// GENERAL INFORMATION
Tula Region is located in central European Russia in the northern part of the Central Russian Uplands (elevations up to 293 m). It covers an area of 25 700 km2 and has borders with Moscow, Ryazan, Lipetsk, Orel, and Kaluga regions. Its date of formation is considered to be September 26, 1937. According to the new division of Russia into districts, Tula Region belongs to the Central Federal District, the largest in the country in terms of number of regions.
The population is 1.79 million, and the population density is 69.6 people per km2. The region is made up of 23 districts, 21 cities (including 9 under regional jurisdiction), 50 towns, and 342 villages. The administrative center is the hero city of Tula.
The region's largest industrial centers are Novomoskovsk (pop. 140 400), Aleksin (70 600), Shchekino (65 300), Uzlovaya (60 900), and Efremov (54 900).
Tula Region has large reserves of coal, iron ore, limestone, clay, and sand. It is part of the Central economic district and is one of the district's most industrially developed regions. The main industrial sectors are engineering, the chemical industry, and ferrous metallurgy. The region's oldest industry is metallurgy, which operates on ore from the world-famous Kursk magnetic anomaly. The chemical industry is quite highly developed and produces fertilizers, synthetic resins, dyes, and rubber.
The construction industry specializes in the use of local raw materials. The food industry is noted for meat and dairy products, bread baking, alcohol, and canned fruit and vegetables.
Tula Region ranks 33rd in Russia in agricultural production and 39th in per capita agricultural production. Agriculture in the region specializes in raising beef and dairy cattle, pigs, sheep, poultry, and goats and cultivating grain (mainly wheat), feed crops, potatoes, sugar beets, vegetables, and fruit.
The region has a well-developed transportation infrastructure that includes 1100 km of general-purpose railway lines and 7500 km of paved roads (98% of the total length).
Tula Region's historical and cultural legacy attracts visitors and tourists. Altogether, the region has 682 cultural institutions, 4 professional theaters, 691 libraries, 32 museums, 18 cultural and recreational parks, a philharmonic, and a circus.
People have inhabited Tula land since ancient times, as shown by discoveries of burial mounds (kurgans) and old settlements. These lands were occupied by the Slavic Vyatichi, who cultivated the land, traded, and worked at crafts. This is confirmed by records in property registers, which mention an "ancient settlement" located at the place where the small Tulitsa River flows into the Upa River. In those long-ago times, its inhabitants may also have defended their settlements against raids by Tatars and nomadic tribes, but history is silent on this matter. The first mention of Tula is found in Nikon's chronicle in reference to the campaign of Prince Svyatoslav Olgovich of Chernigov. The chronicle notes that in 1146, the prince, who was heading for Ryazan, passed through a number of other settlements, including Tula, which at the time belonged to the Ryzan principality. Theories about the origin of the city's name are of considerable interest. One of these theories is associated with the Tulitsa River, on which the city was built; another is connected with V.I. Dal's [the author of a famous thesaurus of the Russian language, originally published between 1903 and 1909] interpretation of the word "tula" as a "hidden, inaccessible place, zatulye (fence or shelter), or pritulye (refuge) for defense." In the first half of the 14th century, Tula belonged to the Golden Horde queen Taidulla, wife of Khan Janibek. Then, the Prince of Ryazan conquered it and the city passed to the Muscovite state only in the 16th century. For the next 200 years, Tula was the center of the Great Boundary Line and defended the southern borders of the Muscovite state. In 1507, Grand Prince Vasily III of Moscow ordered the construction of a stone fortress to fortify Tula; construction was completed in 1520. The fortress continued to defend the state borders: between 1531 and 1540 alone, Crimean Tatar forces attacked the city 14 times. In 1552, the fortress withstood a siege by forces of Crimean Khan Devlet Giray; and in 1607, peasant rebels led by Ivan Bolotnikov barricaded themselves in the Tula Kremlin. The standoff lasted for four months, and although the tsarist forces outnumbered the rebels five to one, they were powerless against the Kremlin's defenders. It was only by guile and cunning that they succeeded in entering Tula.
