Sverdlovsk Oblast

Sverdlovsk Oblast
Свердловская область (Russian)


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
Area (as of the 2002 Census)[4]
  Total 194,800 km2 (75,200 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+05:00)[7]
ISO 3166-2 RU-SVE
License plates 66, 96, 196
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]


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 metres (5,148 ft) and Denezhkin Kamen at 1,492 metres (4,895 ft). The Middle Urals is mostly hilly country with no discernible peaks; the mean elevation is closer to 300 to 500 metres (980 to 1,640 ft) above 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.


The area has 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 +30 °C (86 °F) in July.


Medieval history and the Russian expansion

Before the first Russian colonists arrived to the region, it was populated by various Turkic and Ugric tribes. By the 16th century, when the Middle Urals were under influence of various Tatar khanates, the strongest local state was the Vogul Pelym principality.

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). At that time, those small trading posts were governed under Siberian administration in Tobolsk. After the 1708 administrative reform, Verkhoturye, Pelym and Turinsk became a part of the new Siberian Governorate, in 1737 their territories were assigned to the Kazan Governorate.

Rise of the mining-metallurgical era

During the 18th century, rich resources of iron and coal made Ural an industrial heartland of Russia. After getting control over Ural mines, the Demidov family put the region in the forefront of Russian industrialization. Yekaterinburg, Nevyansk and Tagil ironworks, founded in the 1700s to 1720s, soon joined the ranks of the major producers in Europe. Throughout the 18th and 19th century those newly founded factory towns enjoyed a status of special mining-metallurgical districts allowed to have a certain rate of financial and proprietary autonomy. During the 1781 reform middle Ural finally got its own regional administration in the form of the Perm Governorate.

When in 1812 the Russian government legalized gold digging for its citizens, Middle Ural became a center of gold mining. Entrepreneurs of the Perm Governorate also started the gold rush in West Siberia, soon Yekaterinburgers began to dominate the Russian market of precious metals and gemstones.

After the emancipation reform of 1861, major Middle Uralian industries that were heavily dependent on serf labor entered decline, although it also allowed light industry to thrive. In 1878, Perm and Yekaterinburg were connected with a railroad, in 1888, railroads reached Tyumen, and ultimately, in 1897, Yekaterinburg joined the Trans-Siberian network. Emergence of railroad transportation helped to revitalize economy of Ural.

Soviet Ural

The Bolsheviks established their power in Yekaterinburg and Perm during the first days of the October Revolution of 1917. In early 1918 dethroned Nicholas II and his family were transferred under custody to Yekaterinburg. To prevent the rescue of the royal family by the approaching White Army forces, local Bolsheviks decided to execute it on their own on July 17, 1918. Ten days later Yekaterinburg was captured by the Czechoslovak troops of Sergei Wojciechowski, for the next year the Anti-bolshevik forces took control over the region. On 19 August 1918, Provisional Government of Ural was formed in Yekaterinburg by a coalition of liberal and democratic socialist parties, it was supposed to serve as a buffer between the Komuch and Provisional Siberian governments. After the Kolchak coup d'état in Omsk in November 1918, the Government of Ural was disbanded.

In July 1919, in the course of the Yekaterinburg offense, Yekaterinburg and the surrounding areas were recaptured by the Red Army forces under command of Vasily Shorin. On the July 15th, the Perm Governorate was split by the Soviets and the east, for the first time in history, became a separate region, the Yekaterinburg Governorate.

In the 1930s many industrial enterprises were established and built with the help of forced labour.[9] 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, Kamensk-Uralsky Metallurgical Works). 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.

Post-Soviet transition

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).

Administrative divisions


Population: 4,297,747(2010 Census);[5] 4,486,214(2002 Census);[10] 4,716,768(1989 Census).[11]

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]

Vital statistics for 2012

2009 – 1.64 | 2010 – 1.67 | 2011 – 1.70 | 2012 – 1.83 | 2013 – 1.87 | 2014 – 1.92 | 2015 – 1.93(e)


Religion in Sverdlovsk Oblast (2012)[16][17]

  Unaffiliated Christian (5%)
  Muslim (3%)
  Other Orthodox (2%)
  Rodnover (1%)
  Buddhism (0.3%)
  Spiritual but not religious (36%)
  Atheist (9.7%)

According to a 2012 official survey[16] 43% of the population of Sverdlovsk Oblast adheres to the Russian Orthodox Church, 5% are nondenominational Christians (excluding Protestant churches), 3% are Muslims, 2% are Orthodox Christian believers without belonging to any Church or are members of other Orthodox churches, 1% are adherents of the Slavic native faith (Rodnovery), and 0.3% are adherents of forms of Hinduism (Vedism, Krishnaism or Tantrism). In addition, 36% of the population declares to be "spiritual but not religious", and 9.7% is atheist.[16]


