Sverdlovsk Oblast

Coordinates: 58°42′N 61°20′E / 58.700°N 61.333°E / 58.700; 61.333
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Sverdlovsk Oblast
Свердловская область
Flag of Sverdlovsk Oblast
Coat of arms of Sverdlovsk Oblast
Coordinates: 58°42′N 61°20′E / 58.700°N 61.333°E / 58.700; 61.333
Federal districtUral[1]
Economic regionUral[2]
Administrative centerYekaterinburg
 • BodyLegislative Assembly
 • GovernorYevgeny Kuyvashev[3]
 • Total194,307 km2 (75,022 sq mi)
 • Rank17th
 • Total4,268,998
 • Estimate 
 • Rank5th
 • Density22/km2 (57/sq mi)
 • Urban
 • Rural
Time zoneUTC+5 (MSK+2 Edit this on Wikidata[7])
ISO 3166 codeRU-SVE
License plates66, 96, 196
OKTMO ID65000000
Official languagesRussian[8]

Sverdlovsk Oblast (Russian: Свердловская область, romanizedSverdlovskaya oblast') is a federal subject (an oblast) of Russia located in the Ural Federal District. Its administrative center is the city of Yekaterinburg, formerly known as Sverdlovsk. Its population is 4,268,998 (according to the 2021 Census).[5]


Landmark indicating the border between Europe and Asia in Sverdlovsk Oblast.

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.[9] 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[edit]

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.


Early history[edit]

Wooden sculpture dated to 11,500 years ago may have stood more than 5 m high

The territory of the region has been inhabited since ancient times. Numerous sites of ancient people were discovered, dating from the Paleolithic to the Iron Age. The Upper Paleolithic includes the Garinsky site on the right bank of the Sosva river near the village of Gari, the site in the Shaitansky grotto, and the site in the Bezymyanny cave (X millennium BC).[10][11] In 1890, the 11 thousand years old (Mesolithic) Shigir idol was discovered.[12]

A settlement and a burial ground in the Kalmatsky Brod tract are located on the right bank of the Iset river and date back to the Sarmatian time (from the 3rd century BC to the 2nd century AD). They belong to the Kalmak archaeological culture. In the Kalmatsky Brod burial ground, the skeletal skulls were strongly deformed by tight bandaging in early childhood, which indicates the penetration of steppe ethnic elements to the north.[13]

Pictograms on the Neyva River

There are numerous pictograms on the Koptelovsky stone, on the Oblique stone, on the Two-eyed stone, Starichnaya, Serginskaya, the rock paintings of the Bronze Age on the Neyva River, Tagil River (villages Brekhovaya, Gaevaya, Komelskaya), rock carvings on Shaitan-Kamen on the right bank of the Rezh river tied to indigenous Ural population, possibly speakers of a Ugric language.[14][15] The Gostkovskaya Pisanitsa refers to the Middle Ages.[12]

Medieval history and Russian expansion[edit]

Before the first Russian colonists arrived to the region, it was populated by various Turkic and Ugrian 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 with its center in Pelym.

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.

Verkhoturye in 1910

Rise of the mining-metallurgical era[edit]

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[edit]

The Bolsheviks established their power in Yekaterinburg and Perm during the first days of the October Revolution of 1917. In early 1918 the dethroned Czar Nicholas II and his family were transferred under custody to Yekaterinburg. Local Bolsheviks decided autonomously to execute the royal family on July 17, 1918, to prevent its rescue of by the approaching White Army forces. 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. It was soon abolished and replaced by the Ural Oblast (1923-1934).

T-34 tanks on the conveyor belt of the Uralmash plant (1942)

In the 1930s many industrial enterprises were established and built with the help of forced labour.[16] 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. It was over Sverdlovsk that the American U-2 spy plane pilot Gary Powers was shot down on May 1, 1960, while on a reconnaissance mission.

In 1979, there was an anthrax outbreak caused by an accident in a facility to develop biological weapons.

Post-Soviet transition[edit]

In 1993, Governor Eduard Rossel responded to perceived economic inequality by attempting to create a "Ural 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[edit]


Life expectancy at birth in Sverdlovsk Oblast

Population: 4,268,998 (2021 Census);[5] 4,297,747 (2010 Russian census);[17] 4,486,214 (2002 Census);[18] 4,716,768 (1989 Soviet census).[19]

Vital statistics for 2022:[20][21]

  • Births: 39,958 (9.4 per 1,000)
  • Deaths: 59,316 (13.9 per 1,000)

Total fertility rate (2022):[22]
1.56 children per woman

Life expectancy (2021):[23]
Total — 68.79 years (male — 63.72, female — 73.80)


Historical population
Source: Census data

Ethnic groups[edit]

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:[17]

232,978 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.[24]


Religion in Sverdlovsk Oblast as of 2012 (Sreda Arena Atlas)[25][26]
Russian Orthodoxy
Other Orthodox
Other Christians
Rodnovery and other native faiths
Spiritual but not religious
Atheism and irreligion
Other and undeclared

Christianity is the largest religion in Sverdlovsk Oblast. According to a 2012 survey[25] 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.[25]


The most important institutions of higher education include Ural Federal University, Ural State Medical University, Ural State University of Economics, Ural State Law University, Ural State Mining University and Ural State Academy of Architecture and Arts, all located in the capital Yekaterinburg.


