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Yaroslavl Oblast

Yaroslavl Oblast
Ярославская область (Russian)
—  Oblast  —


Coat of arms
Political status
Country Russia
Federal district Central[1]
Economic region Central[2]
Established March 11, 1936
Administrative center Yaroslavl
Government (as of March 2011)
 • Governor Sergey Vakhrukov[3]
 • Legislature Oblast Duma
Area (as of the 2002 Census)[4]
 • Total 36,400 km2 (14,100 sq mi)
Area rank 60th
Population (2010 Census)[5]
 • Total 1,272,468
 • Rank 39th
 • Density[6] 34.96/km2 (90.5/sq mi)
 • Urban 82.2%
 • Rural 17.8%
Time zone(s) MSK (UTC+03:00)[7]
ISO 3166-2 RU-YAR
License plates 76
Official languages Russian[8]
Official website

Yaroslavl Oblast (Russian: Яросла́вская о́бласть, Yaroslavskaya oblast) is a federal subject of Russia (an oblast), which is located in the Central Federal District, surrounded by Tver, Moscow, Ivanovo, Vladimir, Kostroma, and Vologda Oblasts. This geographic location affords the oblast the advantages of proximity to Moscow and St. Petersburg. Additionally, the administrative center of the oblast—the city of Yaroslavl—is an intersection of major highways, railroads, and waterways. Population: 1,272,468 (2010 Census).[5]


  • Geography 1
  • History 2
    • Early medieval Rus' 2.1
    • Tatar Yoke era 2.2
    • Tsardom of Russia 2.3
    • Russian Empire 2.4
    • Soviet years 2.5
  • Politics 3
  • Administrative divisions 4
  • Demographics 5
    • Religion 5.1
  • Economy 6
    • Natural resources 6.1
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9


The climate of Yaroslavl Oblast is temperate continental, with long, cold and snowy winters, and a short but quite warm summer. Average January temperature is about −12 °C (10 °F), while average July's is +18 °C (64 °F). Formerly almost all territory was covered with thick conifer forest (fir, pine), but now a large portion of it has been replaced with birch-and-aspen secondary forests and crop fields. Swamps also take considerable areas.

Large animals have been much reduced in numbers, but there are still some bears, wolves, foxes, moose, and wild boars.

A great number of wild birds live and nest in the oblast.

In cities, most common birds are pigeons, jackdaws, hooded crows, rooks, house sparrows, and great tits.

The Volga River flows through Yaroslavl Oblast, with two major dams constructed at Uglich and Rybinsk. The Rybinsk Reservoir, filled between 1941 and 1947, is one of the largest in Europe; its filling flooded the town of Mologa and several hundreds of villages, necessitating the relocation of some 150,000 in Yaroslavl, Vologda, and Kalinin (now Tver) Oblasts.

Mineral resources are limited to construction materials (such as sand, gravel, clay) and peat. There are also mineral water springs and wells.


First people settled in the area of the modern day Yaroslavl Oblast during the Paleolithic Era with the end of the last glacial period. Agriculture was introduced in the region not later than the beginning of the 2nd millennium BC with the arrival of the Fatyanovo–Balanovo culture. The earliest historically known inhabitants of the Yaroslavl region were the Volga Finnic Merya people who came into close contact with Balto-Slavic tribes of Krivichs and Slovens since the 9-10th centuries and eventually blended into a single cultural community with other people of the Kievan Rus'.

Early medieval Rus'

The oblast belonged to the core of the Russian lands since the early Middle Ages. Rostov, the oldest city in the region, was first mentioned in 862. It soon became the main political and religious (the Rostov eparchy established in 991 was one of the earliest in Russia) centers of the Northeast Kievan Rus'. Many notable Rurikid princes had their fief in Rostov, among them were St. Boris and Yaroslav the Wise, the founder of the city of Yaroslavl.

In 1054 Rostov and other North-Eastern lands were inherited by Yaroslav's son Vsevolod who also ruled the southern Principality of Pereyaslavl. Remaining in their distant capital the princes of Pereyaslavl had to rule the province through their viceregents. That period was most memorable for the 1071 smerd rebellion led by still powerful magi of Yarsolavl during which bishop Leontius of Rostov was murdered.

