Astrakhan Oblast
Астраханская область
Coat of arms of Astrakhan Oblast
Coordinates: 47°14′N 47°14′E / 47.233°N 47.233°E / 47.233; 47.233
Federal districtSouthern[1]
Economic regionVolga[2]
Administrative centerAstrakhan[3]
 • BodyOblast Duma[4]
 • Governor[6]Igor Babushkin[5]
 • Total49,024 km2 (18,928 sq mi)
 • Rank55th
 • Total960,142
 • Estimate 
 • Rank78th
 • Urban
 • Rural
Time zoneUTC+4 (MSK+1 Edit this on Wikidata[10])
ISO 3166 codeRU-AST
License plates30
OKTMO ID12000000
Official languagesRussian[11]

Astrakhan Oblast (Russian: Астраха́нская о́бласть, romanizedAstrakhanskaya oblastʹ; Kazakh: Астрахан облысы, romanized: Astrakhan oblysy) is a federal subject of Russia (an oblast) located in southern Russia. Its administrative center is the city of Astrakhan. As of the 2010 Census, its population was 1,010,073.[13]


Semi-desert in Narimanovsky District, Astrakhan Oblast
Bogdo-Baskunchak Nature Reserve in Astrakhan Oblast

Astrakhan is traversed by the northeasterly line of equal latitude and longitude. Its southern border is the Caspian Sea, eastern is Kazakhstan (Atyrau Region and West Kazakhstan Region), northern is Volgograd Oblast, and western is Kalmykia.

It is within the Russian Southern Federal District.


Astrakhan region is the homeland of the Buzhans, one of several Slavic tribes from which modern Russians evolved;[14] they lived in Southern Russia and inhabited the area around the Buzan river.

In the 16th century, Indians began moving to the region, bringing Indian influence.[15][16]

From August - December 1942, the German invaders reached the border of Astrakhansky Oblast, crossing into the region: the Abwehr from 1942 to 1943, Nazi Army stragglers 1941–44.[citation needed] Buzan oblast was created on 27 December 1943, on parts of the territories of the abolished Kalmyk ASSR and Astrakhan Okrug of Stalingrad Oblast.[12]

Project Vega

See also: List of nuclear weapons tests of the Soviet Union

From 8 October 1980 to 27 October 1984, and under the leadership of Nikolai Baibakov,[a] the USSR held fifteen deep underground nuclear tests for Nuclear Explosions for the National Economy at the site Vega in the Ryn Desert in the east of the oblast less than 50 km from downtown Astrakhan to create reservoirs for natural gas storage.[17][18] Because of the detonation depth (975 to 1,100 meters) and relatively low yield (3.2 to 13.5 kilotons), no radiation was released to the environment.[17] These blasts had lower yields than the Project Sapphire blasts, which were 40 km south-southwest of Orenburg, to reduce any possible seismic destruction to nearby towns in the Volga delta including Astrakhan.[18][19] At that time, the natural gas fields near Astrakhan, which are at a depth of 3900 to 4,100 meters, could contain as much as 6 trillion cubic meters, which is an amount similar to Urengoy. In 2017, the Astrakhanskoye field, which is an area of 100 km by 40 km in the middle of the Astrakhan arch and is 60 km northeast of Astrakhan, is the ninth largest in Russia and the largest in European Russia with an estimated gas in place of 102 trillion cubic feet (2.9 trillion cubic metres). The deposit is operated by Gazprom Dobycha Astrakhan which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Gazprom.[20] The field produces large amounts of sulfur, too.[20][21][22][23][24][25]

Modern history

On 30 October 1997, Astrakhan, alongside Kirov, Murmansk, Ulyanovsk, and Yaroslavl signed a power-sharing agreement with the government of Russia, granting it autonomy.[26] The agreement would be abolished on 21 December 2001.[27]


Governor and Government of Astrakhan Oblast Administration Building on Sovetskaya Street

During the Soviet period, the high authority in the oblast was shared between three persons: The first secretary of the Astrakhan CPSU Committee (who in reality had the biggest authority), the chairman of the oblast Soviet (legislative power), and the Chairman of the oblast Executive Committee (executive power). Since 1991, CPSU lost all the power, and the head of the Oblast administration, and eventually the governor was appointed/elected alongside elected regional parliament.

