Severnyi Kazakhstan Oblast

Severnyi Kazakhstan Oblast


an oblast in the Kazakh SSR, formed on July 29, 1936. Area, 44,300 sq km. Population, 556,000 (1975). The oblast is divided into 12 raions and has four cities and one urban-type settlement. Petropavlovsk is the administrative center. The oblast has been awarded the Order of Lenin (Oct. 28, 1966).

Natural features. Severnyi Kazakhstan Oblast is located in the northern part of the Kazakh SSR. It occupies the southern edge of the Western Siberian Lowland, and, in the south, part of the Kazakh Melkosopochnik. The topography of the oblast includes numerous lake hollows, steppe depressions (“steppe saucers”), and low ridges and spurs alternating with basins. Elevations vary from 115–120 m in the northeast to 200 m in the south and southeast. The climate is sharply continental. Winters are cold and last for more than five months, but there is little snow; summers are comparatively hot, with clear and frequently dry weather. The average January temperature is between – 18.5° and – 19.5°C, while the July average is between 18.8° and 19.5°C. The frost-free period ranges from 109 to 129 days a year. Precipitation averages 300–340 mm a year, three-fourths of which falls during the warm seasons. The rivers belong to the Ob’ River basin. The middle course of the Ishim River (400 km) and the Ishim’s tributary the Imanburluk flow within the oblast. The oblast has more than 1,000 lakes, located mostly in the northwest. Many of them dry up periodically. Freshwater lakes predominate; the largest lakes are the Shagly-teniz, Severnyi Kak, Iuzhnyi Kak, Akush, Tarankol’, Mengisor, and Stanovoe.

The oblast is located in the forest-steppe and steppe zones. The forest steppe includes part of the southern forest steppe, as well as steppe with forest masses. The southern forest steppe occupies the northern part of the oblast and represents a combination of birch and European aspen-birch forests on gray forest soils and solods with forb-mixed grass meadow steppes on leached chernozems and meadow chernozems. There are sedge bogs, sometimes with willow coppices. Steppe with forest masses occupies most of the oblast. European aspen-birch coppices form thin forest masses on solods. There is a predominance of forb-stipa grass steppes on ordinary chernozems, which are for the most part tilled. Approximately 8 percent of the oblast’s territory is covered by forests, primarily birch. Wildlife includes the elk, the roe deer Capreolus capreoluspygargus, the blue hare, the European hare, shrews, and hedgehogs, as well as such predators as the wolf, Old World red fox, and corsac fox. Muskrats have been acclimatized. Fishes include the pike, crucian carp, Eurasian perch, ruff, and ide.

Population. Severnyi Kazakhstan Oblast is populated by Kazakhs (15 percent, according to the 1970 census), Russians (63 percent), Ukrainians (8 percent), Germans (approximately 7 percent). Tatars, and Byelorussians. The average population density is 12.5 persons per sq km. As of 1975, the urban population constituted 42 percent of the total. Cities include Petropavlovsk, Bulaevo, Mamliutka, and Sergeevka.

Economy. There is a predominance of processing industries, primarily machine building, food processing, and light industry, with more than 100 enterprises, located for the most part in Petropavlovsk. As compared with 1940, the gross industrial output in 1974 had increased by a factor of 36. Machine-building plants, including those named in honor of S. M. Kirov and V. V. Kuibyshev and those manufacturing actuating mechanisms and small-displacement engines, produce tape recorders, mineral-fertilizer spreaders, tractor couplings, and internal-combustion engines. Machine-repair plants are located in Mamliutka and Sokolovka. The food-processing industry is represented by a meat-packing plant, a distillery producing vodka and liqueurs, milk plants, and numerous flour mills and creameries. The meat-packing plant, in Petropavlovsk, is one of the largest in the USSR. A large brewery is currently under construction. Light industry is represented by the Komsomolka Clothing Factory and the Dinamo Sporting Goods Factory, as well as by a glue plant and a tannery in Smirnovo. The production of building materials is developed, and there are brickyards, plants producing reinforced-concrete structural members, and a prefabricated-housing plant.

