Altai Krai, Russia

Altai Krai is a Siberian subject of the Russian Federation, the capital of which is the city of Barnaul. The name "altai", which designates the mountain system, comes from the eponymous Turkish language, and means "Golden Mountains". But unlike the Altai Republic, only a small portion of this territory is covered by these mountains. Rosstat assigns it the code 01, and its registration code is 22. The official language is Russian, as well as German in a district of Halbstad. The territory is located on a large fertile plain, with the Altai foothills in the south of the territory.

The territory is located mainly on the Kulunda steppe, and it is bounded to the east by the Ob, which originates from the Biia and the Katun in Biysk. Bordering the Kemerovo-Kuzbass oblast in the east, the boundary is marked by the Salair Ridge. To the north, the Novosibirsk oblast borders the territory, to the west the Pavlodar Oblast in Kazakhstan. In the south, the East Kazakhstan Province delimits the territory, as well as the Altai Republic in the southeast. The south of its territory is among the first populated places in Asia, with the Denisova, Chagyrka and Okladinov caves. Then, different peoples conquered this territory, from the Scythians, the Samoyeds, the Xiongnu, before being integrated into various Turkish empires in the Middle Ages, from the Ruanruan, the Turkish Khaganate, Uygur to the Mongol Empire in the thirteenth century. After the Dzungarian-Qing War, Altai and its tribal leaders voluntarily joined the Russian Empire in 1756.

In 2023, the population of the krai amounted to 2,130,950 inhabitants, down since the breakup of the USSR due to the rural exodus, even if cities such as Barnaul and Biysk are also affected. More than 90% of its population is Russian, the rest are mainly either Germans or Ukrainians. Its population works mainly in agriculture, the territory being the largest agricultural region in Russia. Otherwise, industry and the trade sector are present in urban centers, as is the transport sector. But in recent years, the southern part where the foothills of Altai are located have seen the tourist sector develop strongly, with the thermal and ski resort of Belokourikha, but also in the east of the territory with the Salair National Park. In total, its GDP amounted to 550 billion rubles in 2018.





How to get there

By plane
Barnaul Airport accepts flights from Moscow and some other cities. Flights abroad are exclusively charter flights, and regular international flights fly only to Novosibirsk, where the choice of domestic flights is much greater. In the summer months, SiLa Airlines operates flights to Belokurikha on light twin-engine aircraft from Tomsk, Gorno-Altaisk and some other Siberian cities.

By train
Along the Trans-Siberian Railway, then along the West Siberian Railway to the settlements of the region.

From Moscow from Kazansky railway station on a special schedule by train No. 036B Moscow-Barnaul "Altai" or by train No. 096N to the settlements of the region. The travel time is about 2.5 days, the distance is less than 3,500 kilometers.

By car
The shortest way from the Novosibirsk region is along the Chui tract (highway R256). The alternative road along the left bank of the Ob River will be of interest mainly to those who want to visit Kamen-na-Ob; it is almost twice as long and, despite years of renovation, contains bad sections.

From the Kemerovo region, the Altai-Kuzbass road, unusual in that it is laid along the route of an unfinished railway. There are smooth curves, small slopes, monumental bridges, and there is only one settlement on the 240 km path. In the Altai Territory, the road enters the Chuisky tract in the Talmenki area (80 km north of Barnaul), and on the eastern side it stops at the Kuzbass highway Kemerovo–Novokuznetsk in the Leninsk-Kuznetsky area. Alternative route: Novokuznetsk–Biysk road through Tselinnoye; it is passable for any cars, but has unpaved sections.

From the Altai Republic, it is best to go along the Chui highway. At least there will be no asphalt on other roads, and you may need an all-terrain vehicle.

There are three roads leading to Kazakhstan in the direction of Pavlodar, Semey (through Rubtsovsk) and Ust-Kamenogorsk (through Zmeinogorsk). There are border checkpoints on these roads — round-the-clock and multilateral. The remaining crossings are so-called "border crossing points", which can only be used by residents of border areas.



