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(Povolzh’e), the territory adjoining the middle and lower courses of the Volga or lying close to the river and economically associated with it. The Volga Region comprises two distinct areas: the comparatively high right bank with the Volga Upland, and the left bank, called the Trans-Volga Region. In terms of natural features, areas along the upper course of the Volga, extending from its headwaters to the mouth of the Oka, are sometimes included in the Volga Region.
As a result of the economic zoning of the European USSR, the Volga Economic Region was established. It includes Ul’ianovsk, Penza, Kuibyshev, Saratov, Volgograd, and Astrakhan oblasts and the Tatar, Bashkir, and Kalmyk ASSR’s. The first three oblasts and the Tatar ASSR are usually included in the Middle Volga Region, and the remaining oblasts and the Kalmyk ASSR are assigned to the Lower Volga Region. The Bashkir ASSR is sometimes viewed as part of the Urals Economic Region, to which it belonged until 1963.