The principal branches of agriculture are grain cultivation and livestock raising for meat and dairy products. During the period 1954–60, the area used for farming increased by more than 1.3 million hectares (ha). As of 1974, there were 3.6 million ha of farmland, including 2.5 million ha of arable land, more than 1 million ha of pastureland, and 29,000 ha of hayfields. The oblast has (1974) 114 sovkhozes (including 77 devoted to growing grains) and 12 kolkhozes. As of 1974, the sown area totaled 2.4 million ha, of which 73 percent were under grain crops, 25 percent under feed crops (grasses and corn for silage), 1 percent under potatoes and cucurbits, and 0.4 percent under industrial crops (flax for oil). Spring wheat is cultivated (up to 48 percent of all crops sown), as well as barley, oats, buckwheat, and millet.

As of Jan. 1, 1975, there were 599,000 head of cattle, basically of the red, steppe breed (including 214,000 cows), 390,000 swine, 348,000 sheep and goats, and 46,000 horses. The two major poultry farms are the Severnaia and the Bishkul’.

Water supply is ensured by the large Bulaevo and Ishim pipeline systems, each of which has a length of more than 1,700 km. A still larger pipeline system—the Presnovka—is under construction.

Severnyi Kazakhstan Oblast is intersected by the Trans-Siberian Railroad, from which the Petropavlovsk-Chu and Kurgan-Peski lines and the narrow-gauge Bulaevo-Molo-dogvardeisk line branch off. There are 470 km of railroads and 5,000 km of automobile roads, of which 1,645 km are hard-surfaced. Petropavlovsk is linked by air with Moscow, Alma-Ata, and many cities of Kazakhstan, Siberia, and the Urals, as well as with health resorts of the Caucasus and raion administrative centers of Severnyi Kazakhstan Oblast. River traffic on the Ishim is insignificant.


Educational, scientific, and cultural institutions; public health. Prior to 1917, the area that is now Severnyi Kazakhstan Oblast had 117 general-education schools, with approximately 7,500 pupils; there were no specialized schools or institutions of higher learning. During the 1974–75 academic year, there were 527 general-education schools of all types (134,000 pupils), 25 vocational and technical schools (approximately 11,000 students), and ten specialized secondary schools (11,900 students). In addition, there were 3,900 students at the pedagogical institute in Petropavlovsk. In 1975 there were 344 preschool institutions, with approximately 28,000 children. The major scientific institution in the oblast is the Northern Scientific Research Institute of Livestock Breeding.

As of Jan. 1, 1975, there were 485 public libraries (4,642,000 books and periodicals), an oblast museum of local lore, a drama theater, and a philharmonic society, all in Petropavlovsk. In addition, there were 404 clubs, 558 motion-picture projection units, and a station in Petropavlovsk for Young Naturalists.

Oblast newspapers include Lenin tuy (Leninist Banner, since 1920, in Kazakh) and Leninskoe znamia (since 1918). The oblast has 2 hours a day of its own television broadcasts and transmits programs from the Central Television Studio (11 hours) and republic television (2 hours). There are 2 hours a day of oblast radio programs, 8 hours of programs from Ail-Union Radio, and 10 hours of programs from republic radio.

As of Jan. 1, 1975, Severnyi Kazakhstan Oblast had 81 hospital-type institutions, with 6,700 beds (12 beds per 1,000 inhabitants). Practicing physicians numbered 1,200 (one physician per 463 inhabitants).


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Kazakhstan. (In the series Sovetskii Soiuz.) Moscow, 1970.
Gladysheva, E. N. Severo-Kazakhstanskaiaoblast’. Alma-Ata, 1959.
Prirodnoe raionirovanie Severnogo Kazakhstana. Moscow-Leningrad, 1960.
Atlas Severnogo Kazakhstana. Moscow, 1970.
Narodnoe khoziaistvo Kazakhstana v 1971 g: Statislich. sbornik. Alma-Ata, 1972.