratam railway station, at 90 meters above sea level...

 in Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan , officially the Republic of Kazakhstan, is a transcontinental country in Central Asia and Eastern Europe. Ranked as the ninth largest country in the world, it is also the world's largest landlocked country; its territory of is greater than Western Europe...



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