Legislative Assembly of Sverdlovsk Oblast

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


  1. Президент Российской Федерации. Указ №849 от 13 мая 2000 г. «О полномочном представителе Президента Российской Федерации в федеральном округе». Вступил в силу 13 мая 2000 г. Опубликован: "Собрание законодательства РФ", №20, ст. 2112, 15 мая 2000 г. (President of the Russian Federation. Decree #849 of May 13, 2000 On the Plenipotentiary Representative of the President of the Russian Federation in a Federal District. Effective as of May 13, 2000.).
  2. Госстандарт Российской Федерации. №ОК 024-95 27 декабря 1995 г. «Общероссийский классификатор экономических регионов. 2. Экономические районы», в ред. Изменения №5/2001 ОКЭР. (Gosstandart of the Russian Federation. #OK 024-95 December 27, 1995 Russian Classification of Economic Regions. 2. Economic Regions, as amended by the Amendment #5/2001 OKER. ).
  3. Official website of the Governor of Sverdlovsk Oblast. Alexander Sergeyevich Misharin (Russian)
  4. Федеральная служба государственной статистики (Federal State Statistics Service) (2004-05-21). "Территория, число районов, населённых пунктов и сельских администраций по субъектам Российской Федерации (Territory, Number of Districts, Inhabited Localities, and Rural Administration by Federal Subjects of the Russian Federation)". Всероссийская перепись населения 2002 года (All-Russia Population Census of 2002) (in Russian). Federal State Statistics Service. Retrieved 2011-11-01.
  5. 1 2 3 4 Russian Federal State Statistics Service (2011). "Всероссийская перепись населения 2010 года. Том 1" [2010 All-Russian Population Census, vol. 1]. Всероссийская перепись населения 2010 года (2010 All-Russia Population Census) (in Russian). Federal State Statistics Service. Retrieved June 29, 2012.
  6. The density value was calculated by dividing the population reported by the 2010 Census by the area shown in the "Area" field. Please note that this value may not be accurate as the area specified in the infobox is not necessarily reported for the same year as the population.
  7. Правительство Российской Федерации. Федеральный закон №107-ФЗ от 3 июня 2011 г. «Об исчислении времени», в ред. Федерального закона №271-ФЗ от 03 июля 2016 г. «О внесении изменений в Федеральный закон "Об исчислении времени"». Вступил в силу по истечении шестидесяти дней после дня официального опубликования (6 августа 2011 г.). Опубликован: "Российская газета", №120, 6 июня 2011 г. (Government of the Russian Federation. Federal Law #107-FZ of June 31, 2011 On Calculating Time, as amended by the Federal Law #271-FZ of July 03, 2016 On Amending Federal Law "On Calculating Time". Effective as of after sixty days following the day of the official publication.).
  8. Official on the whole territory of Russia according to Article 68.1 of the Constitution of Russia.
  9. V.A. Kravchenko: I chose freedom (1946)
  10. Russian Federal State Statistics Service (May 21, 2004). "Численность населения России, субъектов Российской Федерации в составе федеральных округов, районов, городских поселений, сельских населённых пунктов – районных центров и сельских населённых пунктов с населением 3 тысячи и более человек" [Population of Russia, Its Federal Districts, Federal Subjects, Districts, Urban Localities, Rural Localities—Administrative Centers, and Rural Localities with Population of Over 3,000] (XLS). Всероссийская перепись населения 2002 года [All-Russia Population Census of 2002] (in Russian). Retrieved August 9, 2014.
  11. Demoscope Weekly (1989). "Всесоюзная перепись населения 1989 г. Численность наличного населения союзных и автономных республик, автономных областей и округов, краёв, областей, районов, городских поселений и сёл-райцентров" [All Union Population Census of 1989: Present Population of Union and Autonomous Republics, Autonomous Oblasts and Okrugs, Krais, Oblasts, Districts, Urban Settlements, and Villages Serving as District Administrative Centers]. Всесоюзная перепись населения 1989 года [All-Union Population Census of 1989] (in Russian). Институт демографии Национального исследовательского университета: Высшая школа экономики [Institute of Demography at the National Research University: Higher School of Economics]. Retrieved August 9, 2014.
  16. 1 2 3 Arena - Atlas of Religions and Nationalities in Russia.
  17. 2012 Survey Maps. "Ogonek", № 34 (5243), 27/08/2012. Retrieved 24-09-2012.
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