1 Turquoise Katun. Tourist and recreational special economic zone on the border of the Altai Territory and the Altai Republic
2 Cascade of waterfalls on the Shinok River, the border of the Soloneshensky district of the Altai Territory and the Ust-Kansky district of the Altai Republic (10 km from Denisova Cave). The State Nature Reserve. Shinok is a small river about 15 km long, a tributary of the Anui River. A significant part of the river passes through a rocky gorge, in which there are about 9 waterfalls. The largest of them is the third from the mouth, the height of which is 70 meters. The distance from the highway to the waterfalls is about 13 kilometers, half of the way in dry weather is passable for all-terrain vehicles. There is a small tourist base on this half of the way. Waterfall delivery services are available in the surrounding area.
3 Denisova Cave, the border of the Soloneshensky district of the Altai Territory and the Ust-Kansky district of the Altai Republic. The cave is interesting for its archaeological finds. During the excavations of the cave, more than 20 cultural layers of different eras were revealed, more than 80,000 exhibits were collected, including various tools, weapons, jewelry, animal and plant remains. In 2008, another interesting exhibit was found here - the phalanx of the little finger of a girl who lived about 30-75 thousand years ago. DNA analysis led to the discovery of another human species, different from Neanderthals and modern humans, and called the Denisovan man. Currently, archaeologists are still working in the cave. Guided tours are available.
4  The G.S. Titov Cosmonautics Museum, Polkovnikovo village, 3a Shkolnaya str.
5 Splices. A village on the banks of the Katun River on the federal highway M52 (R256). It is known that the Soviet writer, actor and director Vasily Makarovich Shukshin (1929-1974) was born and lived here. The heroes of his works were ordinary people from Russian villages. The village hosts the Shukshin Readings, a festival in memory of the writer. There is a monument to him on Mount Piket. There is a museum-reserve of Shukshin. The village itself is very neat and beautiful, makes a very pleasant impression. Near the highway there is a rather expensive, large and neat market by local standards, where you can buy various pickles, jams, as well as mead (an alcoholic drink made from honey).



6 Lake Aya.
7 Lake Svetloye (Swan Lake). The wintering place of whooper swans, which arrive here in November from the north of Western Siberia, from the vicinity of Salekhard. The lake does not freeze in winter due to the warm springs with a temperature of about +5 degrees. Also, the nearby Kokshi River does not freeze, on the channels of which you can also find swans. In winter, there are about 400-500 individuals on the lake. In addition to swans, you can also find birds of other species, such as mallards (wild ducks). The best time to observe is in the morning, around 9-10 o'clock, when the workers of the reserve feed the birds. A special bridge has been built for observation, for which you must pay 50 rubles per person to enter. How to get there: from Biysk, you need to go to the village of Sovetskoye, where you need to turn towards the village of Urozhdnoye. After passing the last houses in the Harvest, turn right, after which there will be a parking lot a short distance away, from which you need to walk to the lake about 300 meters. There is a market in the parking lot where you can buy souvenirs and local products.
8  Kolyvan Lake. It is interesting to see the picturesque cliffs around.

Salt lakes of the steppe zone:
9 Big Spring Lake. Bitter-salty lake in the Kulunda steppe, 15 km from the border with Kazakhstan. It is interesting for its medicinal properties (salt water and therapeutic mud) and a fairly developed infrastructure. The town of Yarovoye is located on the shore of the lake. A popular recreational destination for residents of Western Siberia. There is another bitter-salty lake nearby - Maloe Yarovoye, without any tourist infrastructure, where it makes sense to go "savage".
10  Kulunda Lake.
11  Lakes near the village of Zavyalovo.


What to do

Trekking through mountains and valleys is the best thing to do to see the spectacular views of the Altai mountains.



Talmenka (M52). A place on the federal highway M52 with many cafes near the village of Talmenka. A popular stop for regular buses and truckers. Here you can eat an excellent quality barbecue.


Where to stay

The Visit hotel complex, Sovetskoye village, 13 Yubileynaya str. From 750 rubles per room. A small budget, but quite cozy hotel in a two-storey private house in the village of Sovetskoye. 4 rooms with a shared kitchen, shower and bathroom on the ground floor, something similar on the second floor. A convenient place to stay overnight for those traveling by car to Swan Lake, which is about half an hour away from here, and, it seems, incomparable in price with hotels in nearby Biysk and Belokurikha. There is a sauna, a barbecue.


Precautionary measures

Political situation

The Altai Territory is characterized by a stable political situation. There is a long-term stable balance between the political forces, there are no acute conflicts between them, the population is little politicized. The balance of political forces generally corresponds to the average Russian one. There are no local opposition parties or movements. There are no prominent and charismatic leaders either. The governor and mayors of cities are perceived by the population more as economic officials than as unquestioning authorities. Talking about political topics is quite acceptable and does not lead to a showdown. Interfaith and interethnic conflicts in the territory of the region have been absent for a long time and are not predicted in the near future.