The Charter of Astrakhan Oblast is the fundamental law of the region. The Legislative Assembly of Astrakhan Oblast is the province's 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 Oblast Administration, 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 Oblast administration supports the activities of the Governor who is the highest official and acts as guarantor of the observance of the oblast Charter in accordance with the Constitution of Russia.


Main article: Duma of Astrakhan Oblast

The representative authority of the Astrakhan Oblast is the Duma of Astrakhan Oblast. Between 1994-2001, it was called the Astrakhan Regional Representative Assembly.

The Duma of Astrakhan Oblast has the following structure:

Since 2006, the chairman of the regional legislative body has been the head of the regional branch of the United Russia party, Alexander Klykanov, whose candidacy was considered in 2009 for the post of governor of the Oblast.[28] In 2016, Igor Martynov was elected Chairman of the Duma of Astrakhan Oblast of the sixth convocation.[29]


Main article: Governor of Astrakhan Oblast

The governor is the highest official of the Astrakhan Oblast and heads the executive branch.[30]

Governors of Astrakhan Oblast:

From 1991 to 2004, Anatoly Guzhvin, who won elections in 1996 and 2000, was the governor of the Oblast. After Guzhvin's death in August 2004, the early elections of the head of the Astrakhan Oblast on 5 December 2004 was won by the acting head of the region Alexander Zhilkin, enjoying the support of United Russia. The Governor supervises the work of the executive authorities of the region and the Government of the Astrakhan Oblast. From 2004 to 2017, Konstantin Markelov was the Chairman of the Government of the Astrakhan Oblast. Since 2017, Rasul Sultanov has been the Chairman of the Government of the Astrakhan Oblast.[31]

Administrative divisions

Main article: Administrative divisions of Astrakhan Oblast


Life expectancy at birth in Astrakhan Oblast [32][33]

960,142 (2021 Census);[34] 1,010,073 (2010 Census);[13] 1,005,276 (2002 Census);[35] 998,114 (1989 Census).[36]

Vital statistics for 2022:[37][38]

Total fertility rate (2022):[39]
1.63 children per woman

Life expectancy (2021):[32]
Total — 69.90 years (male — 65.86, female — 73.87)


Largest cities or towns in Astrakhan Oblast
2010 Russian Census
Rank Administrative Division Pop.
1 Astrakhan City of oblast significance of Astrakhan 520,339 Znamensk
2 Akhtubinsk Akhtubinsky District 41,853
3 Znamensk Closed administrative-territorial formation of Znamensk 29,401
4 Kharabali Kharabalinsky District 18,117
5 Kamyzyak Kamyzyaksky District 16,314
6 Krasny Yar Krasnoyarsky District 11,824
7 Narimanov Narimanovsky District 11,521
8 Ikryanoye Ikryaninsky District 10,036
9 Volodarsky Volodarsky District 10,005
10 Liman Limansky District 9,024
Historical population
Source: Census data

Ethnic groups

According to the 2021 Census, the ethnic composition was:[40]

(shown are the ethnic groups with a population of more than 5,000 people)

Ethnicity Population Percentage
Russian 547,320 57%
Kazakh 143,717 14.7%
Tatar 48,313 5%
Dagestani[41] 13,989 1.46%
Nogai 9,320 0.97%
Chechen 6,873 0.72%
Azerbaijani 6,187 0.64%
Kalmyk 5,320 0.55%
Other 34,644 3.61%
Ethnicity not stated 144,459 15%


The local group of Russian varieties is known as Astrakhan Russian and refers to several dialects spoken in and around the Astrakhan Oblast.


Religion in Astrakhan Oblast as of 2012 (Sreda Arena Atlas)[43][44]
Russian Orthodoxy
Other Orthodox
Other Christians
Rodnovery and other native faiths
Spiritual but not religious
Atheism and irreligion
Other and undeclared

According to a 2012 survey which interviewed 56,900 people[43] 46% of the population of Astrakhan Oblast adheres to the Russian Orthodox Church, 4% are Orthodox Christian believers who do not belong to any church or are members of other (non-Russian) Orthodox churches, 2% are unaffiliated generic Christians, 14% are Muslims, and 2% of the population adheres to the Slavic native faith (Rodnovery) or other folk religions of the region. In addition, 16% of the population declares to be spiritual but not religious, 6% is atheist, and 10% follows other religions or did not give an answer to the question.[43]

Smaller religious communities not represented in the poll cited above but present in the region include Hindus, Jews and Buddhists, each having one temple in Astrakhan Oblast.

