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Trans-Baikal Territory

The eastern facade of the Church of the Virgin Uspeniya PresvyatoyTrans-Baikal territoryA fragment of the apse windows of the Church of the AssumptionTrans-Baikal territory

The Subject of the Russian Federation:
Trans-Baikal Territory

Federal District: The Siberian Federal District

Area: 431 892 km2
Population: 1 100 000 persons.

Emblem of Trans Baikal territory
Emblem of Trans Baikal territory

Flag of  Trans Baikal territory
Flag of Trans Baikal territory


Тhe Federal Subject of the Russian Federation – The Zabaikalskii Krai

Facts and Statistics

Zabaikalskii Krai - Federal Subject of the Russian Federation.

Administrative Centre - the City of Chita.

Date of Establishment - March 1, 2008 (through the merger of Chita Oblast and Agin-Buryat Autonomous District) Member of the Siberian Federal Okrug.

Population - 1 million 100 thousand (2012). Population Density - 2.56 pers. / Km ² (2012)(the proportion of urban population - 63.7% (2012).

Currently Zabaikalskii Krai is divided into 31 districts, 10 towns and 45 villages.


Excavations uncovered during the archaeological investigations of the Zabaikalskii Krai, indicate that the first people probably appeared in these places around 100-40 thousand years ago. In the valleys of the rivers Onon and Ilya, and near Lake Balzino, more than 25 traces of Stone Age inhabitants have been discovered. From around 1100-300 BC until the first century of the current era, a culture based around stone burial sites was formed and lasted about 800 years old in the steppes of the Zabaikalskii Krai and Mongolia. The exact name of the people who built these burial mounds is unknown but the Russian’s know them as name "tilers". The area of settlement of the “tilers” was extremely wide, stretching from the northern shores of Lake Baikal, to the foothills of the Tien Shan in the south and from the Greater Khingan Ranges in the east to the foothills of the Altai Mountains in the west. At the end of the third century BC, Huns populated the Zabaikalskii Krai. The ethnic-group name 'Huns " is a Russified pronunciation of the word “Xiongnu” – the real name of this ethnic people. The Hunnic period is crucial to the history of the Zabaikalskii Krai (it lasted from 209 BC to the end of the first century) as it decided the fate and the specific development of the ancient and medieval Mongol and Turkic tribes to come. In the XIII century, the Zabaikalskii Krai became a part of the empire of Genghis Khan. Prior to its entry into the Russian state, the region was in control of Mongol and Manchu khans. From the XVI to the first half of the XVII century a large-scale migration of Horintsy Buryat peoples from Southern Mongolia took place. They moved primarily to the areas of Priargunya and Nerchinsk Aga. Since the late 1620s, Russians began to appear in the region. They began a system of oppressing the Buryat people and seizing their land. In 1702 the Buryats sent a delegation to Moscow led by Badanom Turakinym to petition the Russian Tsar Peter I. After meeting with the delegation, Peter I issued a decree on March 22, 1703 "to reduce the ranks of my servicemen and their people on the other side of the Selenga ... so that these native peoples are not completely bankrupted by taxes and insults." On October 21, 1727 the efforts of Count Savva Vladislavich-Raguzinsky succeeded in creating the Burinsky Traktat - a document that took its name from a river Bura near Kyakhta. According to the document, and by imperial decree, Russia, China and Mongolia would split the territory between them. He was aided by a group of Buryats under the leadership of Shodo Boltirikovym and the lands which the Buryats had previously occupied were thus ceded to Russia. A boundary line of demarcation was then established, effectively quelling the movements of people and finally entrenching the Buryats as citizens of Russia. On March 17, 1906 the Zabaikalskii Krai became part of the Irkutsk Governorship.

From 1920-1922 the region was part of the short-lived Far-Eastern Republic. Chita, in those years, was the capital of a new public education system, oriented towards turning the people to Soviet Russian ideals. After the collapse of the Far-Eastern Republic, the Zabaikalskii Krai region became part of the RSFSR. On November 10, 1922 the province was absorbed into the Far-Eastern Krai, and in 1926 was split into two separate districts, Chita and Sretensky, that were, up until 1930, still part of the Far Eastern Krai. In the years 1930-1937 the territory became a part of the East Siberian Krai. During the Great Patriotic War, the Zabaikalskii Krai Military District was transformed into the “Zabaikalskii Krai Front”. On October 9, 1945 “the Zabaikalskii Krai Front” was disbanded and the following, post-war years were extremely difficult for the region. In 1949 the Chita Geological Survey was founded. It performed a large-scale exploration thereby creating a solid foundation for the development of the mining industry. In the years from 1954-1957, 749,000 hectares of new land were appropriated. In 1957 there were 2 million 600 thousand heads of sheep and a new breed of fine-wooled “Transbaikalian” sheep was first bred. In 1959, seven years of compulsory education was introduced to the region and teaching staff from the central regions of the country were sent to help the network of cultural and educational institutions. In 1975, the development of the Baikal-Amur mainline came to the Chita region and in 1984 at Kuanda station a "golden" link was laid, symbolizing the completion of construction. In 1994 the electrification of the mainline of the Trans-Baikal Railway was completed. On March 1, 2008, through the merger of the Chita Oblast with the Agin-Buryat Autonomous Region, the Zabaikalskii Krai was established.