Crime situation

The criminogenic situation in the region does not differ from the average in Russia. However, you need to be especially careful in remote sparsely populated areas of the region (Zalesovsky, Loktevsky, Saltonsky), where correctional labor camps existed in the past and today a significant number of descendants of their former special agent live, leading an antisocial lifestyle and engaged in theft and robbery. Small towns and villages that have experienced a significant decline in the economy and social sphere in recent years (Gornyak, Slavgorod) are also criminologically unfavorable. In these areas and localities, it is better not to travel at night. There are separate pockets of increased criminality in the largest cities of the region, Barnaul and Biysk, confined to train stations, markets, the "private sector", dormitories. An unfavorable criminal situation has also formed near the lakes Zavyalovo, Guseletovo, Malinovoye, Burlinskoye, which have become popular in recent years. You have to keep your eyes open here.


Natural disasters and emergencies

Seismic situation

Most of the Altai Territory is located on the West Siberian lithospheric plate, so earthquake foci cannot occur here. The exception is the area of the city of Kamen-na-Ob, where seismic events of magnitude up to 5.5 are possible. Nevertheless, the earthquake-prone Altai mountain system is very close, which means that strong earthquakes still occur, on average 1 time in 50 years. The seismic waves of these earthquakes caused severe soil tremors in the Altai Territory in 1931, 1989 and 2003. However, this did not cause casualties or dangerous destruction. Therefore, for a traveler, the probability of being affected by an earthquake remains quite low, which cannot be said about weather conditions.


Weather and climate conditions

The Altai Territory is located at the junction of four heterogeneous climatic zones. From the west and southwest - the vast steppes and deserts of Kazakhstan and Central Asia, from the south and east - the Altai Mountains, from the northeast - the low mountains (Salair ridge, Kuznetsky Alatau) and the Siberian taiga, from the north - the huge West Siberian plain with open access to the Arctic Ocean. This location makes the climate of the Altai Territory very difficult: it does not fall under any of their characteristic climate types and is transitional. In addition, the territory of the region is heterogeneous in terms of climate and is divided into at least 6 climatic zones and many more microclimate zones. For this reason, all types of extreme manifestations of the climates of the surrounding territories are repeated with high regularity on the territory of the Altai Territory, and the complex interaction of air masses at the junction of climatic zones regularly creates dangerous weather phenomena leading to death or injury of people and significant material damage. When traveling in the Altai Territory, always have an up-to-date weather forecast and information about current storm warnings. This information can be obtained on the official website of the Altai CGMS . Keep in mind that a seemingly harmless thundercloud in the foothills of Altai can grow to huge sizes within half an hour and cause the most severe hail and storm, sweeping away everything in its path, and a light snowstorm in winter can make any road impassable within half an hour. Altai weather, especially in sparsely populated areas, does not forgive carelessness!

Winter in the Altai Territory, although not every year, can be very harsh. From December 15 to February 20, severe frosts are likely, at night the temperature can drop to -40 degrees. When going outside, dress according to the weather. Drivers should exercise caution due to the formation of ice. Even with not very strong winds, there is a very high risk of snowstorms and snow drifts on the roads. This is due to the fact that to the west of the Altai Territory to the Caspian Sea itself there are endless steppes of Kazakhstan, from where snow is freely transferred to the territory of the region and begins to settle in forests and on rocky landforms. Usually, during snowstorms, traffic on the roads of the Altai Territory is limited or closed altogether. In 2013 and 2016/2017, snow drifts on the roads led to deaths in cars covered with snow. Therefore, after receiving a warning about a snowstorm, do not leave the settlements: the road may become impassable in a matter of minutes. Fogs, which are quite frequent in the region in winter, as well as the accumulation of cold air in low relief zones, pose a danger to drivers. When traveling to the Altai Territory by car with a diesel engine, be sure to fill up only winter fuel.

Spring usually comes to the Altai Territory in early March, and the peak of snowmelt is in early April. The sparsely wooded nature of most territories of the Altai Territory causes intense snowmelt. In the drainless plain zone of the steppe in the west of the region, huge puddles can form, often merging into vast lakes that flood roads and settlements. In the eastern part of the region, in the area of rugged terrain, on the contrary, violent temporary flows are formed, which demolish bridges, wash away roads and also flood settlements. On dirt roads, especially in the chernozem zone of the region, a strong thaw begins. Many settlements of the region may be completely inaccessible in the spring. As the snow melts, the soil and last year's vegetation dry out and the risk of wildfires increases. In the period from mid-April to the end of May, a special fire protection regime is introduced in the Altai Territory almost every year and access to forests is closed.

