Yaroslavl Oblast

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Yaroslavl Oblast


an oblast in the RSFSR. Formed on Mar. 11, 1936. Area, 36,400 sq km. Population, 1,414,000 (Jan. 1, 1978). The oblast has 17 raions, ten cities, and 22 urban-type settlements. The administrative center is the city of Yaroslavl. Yaroslavl Oblast was awarded the Order of Lenin on June 1, 1967.

Natural features. Most of the territory of Yaroslavl Oblast forms a rolling plain. Stretching from the southwestern part of the oblast to the northeast is a series of areas of higher elevation—the Uglich, Danilov, and Borisoglebskii uplands; Tarkhov Hill, which has the highest elevation in the oblast (294 m), is located in the Borisoglebskii Upland. The northern slopes of the Klin-Dmitrov Ridge lie in the southern part of the oblast. The Mologa-Sheksna Lowland is located in the northwest, the Yaroslavl Kostroma and Rostov lowlands in the east, and the Volga-Nerl’ Lowland in the south.

The oblast has a moderate continental climate. The average January temperature is − 10.5°C, and the average July temperature 17.5°C. Annual precipitation totals 500–600 mm, with the heaviest rainfall in July and August. The growing season lasts 155 to 170 days. The principal river is the Volga, which flows through the oblast for 340 km from the northwest to the southeast. The water level in the Volga and some of its tributaries is raised by backwater from the Rybinsk, Uglich, and Gorky hydroelectric power plants. The largest lakes are Nero and Pleshcheevo.

Sod podzolic soils predominate, but bog and alluvial meadow soils also occur. The northern part of the oblast belongs to the subzone of coniferous taiga, and the southern part, to the subzone of mixed forests. A total of 36 percent of the oblast is forested; the heaviest forestation is found in the eastern raions. Squirrels and blue hares are common in the forests, and bears, wolves, foxes, lynxes, martens, and weasels are frequently found; in addition, there are many elks and wild boars. Waterfowl and marsh-and-shore birds are numerous. The rivers and lakes contain approximately 40 species of fishes. Among those of the greatest commercial significance are the European bream, pike perch, pike, the Eureasian perch Perca fluviatilis, the lacustrine smelt, and the European cisco (Pereslavl herring), which is found only in Lake Pleshchevo.

Population. According to the 1970 census, Russians constitute approximately 98 percent of the population. As of Jan. 1, 1977, the average population density was 38.8 persons per square km; the most densely populated areas were those along the Volga and along the highway and railroad from Yaroslavl to Moscow. The percentage of the population that is urban rose from 58 in 1959 to 78 in 1977. The cities of the oblast are Yaroslavl, Rybinsk, Rostov, Uglich, Pereslavl’-Zalesskii, Tutaev, Danilov, Gavrilov-Iam, Liubim, and Poshekhon’e-Volodarsk.

Economy. Industry in Yaroslavl Oblast is highly developed and diversified, and agriculture is intensive. Industrial output in 1977 was more than 128 times greater than in 1913. Major structural changes have accompanied this growth, and as a result, machine building and the chemical industry have become the leading industries.

Since the oblast is distant from metallurgical suppliers but has skilled workers, machine-building enterprises have developed that manufacture complex products requiring moderate amounts of metal. Such products include powerful diesel motors (for tractors and large trucks, including dump trucks), electric motors, electric oscillators, printing equipment, food-processing equipment, equipment for the production of polymers, woodworking machines, automation devices and equipment (including clocks), reading machinery, refrigeration units, cable, dredges, fishing vessels, and fuel and gas purifying equipment. The enterprises are concentrated in Yaroslavl, Rybinsk, and Uglich, but a few plants are also located in Gavrilov-Iam, Danilov, Rostov, Tutaev, Nekrasovskoe, and Semibratovo.