After the borders of the Muscovite state shifted to the Sea of Azov in the mid-17th century, Tula lost its military significance and became a center of the ironworking industry and arms production. The history of the Tula arms industry dates back to the time when the people of Tula lacked sufficient weapons to defend themselves against nomad attacks. The weapons were made in Moscow, and delivering them to Tula was a time-consuming and troublesome business. Therefore, Tsar Fedor decreed that an arms industry should be established right in Tula. To a great extent, this determined Tula's subsequent fortunes by giving it the reputation of the arms capital of Russia. Peter the Great, who knew and valued armorers, was very influential in the history of Tula. In 1695, the tsar ordered 2000 guns; and in 1706, a wooden armory was built in Zarechye, and output of weapons reached 15 000 pieces per year. The first state arms factory in Russia was built in Tula in 1712 by decree of Peter the Great.
In the 18th century, in addition to being known as the Russian arms capital, Tula was also known as a major center for the production of iron and cast iron goods. Various measuring and physical devices and mechanisms and ornamental metallic items were also manufactured in the city. Tula grew along with the arms industry. It became the capital of the Tula governorship in 1777, and the capital of Tula Province in 1796. It was during this time (1778) that armorer F.I. Lisitsyn set up a factory to produce samovars, another product for which Tula would become famous. The first Tula accordions were produced between 1830 and 1835.
The city grew rapidly in the early 20th century as a result of arms production during the Russo-Japanese and First World wars. Tula's factories also manufactured weapons for the Red Army during the Civil War [1918-1921]. Tula Region was formed within its present boundaries on September 26, 1937. From October through December 1941, when the front line passed through the city's southern edge, city residents along with Red Army units defended Tula against Hitler's forces. After the war ended, the people of the city and other parts of the region set about rebuilding housing and industrial facilities. Within a short period, the region's economy was restored and Tula became a center of the engineering and metalworking industries. In 1976, Tula was awarded the title of hero city for its self-sacrificing labor during the Second World War. Today, Tula is a beautiful old city and a major cultural, industrial, and scientific center of the region. The legendary Tula Kremlin located in the city center still remains as a reminder of the great feats of the people of Tula. Tula is known not only in Russia, but also far beyond the border for its samovars, accordions, spice cakes, and, of course, weapons.
Tula Region has a temperate continental climate with moderately cold winters and warm summers. The average January temperature is -5.70 °C, and the average July temperature is +19.1 °C; the average annual temperature varies from +3.5 °C to +4.8 °C. The number of days with above-zero temperatures is 220-225, with 135-140 days having temperatures above +100С. Temperature conditions and the water regime allow the cultivation of temperate-zone crops in the region.
Tula Region is situated in the watersheds of the Volga and Don Rivers, although about 80% of the river network belongs to the Volga River basin and the remainder to the Don River basin. The Upa River, which flows for 345 km through the region, is the main waterway. The gently meandering riverbed is 20-75 m wide and 1.2-3.5 m deep. The Plava and Shat are the largest rivers flowing into the Upa. Another major river, the Oka, flows for 220 km through the region. It is generally deeper than the Upa, with depths from 1 to 4.3 m, and its width varies from 50 to 400 m. The Don River flows along the eastern boundary of the region's Uzlovsky District. Altogether, there are more than 1600 rivers and streams in the region with a total length of about 11 000 km.
In addition, there are a number of sink lakes and artificial lakes occupying a total area of 1820 hectares. The largest of these lakes is the reservoir supplying process water to the Cherepets Thermal Power Plant. Another artificial lake, the Pronskoe Reservoir, is adjacent to the border with Ryazan Region in the northeast.
Tula Region has a variety of soils, including sandy-clayey deposits; sod-podzolic, gray forest, dark gray forest, boggy, and clay-humus soils; and leached, slightly leached, and podzolic black earths (chernozems) with a humus content of 6.5 to 8.5% in the fertile layer. The humus horizon is from 20 to 100 cm thick.