Legislative Assembly of Sverdlovsk Oblast

The oblast's Charter, adopted on 17 December 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.[needs update]

The Legislative Assembly is the regional parliament of Sverdlovsk Oblast. Until 2011, it was a bicameral legislature consisting of the Oblast Duma, the lower house, and the House of Representatives, the upper house.[27] Before the reform, members of the legislature served four-year terms with half of the Duma re-elected every two years. The Duma (28 members) was elected in party lists. The 21 members of the House of Representatives were elected in single-seat districts in a first-past-the-post system. The 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. As of 2021, the Legislative Assembly is a unicameral legislature with a total of 50 seats, with half of the members elected by single-mandate constituencies and the other half elected in party lists for five-year terms.[28][29]

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[edit]

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 – December 2011

Chairmen of the House of Representatives of the Legislative Assembly[edit]

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 – December 2011


In the 1990s, the Oblast's population was distinguished by relatively high support for parties and candidates of the right and democratic persuasion. In the 1996 presidential election, Boris Yeltsin, a native of the region who lived in Sverdlovsk until the 1980s, won over 70% of the vote. In the regional elections in 2010 in the Sverdlovsk Oblast, United Russia received minimal support relative to other regions - only 39.79% of votes.[30]

Economy and transportation[edit]

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.

The largest companies in the region include Ural Mining and Metallurgical Company, UralVagonZavod, Enel Russia, Nizhniy Tagil Iron and Steel Works, Federal Freight.[31]


Yekaterinburg is a prominent road, rail and air hub in the Ural 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[edit]

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


  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", No. 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 (in Russian)
  4. ^ "Сведения о наличии и распределении земель в Российской Федерации на 01.01.2019 (в разрезе субъектов Российской Федерации)". Federal Service for State Registration, Cadastre and Cartography. Archived from the original on 9 February 2022. Retrieved 29 August 2023.
  5. ^ a b c Russian Federal State Statistics Service. Всероссийская перепись населения 2020 года. Том 1 [2020 All-Russian Population Census, vol. 1] (XLS) (in Russian). Federal State Statistics Service.
  6. ^ "26. Численность постоянного населения Российской Федерации по муниципальным образованиям на 1 января 2018 года". Federal State Statistics Service. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  7. ^ "Об исчислении времени". Официальный интернет-портал правовой информации (in Russian). 3 June 2011. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
  8. ^ Official throughout the Russian Federation according to Article 68.1 of the Constitution of Russia.
  9. ^ "Russia: Impact of Climate Change to 2030" (PDF). Retrieved 25 April 2023.
  10. ^ Сериков Ю. Б. Новые находки раннего палеолита в Среднем Зауралье // Ранний палеолит Евразии: новые открытия // Материалы Международной конференции, Краснодар – Темрюк, 1–6 сентября 2008 г.
  11. ^ Сериков Ю. Б. Следы раннего палеолита на территории Среднего Зауралья // Вестник археологии, антропологии и этнографии, 2015 № 4 (31)
  12. ^ a b Объекты культурного наследия Свердловской области (список)
  13. ^ Сальников К. В. Древнейшие памятники истории Урала, 1952.
  14. ^ Khimiya i Zhizn, 9, 1974, p. 80
  15. ^ Писаницы Урала (in Russian). Retrieved 26 December 2010.
  16. ^ V.A. Kravchenko: I chose freedom (1946)
  17. ^ a b 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.
  18. ^ Federal State Statistics Service (21 May 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).
  19. ^ 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]. 1989 – via Demoscope Weekly.
  20. ^ "Information on the number of registered births, deaths, marriages and divorces for January to December 2022". ROSSTAT. Archived from the original on 2 March 2023. Retrieved 21 February 2023.
  21. ^ "Birth rate, mortality rate, natural increase, marriage rate, divorce rate for January to December 2022". ROSSTAT. Archived from the original on 2 March 2023. Retrieved 21 February 2023.
  22. ^ Суммарный коэффициент рождаемости [Total fertility rate]. Russian Federal State Statistics Service (in Russian). Archived from the original (XLSX) on 10 August 2023. Retrieved 10 August 2023.
  23. ^ "Демографический ежегодник России" [The Demographic Yearbook of Russia] (in Russian). Federal State Statistics Service of Russia (Rosstat). Retrieved 1 June 2022.
  24. ^ "ВПН-2010".
  25. ^ a b c "Arena: Atlas of Religions and Nationalities in Russia". Sreda, 2012.
  26. ^ 2012 Arena Atlas Religion Maps. "Ogonek", № 34 (5243), 27/08/2012. Retrieved 21/04/2017. Archived.
  27. ^ Formation of the legislative body of Sverdlovsk Oblast,
  28. ^ General information,
  29. ^ "Свердловская область".
  30. ^ "Результат единороссов по Свердловской области был самым худшим для партии власти" [The result of United Russia in the Sverdlovsk region was the worst for the ruling party]. Archived from the original on 10 June 2010. Retrieved 2 January 2011.
  31. ^ "Sverdlovsk region Industries". Retrieved 7 November 2018.

External links[edit]