Subject of the Russian Federation
The oblast consists mainly of the Smolensk hill country, the Dnieper flows through it from east to west. The region is conveniently located in terms of transport, the road and rail connections from Moscow to Belarus , the Kaliningrad Oblast and the countries of Eastern Central Europe run through it. The climate is temperate continental with warm summers and mild winters by Russian standards.
The oblast is heavily forested, the forests make up an important part of the economy: on the one hand, the hilly forests and lakes are popular local recreation areas, on the other hand, the wood industry is an important branch of industry. Diamond grinding, the metal industry and mechanical engineering are also important.
The oblast has existed under its current name since 1937. It emerged from the West Oblast that was newly formed in 1929 from the territories of several dissolved governorates .
The Smolensk Archive , captured by the Wehrmacht in 1941 during World War II , initially used Hitler's Germany and later the USA for propaganda purposes until it was returned in 2003.
In the last Russian censuses in 2002 and 2010, there were a population of 1,049,574 and 985,537 residents, respectively. The number of inhabitants thus fell by 64,037 people (−6.10%) in these eight years. 716,299 people lived in cities in 2010. This corresponds to 72.68% of the population (in Russia 73%). By January 1, 2014, the population decreased further to 967,896 people. The distribution of the different ethnic groups was as follows:
|nationality||VZ 1989||percent||VZ 2002||percent||VZ 2010||percent|
Note: the proportions refer to the total number of inhabitants. Including the group of people who did not provide any information about their ethnic affiliation (2002 11,002 and 2010 41,457 people)
The area's population is more than 90% Russian. The Ukrainians and Belarusians are the most important ethnic minorities in Smolensk Oblast. Their number - like the number of Zigans (Roma), Jews and Russian Germans - is falling sharply, however. By contrast, thousands of people have immigrated from the North Caucasus, Transcaucasus and Central Asia since the end of the Soviet Union. In addition to the nationalities listed above, there are also many Tajiks (1989: 206; 2010: 938 people), Georgians (1989: 394; 2010: 752) and Ingush (1989: none; 2010: 660).
Administrative divisions and cities
The Smolensk Oblast is divided into 25 Rajons and two urban districts . There are 15 cities and 10 urban-type settlements . The most important cities besides the administrative center of Smolensk are Roslavl and Vyazma .
(October 14, 2010)
- Administrativno-territorialʹnoe delenie po subʺektam Rossijskoj Federacii na 1 janvarja 2010 goda (administrative-territorial division according to subjects of the Russian Federation as of January 1, 2010). ( Download from the website of the Federal Service for State Statistics of the Russian Federation)
- Itogi Vserossijskoj perepisi naselenija 2010 goda. Tom 1. Čislennostʹ i razmeščenie naselenija (Results of the All-Russian Census 2010. Volume 1. Number and distribution of the population). Tables 5 , pp. 12-209; 11 , pp. 312–979 (download from the website of the Federal Service for State Statistics of the Russian Federation)