Bryansk Oblast
Брянская область
Anthem: The Bryansk Forest Sternly Stirred[3]
Coordinates: 52°57′N 33°24′E / 52.950°N 33.400°E / 52.950; 33.400Coordinates: 52°57′N 33°24′E / 52.950°N 33.400°E / 52.950; 33.400
Federal districtCentral[1]
Economic regionCentral[2]
Administrative centerBryansk[4]
 • BodyOblast Duma[5]
 • Governor[5]Alexander Bogomaz[6]
 • Total34,900 km2 (13,500 sq mi)
Area rank62nd
 (2010 Census)[8]
 • Total1,278,217
 • Estimate 
1,210,982 (−5.3%)
 • Rank38th
 • Density37/km2 (95/sq mi)
 • Urban
 • Rural
Time zoneUTC+3 (MSK Edit this on Wikidata[10])
ISO 3166 codeRU-BRY
License plates32
OKTMO ID15000000
Official languagesRussian[11]

Bryansk Oblast (Russian: Бря́нская о́бласть, Bryanskaya oblast), also known as Bryanshchina (Russian: Брянщина, pronounced [ˈbrʲanɕinə]) is a federal subject of Russia (an oblast). Its administrative center is the city of Bryansk. As of the 2010 Census, its population was 1,278,217.[8]


Bryansk Oblast lies in western European Russia in the central to western parts of the East European Plain, on the divide between the Desna and Volga basins. The oblast borders with Smolensk Oblast in the north, Kaluga Oblast in the northeast, Oryol Oblast in the east, Kursk Oblast in the southeast, Chernihiv and Sumy Oblasts of Ukraine in the south, and with Gomel and Mogilev Oblasts of Belarus in the west.

The relief is a typical East European Plain landscape, with alternating rolling hills and shallow lowlands, although lowlands dominate in the western and central parts. A total of 125 rivers flow through Bryansk Oblast, with the longest one, at 1,187 kilometers (738 mi), being the Desna (a tributary of the Dnieper). Other major rivers include the Bolva, Navlya, Nerussa, Sudost (all tributaries of the Desna), Besed, and Iput. There are forty-nine major lakes, with Lake Kozhany being the largest.

Climate is temperate continental. The average temperature in January is −7 to −9 °C (19 to 16 °F). The average July temperature is 18 to 19 °C (64 to 66 °F). Average annual precipitation varies from 560 to 600 millimeters (22 to 24 in).

Natural resources include deposits of peat, sand, clay, chalk, marl, and other building materials, as well as phosphorite. About a quarter of the total area of the oblast is covered by forests, mainly coniferous, mixed, and deciduous, as well as forest-steppe.

Bryansky Les Nature Reserve is a biosphere reserve which protects, among other things, a limited population of European bisons.


As a result of the Chernobyl disaster on April 26, 1986, part of the territory of Bryansk Oblast has been contaminated with radionuclides (mainly Gordeyevsky, Klimovsky, Klintsovsky, Krasnogorsky, Surazhsky, and Novozybkovsky Districts). In 1999, some 226,000 people lived in areas with the contamination level above 5 Curie/km2, representing approximately 16% of the oblast's population.


The Venus of Eliseevichi is a piece of Paleolithic art (dated to 14,000 YBP) found in the region.[13] The Eliseevichi site is also associated with the earliest recognized dog remains, dating to 15,000 YBP.[14][15]

In the 9th to 11th centuries CE Slavic tribes lived along the banks of the Desna River and in the forests of the land between the Desna and the Oka. The city of Bryansk was established in 985.[16]

Bryansk remained poorly attested until the 1237-1242 Mongol invasion of Russia. It was the northernmost of the Severian cities in the possession of the Chernigov Rurikids and the Principality of Novgorod-Seversk. After the Mongols murdered Prince Mikhail of Chernigov in 1246 and his capital was destroyed, his son Roman Mikhailovich moved his seat to Bryansk. In 1310, when the Mongols sacked the town again, it belonged to the principality of Smolensk. After the Mongols took Chernigov, the Principality of Bryansk was formed. In 1356 Bryansk territory was under the authority of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.