Floodplain and alluvial soils are characteristic of river valleys, with small areas of light gray forest soils on river floodplains.
Tula Region is located in the forest steppe and steppe zones, and thus forests cover only a small part of its territory (395 300 hectares, or 14% of the region's total area). Most of the forested area consists of state forest lands that perform health and sanitary functions. Deciduous species such as oak, birch, aspen, maple, and linden predominate. A variety of shrubs also grow in the region, e.g., Tatarian honeysuckle, Siberian peashrub, buckthorn, sloe, wild rose, and elder.
The Tula logging areas, where 12 forest-forming species grow, including pedunculate oak, pine, ash, linden, birch, and aspen, are classed as especially valuable forests. More than 1200 species of higher plants have been identified in these areas. An oak forest from 1 to 5 km wide extends from the bank of the Oka River in Belevsky District to the region's northeastern border in the northern part of Venevsky District.
Coniferous forests, where pine is the main forest-forming species, are located in the northwestern part of the region. Pure stands of pine predominate in the 790-hectare Aleksin Pine Forest (Aleksin Bor) along the Oka River near the city of Aleksin; shrubs such as euonymus, buckthorn, and juniper are also found here. The G.I. Uspensky spruce avenue is located in the Kryukosvkoe forestry station. Protected areas include the Turdeisky Nature Reserve, where rare animals (moose, wild boar, beaver, and roe deer) and plants are protected, and a small reserve in Yasnogorsky District, where feather grass, fescue, steppe timothy, purple viper's grass, catnip, alpine clover, and other steppe plants rare in the northern part of the region are found.
The region has abundant mineral resources such as brown coal, iron ore, limestone, clay, and sand; and there is geological evidence of a number of nontraditional minerals as well.
There are more than 160 explored deposits of sand, clay, crushed stone, gypsum, gravel and other minerals used in the production of building materials, as well as more than 20 promising occurrences of strontium ores with probable reserves of nearly 200 million tons. There are also anomalies of precious metals, complex ores, cadmium, copper, silver, zinc, lead, barium, and lithium suitable for commercial development.
The Kranika health resort in Suvorovsky District uses local mineral springs and therapeutic peat mud deposits for therapeutic bathing and treatments.
A favorable economic geographical location at the intersection of water and land routes promotes stable domestic and foreign economic relations. Extensive formation of market relations has been going on in Tula Region over the last few years, and there is now a developed financial system and a developing market infrastructure. The region has been successful in attracting foreign investments, and joint industrial ventures with foreign partners are being set up. Tula Region has a diversified economy in which manufacturing industries have a key role. The primary industrial sectors are engineering, chemicals, ferrous metallurgy, building materials, brown coal production, and the light, food, power, and electronics industries.
The region mines most of the workable brown coal of the Moscow coal basin, which has estimated reserves of 17.5 billion tons. Production is more than 10 million tons per year. Brown coal is of considerable interest as a composite raw material enriched with rare trace elements (e.g., sodium, scandium, lanthanum, cerium, and zirconium) and nonferrous and precious metals (aluminum, zinc, and gold).
Ferrous metallurgy accounts for 23.7% of industrial output; the chemical and petrochemical industries, for 20.5%; the power industry, for 17.4%; engineering and metalworking, for 17.1%; the food industry, for 11.9%; and light industry, for 1.4%.
Companies in the region specialize in the production of synthetic rubber, fertilizers, and synthetic fibers. There is also extensive production of chemical and transportation equipment, farm machinery, sports equipment, instruments, and household metal goods.
The engineering industry comprises large and medium companies that produce machine tools; cranes; equipment for the light and food industries; units and components for gas pipelines; pumps; coal mining equipment; farm, construction, and transportation machinery; household gas equipment; motorcycles and scooters; and many other products.
Tula craftsmen are still famous for their guns, samovars, and accordions, just as they were in the past.
In the field of science, more than 40 scientific research institutes, design offices, planning, surveying, and other organizations, more than 30 small businesses, and a number of science departments of industrial companies operate in Tula Region, ensuring scientific and technical progress in the region's most important sectors.