The chemical industry is represented by plants for the production of tires and synthetic rubber and by the enterprises of the Lakokraska Association in Yaroslavl, which manufacture mainly paints for the motor vehicle industry. In addition, Yaroslavl has plants for the production of carbon black and of industrial rubber and asbestos goods. Magnetic tape and photographic paper are produced in Pereslavl’-Zalesskii, and plastic articles are manufactured in Rybinsk. The Novoiaroslavskoe Refinery has begun producing sulfuric acid and liquified gases. A refinery in the urban-type settlement of Konstantinovskii produces special-purpose oils and additives.

The largest enterprises in the oblast for the production of consumer goods are the Krasnyi Perekop Yaroslavl Industrial Fabrics Combine in the city of Yaroslavl, the industrial fabrics combine in Yaroslavl, and the Krasnoe Ekho Textile Factory in Pereslavl’-Zalesskii. Linens are produced in Gavrilov-Iam, Rostov, Tutaev, and the urban-type settlement of Krasnye Tkachi, cottons are woven in Yaroslavl (the Krasnyi Pereval Factory), and woolens are produced in the urban-type settlement of Volga. There are also footwear and garment factories, as well as plants for the production of felted fabric and of sheepskin, fur, and leather goods. The Rostovskaia Finift’ Factory was established by drawing on the resources of former workshops.

The food-processing industry is well developed. Yaroslavl Oblast has more than 20 cheese plants and many butter factories, milk plants, and meat-packing plants. In addition, there is a starch and molasses combine in the urban-type settlement of Krasnyi Profintern, flour mills and confectionery factories in Yaroslavl and Rybinsk, and a canned goods factory in Porech’e-Rybnoe. Enterprises of the Rostovkofetsikorprodukt Association are located in Rostov.

Other leading sectors of the economy are the building-materials industry (especially in Yaroslavl), the production of eyeglass lenses (Rybinsk), and the production of porcelain goods (Pesochnoe). The wood-products industry is represented by the Parizhskaia Kommuna Wood-products Combine and the Stroidetal’ Combine in Yaroslavl, the Maiak Match Factory in Rybinsk, and furniture factories in Yaroslavl and Rybinsk.

The oblast has three fossil-fuel-fired steam power plants. In addition, the lar State Regional Electric Power Plant and the Rybinsk and Uglich hydroelectric power plants are located in the oblast. All of these plants are part of the power grid of the Central Economic Region.

Agriculture is directed toward the cultivation of vegetables (including potatoes) and toward meat and dairy farming. Flax, a traditional crop in Yaroslavl Oblast, is also widely cultivated. There were 1,220,000 hectares (ha) of farmland in 1976, or one-third of the total area; plowland accounted for 821,000 ha, and hayfields and pastureland for 396,000 ha. The central and southern raions are the most important crop-farming areas.

Land reclamation is being carried out on a broad scale. As of 1977, the oblast had 97,500 ha of drained land and 9,900 ha of irrigated land. In the same year, there were 224 kolkhozes (six of which were fish-farming kolkhozes) and 119 sovkhozes. Approximately half of the total cropland—that is, 359,000 out of 794,000 ha, as of 1977—was planted to peas and grain crops, especially winter rye, wheat, barley, and oats. Approximately 57,000 ha were planted to potatoes, 43,000 to fiber flax, 328,000 to feed crops, and 6,400 to vegetables other than those already mentioned. Commercial vegetable farming has long been practiced in the area, particularly in the Rostov Depression around Lake Nero; the chief crops have included onions, green peas, cucumbers, parsley, and chicory.

As of Jan. 1, 1978, there were 567,000 head of cattle in the oblast (including 243,000 cows), 100,000 swine, and 236,000 sheep and goats. The Romanovo sheep, Breitovo hog, and Yaroslavl cow were developed in the oblast. Measures are being taken to industrialize animal husbandry. Commercial fishing, primarily in the Rybinsk Reservoir, is of some importance.

As of 1976, there were 707 km of railroads; the trunk line from Moscow through Yaroslavl to Danilov is electrified. The navigation route on the Volga and through the Rybinsk Reservoir is 251 km long. Local boats regularly navigate the Rybinsk Reservoir and the lower courses of the minor rivers that empty into it and into the Volga. The principal ports are Yaroslavl and Rybinsk. As of 1976, the oblast had 3,553 km of paved roads.

