« There is no place like home…» Astrakhan is my native town.
Address by the Governor of the Astrakhan Region Alexander Zhilkin Dear Sirs! I would like to invite your attention to the Astrakhan region of the Russian Federation – the territory, possessing great scientific, economic, investment, cultural and human potential. Unique combination of favorable geopolitical location, developed economics, wellformed transport infrastructure, as well as availability of rich oil and gas fields makes our region one of the most interesting and promising subjects of the Russian Federation. Astrakhan has been traditionally taking high places in ratings of investment attractive Russian regions. Governor of the Astrakhan regionAlexander Zhilkin
Edict of Pete I. Edict of Pete I.
GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION AND CLIMATE • Astrakhan is located in the south-east of European Russia, in the Caspian Lowland, in the lower reaches of the Volga river. The region is part of the Southern Federal District and is a border region: the region borders on the Republic of Kazakhstan by land, on Azerbaijan Republic, Islamic Republic of Iran, Republic of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan by sea. The Volgograd region and the Republic of Kalmykia are the Astrakhan region’s neighbours within the Russian Federation. • Total area of the region is 49,0 thousand square meters. The region consists of 11 rural areas, 442 villages and settlements. Besides the regional center there are 5 towns in the region– Akhtubinsk, Kamyzyak, Znamensk, Kharabali, and Narimanov. • About 1 million people live in the Astrakhan region. Half of them live in the regional center – Astrakhan. • Astrakhan is famous for its cultural traditions, dating back to the remote past. Representatives of over 140 nations and nationalities live here. All world religions have found here their adherents. Our townsman, poet VelimirKhlebnikov called Astrakhan the triangle of Christ, Mohammed and Buddha. • In spite of its multinational structure, Astrakhan has always been and still remains one of the most politically stable regions of Russia. The Astrakhan region climate is moderate and sharp continental with hot summers and cold winters, high annual and summer daily air temperature amplitudes, scarce fall-outs and considerable evaporation.
NATURAL RESOURCES POTENTIAL • The Caspian Sea is the largest lake in the world and is often referred to as a sea owing to its size. Its area (isles excluded) amounts to 368 thousand square meters. • A variety of fish species in the Volga and the Caspian Sea determines to a large extent the region’s area of expertise. Out of 60 fish species almost 30 are of economic importance. Here is a unique Caspian sturgeon stock (sturgeon, beluga and starlet). Since times immemorial «Red fish» and black caviar have been a visiting card of the Astrakhan region. The regional biological resources, such as carp, zander, cat-fish, bream, roach, Astrakhan herring and others are supplied to the domestic and foreign markets.
INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION There are 1150 industrial enterprises of different forms of ownership operating in Astrakhan. Leading positions are occupied by fuel and energy enterprises and by machine-building complex, food industry, and industry of building materials. Chemical and petro-chemical industry, glass production, printing and medicine also play an important role. Oil and gas industry occupies the leading position in Astrakhan economics and determines to a large extent industrial potential and rate of social and economic growth of the region. Astrakhan is the main gas producing region of the Volga economic district and is one of the leading regions of Russia for natural gas, sulfur and oil products production. The largest in Europe sulfur and gas-condensate field with producing and processing complex of “Astrakhangasprom” Ltd., which is part of “Gasprom”, is located in the region.
Shipbuilding and ship repairing is one of the most dynamically developing branches of the region. 15 major enterprises of the branch, located in the region, are capable of building and repairing vessels of any class and function. Some shipyards have been certified to work under supervision of the leading world qualifying societies Astrakhan shipyards have rich experience of cooperation with foreign partners.
Machine-building industry of the region is represented by some large and medium enterprises, producing press-forging equipment, metal-working and wood-working machines, painting equipment, water and gas heating devices, agricultural equipment, boilers. They are also engaged I locomotive repairing and producing spare parts for railway transport.