Geographical location, natural resources, climate

Located in the Far East of Russian, the region borders the Amur and Irkutsk regions and the republics of Buryatia and Yakutia. It also has borders with China and Mongolia. It has a length of about 1,000 kilometres from north to south and 800-1500km from west to east. The relief of the Zabaikalskii Krai consists of alternating ridges, basins and steppes. Much of the Zabaikalskii Krai is situated in the taiga zone with predominance of Daurian larch and Siberian pine. In the southern parts the region has many larch, birch and pine forests. The fauna of the region is very diverse. In addition to the typical steppe rodents, ungulates live in the forests, along with other fur-bearing animals. The region is also home to many large predators. In addition to ubiquitous wolves, wolverines and bears, tigers are found in the region, with their main habitat lying in the east. The region is in a moderate climatic belt with a sharply continental climate. The average January temperature is -28.3 ° C and the average July temperature is +18.8 ° C. Winter is long, cold and snowy. Summer is short and warm (sometimes hot) and dry in the first half and humid in the second. The Zabaikalskii Krai belongs to the rain cycles between the Arctic and Pacific oceans. The main rivers are the Shilka and Argun (the origins of the Amur River), and Khilok Chikoy (tributaries of the Selenga) Olekma and Vitim (tributaries of the Lena River). Chita is located next to the Ivano-Arahleyskaya system of lakes which consists of Lakes Ivan-Ozero, Preobrazhenka, Tasey, the largest - Lake Arahley, and the Khilok River basin. Minerals found in the region include non-ferrous and precious metals, iron ore, coal and flourite. The total area of forest is more than 34.0 thousand hectares.


Major industries: Mining (gold, silver, copper, molybdenum, lead, tungsten and zinc. Mining companies: “Novo-Shirokinsky rudnik", "Rudnik Aprelkovo", "Darasunsky rudnik" and "Ildikanzoloto" Metallurgical companies: "Zhireken Ferromolybdenum Plant " Coal companies: "PPGHO" and "Razrez Tugnuisky". Timber processing and machine building companeies: “Mashzavod " and “Zavod podemno-transportnovo oborudovaniya”.


The Zabaikalskii Krai is the largest agricultural region east of Lake Baikal and specialises in the breeding of fine-wooled sheep. There have also been developments in the export of meat and dairy prouducealong with cattle, pigs and poultry. The main areas of crop cultivation are concentrated in the central, southern and south-eastern regions. In the mountainous taiga and northern regions hunting industries thrive and develop.

Things to do

• State Nature Reserve "Sohondinsky".

• State Nature Reserve " Daurskii".

• National Park "Alkhanai".

• “Baysanidy Lamsky” Township.

• Konduysky Township.

• Aga datsan in the Village of Aginskoe.

• Tsugolsky datsan in the Hamlet of Tsugol.

• The A.K.Kuznetsova Museum of Local Lore (The City of Chita).

• The Akinskii National Museum of G.Tsybikova in the Village of Aginskoe.

• Museum “Tserkov dekarbristov” (" The Church of the Decembrists") (The City of Chita).

• Museum of the Decembrists (The City if Petrovsk-Zabaikalskii).

• Peter's Decembrist Necropolis (The City of Petrovsk-Transbaikalskii).

Famous Residents

• Kim Bazarsadaev (1937-2002) - opera singer, People's Artist of USSR (1981).

• Mikhail Kuznetsov (1913-1986) - film and theatre actor, People's Artist of USSR (1971).

• Lhasaran Linhovoin (1924-1980) - opera singer, People's Artist of USSR (1959).

• George Asatiani (1914-1977) - documentary filmmaker, People's Artist of USSR (1967).

• Michael Vishnyakov (1945-2008) - Soviet and Russian poetry and prose writer.

• Yuri Solomin (1935) - Soviet and Russian film and theatre actor.

• Vitaly Solomin (1941-2002) - Soviet and Russian film and theatre actor.

• Anatoly Sobchak (1937-2000) - Russian politician since perestroika, the first mayor of St. Petersburg.

• Vladimir Titov (1947) - Russian cosmonaut, Hero of the Soviet Union.

• Alexander Mikhailov (1944) - Soviet and Russian film and theatre actor. People's Artist of the Russian Federation.

• Aldar Tsydenzhapov (1991-2010) - Pacific Fleet Sailor. Hero of the Russian Federation (16.11.2010, awarded posthumously).