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Smolensk Region

Odygitriya ChurchOdygitriya ChurchSmolenskaya regionKamens Ural  Local Lore Museum

The Subject of the Russian Federation:
Smolensk Region

Federal District: The Central Federal District

Area: 49 779 km2
Population: 965 986 persons.

Emblem of Smolensk region
Emblem of Smolensk region

Flag of Smolensk region
Flag of Smolensk region


Smolensk Oblast is the subject of the Russian Federation.

The administrative center is Smolensk.

The population is 966 000 people (2010).

There are 350 municipalities in the Oblast, among which 2 urban districts, 25 municipal districts, 25 urban settlements, 298 rural settlements.

It borders Moscow, Kaluga, Bryansk, Pskov and Tver Oblasts of Russia, as well as Mogilev and Vitebsk Oblasts of Belarus. Smolensk governorate was formed in 1708.


Smolensk emerged on territory that was owned by the Kriviches; the first mention occurred in Ustyugh (Arhangelogorod) compiled chronicle dated 863, when Askold and Dir during the campaign from Novgorod to Tsarigrad skirted the town, because it was heavily fortified and crowded. In 882, the city was occupied and attached to the Kievan Rus by Knyazh Oleg, submitted it to the inheritance of Knyazh Igor, because of whom childhood the power in the city was exercised by governors and brigade, and the overall management was carried out in Kiev.

In XII century independent Grand Duchy of Smolensk went through the period ofits prosperity, taking up most of the territory ofSmolensk Oblast.

In the middle of XIII century duchy began to lose their lands. Since 1404 it has been a part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. In 1514, Smolensk and later other Smolensk's lands, were merged in Moscow. After the Time of Troubles, according Deulinsk truce in 1618, Smolensk's lands were merged in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. In the course of the Smolensk War (1632—1634) Russia was unable to regain Smolensk's lands.

Smolensk's land completely was merged in Russia as a result of Russian-Polish war in 1654.

On December 30-31, 1918 the Belarusian Provisional Revolutionary Workers 'and Peasants' Government, headed by Zhilunovich D.F. was created in Smolensk. On January 1, 1919 the Provisional Revolutionary Government published the manifesto proclaiming the formation of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Belarus. On January 5, 1919 the government moved into Minsk, occupied by forces of the Red Army, which became the capital of the republic, but Smolensk Oblast was not included in its membership and remained in the RSFSR.

By the decision of the CEC of the USSR dated October 1, 1929 Western Oblast, centered at Smolensk, which included the territory of Smolensk, Bryansk and Kaluga governorates, part of territory ofTver and Moscow governorates and Velikoluksk district of Leningrad Oblast, was founded.

Accorging to the Decree of the CEC of the USSR on September 27, 1937 Western Oblast was abolished. Smolensk, Orel and Kursk Oblasts were formed from the West and Kursk Oblasts. Smolensk Oblast centered at Smolensk has again become an independent administrative territorial unit within the RSFSR.

Primarily the Oblast has consisted of 49 districts, and then another 5 districts were added. In 1944, 13 districts have been transferred to newly formed Kaluga Oblast and 3 districts to Velikoluksk Oblast from Smolensk Oblast, and it acquired modern borders.

Geographical location, natural resources, climate

Smolensk Oblast is situated in the central part of the East European Platform, in the western edge of European Russia, on the border with Belarus. The most part is placed in the Smolensk-Moscow Hill, the western part of the Oblast is placed in East European Plain. The Oblast stretches for 255 km from north to south and 285 km from west to east. In general, the surface is billowy, with hilly areas and relatively deeply incised river valleys.

Most of the territory is located within Smolensk, Dukhovschin and Vyazemsk hills. The highest elevation of the Oblast is 321m near Mariino village of Viazemsk disctrict. In the north-west there are boulder trains, areas of Vitebsk and Valdai hills. In the east there is a part of Moscow Hill.

There are such lowlands as Vazuzskaya, Verhnedneprovskaya, Berezinskaya; Pridneprovskaya lowland with an actual elevation from 175 to 180 m is situated in the southernmost of the Oblast, and Baltic lowland is situated in the north-western part, where there is the lowest elevation 141 m along the bank of Zapadnaya Dvina on the border with Belarus.

The climate is moderately continental. The average temperature in January is -9 ° C, in July +17 ° C. In the most part of the Oblast the differences in temperature are small. There is high temperature (about 1°) only in south districts. The average annual number of precipitation days is from 170 to 190.

The rainfall distribution throughout the year is also unequal - the largest number of precipitation falls during the summer. For the year the winds of westerly, south-westerly and southerly directions are generally dominated. Also, Smolensk Oblast is characterized by high clouds (the largest number of clear days in the springs up to 10%).


In the industrial output a jewelry industry (JSC PD "Crystal"), an electric power industry (APS “Smolenskenergo”), engineering («Auto-aggregate plant», «Car Repair Plant»), a food industry and chemistry («Dorogobuzh») are highlighted.


The leading industry of agriculture is dual purpose cattle breeding.

A crop growing of the Oblast specializes in feeding and grain crops, a growing of flax, potatoes and vegetables


-        National park «Smolenskoe Poozerie»

-        Childish ecological camp "Forest republic"

-        Mineral spring "Holy Well"

-        Fort of ancient Verzhavsk

-        Kremlin of Vyazemsk

-        Fortress wall of Smolensk

-        Burial mound of Gnezdovo

-        Historical-Artistic Reserve «Talashkino»

-         Katyn forest

-        Krasniy Bor

-        Smolensk State Museum-Reserve

-        United memorial museum of Gagarin

-        State Historical and Cultural and Natural Museum-Reserve of Griboedov "Khmelita".

Famous people, born in the Oblast

  • Yuri Gagarin is Soviet cosmonaut, Hero of the Soviet Union, the first man tooking a flight into space
  • Ivan Bobylev (b. 1925) is actor, stage and film director, National Artist of the USSR (1990)
  • Pavel Nakhimov is famous Russian admiral
  • Lyudmila Kasatkina (b.1925) is Soviet and Russian stage and screen actress, National Artist of the USSR (1975).
  • Marina Ladynina (1908—2003) is stage and screen actress, National Artist of the USSR (1950), winner of five State Prizes of the USSR.
  • Valery Nelsky (1906—1990) is actor, National Artist of the USSR (1975)
  • Yury Nikulin (1921—1997) is circus performer, movie actor, National Artist of the USSR (1973)
  • Anatoly Papanov (1922—1987) is stage and screen actor, National Artist of the USSR (1973)
  • Nikolai Plotnikov (1897—1979) is stage and screen actor, National Artist of the USSR (1966).
  • Ilya Frez (1909—1994) is film director, National Artist of the USSR (1989)
  • Nadezhda Rumyantseva (1930 -2008) is Soviet and Russian stage and screen actress, National Artist of the RSFSR.

Phones for communication in emergencies

Directory inquiry service (free) — 09, 20-2009

Smolensk Emergency Control Centre — (4812) 55-1190

Emergency Control Centre of STSI — (4812) 41-8871

Sources of information on tourism opportunities in the Oblast

Sport, tourism and youth policy department of Smolensk Oblast

Smolensk's administration, the department of international and interregional relations and tourism

Tourist guide «Smolensk Oblast You welcomes»

Pilgrim service of Smolensk's eparchy

Smolensk's touristic portal

Territorial bodies of the Ministry of Emergency Situations of Russia

Chief Directorate of the MES of Russia for Smolensk Oblast:

Telephone: (4812) 34-99-99