In summer, usually from May 15 to September 1 (and in some years until the end of September), a long period of cloudless, hot and dry weather is established almost throughout the territory of the region. On some days, the temperature can exceed +35 degrees, which creates ideal conditions for solar and thermal shocks, and low humidity causes rapid dehydration of the body. Always have a supply of fresh water with you and drink it in sufficient quantities. In the steppe regions of the region, drinking water is very hard and not suitable for drinking. A special danger is the rapid and sudden change of weather characteristic of the Altai Territory. After two to three weeks of intense heat (+30 - +35 a cold front may pass within a few hours, causing heavy rains, thunderstorms, often with fairly large hail, squally winds and subsequent cooling to +10 - +15 . Such weather phenomena are especially dangerous in foothill areas, where hail can reach the size of a chicken egg, and its recurrence is quite high (2-3 days with large hail annually).

Autumn enters the territory of the Altai Territory closer to the second decade of September. Prolonged autumn rains in September are an uncharacteristic phenomenon for the region, they do not occur every year. Usually autumn in the Altai Territory is quite dry, so the risk of fires is high. Daytime temperatures in September are still quite high, but frosts are increasingly observed at night. The weather is usually calm, and winds are infrequent in early September. In general, the most comfortable and safe time to visit the region is the beginning of autumn, which is also characterized by the brightest combination of colors, especially in the foothills. In October, periods of very warm weather are also frequent in many years. But the change of seasons is already being felt. Atmospheric fronts are becoming more frequent, winds are increasing, sometimes they blow for several days in a row. Severe frosts begin at night. During this period, travelers need to be prepared for the uninvited arrival of winter. It is already better to install winter wheels on the car. Winter usually comes in early November.


Water bodies

The water bodies of the region can also pose a certain danger. The Biya, Katun, Charysh, and Anui rivers, originating in the mountains, are characterized by a fairly fast and unpredictable flow and relatively cold water, even on hot days. The floodplain of the Ob River is heavily swamped. Many lakes in the steppe zone of the region have a marshy, heavily silted bottom. Therefore, a traveler should not swim in unfamiliar places. In the absence of official beaches, it is recommended to ask local residents about safe swimming spots, which are almost always available.


The situation in the forests

The forests of the Altai Territory are classified as fire-hazardous. Especially the ribbon forests in the south-west of the region. While in the forest, special fire safety measures should be observed, especially in the spring and autumn periods. It should be borne in mind that during a period of high fire danger, access to forests is closed and staying in the forest will be an administrative offense. It is difficult to get lost in most forests of the Altai Territory - the forests are small, light and have a large number of roads and paths. There are large solid massifs only in the east of the region.


Epidemiological situation

There is an unfavorable situation of tick-borne encephalitis throughout the Altai Territory and neighboring regions. Travelers should get vaccinated or purchase a voluntary health insurance policy under the Siberian Anti-Tick Protection program. It should be borne in mind that the injection of immunoglobulin under this policy can be made no earlier than 3 days after its purchase, therefore, care should be taken about the purchase of the policy in advance.

The entire territory of the Altai Territory is unfavorable for opisthorchiasis. Therefore, you should be careful when eating fish without proper heat treatment. It is especially dangerous to purchase salted and dried fish from street and roadside vendors. When fishing, it should be evaluated for infection with parasites and, if there is the slightest suspicion of them, do not eat fish. In some regions of the region, the situation is extremely unfavorable for parasitic diseases of agricultural and wild animals. Do not purchase it outside of specialized places of sale and do not eat wild animal meat. It is extremely dangerous to acquire badger fat.


Dangerous plants, animals, fungi

Dangerous poisonous mushrooms similar to edible ones grow on the territory of the Altai Territory: pale toadstool, smelly fly agaric, poisonous row, waxy talker, fringed gallery. Be careful when picking mushrooms and when buying them from random merchants.

Venomous snakes are found in the Altai Territory, and their activity increases in the southwestern part of the region. In winter, in some areas of the region, wolves gather in large packs that are dangerous to humans. This should be taken into account when planning ski trips. Bears are dangerous in the eastern and mountainous regions of the region. Before planning a hike, it is better to clarify the situation with wolves and bears in the Ministry of Nature of the Altai Territory or in the local hunting farm.


Man-made environment

With regard to man-made accidents, the Altai Territory is quite safe. There are no radiation and chemically hazardous facilities in the territory of the region, the state of the technological infrastructure is generally satisfactory and good.

The traffic situation in the region is generally favorable, but the risk of serious accidents is high on the R-256 Chuysky Tract highway (former M52) due to its congestion, especially on Friday and Sunday, as well as on the A-322 Barnaul-Rubtsovsk highway. The rest of the region's roads are poorly loaded.

