Kaluga Oblast

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Kaluga Oblast


part of the RSFSR. Established July 5, 1944. Area, 29, 900 sq km. Population, 988, 000 (1972). The oblast is divided into 23 raions and has 17 cities and 14 urban-type settlements. The city of Kaluga is its center. Kaluga Oblast was awarded the Order of Lenin on July 25, 1967.

Natural features. The topography of Kaluga Oblast is hilly and ridgy, and in places there are flat plains dissected by numerous river valleys, ravines, and hollows. The northwestern and northern parts of the oblast have morainic plains, the southwestern part has outwash plains, and the central and eastern parts are characterized by erosional plains. The maximum elevation is 270–280 m.

The climate is characterized by moderately warm and moist summers and moderately cold winters with a constant snow cover. The average July temperature is 17. 5°-18. 5°C, and the average January temperature is between —9° and — 10. 3°C. The average annual precipitation is 550–650 mm, with the amount decreasing to the southeast. About 70 percent of the precipitation falls from April through October. The growing season lasts from 177 to 184 days.

Most of the oblast’s rivers belong to the Volga River basin, and only the western part of the oblast is traversed by rivers of the Dnieper basin, the Bolva and the Snopot’. The largest rivers are the Oka with its tributaries—the Zhizdra, Ugra, and Protva —and the Bolva, a tributary of the Desna. All the rivers are characterized by meandering channels, slow-moving currents, high-water periods in the spring, and low-water periods in the summer. The lakes are located, for the most part, in the flood-plains of the Oka and Zhizdra rivers.

Soddy medium-podzolized soils predominate. In the north there are medium-loamy soils, and the southwest has sandyloam and sandy soils. In the central and eastern raions of the oblast, light gray forest medium-loamy soils are widespread. There are also soddy and soddy-calcareous soils and typical podzolic soils.

Most of the oblast is located in the subzone of coniferous and broad-leaved forests; the central and eastern part are in a sub-zone of broad-leaved forests. Birch, aspen, pine, and spruce predominate. More than 40 percent of the oblast is covered by forests, with the greatest concentration occurring in the northeast.

Foxes, wolves, hares, and elk are found in the forests. Among the birds there are black grouse, capercaillie, and hazel grouse; waterfowl include ducks and geese. Among animals hunted commercially are white hares, gray hares, squirrels, and moles.

Population. Kaluga Oblast is inhabited mainly by Russians. The average population density is 33 persons per sq km, and the average density of the rural population varies from 8–10 persons per sq km to 25 per sq km and more. The northeastern raions are the most densely populated. The urban population totals 54 percent (as compared with about 20 percent in 1939). The most important cities are Kaluga, Kirov, and Liudinovo. At the beginning of the 1950’s the city of Obninsk, which is a major scientific center, came into being.

Economy. The volume of industrial output increased by a factor of 12. 8 from 1940 to 1971. Industrial production is based on the machine-building, metalworking, wood-products, paper and pulp, consumer, and food-processing industries.

Among the branches of industry, machine building and metalworking hold first place (more than a third of the total industrial output). Machine-building enterprises are located in Kaluga (plants manufacturing transportation machinery, turbines, electrical machinery, electrical engineering equipment), Liudinovo (diesel locomotive manufacturing plant), and Kozel’sk and Dugna (machinery plants). There are iron foundries in Duminichi, Kirov, and Liudinovo. During the years of Soviet power, major enterprises of the wood-products industry were built or redesigned, including the Gigant Match and Furniture Combine in Kaluga, a paper and pulp combine in Kondrovo, the Troitskaia and Polotniano-Zavodskaia paper mills, furniture factories (in Maloiaroslavets and Medyn’), plywood plants, and a match factory (in Balabanovo).

The chemical industry has also been developed. There is a plastic products factory (Sukhinichi), a plant for household chemicals (Tarusa), and a plant that manufactures films and pipes from plastic materials, (Duminichi).

