|• Body||Oblast Duma|
|• Governor||Igor Babushkin|
|• Total||49,024 km2 (18,928 sq mi)|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||20/km2 (51/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+4 (MSK+1 )|
|ISO 3166 code||RU-AST|
Astrakhan Oblast (Russian: Астраха́нская о́бласть, romanized: Astrakhanskaya oblast; 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.
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; 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.
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. Buzan oblast was created on 27 December 1943, on parts of the territories of the abolished Kalmyk ASSR and Astrakhan Okrug of Stalingrad Oblast.
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. 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. 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. 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. The field produces large amounts of sulfur, too.
On 30 October 1997, Astrakhan, alongside Kirov, Murmansk, Ulyanovsk, and Yaroslavl signed a power-sharing agreement with the government of Russia, granting it autonomy. The agreement would be abolished on 21 December 2001.
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. In 2016, Igor Martynov was elected Chairman of the Duma of Astrakhan Oblast of the sixth convocation.
Main article: Governor of Astrakhan Oblast
The governor is the highest official of the Astrakhan Oblast and heads the executive branch.
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.
Main article: Administrative divisions of Astrakhan Oblast
960,142 (2021 Census); 1,010,073 (2010 Census); 1,005,276 (2002 Census); 998,114 (1989 Census).
Vital statistics for 2022:
Total fertility rate (2022):
1.63 children per woman
Life expectancy (2021):
Total — 69.90 years (male — 65.86, female — 73.87)
Largest cities or towns in Astrakhan Oblast
2010 Russian Census
|1||Astrakhan||City of oblast significance of Astrakhan||520,339|
|3||Znamensk||Closed administrative-territorial formation of Znamensk||29,401|
|6||Krasny Yar||Krasnoyarsky District||11,824|
According to the 2021 Census, the ethnic composition was:
(shown are the ethnic groups with a population of more than 5,000 people)
|Ethnicity not stated||144,459||–|
The local group of Russian varieties is known as Astrakhan Russian and refers to several dialects spoken in and around the Astrakhan Oblast.
According to a 2012 survey which interviewed 56,900 people 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.
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.