Tula Oblast

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Tula Oblast


part of the RSFSR. Formed on Sept. 26, 1937. Area, 25,700 sq km. Population, 1,932,000 (1975). The oblast has 23 raions, 21 cities, and 50 urban-type settlements. Its center is the city of Tula. Tula Oblast was awarded the Order of Lenin on Dec. 27,1957.

Naturalfeatures. Tula Oblast is situated in the northern part of the Central Russian Upland. In the west, northwest, and north, the land is strongly dissected, in the central part it is gently rolling, in the east it is a weakly dissected plain, and in the south and southeast it is undulating and crisscrossed by a complex network of deep ravines. The maximum elevation is 293 m (in the south). About one-half of the deposits of the Moscow Coal Basin lie within the oblast; in addition, there are deposits of iron ore and various building materials.

The oblast has a moderately continental climate. The average January temperature is –9.5° to – 10.3°C, and the average July temperature is 19°-20°C. Annual precipitation ranges from 575 mm in the northwest to 470 mm in the southeast, with a maximum in July. The growing season lasts 138–148 days. About 80 percent of the territory belongs to the basin of the Oka River, which flows through the western and northwestern outskirts of the oblast for a distance of 220 km. The main tributaries of the Oka are the Upa, Osetr, and Zusha. Also located in Tula Oblast are the source and parts of the upper course of the Don River and its tributaries, the Nepriadva and the Krasivaia Mecha.

The soils in the oblast are mainly gray podzolized and leached chernozems. Wooded areas constitute about 13 percent of the oblast (if shelterbelts are included, more than 350,000 hectares, or about 14 percent of the territory, are forested). Forests are concentrated in the northern and northwestern parts, and they consist mainly of oak, birch, and aspen. A belt of deciduous forests (oak and ash with an admixture of maple, elm, and others)—called the Tula Abatis—is of great importance for land reclamation in the area bordering on the forest-steppe. Fauna include the wolf, fox, badger, elk, blue (or mountain) hare, European hare, and squirrel.

Population. Tula Oblast is inhabited by Russians (more than 96 percent of the total), Ukrainians, Tatars, and Byelorussians. The average population density (1975) is 75.2 persons per sq km; the highest density (more than 140 persons per sq km) is in the central part of the oblast, where the cities of Tula, Novomoskovsk, and Uzlovaia are located. From 1959 through 1970 the urban population increased by 20 percent, and by 1975 it accounted for 77 percent of the total. The most important cities are Tula, Novomoskovsk, Shchekino, Uzlovaia, Aleksin, and Efremov. More than half of the cities—among them Novomoskovsk, Shchekino, Lipki, and Sovetsk—were established during the years of Soviet power.

Economy. The economic development of Tula Oblast has been favored by the region’s advantageous position on important transportation routes, proximity to Moscow and the Kursk Magnetic Anomaly, and relatively good water resources. During the prewar five-year plans, the oblast’s gross social product increased by a factor of almost 18, and industry’s share of output was 87.2 percent. The older branches of industry, such as machine building and light industry, were modernized, and new branches, such as chemicals and electric power engineering, were established.

Enormous damage was inflicted on the oblast’s economy during the fascist German occupation, which lasted from late October 1941 to January 1942. After the oblast’s liberation, its economy was restored within a brief period. A major fuel and power base of interraion importance was created; it included the 1.5-gigawatt (GW) Cherepets State Regional Electric Power Plant, the 1-GW Shchekino State Regional Electric Power Plant, the Novomoskovsk State Regional Electric Power Plant, and the Aleksin and Novaia Tula (New Tula) district heat and power plants. The ever-increasing development of the metallurgical and chemical industries has led to an increase in the proportion of raw materials shipped into the oblast—for example, iron ore from the Kursk Magnetic Anomaly and natural gas.

Large industrial centers have taken shape in the oblast. Tula became a center of metallurgy. The machine-building industry has become concentrated in Tula, Aleksin, and Uzlovaia, a diversified chemical industry is centered in Novomoskovsk, Shchekino, and Efremov, and the food-processing and vitamin industries are centered in Belev and Bolokhovo. Outstanding among the oblast’s large enterprises are the Tulachermet Scientific and Industrial Association, the Kosaia Gora Metallurgical Plant, the Azot Novomoskovsk and Shchekino production associations, and the Efremov Synthetic Rubber Plant. The oblast is a strong base for the construction and building-materials industries; it ranks second, after Moscow and Moscow Oblast, in the Central Economic Region in the output of reinforced-concrete structural components and parts (1,196,000 cu m), which are manufactured in Tula and Shchekino.

