Historical and geographical characteristic
Kursk region is situated in the center of Russia in the eastern European plain and is a part of Central federal district.
The territory of Kursk region is occupies 30 thousand km2 and situated on the south-eastern slopes of middle Russian height within the forest-step zone, at the crossroads of transport streams from Russia to industrial developed centers of Ukraine, CIS and Caucasian region countries. The region is 171 km long from the north to the south, and 305 km long from the east to the west.
The relief of region is remarkable for watershed heights, river valleys, ravines and beams. Not having significant water resources, the region has a dense river network at the same time. On its territory there are 200 rivers with the length of more than 10 km and the biggest ones are the Seim, the Tuskar, the Svapa, the Psel.
Kursk is a frontier region. Outer boundary with Sumy region of Ukraine on the south-west and the west makes up 280 km and has the status of Russian state boundary. The neighbors of Kursk region in the Russian Federation are Bryansk, Orel, Lipetzk, Voronezh and Belgorod regions. The length of the boundary is 1250 km.
The territory of the region is situated in the zone of temperature-continental climate within the bounds of the forest-steppe zone with favorable climatic conditions for effective agricultural production. The average temperature in January is minus 7,7-9,5°C, in July - plus 18,6-19,8°C. The average annual quantity of precipitation is 584 mm that is characteristic for the zone of moderate moistening. The period with positive average daily temperature of air is 220-235 days.
THE HISTORY OF FORMATION OF KURSK PROVINCE AND KURSK REGION
Every nation has its own history, heroes and memory. Ancient Kursk land, known by warbling of nightingales, is a part of glorious history of Russian people. One cannot confuse this land with any other. Everybody, who has been here, has sincere respect for ancient towns of Kursk, Rylsk, Lgov, Sudzha, Oboyan situated on the banks of Tuskar and Seim rivers. Known from ancient times and populated with famous people, Kursk land became an important link in a great chain of Russian state development, being for several centuries the base point first of Kievan Rus, and then of Moscow state in their struggle against foreign enemies, in expansion of trade relations, strengthening of economics and defense.
Old Russian chronicles of XI-XII brought us excellent lines about the courage and bravery of warriors - Kursk people berhymed in the «Lay of Igor’s Warfare»: «And my Kursk people are experienced warriors, born under horns, brought up under helmets, fed from spear end, paths are known by them, ravines are familiar to them, their bows are stretched, quivers are opened, sabers are sharpened, they are racing as gray wolves across the field, searching for glory for the prince and honor for themselves».
Centuries-old capital of Kursk land – Kursk city – is of special importance in its complicated fate. Nearly for thousand years it has been rising on the right bank of quiet Tuskar river on the point of its junction with more quiet Kur river, which gave the name to the city according to the legend. The first written reference to our city related to 1032 in the «Life of Pheodosy Pechersky», though the last excavations of Kursk archaeologists in the historical center can «shift» the date of his birthday to earlier period.
First Kursk was a part of Chernigov princedom, then a part of Smolensk, Pereyaslavl, Suzdal princedoms. After becoming the center of apanage princedom Kursk bore with fortitude both the internal skirmishes of Russian princes and devastating Mongol invasion of Baty khan.
Until now townsmen keep in their memory the names of Kursk outskirts characterizing the fighting type of the city - Soldatskaya, Rassylnaya, Streletzkaya, Pushkarnaya, Kazatzkaya remained in the names of modern streets now.
Kursk people repelled both the sieges of Polish interventionists and incursions of Crimean Tatars, took part in Azov marches of Peter I, in Poltava battle and in the Patriotic War of 1812 with honor. Field marshal M.I. Kutuzov marked the patriotic merits of Kursk people in provision of Russian army with arms, food, clothes, footwear and medicines.
