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part of the RSFSR. Established Jan. 14, 1929. Area, 23,900 sq km. Population, 1, 328,000 (1972). The oblast has 19 administrative raions, 17 cities, and 29 urban-type settlements. Its center is the city of Ivanovo. The oblast has been awarded the Order of Lenin (1967).
Natural features. Ivanovo Oblast is situated in the central part of the East European Plain. For the most part, it consists of a gently rolling plain, broken up uniformly by shallow river valleys and ravines. A morainic ridge, the watershed of the Volga and the Kliaz’ma, runs through the northwest; it descends in the southeast and east, giving way on the left bank of the Kliaz’ma to a sandy plain (the Balakhna Lowland and the Lukh Poles’e [alluvial plain]) with dunes. The plain, which is covered with woods, has peat bogs and small lakes. The hillier section of the Iur’ev Opol’e, which is dissected by a dense network of gullies and ravines, lies in the western part of the oblast. In the north there is a gently rolling plain (the Unzha Lowland) which is swampy in places.
The climate is temperate continental, with warm summers (the average July temperature is 18–19°C) and moderately cool winters (the average temperature is – 12°C). Precipitation is 550–600 mm a year. The growing season, with temperatures over 5°C, lasts 160–174 days.
All the rivers belong to the basin of the Volga, which crosses the northeastern part of the oblast. A part of the Gorky Reservoir lies in Ivanovo Oblast. The left tributaries of the Volga (the Unzha, Nemda, and Mera) are deep; the right tributaries are short and shallow. The left tributaries of the Kliaz’ma (the NerP, Uvod’, Teza, and Lukh) flow down from the southern slope of the Volga-Kliaz’ma watershed. The rivers are used primarily for water supply. With the construction of the Volga-Uvod’ Canal, the water provisioning of the cities and industrial centers of the oblast has improved. There are more than 200 lakes of glacial, floodplain, and karst origin in the oblast (Sakhtysh, Rubskoe, and others). Swamps occupy 2.9 percent of the territory.
Podzolic and bog soils are the most prevalent. Highly and slightly podzolic soddy soils are developed in the watersheds of the northwest and north. The depressions of the watersheds have podzolic-gley and bog soils, and in the river valleys there are swampy meadow soils. The southwest (Opol’e) has fertile soddy chernozem-like soils, and along the low-lying left bank of the Kliaz’ma, in the basin of the Lukh, and on the left bank of the Volga the soils are of the highly podzolic soddy type.
The oblast is situated in a transition zone from taiga to mixed forest. About 1 million hectares are occupied by forests, amounting to 38 percent of the oblast. Large forest tracts have survived on the left bank of the Volga, in the Iuzha and Teikovo raions. There are spruce forests in the interfluvial area of the Volga and the Lukh. Pine forests are found on sandy soil and sandy loam. The dominant species are birch (35 percent), pine (35 percent), aspen (14 percent), and spruce (14 percent). Meadows occupy about 8 percent of the oblast. Dry valley meadows predominate, but there are also many swampy meadows.
Among the mammals encountered are the hare and blue hare, fox, squirrel, polecat, and otter. Birds include the woodcock, capercaillie, black grouse, hazel hen, and partridge; birds in the swamps and lakes include geese, ducks, and snipes.
Population. The bulk of the population is Russian (96.7 percent in 1970). Average population density is 55. 6 persons per sq km (1972). The central industrial raions have the greatest density; the eastern and western raions are less densely settled. Seventy-seven percent of the population is urban. The largest cities are Ivanovo, Kineshma, Shuia, and Vichuga. Under the Soviet regime Furmanov, Pies, Teikovo, Rodniki, Kokhma, Iuzha, and Navoloki, among others, have been transformed into cities.
Economy. Between 1913 and 1971 gross industrial production increased by a factor of nearly 13, growing by a factor of 4. 2 between 1940 and 1971. The oblast is one of the USSR’s textile-industry regions. (About 60 percent of all the industrial workers of the oblast are in textiles.) Trades, especially weaving and printing of fabrics, appeared long ago in the region. A network of large textile-manufacturing centers developed from them in the 19th century. Most of the old textile enterprises located in the Ivanovo-Shuia (Ivanovo, Shuia, Teikovo, Rodniki) and Kineshma (Kineshma, Navoloki, Furmanov) regions have been renovated; there are also newly built spinning mills (F. E. Dzer-zhinskii, Krasnaia Talka), a mélange combine, and a worsted combine. The textile industry is expanding primarily through increases in the capacity of existing enterprises. The main centers for the cotton fabric industry are Ivanovo, Kineshma, Shuia, Vichuga, Furmanov, Teikovo, Rodniki, and Iuzha; Privolzhsk is a center of the linen industry. The output of the textile industry consists mainly of cotton (more than 2 billion m in 1971, or about 27 percent of the national output), silk (186. 4 million m), and linen fabrics (88. 9 million m). Piece goods (including handkerchiefs and kerchiefs, braids, and ribbons) are also produced.
