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About the region

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The Kaliningrad Region, the westernmost part of the Russian Federation, is completely separated from the mainland of the country with overland borders of the foreign states and the international sea waters.

It was an outcome of the Potsdam Agreement 1945 concluded by the three then superpowers: the USSR, the USA and Great Britain. According to this Agreement, a formerly German northern part of East Prussia was ceded to the USSR after the World War II.

On April 7, 1946 the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR adopted the Decree "On the Organisation of Königsberg region within the RSFSR" and on July, 4th, its administrative center was renamed into Kaliningrad and the regional territory into the Kaliningrad region.

The Kaliningrad region shares its borders in the north and the east for a distance of 280,5 km with the Lithuanian Republic, in the south along the length of 231,98 km with the Polish Republic, in the west the region limits the 183,56-kilometer coast of the Baltic Sea. The maximum length of the region from the east to the west is 205 km, from the north to the south - 108 km. It is just 35 km from Kaliningrad to the Polish border, and 70 km from the Lithuanian border. The nearest regional center of Russia - Pskov – is at 800 km distance from Kaliningrad, and Moscow is at 1289 km distance.


The distance to a number of European capitals is relatively insignificant:
  • 350 km  up to Vilnius,
  • 390 km  up to Riga,
  • 400 km  up to Warsaw,
  • 600 km  up to Berlin,
  • 650 km   up to Stockholm,
  • 680 km  up to Copenhagen,
  • 850 km  up to Oslo.

The administrative centre is Kaliningrad (former Koenigsberg founded in 1255). The area of the Kaliningrad region is equal to 15,1 thousand km. It is one of the smallest territories in Russia, but as to the population density (63 people per one square kilometer) it is on the third place among areas and regions and concedes only to Krasnodar area and Tula region (on the average across Russia this indicator is 8.6 people per one square kilometer).

The longest rivers are Pregolya - 123 km, and Neman-115 km (the length on the territory of the region).

The biggest lake is the Vishtynetskoe Lake, it has a 18 square kilometer area.

The greatest height above the sea level are the Vishtynets Hills – 242 m.

According to the State Statistics Committee official figures concerning the last census of the Russian Federation population, 955,3 thousand people reside in the Kaliningrad region. Out of this figure 456,1 thousand are men and 499,2 thousand are women.

A share of the urban population constitutes 741,5 thousand people, which makes 351 thousand men and 390,5 thousand women.

213,8 thousand people in the Kaliningrad region live in rural areas. Men to women ratio in this case is almost the same: 105,1 to 108,7 thousand people. Agewise the population is distributed as follows: population eligible for work - 60,9 %, younger than eligible for work - 19,6 %, and older than eligible for work - 19,5 %.

The population of the region is multinational, there are representatives of 30 nationalities and folks. Among them the most numerous are Russians -78,1 %, Belarusians - 7,7 %, Ukrainians - 7,6 %, Lithuanians - 1,9 %, Armenians - 0,8 %, Germans - 0,6 %, and Poles - 0,5 %.


Other big cities:

  • Sovetsk (former Tilsit. 43.6 thousand people)
  • Chernyakhovsk (former Insterburg 43,3 thousand people)
  • Baltiysk (former Pillau 31,3 thousand people)
  • Gusev (former Gumbinnen, 28,1 thousand people)
The region comprises 3 municipal districts and 19 city districts. The urban population makes 77,7 % off the total number of inhabitants. Average population density is equal to 63 persons per 1 sq. km. Gusev, Chernyakhovsk, Bagrationovsk, Neman city districts and Gvardeisk district are the most populated.

Resorts:

  • Svetlogorsk (former Rauschen)
  • Zelenogradsk (former Kranz)
  • Pionersk (former Neukuren)
  • Otradnoe village

The main industrial centres are Kaliningrad, Sovetsk, Chernyakhovsk, Gusev, and Svetly.

The governmental power in the region is implemented by the following governmental authorities established according to the Constitution of the Russian Federation, the federal law and the Charter of the region:
• Kaliningrad Regional Duma — a legislative (representative) branch of power.
• The Governor of Kaliningrad region and the Government of the region — an executive branch of power.
• Courts of the Russian Federation on the regional territory – a judicial branch of power.

The executive power in the Kaliningrad region is implemented by the Government of Kaliningrad region headed by the Governor of the region. On September 28th, 2010 a solemn inauguration ceremony of Governor of the Kaliningrad region Nikolai N. Tsukanov took place in the regional Drama theatre.

The Kaliningrad Regional Duma is a constantly working legislative (representative) body of the Regional Government. According to the Statute (the Fundamental law) of the Kaliningrad region the Regional Duma is formed of 40 deputies. Out of this number 20 deputies are elected from single-mandate election constituencies, other 20 deputies – from the general regional constituency in the structure of all-regional lists of elective associations. The term of office is 5 years.

Election of deputies to the Kaliningrad Regional Duma of the fifth convocation took place on March 13th, 2011. The composition of the Regional Duma involves the representatives of the regional branches of the All-Russian political party «United Russia» - 8, Communist party of the Russian Federation - 5, Liberal-democratic party - 2, «Patriots of Russia» - 2, «A Just Russia» - 2.

Marina E. Orgeeva is a chairwoman of the Kaliningrad Regional Duma of the fifth convocation. There are six standing committees and fine deputy factions in the Regional Duma.


Geography and climate of the region:


The most part of the territory are lowlands. In the southeast there is the Baltic ridge with heights up to 230 m. There is a deposit of amber (one of the world's largest), clay, gravel, stone salt, etc. The climate varies from marine to moderately continental. Mean annual temperature is +8 °C. Mean January temperature ranges from -3 to -5 Celsius degrees, mean temperature in July comes to +15-17 degrees by Celsius. Annual volume of precipitations is about 700 mm a year.

The Baltic and Curonian sandy spits separate two large freshened lagoons - Kaliningrad and Curonian - from the sea. The major rivers are Neman (with the Sheshupe tributary) and Pregolya (with the Lava tributary). Lakes are numerous.

The region is located in the pre-taiga (the mixed woods) zone. Deciduous and dark coniferous woods (oak, fur-tree, pine, birch, and linden) occupy about 15 % of the territory. European hare, squirrel, marten, roe, wild boar, etc are found in these woods. The birds are numerous. Waters are rich with fish: in the desalinized sea lagoons the following species of fish are found: bream, pike-perch, smelt and eel; in the sea – sea sprat, smelt and salmon. On the territory of the region the national park Curonian spit is located.

The Kaliningrad lagoon is situated at the southern coast of the Baltic sea and is separated from the sea by the Baltic spit, a part thereof is in Poland, and on the coordinate 19’ 38 " of the eastern longitude the westernmost point of Russia is located. The river Pregolja at the mouth thereof the city of Kaliningrad is situated flows into the Kaliningrad lagoon. In winter the lagoon does not freeze.

The Curonian lagoon is a lagoon at the southeastern coast of the Baltic Sea. It is separated from the sea by the Curonian spit and is connected to the sea with the narrow Klaipeda strait. The length is 93 km, the average width is 17,3 km, and the depth is up to 7 m. It is fed by the river Neman. The Curonian lagoon freezes in winter.

The Curonian spit is a sandy peninsula located in Lithuania and Russia. The length of the spit is 98 km, the width ranges from 0,4 up to 3.8 km. Its landscape is characterized by dunes with height up to 70 m, mostly forested (pine, black alder with a mixture of oak, linden, and elm).

Environmental conditions are very favourable for the population.