The construction complex consists of a strong structure of building and specialized contracting organizations, construction industry companies, and the building material industry.
Companies in the region have considerable export potential. A large number of them (650) are involved in foreign economic relations, and more than 200 different products are exported to 80 countries, including all CIS countries. Ferrous metallurgy accounts for 63% of total export volumes; the chemical industry, for 29.6%; engineering and metalworking, for 3.4%; and the medical industry, for 3.5%. Raw products and materials make up 95.8% of exports; machinery and equipment, 1.4%; and consumer goods, 2.8%. Cast iron is a traditional export product. It comprises 27.9% of all exports from the region and 38.5% of direct, contract, and joint venture foreign trade turnover; it is delivered to 17 countries, including the United States (63.8% of all cast iron exports), Germany (19.3%), Italy (8.2%), South Korea (7.9%), and Switzerland (7%). Fertilizer comprises 18.4% of the region's exports and 25.4% of direct, contract, and joint venture foreign trade turnover. Methanol, ferrovanadium, and ammonia are also important exports. Imports to the region include special machinery and equipment, casting machines, rubber latex, tools, shoes, and half-finished materials for manufacturing shoes, clothing, fabrics, and bedding.
As a major power-generating center, the region has six electric power plants, including the Shchekino Novomoskovsk and Cherepets thermal power plants (Shchekinskaya, Novomoskovskaya, and Cherepetskaya GRES) and the Aleksin, Pervomaisk, and Efremov cogeneration plants (Aleksinskaya, Pervomaiskaya, and Efremovskaya TETs). Power generated by the region meets 60-65% of regional demand, while the shortfall is purchased on RAO UES of Russia's (RAO EES Rossii) wholesale market.
Three of these power plants use natural gas and coal from the Moscow basin as fuel, one of them operates on gas and fuel oil, one on gas only, and one on imported coal and fuel oil. Gas makes up more than 92% of the fuel balance of AO Tulenergo's power plants, coal makes up about 6.5%, and fuel oil makes up the remainder. At Cherepets, the region's most powerful thermal plant, coal from the Ekibastuz, Kuznetsk, and Karaganda basins makes up 85.5% of the fuel and fuel oil, 14.5%.
The Novki-Ryazan-Orel oil trunk pipeline passes through the region with many branch lines to oil storage depots and distribution units.
Agriculture is quite developed in Tula Region. The region's agricultural complex includes more than 100 large processing companies, more than 200 small farms and private holdings, and a large number of agricultural production cooperatives. Animal products make up 65% of the region's agricultural output and plant products, 35%. The region is self-sufficient in potatoes and wheat. Most of the grain crop goes to the feed industry.
The Tula Regional Duma exercises legislative authority in Tula Region, while city, district, and regional administrations exercise executive authority.
CULTURE AND ART
The old city of Tula is located in the ancient Slavic lands of central Russia. The kurgans and ancient settlements that have been preserved here are like silent witnesses to past centuries. Tula Region has an unusual abundance of unique archeological, memorial, architectural, and natural monuments of the past.
The Tula Kremlin in the city center dating from the early 16th century is a monument of defensive architecture. Construction of the fortress, which was the main southern defense line of the Muscovite state, went on during the difficult times of the Crimean Tatar attacks on Russian lands. The craftsmen who built the Tula Kremlin skillfully combined the traditions of Old Russian architecture with the latest achievements of the Western European art of fortification. Among those taking part in the construction, besides Russian stonemasons, were the Italian architects who had built the Moscow Kremlin at the end of the 15th century.
The priceless spiritual heritage of Russia in the form of paintings and manuscripts, books and icons, is preserved in Tula's sublimely beautiful churches. The only example of 17th-century architecture to have survived unchanged is Annunciation of the Holy Virgin Church, the second-oldest building remaining in Tula after the Kremlin.
The region takes pride in its fine museums. Their collections gather together the nation's cultural property as the most convincing evidence of past glorious history and the legacy of Russian geniuses and heroes.