Rostov Oblast

Rostov Oblast
   An administrative region of the Russian Federation. Situated on the head of the Taganrog Bay in the Sea of Azov, Rostov Oblast is Russia’s gateway to the Caucasus Mountains. The oblast has an international border with Ukraine, as well as internal borders with the oblasts of Volgograd and Voronezh, the krais of Stavropol and Krasnodar, and Kalmykiya. It is part of the North Caucasus Economic Region and the Southern Federal District. The region covers an area of 100,800 square kilometers; its geography is characterized by its chernozem soil and the rivers Don and Severny Donets, as well as three large water reservoirs. The regional capital, Rostov-na-Donu (pop. 1,068,000), is well connected to the Commonwealth of Independent States and Europe via air, rail, and shipping links; it is considered the unofficial capital of southern Russia. The city, a former Greek colony, is economically vibrant and ethnically diverse. Other major cities include Taganrog, Shakhty, Novocherkassk, and Volgodonsk. With more than 4.4 million inhabitants, the oblast is the fourth most populous region and one of the more densely populated areas of the federation. Many of Russia’s ethnic minorities are represented in the region; while ethnic Russians are the majority (89 percent), there are sizable communities of Ukrainians, Armenians, and Turks, as well as many Cossacks. The regional economy is diversified. In terms of agricultural production, it is the second-largest producer in the country, focusing on grains, melons, vineyards, corn, rice, and soybeans; more than 80 percent of the oblast’s land is dedicated to farming. Fishing, animal husbandry, and fur farming are also widespread. Engineering and heavy manufacturing are also key components of the regional economy, including production of aircraft and equipment for nuclear facilities. Coal mining, though in decline, is also an important regional industry. There are more than 25,000 small businesses in operation in the region. Revenue from shipping and tourism also add to the oblast’s output. Azov City, one of only four sites in Russia where casinos are permitted as of 1 July 2009, is expected to further contribute to tourism spending and possibly deepen the region’s already high crime problem.
   The region disproportionately supported the liberal Yabloko bloc during the 1990s; in recent years, the regional administration has been dominated by local business interests, with the Communists making rather poor showings. In 1996, Vladimir Chub, a late Sovietera appointee, was popularly reelected as governor. He was reelected again in 2001 before his reappointment by Vladimir Putin in 2005. He has a close working relationship with Gazprom, owing to the numerous pipelines that cross the oblast heading toward Europe; Chub also served in the Federation Council. In 2007, he was awarded with Chechnya’s highest recognition, the Order of Akhmad Kadyrov, for his efforts at securing stability in southern Russia; more than 15,000 Chechens reside in the region. Chub is also the chair of Russia’s Federal Antiterrorism Commission.
   See also Nuclear Weapons.

Historical Dictionary of the Russian Federation. . 2010.

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  • Rostov Oblast — ( ru. Ростовская область, Rostovskaya oblast ) is a federal subject of Russia (an oblast), located in the Southern Federal District. Rostov Oblast lies in the south of Russia with an area of 100,800 km² and a population of 4,404,013 (2002 Census) …   Wikipedia

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