See also


  1. ^ In 1963, with support from individuals in the Krasnodarnefteproekt, Nikolai Konstantinovich Baibakov received the Lenin Prize in technology for his discovery and development of gas-condensate fields. Later, as Chairman of Gosplan from October 2, 1965, to October 14, 1985, he actively pursued the development of gas condensate fields across the Soviet Union.


  1. ^ 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.).
  2. ^ 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. ).
  3. ^ Charter of Astrakhan Oblast, Article 9
  4. ^ Charter of Astrakhan Oblast, Article 15
  5. ^ Official website of Astrakhan Oblast. Igor Yurevich Babushkin Archived February 8, 2022, at the Wayback Machine (in Russian)
  6. ^ Charter of Astrakhan Oblast, Article 22
  7. ^ "Сведения о наличии и распределении земель в Российской Федерации на 01.01.2019 (в разрезе субъектов Российской Федерации)". Federal Service for State Registration, Cadastre and Cartography. Archived from the original on February 9, 2022. Retrieved August 29, 2023.
  8. ^ "Оценка численности постоянного населения по субъектам Российской Федерации". Federal State Statistics Service. Retrieved September 1, 2022.
  9. ^ "26. Численность постоянного населения Российской Федерации по муниципальным образованиям на 1 января 2018 года". Federal State Statistics Service. Retrieved January 23, 2019.
  10. ^ "Об исчислении времени". Официальный интернет-портал правовой информации (in Russian). June 3, 2011. Retrieved January 19, 2019.
  11. ^ Official throughout the Russian Federation according to Article 68.1 of the Constitution of Russia.
  12. ^ a b Decree of December 27, 1943
  13. ^ a b Russian Federal State Statistics Service (2011). Всероссийская перепись населения 2010 года. Том 1 [2010 All-Russian Population Census, vol. 1]. Всероссийская перепись населения 2010 года [2010 All-Russia Population Census] (in Russian). Federal State Statistics Service.
  14. ^ "CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Russia". Retrieved March 21, 2019.
  15. ^ Индийское подворье в Астрахани
  16. ^ "Astrakhan's India Connection". March 16, 2020.
  17. ^ a b Mikhaylov, Victor H. (ed.). Ядерные испытания в СССР [Nuclear tests in the USSR]. Ministry of Atomic Energy and the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation (in Russian). Archived from the original on March 27, 2018. Retrieved October 5, 2017.
  18. ^ a b Nordyke, M. D. (September 1, 2000). "Underground Cavities for Storage of Gas Condensate". The Soviet Program for Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Explosions (PDF). Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. pp. 36–41. doi:10.2172/793554. Report no.: UCRL-ID-124410 Rev 2. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 23, 2016. Retrieved October 5, 2017. U. S. Department of Energy contract no.: W-7405-Eng48.
  19. ^ Nordyke, Milo D. (July 24, 1996). The Soviet Program for Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Explosions (PDF). pp. 36–9. Retrieved October 5, 2017. ((cite book)): |work= ignored (help)
  20. ^ a b "Gazprom Dobycha Astrakhan". Gazprom. Retrieved October 5, 2017.
  21. ^ Borg, I.Y. (1982). "Underground nuclear explosions at Astrakhan, USSR". IAEA. Lawrence Livermore National Lab., CA (USA). Retrieved October 5, 2017.
  22. ^ "USSR: Astrakhn Natural Gas Project" (PDF). CIA. December 3, 1982. Archived from the original (PDF) on January 23, 2017. Retrieved October 5, 2017.
  23. ^ Kondratyev, А.Н.; Molodih, G.H.; Razmishlyaev, A.A. (January 13, 1982). Особенности формирования Астраханского газоконденсатного месторождения [Features of the Astrakhan gas condensate field] (in Russian). Retrieved October 5, 2017.
  24. ^ Астраханская область. Объект "Вега" готовят к консервации. [Astrakhan Region: The site "Vega" is being prepared for conservation]. (in Russian). November 27, 2003. Retrieved October 5, 2017.
  25. ^ Yablokov, Alexei Vladimirovich. Миф о безопасности и эффективности мирных подземных ядерных взрывов [The Myth of the Safety and Efficiency of Peaceful Underground Nuclear Explosions]. Yabloko (in Russian). Retrieved October 5, 2017.