Whichever trials fell to Kursk people lot during centuries-old history, they were always equal to their destination – to be a part of sacred Russia, to increase its fame and honor not only in martial affairs, but also in trade and agriculture. And Kursk could not help but become an appreciable commercial city, as it was located on a very busy place. It went out to wide Dnieper through Seim and Desna, and through Tuskar and Snova it went out to Samodurovsky lake where Oka had started some time ago, and to the Volga through it. Boats with goods, coming on the way «from Varangians to Greeks», moored near Kursk.
In 1780-ties the city of Kursk was already known for such crafts, as tanning, furriery and shoemaking. Fat melting, woolen, flour-milling, brewing, butter-making production began to develop. There was an active trade here. For example, the trade turnover of goods supply made up 300 thousand roubles, of export - 500 thousand roubles. Kursk merchants did not only dominated in the local markets, but also traded in many Russian cities and even abroad. Kursk merchants brought thin flax linens, cloth from Leipzig and Danzig, silk and velvet fabrics, haberdashery, and different instruments for tillage - sickles, scythes and so forth - from Vein.
In 1792 the first Kursk printing house began to work. The printing house published books, served clerical needs of Kursk and Orel provinces and accepted private orders. One of the first books «The History about Kursk city, about the appearance of the wonderworking icon «The Virgin of the Sign» called Kurskaya, about Znamensky monastery and its superiors» was published in 1792. It is kept in the library of public archive in Kursk region. There were published 26 books from 1792 to 1797 by the printing house.
The first theatre in the history of Kursk was opened at the beginning of nineties of XVII century.
Hemp, hare, fox and wolf furs were sold abroad. Kursk merchants traded inside Russia with the following cities: Kazan, Orenburg, Astrakhan, Moscow, Peterburg, Tula, Riga where they were delivering fur goods, cattle, honey, bread. Kursk Korenskaya Fair occupied the central place in extensive exhibition activity of the province.
Kursk region had a reputation of being struggling, hospitable, trading and growing land.
In 1779 according to Catherine the Great decree an independent administrative unit of Kursk – Kursk province - was created including 15 districts. Kursk became an administrative centre. His role in the state was growing.
With capitalism development there was a further expansion of trading relations, the industry started to grow. The construction of the railway promoted it. By the end of XIX century Kursk became a large railway junction. The regular railway communication from Kursk to Moscow was opened on September 7, 1868 and from Kiev to Kursk - in February 1870. Approximately at the same time the railway connected Kursk with Kharkov, and with Voronezh in July 1894.
A festive start of the first tram took place on April 18, 1898.
A telegraph, a telephone, a power station and water supply already worked in city by the beginning of XX century. In 1917 in Kursk there were 70 small-scale industrial enterprises, the majority of which related to processing of agricultural raw material. 1600 workers were occupied there.
The revolution of 1917 did not pass Kursk people by. Soviet power was announced in Kursk on the 9th of December and the province Revolutionary Council was founded.
The first step in piding Kursk province into areas was the decision of All-Russian General Executive Committee of May 12, 1924 about the administrative-territorial pision of Kursk province.
Borders of the province remained unchanged till 1925 when some areas were passed to Ukraine according to the decision of General Executive Committee presidium of the USSR of October 16, 1925.
In 1928-1929 the country passed on regional, district and area administrative pision. Kursk province was liquidated, and Kursk became the center of Kursk district and Kursk region.
The Central Chernozem region, that included the territory of former Kursk province, existed till 1934. It was pided into Voronezh and Kursk regions on the basis of the decision of General Executive Committee presidium of June 13, 1934. Kursk region included 60 areas. The city of Kursk became the regional center.
At the end of thirties Kursk region was one of the largest agricultural regions in the country. In 1939 it sold more than 660 thousand tons of grain to the state. The region occupied one of the first places in Russian Federation as far as manufacture of sugar beet was concerned.
The industry was developing in Kursk region alongside with the development of agriculture. Such new branches of industry as heavy engineering, chemical, textile, pharmaceutical industry were created. 25 hempen plants, 40 creameries, sewing, knitting and leather haberdashery factories, the pharmaceutical factory were built and reconstructed. Preparatory measures for development of natural resources of Kursk magnetic anomaly were carried out.