The leading sectors of agriculture are grain farming and sugar-beet production. The oblast has 222 kolkhozes and 207 sovkhozes (1975). The total land area of the oblast is 2,186,000 ha (1974), of which 1,979,000 ha are agricultural land. Of this total, 1,596,000 ha are plowlands, 77,000 ha are hay fields, and 268,000 ha are pas-turelands. Sown areas (1975) are as follows: grains, 941,000 ha; fodder crops, 473,000 ha; potatoes, 83,000 ha; sugar beets, 40,000 ha; and other vegetable crops, 9,000 ha (total, 1,546,000 ha). The oblast has dairy and meat livestock raising. The livestock population consists (1975) of 767,000 head of cattle (including 297,000 cows), 519,000 hogs, 365,000 sheep and goats, and 6,252,000 fowl.

Three zones of agricultural production may be distinguished: the central zone has primarily truck gardening; the northern zone is an area of cultivation of grain and potatoes, together with dairy and meat livestock raising; and the southern zone is known for the cultivation of grains and sugar beets and for livestock raising. Specialization of sovkhozes in truck gardening (on bottom lands) is increasing.

The total length of railroads is 1,128 km, and the most important junctions are Tula and Uzlovaia. The Moscow-Simferopol’ and Moscow-Veronezh highways pass through the oblast. The Oka River is navigable from Aleksin. Pipeline transportation is well developed.


Cultural construction and public health. Before 1917, the area that is now Tula Oblast had 1,950 general-education schools (mainly elementary schools), with an enrollment of 141,500 pupils, and four secondary specialized educational institutions, with about 500 students. There were no higher educational institutions. During the 1975–76 academic year, 1,186 general-education schools of all types had a total enrollment of 290,700 pupils, 56 vocational-technical educational institutions of the State Vocational-Technical Education System of the USSR had 23,100 students, 42 secondary specialized educational institutions had 38,100 students, and polytechnical and pedagogical institutes in Tula and the Novomoskovsk Branch of the Moscow Institute of Chemical Engineering had 22,300 students. In 1974, 797 preschool institutions were providing training for 83,200 children.

As of Jan. 1, 1975, the oblast had 965 public libraries, with 13,235 copies of books and journals. The oblast’s cultural institutions include the oblast museum of local lore (with branches in Belev, Suvorov, Iasnogorsk, and Novomoskovsk, and the Kuli-kovo Pole Museum in Kurkino Raion), the oblast art museum and the Arms Museum in Tula, the Moscow Coal Basin Museum in Donskoi, a museum of local lore in Bogoroditsk, the Iasnaia Poliana Museum-Estate of L. N. Tolstoy, and the V. D. Polenov Museum-Estate in the village of Polenovo, where the artist spent the last years of his life. The oblast has four theaters (oblast drama and puppet theaters and a young people’s theater in Tula; a drama theater in Novomoskovsk), 1,176 clubs, 1,214 motion-picture projection units, and 57 extracurricular institutions.

The oblast newspapers are Kommunar (since 1917) and Molodoi Kommunar (since 1925). Broadcasts are relayed from the All-Union Radio (18V2 hours a day) and the Central Television Studio (22V2 hours a day). Oblast radio broadcasts for 1½ hours a day, and oblast television, for 0.8 hour a day.

By Jan. 1, 1975, the oblast had 157 hospital institutions, with 24,800 beds (12.8 beds per 1,000 inhabitants), and 4,900 physicians (one physician for every 394 inhabitants).. The Krainka balneological and pelotherapeutic health resort, 16 sanatoriums, and six houses of rest are also located in the oblast.

The oblast has three tourist centers. Popular sites for tourism, rest, and recreation include the Oka River valley, Polenovo, Vel-egozh, Aleksin, Iasnaia Poliana, and Kulikovo Pole.


Mel’shiian, V. V. Tul’skaia oblast’. Tula, 1959.
Rossiiskaia Federatsiia: Tsentral’naia Rossiia. Moscow, 1970.
Tsentral’nyi ekonomicheskii raion. Moscow, 1973. (Razvitie i razme-shchenie proizvoditel’nykh sil SSSR.)
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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