Salt industry occupies about one fourth of food industry of the region. Main enterprise of this branch in the region, JSC “Bassol”, which develops salt deposits of the Baskunchak lake, occupies about 60 % of Russian salt extraction. At present the enterprise produces different types of salt: table salt, sodium chloride, lump salt for cattle breeding, balneal salt with essential oils and herbal extracts, highly mineralized bath salt. Potential of this industry is connected with possible implementation of the project to build salt plant “Extra” based on Baskunchak deposit of rock salt “Kupol”, located near the operating enterprise.
Fishing and fish processing have been traditionally developed in the Astrakhan region. About 30 fish species, dwelling in rivers of the region and in the Caspian sea, are of commercial importance. Stock of Caspian sturgeons (sturgeon, beluga, stellate sturgeon, sterlet) is unique. At the same time this branch has suffered serious problems lately due to the deterioration of raw material base.
CONSTRUCTION AND CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY Construction complex of the Astrakhan region embraces 847 organizations with the total number of 35 thousand people employed (8.7% of able-bodied citizens of the region). Citizens of the region at their own expense and with the help of loans build more than 450 thousand square meters of total living space. Several other enterprises of the construction industry, producing different materials, function in the region at present: they produce bricks, precast constructions, heat-insulating materials, construction hardware, etc
AGRICULTURE The regional agricultural complex is being developed in the following spheres: cattle breeding, plant breeding and seedage. Processing and food industry provides the basis for food safety of the region.
TRANSPORT INFRASTRUCTURE Favorable geographic location of the Astrakhan region determined its special status. Thanks to its access to the Caspian Sea, Astrakhan plays an important role in the system of international Euro-Asian transport routs. Continuing traditions of the Great Silk Way, international transport corridor “North-South” passes through the region, connecting by shortest possible way countries of south and south-east Asia through Iran, Caspian Sea and Astrakhan with Central Russia and countries of Northern, Central and Eastern Europe. Astrakhan transport hub is the key link of the Russian part of this route.
TOURISM AND RECREATION POTENTIAL For a long time, until 1990, Astrakhan was the region, closed for foreign tourists. Today not only people from Russia, but also foreigners come to rest in Astrakhan. These are mostly Germans, French, Italians, and others. As one cannot imagine Russia without the Volga river, the Volga cannot be imagined without Astrakhan with its remarkably rich history and unique nature and climate. Astrakhan nature is unique. Its symbol is lotus flower, famous not only for its beauty, but also for the fact that it grows only in ecologically safe environment. Established almost one hundred years ago, the Russian First State Biosphere Reserve in the Volga delta has unique flora and fauna. It is kind of Mecca for those adoring ecological tourism. There are over 280 species of birds, over 70 species of fish, most rare animals, many of which are in the International Red Book. Here one can find flamingoes, swans, pelicans, pheasants, herons, seals. Every year ornithologists and ichthyologists from different countries visit the sanctuary.
CULTURE The Astrakhan region is distinguished by its rather high culture level and ancient cultural traditions. The Astrakhan Musical Theatre was founded in 1995. The Astrakhan Puppet Theatre was set to work in 1987. Currently the troupe performs actively in different cities of Russia, Ukraine, Bulgaria and the Former Yugoslavia States. One of the oldest theatres not only of Astrakhan but also of Russia is the Astrakhan Drama Theatre founded in 1810 году. The Astrakhan State Picture Gallery named after Kustodiev is one of the most goluptious galleries of the Volga region. It can boast unique collections of art and has two affiliates: the House-museum of Velimir Khlebnikov (the only one worldwide in terms of significance and the number of presented exhibits) and the House-museum of the notorious artist Boris Kustodiev.
Астрахань Мой город с синевою на плечах Из небыли и давней были соткан Тут купола купаются в лучах Весеннего полуденного солнца. У города счастливые глаза, Гудки баркасов, солнце, всхлипы чаек! Пусть ни одна нежданная слеза Улыбок горожан не омрачает. Мне здесь быстрее вертится земля, Я Астрахань ко всякому ревную! И вскидывают руки тополя Для ласковых воздушных поцелуев. Беру начало всех своих начал У волжских волн. И нет иных причастий. Ах, Астрахань! Мой Солнечный причал! Ты для меня всегда- и боль, и счастье.