  26. ^ "Yeltsin Signs Power-Sharing Agreements With Five More Russian Regions". Jamestown. November 3, 1997. Retrieved May 2, 2019.
  27. ^ Chuman, Mizuki. "The Rise and Fall of Power-Sharing Treaties Between Center and Regions in Post-Soviet Russia" (PDF). Demokratizatsiya: 146. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 8, 2019. Retrieved May 2, 2019.
  28. ^ "Органы законодательной власти" [Legislature]. Archived from the original on July 12, 2017. Retrieved November 27, 2017.
  29. ^ "Председатель Думы Астраханской области" [Chairman of the Duma of Astrakhan Oblast]. Archived from the original on January 26, 2020. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
  30. ^ "Органы исполнительной власти" [Executive agencies]. Archived from the original on October 28, 2018. Retrieved April 2, 2018.
  31. ^ "О системе исполнительных органов государственной власти Астраханской области (с изменениями на: 20.10.2016), Закон Астраханской области от 02 февраля 2005 года №2/2005-ОЗ" [On the system of executive bodies of state power of the Astrakhan Oblast (as amended on: 10/20/2016), Law of the Astrakhan Oblast dated 2 February 2005 No. 2 / 2005-OZ]. Archived from the original on April 1, 2018. Retrieved April 2, 2018.
  32. ^ a b "Демографический ежегодник России" [The Demographic Yearbook of Russia] (in Russian). Federal State Statistics Service of Russia (Rosstat). Retrieved June 1, 2022.
  33. ^ "Ожидаемая продолжительность жизни при рождении" [Life expectancy at birth]. Unified Interdepartmental Information and Statistical System of Russia (in Russian). Retrieved June 28, 2022.
  34. ^ Russian Federal State Statistics Service. Всероссийская перепись населения 2020 года. Том 1 [2020 All-Russian Population Census, vol. 1] (XLS) (in Russian). Federal State Statistics Service.
  35. ^ Russian Federal State Statistics Service (May 21, 2004). Численность населения России, субъектов Российской Федерации в составе федеральных округов, районов, городских поселений, сельских населённых пунктов – районных центров и сельских населённых пунктов с населением 3 тысячи и более человек [Population of Russia, Its Federal Districts, Federal Subjects, Districts, Urban Localities, Rural Localities—Administrative Centers, and Rural Localities with Population of Over 3,000] (XLS). Всероссийская перепись населения 2002 года [All-Russia Population Census of 2002] (in Russian).
  36. ^ Всесоюзная перепись населения 1989 г. Численность наличного населения союзных и автономных республик, автономных областей и округов, краёв, областей, районов, городских поселений и сёл-райцентров [All Union Population Census of 1989: Present Population of Union and Autonomous Republics, Autonomous Oblasts and Okrugs, Krais, Oblasts, Districts, Urban Settlements, and Villages Serving as District Administrative Centers]. Всесоюзная перепись населения 1989 года [All-Union Population Census of 1989] (in Russian). Институт демографии Национального исследовательского университета: Высшая школа экономики [Institute of Demography at the National Research University: Higher School of Economics]. 1989 – via Demoscope Weekly.
  37. ^ "Information on the number of registered births, deaths, marriages and divorces for January to December 2022". ROSSTAT. Archived from the original on March 2, 2023. Retrieved February 21, 2023.
  38. ^ "Birth rate, mortality rate, natural increase, marriage rate, divorce rate for January to December 2022". ROSSTAT. Archived from the original on March 2, 2023. Retrieved February 21, 2023.
  39. ^ Суммарный коэффициент рождаемости [Total fertility rate]. Russian Federal State Statistics Service (in Russian). Archived from the original (XLSX) on August 10, 2023. Retrieved August 10, 2023.
  40. ^ "Национальный состав населения". Federal State Statistics Service. Retrieved December 30, 2022.
  41. ^ This figure includes ethnic Avars, Dargins, Lezgins, Kumyks, Tabasarans, and Laks.
  42. ^ "Впн-2010". Archived from the original on December 25, 2018. Retrieved December 22, 2011.
  43. ^ a b c "Arena: Atlas of Religions and Nationalities in Russia". Sreda, 2012.
  44. ^ 2012 Arena Atlas Religion Maps. "Ogonek", № 34 (5243), 27/08/2012. Retrieved 21/04/2017. Archived.