In early 12th century Rostov got its own prince, Yuri Dolgoruky, the grandson of Vsevolod. He moved his capital to Suzdal in 1125 diminishing the influence of Rostov as a result. During his reign Dolgoruky founded many major cities of the Northeast Rus, those include Pereslavl, Uglich and Romanov of the modern day Yaroslavl Oblast. Prince Andrey Bogolyubsky who succeeded his father Yury as a ruler of the Rostov-Suzdal lands in 1157 was the first Russian ruler to give up his claims for the thrones of Kiev and Pereyaslavl. He proclaimed himself a Grand Prince and moved his capital to the city of Vladimir near Suzdal marking the beginning of history of the Vladimir-Suzdal Principality.

After the death of Andrey's brother Vsevolod the Big Nest in 1212 Russian North-East entered a continuous stage of feudal fragmentation. Rostov, Yaroslavl, Pereslavl and Uglich became principalities on their own right still recognizing formal suzerainty of the Grand Princes of Vladimir.

Tatar Yoke era

Northeastern Rus was attacked by the Mongol-Tatar armies in the winter of 1238. Pereslavl struggled for five days losing most of its population, Rostov and Uglich fell without a fight. Grand Prince Yuri II of Vladimir was killed along with his nephews, princes of Rostov and Yaroslavl, in the Battle of the Sit River in the northern part of the region. As a result of the invasion the Vladimir-Suzdal domain was obliged to pay tribute to the conquerors and recognize their political will.

During the 13th and 14th centuries Rostov and Yaroslavl principalities continued to split up and weaken. It made them an easy target for other powerful princes, most importantly the House of Moscow. In 1302 Ivan of Pereslavl bequeathed his principality to Daniel of Moscow. In 1328 Ivan I of Moscow bought out the Uglich principality. Starting with 1332 Muscovites began to acquire parts of the Rostov Principality little by little completely subduing it by the middle of the 15th century. In 1380 soldiers of the Rostov and Yaroslavl principalities joined the allied army of Moscow prince Dmitry Donskoy in the Battle of Kulikovo.

The gathering of the Russian lands in the Yaroslavl Oblast was completed by Ivan III the Great. In 1463 he forced the last prince of Yaroslavl, Alexander Bryukhaty, to sell out all of his possessions, in 1474 he bought the rest of the territories that still were co-owned with Moscow by the house of Rostov.

Tsardom of Russia

In the 16th century Yaroslavl became a major trade center connecting Central Russia with the lower regions of Volga and Arkhangelsk, the main trading outpost of the British Muscovy Company. At the same time Rostov remained to be a center of the richest and one of the most influential eparchies of the Russian Orthodox Church. Rostov archbishops were granted a metropolitan status in 1589.

During the Time of Troubles of the early 17th century Rostov and Yaroslavl provinces were heavily raided by the rebel forces of False Dmitry II and his Polish–Lithuanian allies. In 1609–1610 the invaders were driven out by a Russian militia of Gagarin and Vysheslavtsev who gathered their forces in Vologda. In the late 1614 northern part of the region (Poshekhonye) were terrorized by a rogue cossack unit led by ataman Baloven. Next year surrounding areas of Uglich and Romanov were reached by the notorious Polish–Lithuanian Lisowczycy raiders. In 1618 taking their part in the Polish invasion of Russia Zaporozhian Cossacks of hetman Sahaidachny captured Yaroslavl, Pereslavl and Romanov.

Later in the 17th century thanks to active commercial growth in the area Yaroslavl became more important than ever. By the middle of the century it was the second biggest Russian city with population of 15 thousands people. Starting with 1692 Pereslavl and Rostov were finally subjected to Yaroslavl. In 1719 after a new administrative reform territories of the modern oblast were separated between the Yaroslavl and Uglich Provinces of the Saint Petersburg Governorate and Pereslavl and Kostroma Provinces of the Moscow Governorate. In 1727 Yaroslavl and Uglich were also handed to Moscow.

Russian Empire

After the foundation of Saint Petersburg and a subsequent decline of the northern trading routes Yaroslav lost its role of a major trade center and the second most important Russian city. Nonetheless the city continued to drive development of its region entering an era of industrial growth. In 1718 the first public elementary school was established in Yaroslavl, in 1747 Spaso-Preobrazhensky monastery opened a seminary. In 1750 young Yaroslavl socialite Fyodor Volkov organized the very first permanent theater in Russia.