The Siianie Severa and Saratov Yaroslavl-Cherepovets gas pipelines cross the oblast, as do various oil pipelines, including the Al’met’evsk-Yaroslavl-Kirishi line.


Education, cultural affairs, and public health. In 1914, the territory that is now Yaroslavl Oblast had 1,489 schools, with a total enrollment of more than 98,500 students; four specialized secondary educational institutions, with a total of 314 students; and one higher educational institution (the Yaroslavl Lycée), with 774 students.

By contrast, in the 1977–78 academic year, there were 197,300 students enrolled in 838 general-education schools of all types, 20,900 students in 45 vocational-technical educational institutions, and more than 28,000 students in 30 specialized secondary educational institutions. In addition, 21,500 students were enrolled in the oblast’s five higher educational institutions—the University of Yaroslavl, the Yaroslavl polytechnic, pedagogical, and medical institutes, and the Rybinsk Aviation Technology Institute—and in the local branches of the All-Union Correspondence Institute for Railroad Transport Engineering, the All-Union Correspondence Finance and Economics Institute, and the Timiriazev Moscow Agricultural Academy. In 1977 the oblast had 794 preschool institutions, which served a total of 79,100 children. As of Jan. 1, 1977, there were 708 public libraries, with 11,362,000 books and journals.

Museums include the Yaroslavl Historical-Architectural Museum-preserve (the Spaso Preobrazhenskii Monastery), the N. A. Nekrasov Estate-museum in the village of Karabikha (a branch of the Yaroslavl Museum-preserve), the Yaroslavl Art Museum, the Rostov-Iaroslavskii Museum and Preserve of Architecture and Art in Rostov, the Borisoglebskii Museum of Local Lore (a branch of the Rostov-Iaroslavskii Museum and Preserve), the Rybinsk History and Art Museum, the Uglich History and Art Museum, the Academician N. A. Morozov Memorial House-museum in the settlement of Borok, and the Pereslavl’-Zalesskii History and Art Museum and its branches, the Botik Historical Estate and the village of Gorki Pereslavskie.

The oblast has four theaters, the F. G. Volkov Yaroslavl Drama Theater, the Yaroslavl Puppet Theater, the Rybinsk Drama Theater, and the Rybinsk Puppet Theater. There are 790 clubs, 1,082 motion-picture projection units, and 28 extracurricular institutions.

The two oblast newspapers are Severnyi rabochii (since 1908) and Iunost’ (since 1920). Two programs from Central Television are broadcast, for a total of 27.9 hours a day; in addition, 0.6 hour of local programming is broadcast each day. Program 1 of All-Union Radio and the program Maiak provide 19.25 and 19 hours of radio programming a day, respectively, and oblast broadcasts provide another 1.5 hours.

As of Jan. 1, 1977, there were 123 hospitals, with 19,000 beds—that is, 13.5 beds per thousand inhabitants. The oblast had 5,200 physicians, or one for every 270 inhabitants. There were nine sanatoriums and eight houses of rest and boarding hotels.

Eight all-Union and international tour itineraries, including the Golden Ring, feature stops in Yaroslavl Oblast. In 1976, the oblast had four tourist centers, five tourist clubs, and six excursion bureaus; approximately 2 million tourists were served.


Priroda i khoziaistvo Iaroslavskoi oblasli, parts 1–2. Yaroslavl, 1959.
Voskoboinikova, S. M., V. K. Degterevskii, and L. F. Serebrennikov. Geografiia laroslavloi oblasti, 2nd ed. Yaroslavl, 1971.
Rossiiskaia Federatsiia: Tsentral’naia Rossiia. Moscow, 1970. (Sovetskii Soiuz series.)
laroslavskaia oblast’ za 60 let: Tsifry ifakty o razvitii ekonomiki, kul-’tury i nauki. Yaroslavl, 1977.
Atlas laroslavlskoi oblasti. Moscow, 1964.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.