The building-materials industry is represented by brickyards (Kaluga, Maloiaroslavets, Balabanovo, and Sukhinichi), a ceramic structural components factory (Kirov), glass plants (Kaluga, Kozel’sk, and Elenskii), and plants that make reinforced-concrete products (Kaluga and Kurovskoi). There are numerous enterprises in the field of consumer industry. They include a footwear factory in Kaluga with a workshop in Kondrovo; clothing factories in Kaluga, Kirov, Sukhinichi, Maloiaroslavets, Liudinovo, and other locations; a knitted-goods factory in Borovsk; and textile mills in Borovsk, Ermolino, and Belousovo. Among food-processing enterprises are dairy, starch, and vegetable-concentrate plants (Sukhinichi, Detchino, and Mosal’sk) and a synthetic perfume agents combine (Kaluga).

Located in Obninsk is the USSR’s first atomic electric power plant for experimental and industrial purposes, which was put into operation in 1954.

Agriculture specializes in dairy livestock raising and pig breeding as well as growing potatoes, vegetables, and some flax. Arable lands occupy about two-fifths of the oblast’s agricultural land, and pastures and hayfields, approximately one-fifth. In 1971 the entire sown area amounted to 921, 200 hectares (ha). This included 392, 700 ha under grain crops (wheat, barley, rye, oats, and buckwheat), 13, 800 ha under long-fiber flax, 96, 100 ha under potatoes and other vegetables, and 417, 700 ha under feed crops. The principal part of the sown area is situated in the central part of the oblast. In 1972 the oblast’s livestock consisted of 548, 000 cattle, 279, 000 sheep and goats, and 290, 000 pigs.

The oblast has 868 km of railroads, more than one-third of which have been electrified. There is a dense network of roads for motor vehicles and bus transportation between the cities. There is navigation along the Oka River. Kaluga has an airport.


Education, cultural affairs, and public health. During the 1971–72 academic year there were 187, 500 pupils enrolled in 1, 227 general education schools of all types and 18, 600 students in 24 specialized secondary educational institutions. There were also 6, 100 students enrolled in the K. E. Tsiolkovskii Pedagogical Institute and branches of Moscow higher educational institutions. In 1969 some 29, 500 children were being educated at 307 preschool institutions.

As of Jan. 1, 1972, the oblast had 638 public libraries (with 7, 186, 000 books and journals); the A. V. Lunacharskii Dramatic Theater in Kaluga; museums, including the oblast museum of local lore in Kaluga (with its branches—the Museum of the Patriotic War of 1812 in the village of Tarutino and museums of local lore in Obninsk and Kozel’sk); the oblast art museum; the K. E. Tsiolkovskii State Museum of the History of Cosmonautics (with its branch—the Museum Home of K. E. Tsiolkovskii); the Maloiaroslavets Museum of Military History of the Patriotic War of 1812; and the Tarusa Picture Gallery. The oblast also had 955 clubs, 1, 047 stationary motion picture projectors, and extracurricular institutions such as the Pioneer Palace and the young naturalists’ station in Kaluga.

Two oblast newspapers are published—Znamia (since 1917) and Molodoi leninets (since 1920). Oblast radio broadcasts on one radio channel. Radio and television broadcasts are also relayed from Moscow.

As of Jan. 1, 1972, Kaluga Oblast had 112 medical treatment and disease prevention institutions with 11, 500 beds (that is 11. 6 beds per 1,000 inhabitants). There were 2, 300 physicians (one per 436 inhabitants). The Vorob’evo Sanatorium, where diseases of the circulatory organs are treated, is located near Maloiaroslavets.


Kaluzhskaia oblast’ za 50 let: Statisticheskii sbornik. Kaluga, 1967.
TsentraVnyi raion. Moscow, 1962.
Nikolaev, E. V. Po Kaluzhskoi zemle, 2nd ed. Leningrad, 1970.
Po prostoram Kaluzhskogo kraia: Sb. St., 2nd ed. Kaluga, 1964.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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In 2010, GE opened its Energy Technology Centre, a service centre for installed generating equipment, in Kaluga oblast. In September 2011, GE, Inter RAO EES and ODK also established a joint venture to localise the production, sales and servicing of GE's 6FA heavy-duty gas turbines in Rybinsk, Russia.