In 1777 a separate Yaroslavl Governorate (then viceroyalty) was established, it included surrounding areas of Yaroslavl, Rostov and Uglich. As a part of the reform many settlements of the region were granted town status, namely Rybinsk, Poshekhonye, Myshkin and Mologa. Changes continued with the archbishop of Rostov moving his permanent residence from Rostov to Yaroslavl. In 1803 Pavel Demidov founded the Yaroslavl School of Higher Studies, the first university college in the governorate.

Since the 18th century Rostov became widely known for its finift enamel jewelry crafts. In 1850 the first Russian tobacco factory Balkanskaya Zvezda was opened in Yaroslavl. First railroads connected the Yaroslavl region with Moscow in 1870 and Vologda in 1872. In 1879 Dmitri Mendeleev helped to create the first oil refinery in the empire near Romanov-Borisoglebsk. During the 1910s the region was intended to become a major center of burgeoning automotive industry, new factories were founded in Rybinsk (Russky Renault) and Yaroslavl (Lebedev Automobile Factory) in 1916.

Soviet years

Soviet power in the Yaroslavl Governorate was installed in a relatively peaceful way. The only notable events of the Boris Savinkov's Union for the Defense of the Motherland and Freedom. In Rybinsk Cheka aided with the Red Army dealt with the rebels in one day, but in Yaroslavl the clashes continued for two weeks. To put the Yaroslavl rebels down, the Reds had to involve their artillery and aviation. Both sides lost more than a thousand people during those events, thousands of Yaroslavl families lost their homes in the subsequent fires. Although the revolts were unsuccessful, they still managed to draw a significant part of the Bolshevik forces off to Central Russia helping the Whites to capture Yekaterinburg, Simbirsk, and Kazan.

In 1921-1923, the northern part of the governorate shorty became a separate Rybinsk Governorate later returned to Yaroslavl jurisdiction. In 1929, the region was split one more time between Yaroslavl and Rybinsk Okrugs, which became a part of the newly established Ivanovo Industrial Oblast. Yaroslavl Oblast was created on March 11, 1936, which included most of the former Yaroslavl Governorate added with a big part of the former Kostroma Governorate, along with the City of Kostroma itself, and Pereslavl-Zalessky of the Vladimir Governorate. In 1944, the Yaroslavl Oblast got its current borders after the Kostroma Oblast became a separate region.

During the 1930s, like the rest of the country, the Yaroslavl Oblast went through rapid forced industrialization of the first five year plans. In 1935, construction of the Rybinsk dam began, it was followed by creation of the Rybinsk Reservoir, the largest man-made body of water on Earth at that time, that inundated the entire city of Mologa. By the early 1940s, the oblast became one of the most industrialized regions of Russia, its biggest economic centers were Yaroslavl (53% of the industrial output), Rybinsk (17%) and Kostroma (11%).

Economic growth was accompanied with social and cultural development. A number of higher education institutes, theaters, and a philharmonia were founded in Yaroslavl and Rybisnk. On the other hand, the region was also significantly affected with the political repressions of that time. During the period from 1918 to 1975, 18,155 people were given sentences for political crimes, including 2,219 sentenced to death.

Despite being a rear region in the course of the World War II, the Yaroslavl Oblast was still in danger of invasion. Many regional manufacturers were relocated eastwards, two strong lines of defense were constructed in the late 1941. Out of 500 thousand residents of the oblast sent to fight on the front lines, 200 thousand (1/10 of the entire population) did not return.

Right after the end of the war, the oblast went on to complete the old projects finishing the construction of the Rybinsk Hydroelectric Power Station and establishing new industries. Beginning with the late 1960s, the Poshekhonye brand of cheese received recognition throughout Russia. In 1979, Yarslavl became a regular host of now the oldest jazz festival in Russia, Jazz Nad Volgoi ("Jazz on Volga").


