Chita Oblast
Chita Oblast was 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"...

) in southeast Siberia
Siberia is an extensive region constituting almost all of Northern Asia. Comprising the central and eastern portion of the Russian Federation, it was part of the Soviet Union from its beginning, as its predecessor states, the Tsardom of Russia and the Russian Empire, conquered it during the 16th...

, 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...

. Its administrative center was the city of Chita. It had extensive international borders with 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...

 (998 km) and Mongolia
Mongolia is a landlocked country in East and Central Asia. It is bordered by Russia to the north and China to the south, east and west. Although Mongolia does not share a border with Kazakhstan, its western-most point is only from Kazakhstan's eastern tip. Ulan Bator, the capital and largest...

 (868 km) and internal borders with Irkutsk
Irkutsk Oblast
Irkutsk Oblast is a federal subject of Russia , located in southeastern Siberia in the basins of Angara River, Lena, and Nizhnyaya Tunguska Rivers. The administrative center is the city of Irkutsk. Population: -History:...

 and Amur Oblast
Amur Oblast
Amur Oblast is a federal subject of Russia , situated about east of Moscow on the banks of the Amur and Zeya Rivers. It shares its border with the Sakha Republic in the north, Khabarovsk Krai and the Jewish Autonomous Oblast in the east, People's Republic of China in the south, and Zabaykalsky...

s, as well as with the Buryat and the Sakha Republics. Its area was 431500 square kilometres (166,603.1 sq mi). Population:

The oblast was established on September 26, 1937. On March 1, 2008, Chita Oblast merged with Agin-Buryat Autonomous Okrug
Agin-Buryat Autonomous Okrug
Agin-Buryat Okrug , or Aga Buryatia, is an administrative division of Zabaykalsky Krai, Russia. It was a federal subject of Russia until it merged with Chita Oblast to form Zabaykalsky Krai on March 1, 2008. Prior to merger, it was called Agin-Buryat Autonomous Okrug...

 to form Zabaykalsky Krai.

The territory that made up the former Chita Oblast was first explored by Cossacks led by Pyotr Beketov
Pyotr Beketov
Pyotr Beketov was a prominent Cossack explorer of Siberia and founder of many cities such as Yakutsk, Chita, and Nerchinsk.Beketov started his military service as a guardsman in 1624 and was sent to Siberia in 1627. He was appointed Enisei voevoda and proceeded on his first voyage in order to...

 in 1653. People began to move into and develop the area in order to strengthen Russia's border with China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 and Mongolia, extract mineral resources, and build 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...

. In 1920, Chita became the capital of the Far East Republic, which merged with Russia in November 1922, a month before the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 was constituted. In 1923, Chita Oblast was formed.

The oblast was rich in ferrous, non-ferrous, rare, and precious metals, coal
Coal is a combustible black or brownish-black sedimentary rock usually occurring in rock strata in layers or veins called coal beds or coal seams. The harder forms, such as anthracite coal, can be regarded as metamorphic rock because of later exposure to elevated temperature and pressure...

, charcoal
Charcoal is the dark grey residue consisting of carbon, and any remaining ash, obtained by removing water and other volatile constituents from animal and vegetation substances. Charcoal is usually produced by slow pyrolysis, the heating of wood or other substances in the absence of oxygen...

, and mineral waters. Russia's estimated reserves of ores with a high uranium
Uranium is a silvery-white metallic chemical element in the actinide series of the periodic table, with atomic number 92. It is assigned the chemical symbol U. A uranium atom has 92 protons and 92 electrons, of which 6 are valence electrons...

 content are 145,400 tons. Most of these deposits are located in the former Chita Oblast, near Krasnokamensk, site of the Priargunsky Mining and Chemical Combine (PMCC). Forests cover about 60% of its territory. As a result, the oblast's main industries were metallurgy
Metallurgy is a domain of materials science that studies the physical and chemical behavior of metallic elements, their intermetallic compounds, and their mixtures, which are called alloys. It is also the technology of metals: the way in which science is applied to their practical use...

, fuel
Fuel is any material that stores energy that can later be extracted to perform mechanical work in a controlled manner. Most fuels used by humans undergo combustion, a redox reaction in which a combustible substance releases energy after it ignites and reacts with the oxygen in the air...

, and timber
Timber may refer to:* Timber, a term common in the United Kingdom and Australia for wood materials * Timber, Oregon, an unincorporated community in the U.S...

. It also had advanced light and food industries. Local agriculture focused on cattle
Cattle are the most common type of large domesticated ungulates. They are a prominent modern member of the subfamily Bovinae, are the most widespread species of the genus Bos, and are most commonly classified collectively as Bos primigenius...

, sheep, and reindeer
The reindeer , also known as the caribou in North America, is a deer from the Arctic and Subarctic, including both resident and migratory populations. While overall widespread and numerous, some of its subspecies are rare and one has already gone extinct.Reindeer vary considerably in color and size...



Birth rate: Quite high at 13.77 (2004), but still there were more deaths than births (2005 official figures).

The population were mostly Russians
The Russian people are an East Slavic ethnic group native to Russia, speaking the Russian language and primarily living in Russia and neighboring countries....

 and Buryats
The Buryats or Buriyads , numbering approximately 436,000, are the largest ethnic minority group in Siberia and are mainly concentrated in their homeland, the Buryat Republic, a federal subject of Russia...

, along with some 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...

 and a few Evenks
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...

. There were 1,000 Jews
The Jews , also known as the Jewish people, are a nation and ethnoreligious group originating in the Israelites or Hebrews of the Ancient Near East. The Jewish ethnicity, nationality, and religion are strongly interrelated, as Judaism is the traditional faith of the Jewish nation...

, who mostly speak Yiddish in the regional capital. According to the 2002 census, Russians made up 89.8% of the population while Buriots were 6.1%. Other significant groups were Tatars (0.71%), Armenians (0.31%), Belarusians (0.26%), Azeri (0.18%), Evenks (0.13%), Nemts
Volga German
The Volga Germans were ethnic Germans living along the River Volga in the region of southern European Russia around Saratov and to the south. Recruited as immigrants to Russia in the 18th century, they were allowed to maintain German culture, language, traditions and churches: Lutherans, Reformed,...

 (0.11%), Chuvash (0.11%), Bashkirs (0.11%), Moldvin (0.07%), Mordvin (0.06%), Uzbek (0.06%) and Dargwa (0.05%).

In 2007, Chita Oblast recorded a small natural population increase (+0.03% without taking any migration into account), becoming one of the only two Russian federal subjects to reverse its population decline in 2007. The other federal subject was Kamchatka Oblast, with a NGPR of +0.005%. Chita Oblast is one of only twenty Russian federal subjects to have a +ve natural growth of population. But population of Chita actually decreased in 2007 due to very heavy emigration.

Vital Statistics for 2007: Source
  • Birth Rate: 14.63 per 1000
  • Death Rate: 14.33 per 1000
  • Net Immigration: -3.2 per 1000
  • NGR: +0.03% per Year
  • PGR: -0.29% per Year
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