Kursk Teacher’s Training institute was opened on the 1st of September 1934. And exactly in a year Kursk State medical institute was founded. There were also 3 teacher's training institutes, 43 technical schools and colleges in the region.
The most terrible trial fell to Kursk people lot during 1941-1945. Kursk region was occupied by enemy forces for more than 450 days. Hitlerites did a huge damage to Kursk region. 75 % of the industrial enterprises, all collective farms and state farms were destroyed completely. The total damage to the region made up 27 billion roubles in pre-war prices. In total, during the occupation of Kursk region territory the fascists drove 38 797 persons away to slavery, 18099 peaceful citizens were killed, shot and tortured brutally.
After the war end Kursk was referred to the cities injured from the fascist occupation most of all among the other 15 cities of Russian Federation.
Kursk was released on February 8, 1943. However the war did not leave the region.
It was here on chernozem vast area where the largest battle in the history of the world took place. Kursk battle made a radical turn not only in the Great Patriotic War, but also in the whole Second World War.
There were very severe fights from July 5 till August 23, 1943 in Kursk duga. The dwellers of the region contributed a lot to the defeat of fascists near Kursk.
Our armу success depended much on the work of railway transport, which was almost completely destroyed by hitlerites. Due to Kursk people’s efforts the first echelons went through Kursk station on March 17, 1943, and in April the railway junction was completely restored. The real labour feat was the construction of railway Stary Oskol - Rzhava 95 km long during 40 days. The railway was very important for supply of the armies deployed at Kursk duga.
13 hospitals were equipped in Kursk in spring 1943. The restorable Kursk industry started to help the front. Tanks were repaired not only in the shops of the enterprises, but also at the front by mobile teams.
At post-war period Kursk region was restored out of ruins by heroic efforts of all its inhabitations. The national economy of our region was thrown off for many years ago.
During 1943-1945 the industrial enterprises (69%) and artels (78%), cultural and educational establishments were restored basically. Pre-war number of collective and state farms was restored almost completely.
By the decree of the USSR Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of December 7, 1957 Kursk region was awarded the Order of Lenin for the success, achieved in increasing the production and delivery of sugar beet and other agricultural products to the state. By the decree of the USSR Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of August 5, 1968 Kursk region was awarded the Order of Lenin for courage and firmness of Kursk region workers at protection of Motherland during the Great Patriotic War, for success achieved in the restoration and development of the national economy.
By the decree of the USSR Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of April 9, 1980 Kursk was awarded the Order of the Patriotic War of the I degree for the courage and firmness of its workers during the Great Patriotic War, for success achieved in the economic and cultural construction. In 2007 Kursk was awarded the title of the city of military honour.
In the fifties there were significant administrative-territorial transformations in the region. In January 1954 there were formed Belgorod and Lipetzk regions to which 26 former Kursk areas had been passed.
By the decree of the RSFSR Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of April 25, 1983 the industrial community Kurchatov was reorganized into a town preserving former name. It occurred due to the construction of Kursk atomic power station. The construction of the atomic power station began in 1971. The first power unit was put into operation in 1976. At present time 4 power units are in operation, the construction of the fifth one comes to the end. Power industry is the foundation of economy; therefore Kursk atomic power station plays an important role in the economy not only in Kursk, but also in all Chernozem regions.
Having passed the same difficult stages as the whole state, Kursk region became a dynamically developing region of Central Russia.
At present time Kursk region consists of 355 municipal entities including 28 municipal areas, 27 urban settlements, 295 rural settlements, 5 towns – Kursk, Zheleznogorsk, Kurchatov, Lgov and Shchigry. Since March 1, 1994, there have been 3 administrative districts in Kursk: Zheleznodorozhny, Seimsky and Central ones.