This region of Siberia is extremely important due to its biodiversity, an area of over 1.6 million hectares (16,000 square kilometres; 6,200 square miles) is recognised by Unesco as a World Heritage Site. The area is home to animals considered rare, including the endangered snow leopard.
This area is part of a great crossroads in the ancient world.Nomadic tribes crossed through the territory during periods of migration. These nomadic tribes consisted of different peoples. Archeological sites reveal that ancient humans lived in the area. The Altay people are a Turkic people, some of whom settled here, who were originally nomadic and date back to the 2nd millennium BC.
During the interwar period, the Soviet state collectivised the livestock and husbandry activities of the Altai population within Altai Krai, resulting in local resistance to the measures and their subsequent migration, with their herds, to China and Mongolia.
In June 1942 Altai Krai was one of the territories to which the families of men deported from Eastern Europe, in particular "foreigners" and "other ethnicities" such as Kola Norwegians, Lithuanians and Latvians, by Soviet Russia to hard labor camps.
The coat of arms of Altai Krai was established in 2000. It includes a shield of French heraldry form with a basement of 8/10th of its height and a sharp part in the middle of the bottom part. Bottom edges of the shield are rounded. The shield is divided with a horizontal stripe into two equal parts. In the upper part has a blue background, which is a symbol of glory, is a steamy oven of the 18th century, which reflects a historical past of the krai. In the bottom part on the red background, which is a symbol of dignity, braveness and courage, is an image of the Koluvan Queen of Vases mainly in green color, which is kept in the Hermitage Museum. The shield is framed with golden wheat ears which represent agriculture as a main industry of Altai Krai.
During the Soviet period, the high authority in the krai was shared between three persons: The first secretary of the Altai CPSU Committee (who in reality had the most authority), the chairman of the Krai Soviet (legislative power), and the Chairman of the Krai Executive Committee (executive power). Since 1991, CPSU lost all the power, and the head of the krai administration, and eventually the governor was appointed/elected alongside elected regional parliament.
The Charter of Altai Krai is the fundamental law of the region. The Legislative Assembly of Altai Krai is the regional standing legislative (representative) body. The Legislative Assembly exercises its authority by passing laws, resolutions, and other legal acts and by supervising the implementation and observance of the laws and other legal acts passed by it. The highest executive body is the Krai Government, which includes territorial executive bodies such as district administrations, committees, and commissions that facilitate development and run the day to day matters of the province. The Krai Administration supports the activities of the Governor who is the highest official and acts as guarantor of the observance of the krai Charter in accordance with the Constitution of Russia.
On August 7, 2005, the krai's then-head of administration Mikhail Yevdokimov died in a car crash.
As of 2013 the Krai's largest enterprises were supermarket chain Maria-Ra [ru], coke fuel producer Altai-Koks and rolling stock manufacturer Altaivagon.Evalar - a prominent dietary supplement manufacturer - is also located in Altai Krai.
In January 2019, the average wage in Altai Krai was 23,941 RUB, which was an increase of 6.3% over the previous year.
According to a 2012 survey 22.6% of the population of Altay Krai adheres to the Russian Orthodox Church, 3% are unaffiliatedChristians, 1% are Orthodox Christian believers without belonging to any church or are adherents of other Orthodox churches, 1% are adherents of Islam. In addition, 31% of the population declares to be "spiritual but not religious", 27% is atheist, and 14.4% follows other religions or did not give an answer to the question.
^Президент Российской Федерации. Указ №849 от 13 мая 2000 г. «О полномочном представителе Президента Российской Федерации в федеральном округе». Вступил в силу 13 мая 2000 г. Опубликован: "Собрание законодательства РФ", No. 20, ст. 2112, 15 мая 2000 г. (President of the Russian Federation. Decree #849 of May 13, 2000 On the Plenipotentiary Representative of the President of the Russian Federation in a Federal District. Effective as of May 13, 2000.).
^Госстандарт Российской Федерации. №ОК 024-95 27 декабря 1995 г. «Общероссийский классификатор экономических регионов. 2. Экономические районы», в ред. Изменения №5/2001 ОКЭР. (Gosstandart of the Russian Federation. #OK 024-95 December 27, 1995 Russian Classification of Economic Regions. 2. Economic Regions, as amended by the Amendment #5/2001 OKER. ).
Алтайское краевое Законодательное Собрание. №3-ЗС 5 июня 1995 г. «Устав (основной закон) Алтайского края», в ред. Закона №118-ЗС от 1 декабря 2015 г. «О внесении изменений в Устав (Основной Закон) Алтайского края». Опубликован: "Алтайская правда", №100, 14 июня 1995 г. (Altai Krai Legislative Assembly. #3-ZS June 5, 1995 Charter (Basic Law) of Altai Krai, as amended by the Law #118-ZS of December 1, 2015 On Amending the Charter (Basic Law) of Altai Krai. ).
Центральный исполнительный комитет СССР. Постановление от 28 сентября 1937 г. «О разделении Западно-Сибирского края на Новосибирскую область и Алтайский край». (Central Executive Committee of the USSR. Resolution of September 28, 1937 On Splitting West Siberian Krai into Novosibirsk Oblast and Altai Krai. ).