The Great Duchy of Moscow conquered Bryansk following the Battle of Vedrosha in 1503. The town was turned into a fortress which played a major role during the Time of Troubles of 1598–1613. Bryansk became the Moscow's south-western outpost in the fights against Lithuania, Poland and Crimean Khanate. In 1618 the Deulino Armistice saw the southern and western area of the Bryansk region temporarily ceded to Poland.

After the expulsion of the Poles and reunification with Russia in 1654, all the left bank of the Dnieper (Malorossiya), including the south-western area of Bryansk, was divided into hundreds of administrative regiments. One of the largest was Starodubaka. In 1781, these regiments merged into districts and several territories.

Peter the Great (r. 1682–1725) incorporated Bryansk into the Kiev Governorate, but Empress Catherine the Great deemed it wise to transfer the town to the Oryol Governorate in 1779. She also promulgated the town's coat of arms.

In 1709, part of the Bryansk (Bryansky, Karachevsky, Sevsky, and Trubchevsky Uyezds) belonged to Kiev Governorate. In 1727, Sevsk Province became part of the newly-formed Belgorod Governorate.

The 17th and 18th centuries saw a period of significant regional economic development. The industrial revolution began in the 18th century, particularly in the eastern part of Bryansk; due to its reserves of sand Bryansk saw the growth of the glass industry.

Sevsk in 1917
Sevsk in 1917

On April 1, 1920, Bryansk Oblast was established but on October 1, 1929 it was incorporated into the Western Oblast. On September 27, 1937, the Central Executive Committee of the Soviet Union decided to abolish the Western Krai, dividing it into Smolensk and Oryol Oblasts. The current territory of Bryansk Oblast became a part of Oryol Oblast.

In August–October 1941 Axis troops took over the region. From the first days of occupation, the struggle against the invaders took on the character of a popular movement. In the Bryansk area about 60,000 guerrillas from the guerrilla units of Sydir Kovpak, Oleksiy Fedorov and Alexander Saburov operated. Fighting resulted in the destruction and burning of many towns and villages, affecting some 111,000 homes and many important industrial enterprises. After the Red Army liberated the area (August–September 1943), extensive restoration work commenced.

A decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR established the modern Bryansk Oblast on July 5, 1944.[12] On 4 July 1997, Bryansk, alongside Chelyabinsk, Magadan, Saratov, and Vologda, signed a power-sharing agreement with the government of Russia, granting it autonomy.[17] The power-sharing would be abolished on 9 August 2002.[18]

Administrative divisions

Main article: Administrative divisions of Bryansk Oblast



Railway tracks in Bryansk Oblast
Railway tracks in Bryansk Oblast

A large railway junction is located in the capital of Bryansk. Most rail lines in the oblast are electrified, using AC power. In connection with the border situation, Bryansk there are several major customs terminals.

The oblast is crossed by the M3 Moscow—Kiev highway and the M13 Bryansk-Novozybkov-Boundary Belarus—(Kobrin), and fourteen kilometers from the administrative center of the oblast is the Bryansk International Airport.


Oblast Duma seat in Bryansk
Oblast Duma seat in Bryansk

During the Soviet period, the high authority in the oblast was shared between three persons: The first secretary of the Bryansk 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 Bryansk Oblast is the fundamental law of the region. The Bryansk Oblast Duma 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 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 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.