Seat of the Oblast government in Sovetskaya Square

During the Soviet period, the high authority in the oblast was shared between three persons: The first secretary of the Yaroslavl CPSU Committee (who in reality had the biggest authority), the chairman of the oblast Soviet (legislative power), and the Chairman of the oblast Executive Committee (executive power). Since 1991, CPSU lost all the power, and the head of the Oblast administration, and eventually the governor was appointed/elected alongside elected regional parliament.

The Charter of Yaroslavl Oblast is the fundamental law of the region. The Legislative Assembly of Yaroslavl Oblast is the province's standing legislative (representative) body. The Legislative Assembly exercises its authority by passing laws, resolutions, and other legal acts and by supervising the implementation and observance of the laws and other legal acts passed by it. The highest executive body is the Oblast Government, which includes territorial executive bodies such as district administrations, committees, and commissions that facilitate development and run the day to day matters of the province. The Oblast administration supports the activities of the Governor who is the highest official and acts as guarantor of the observance of the oblast Charter in accordance with the Constitution of Russia.

Administrative divisions


Population: 1,272,468 (2010 Census);[5] 1,367,398 (2002 Census);[9] 1,470,357 (1989 Census).[10]

  • Births: 15 144 (11.9 per 1000)
  • Deaths: 20 141 (15.9 per 1000) [11]
  • Total fertility rate:[12]

2009 - 1.49 | 2010 - 1.49 | 2011 - 1.48 | 2012 - 1.60 | 2013 - 1.64 | 2014 - 1.64(e)

Ethnic composition (2010):[5]

  • Russians - 96%
  • Ukrainians - 0.8%
  • Armenians - 0.6%
  • Azeris - 0.4%
  • Tatars - 0.4%
  • Ezids - 0.3%
  • Belarusians - 0.2%
  • Others - 1.3%
  • 51,001 people were registered from administrative databases, and could not declare an ethnicity. It is estimated that the proportion of ethnicities in this group is the same as that of the declared group.[13]

Life expectancy:

  • Average: 63 years
  • Males: 57 years
  • Females: 71 years


Religion in Yaroslavl Oblast (2012)[14][15]

  Russian Orthodox (32.6%)
  Unaffiliated Christian (5%)
  Other Orthodox (2%)
  Muslim (1%)
  Spiritual but not religious (34%)
  Atheist (15%)
  Other or undeclared (10.4%)

According to a 2012 official survey[14] 32.6% of the population of Yaroslavl Oblast adheres to the Russian Orthodox Church, 5% are unaffiliated generic Christians, 2% follows other Orthodox Churches, and 1% are Muslims. In addition, 34% of the population deems itself to be "spiritual but not religious", 15% is atheist, and 10.4% follows other religions or did not give an answer to the question.[14]


The engineering and metalworking industry is the region's primary industrial sector, which supplies Russia with a wide variety of products. This industry is actively involved in foreign economic relations with CIS and other foreign countries.

Agriculture in the Oblast is mainly concerned with growing potatoes, vegetables, and flax, raising beef and dairy cattle, pigs, and sheep and fishing (on the Rybinskoe Reservoir).

Natural resources

Yaroslavl Oblast's greatest natural resources are water and forests. This part of Russia has enormous water reserves; Yaroslavl Oblast has 4327 rivers with a total length of nearly 20,000 km. There are also 83 lakes with total area of nearly 5,000 km2. The largest lakes are Nero Lake in Rostovsky District and Pleshcheevo Lake in Pereslavsky District. Pleshcheevo, Somino, Vashutinskoe, Chashnikovskoe, Ryumnikovskoe, and Lovetskoe lakes are located in the State Natural History Park. These lakes were formed from melting glaciers about 70,000 years ago. The region's mineral resource base includes brick clay and clay aggregate, gravel and sand-gravel mix, peat, and sapropel.[16]

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 Yaroslavl Oblast. Sergey Alexeyevich Vakhrukov, Governor of Yaroslavl Oblast (Russian)
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b c d
  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 №248-ФЗ от 21 июля 2014 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 #248-FZ of July 21, 2014 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. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ a b c Arena - Atlas of Religions and Nationalities in Russia.
  15. ^ 2012 Survey Maps. "Ogonek", № 34 (5243), 27/08/2012. Retrieved 24-09-2012.
  16. ^ Yaroslavl Region, Kommersant

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