Under Soviet rule the textile industry has developed further, and new branches of industry have also arisen. Textile machine-building industry has been established, primarily in Ivanovo. In addition, Ivanovo has become the site of plants for the production of peat machines, truck cranes, borers, and testing apparatus as well as a combine for the production of soles from synthetic materials, a footwear factory, tricot plants, and other light-industry enterprises. Chemical plants (in Ivanovo and Za-volzhsk) produce dyes for the textile industry and organic chemical products. A food industry has grown up in the oblast (a meat-packing plant, a bakery, macaroni and confectionery factories, vegetable-oil mills, dairies, a margarine plant, an industrial alcohol enterprise). As a result of the exhaustion of forest resources logging has decreased; in 1970, 2, 091,000 cu m of lumber were brought out (2, 304,000 cu m in 1940). The wood-products industry is well developed (the production of wooden components for the textile industry, prefabricated houses, and furniture). There are craft industries (Palekh and Kholui). Electric power plants (in Ivanovo and Komsomol’sk) operate on peat. (In 1970, 3, 201,000 tons of fuel peat were extraded.) Natural gas, which comes by pipeline from the Volga Region, is also used.
To a considerable extent the oblast’s agriculture is oriented toward supplying food products to the local urban population. Agricultural land (about 1 million hectares [ha]) occupies 42 percent of the territory of the oblast, with arable land predominating (66 percent) and natural meadowlands accounting for 300,000 ha. As of Jan. 1, 1972, Ivanovo Oblast had 158 kolkhozes and 85 sovkhozes. Land under cultivation (1971) totals 581,000 ha, of which 282,800 ha are under cereals (rye, oats, wheat, buckwheat, and legumes), 56,300 ha under potatoes, and 223,000 ha under fodder (sown grasses, for example). A suburban-type economy predominates in the central raions of the oblast. (Milk, vegetables, and potatoes are produced.) There is flax cultivation in the north and east, and potatoes are grown in the west and south and in the Opol’e. A total of 33,300 ha of land (1971) are provided with a drainage system. Dairy-and-meat cattle raising and swine breeding (in potato-growing areas) and pedigreed horse-breeding (trotters and Vladimir heavy draft horses) predominate in livestock raising. As of Jan. 1, 1972, the oblast had 341,200 head of cattle, including 152,200 cows; 171,600 pigs; and 203,500 sheep and goats.
There are 334 km of railroads (1971). The main rail lines are Yaroslavl-Ivanovo-Novki and Aleksandrov-Ivanovo-Kineshma. There is navigation on the Volga (173 km in Ivanovo Oblast), Teza, Unzha, and Kliaz’ma. Automobile roads (7, 100 km, including 2,300 km of hard-top) and air transport are used for communications within the oblast.
INTERNAL DIFFERENCES. Ivanovo Oblast is comparatively homogeneous in the nature of its economy. It can be divided into the central, eastern, and southwestern regions. The central region is more densely settled and has the highest proportion of urban residents, the principal industrial centers, the greater part of the textile enterprises, chemical and machine-building industries, and power engineering (Ivanovo, Kineshma, Shuia, Furmanov, Komsomol’sk, Teikovo). The eastern region is agricultural; flax cultivation predominates, and there are some industrial centers (Iuzha, Puchezh, and Iur’evets). The south-western region is most developed agriculturally and grows mainly cereals and potatoes (the Opol’e).
A. A. MINTS
Education, cultural affairs, and public health. Prior to the October Revolution there were 1,174 schools (basically parochial schools) with 83,900 students in Ivanovo Oblast; there were no higher educational institutions or secondary specialized schools. In the 1971–72 academic year, there were 227,200 students in 1,064 general education schools of all types, 34,200 students in 32 secondary specialized schools, and 24,400 students in seven higher educational institutions (institutes of textiles, power engineering, chemical technology, agriculture, pedagogy, and medicine in Ivanovo and a pedagogical institute in Shuia). In 1971, 74,600 children were enrolled in preschool institutions. The oblast has (as of Jan. 1, 1972) 695 public libraries (10. 4 million copies of books and journals) and 11 museums —museums of local lore in Ivanovo (an oblast museum), Kineshma, Gavrilov Posad, the village of Il’inskoe-Khovanskoe, Puchezh, Iur’evets, and the village of Myt, the oblast art museum in Ivanovo, the M.V. Frunze State Memorial Museum in Shuia, the State Museum of Palekh Art in the settlement of Palekh, and the Museum of Kholui Art in the settlement of Kholui. There are also four theaters—the oblast dramatic theater, musical comedy theater, and puppet theater in Ivanovo and the dramatic theater in Kineshma; 733 motion picture projectors; 691 clubs; and a Pioneer Palace and station for young naturalists in Ivanovo.
Two oblast newspapers are published— Rabochii krai (since 1917) and the Komsomol paper Leninets (since 1919).
Oblast radio broadcasts on one channel, and radio and television broadcasts are relayed from Moscow.
As of Jan. 1, 1971, the oblast had 154 hospital institutions with 15,900 beds (11. 9 beds per thousand inhabitants) and 4,000 doctors (1 doctor per 331 inhabitants). Ivanovo Oblast is the site of a balneological hospital (Ivanovo), sanatoriums, and vacation homes.