Population: 1,182,682 (Est.2021); 1,278,217 (2010 Census);[8] 1,378,941 (2002 Census);[19] 1,474,785 (1989 Census).[20]


Ethnic composition:[8]


Religion in Bryansk Oblast as of 2012 (Sreda Arena Atlas)[23][24]
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[23] 49.5% of the population of Bryansk Oblast adheres to the Russian Orthodox Church, 4.7% are unaffiliated Christians, 0.8% are Orthodox Christian believers who don't belong to any church or are members of other (non-Russian) Orthodox churches, and 0.7% are adherents of Rodnovery (Slavic folk religion). In addition, 36% of the population declares to be "spiritual but not religious", 5.4% is atheist, and 2.6% follows other religions or did not give an answer to the question.[23]


The Spaso-Grobovskaya built in 1904
The Spaso-Grobovskaya built in 1904

There are seventeen museums in Bryansk Oblast.[16] The main cities have many major architectural and archeological monuments. In Bryansk is the Svenski monastery, Chashin mound (the birthplace of Bryansk), the ancient Kremlin of Bryansk on Pokrovskaya Mountain, Peter and Paul monastery etc.[16] Main churches include the Voksresenskaya, Vvedenskaya and Spaso-Grobovskaya, Pokrovskaya and Gorne-Nikolskaya.

Klintsy is the second largest city of Bryansk oblast and was one of the Old Believers’ centers, now known for its textile industry and its ancient temples. Trubchevsk is noted for its archeological and architectural monuments, in particular the Trinity Cathedral of the 13th-19th centuries with its tomb.[16] The museum contains some valuable items dated to the 6th-7th centuries.[16]


Church of the Ascension in the village of Veliky Bor

Ruins of the church in the village Veliky Bor of Gordeevsky district of Bryansk region build in 1809
Ruins of the church in the village Veliky Bor of Gordeevsky district of Bryansk region build in 1809

The supplier on the hill of intermediaries is the compositional center of his development. Year of construction of the church (by order of Count Bezborodko) - 1809. By now, the side porticos and the top of the bell tower have been lost. An interesting example of a cross-shaped manor church in the style of mature classicism. Around the building were comparatively short side arms, which were slightly protruding rectangular altars ending in a lowered semicircular apse.

The originality of the composition is given by a large light quadrangle towering over the center with a tetrahedral dome cover and a small dome on a cubic pedestal. A small refectory with one window on the side facades is adjoined by a preserved quadrangle of the bell tower. All facades of the building at the level of the apse cornice are bypassed by a profiled belt. Four Tuscan pilasters decorating the ends of the side arms correspond to the columns of the lost porticoes.

Between them in the center there are side entrances marked with triangular sandrids, and on the sides - rectangular windows; above the openings there are, respectively, an oval and two round niches. In the upper part of each facet of the quadrangle, a large semicircular three-part Empire-type window is cut. The tier of the bell tower is decorated with large flat arched niches in the center of the facets, rusticated corner parts to the waist and round niches-medallions above it. In the interior, all the side parts are completely open into the high central one, forming a single space of the temple.

The central part is covered with a four-lane closed vault, the altar is covered with a conch, and the altar vima, the side arms and the refectory are covered with cylindrical vaults. The lower tier of the bell tower with rounded inner corners has a corrugated vault along the north-south axis. On the sides of the trapezoidal passage to the refectory, there are small rooms with a staircase in the southern one. Only the plaster cornices at the base of the vaults and at the top of the main quadrangle, as well as pilasters between the windows on the north and south walls, have survived from the interior decoration.


Main article: Flag of Bryansk Oblast

The Flag of Bryansk Oblast represents a panel burgundy with a ratio of 1:1,5. In the center of the cloth is placed coat of arms of the Bryansk region. The coat of arms is a blue shield representing Slavic unity between the states of Russia, Belarus and Ukraine. In the upper part of the shield is a stylized golden spruce with a three-tiered crown representing the forests of Bryansk. The flag is burgundy in color, representing the color of the banners under which the army and guerrillas fought for the liberation of Bryansk.

Sister regions



  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.).
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  3. ^ Law #47-Z
  4. ^ Charter of Bryansk Oblast, Article 2
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