The state of public transport in the region is of concern. The fleet of both urban and intercity buses is heterogeneous and heavily worn. The situation is aggravated by the fact that buses are operated not by large motor transport enterprises, but by entrepreneurs who do not have sufficient resources. The situation with buses is more or less stable only in Barnaul. In Biysk, the condition of the bus fleet is worse, but the regularity of movement is ensured. In other cities, the situation is generally unsatisfactory: there are few buses, they are of low capacity and are heavily worn out. Tram and trolleybus farms are also experiencing great difficulties due to the great age of the machines and their severe deterioration, the renovation process is underway, but slowly. But the rolling stock of suburban trains is mostly new. However, the frequency of its movement is very small. There are only six pairs of trains per day on the Cherepanovsky and Zarinsky directions, two pairs each on the Rebrikhinsky and Biysky, and one on the Rubtsovsky.

The electric networks in the large cities of the region are in a normal state and practically do not pose a threat to electrical appliances, which cannot be said about rural networks. When visiting the countryside, it is better to refrain from connecting expensive electrical appliances to the network. However, since 2011, there has been an active reconstruction of rural networks with the replacement of outdated uninsulated wires with modern types of SIP. In such networks, the quality of electricity will be high.

The situation with water supply is worse. Tap water of normal quality is available only in Biysk, Belokurikha, Zmeinogorsk and at the facilities of the Turquoise Katun cluster, where it can be drunk raw at any time of the year. In Barnaul, the water quality is also good, but the water in the network comes from the river and is strongly chlorinated. Poor water quality in the entire steppe zone of the region (where there are simply no normal water resources), in Novoaltaysk and Kamne-na-Ob (water intakes from the Ob River, an imperfect water treatment system) and in Zarinsk (water intake from the Chumysh River). In rural areas outside the steppe zone, there are usually no water supply networks outside the district centers. Water supply is provided by individual wells and boreholes. The water quality depends on local conditions, but is generally satisfactory.


Physiographic characteristics

Geographical position

Altai Territory is located in the south-east of Western Siberia between 50 and 55 degrees north latitude and 77 and 87 degrees east longitude. The length of the territory from west to east is about 600 km, from north to south about 400 km. The distance from Barnaul to Moscow in a straight line is about 2940 km, by road about 3600 km.

It borders in the south and west with the East Kazakhstan and Pavlodar regions of Kazakhstan, in the north and northeast with the Novosibirsk and Kemerovo regions, in the southeast with the Altai Republic.


Time zone

The Altai Territory is located in the Moscow Time zone +4. The offset of the applied time relative to UTC is +7:00. Until March 27, 2016, it was in the Omsk time zone (MSK+3; UTC+6), after which the region, in accordance with amendments to the federal law "On the Calculation of Time", switched to Krasnoyarsk time (MSK+4; UTC+7). The region was also in this time zone until May 28, 1995.



The territory of the region belongs to two physical countries: the West Siberian Plain and the Altai — Sayans. The mountainous part covers the plain from the eastern and southern sides — the Salair ridge and the foothills of the Altai. The western and central parts are predominantly flat: the Priobskoe plateau, the Biysk-Chumysh upland, and the Kulundinsky plain. Almost all natural areas of Russia are present in the region: steppe and forest-steppe, taiga and mountains. The flat part of the region is characterized by the development of steppe and forest-steppe natural zones, with ribbon forests, a developed gully network, lakes and stakes.



The climate is significantly heterogeneous, due to the variety of geographical conditions. The foothill and Priobskaya parts of the region have a temperate climate, transitional to sharply continental, which is formed as a result of frequent changes in air masses coming from the Atlantic, the Arctic, Eastern Siberia and Central Asia. The absolute annual amplitude of the air temperature reaches 90-95 °C. The average annual temperatures are positive, from +0.5 to +2 °C. The average maximum temperatures in July are +26...+28 °C, extreme temperatures reach +40...+42 °C. The average minimum temperatures in January are -20... -24 °C, the absolute winter minimum is -50... -55 °C. The frost-free period lasts about 120 days. The driest and hottest part is the western plain. The climate here is sharply continental in places. To the east and southeast, precipitation increases from 230 mm to 600-700 mm per year. The average annual temperature rises to the southwest of the region. Due to the presence of a mountain barrier in the south-east of the region, the dominant west-east air mass transfer acquires a south-westerly direction. In the summer months, northerly winds are frequent. In 20-45% of cases, the wind speed of the south-westerly and westerly directions exceeds 6 m/s. In the steppe regions of the region, the occurrence of dry winds is associated with increased wind. In the winter months, during periods with active cyclonic activity, snowstorms are everywhere observed in the region, the frequency of which is 30-50 days a year.

The Altai and Smolensky districts are characterized by the mildest climate, and the Kulundinsky and Klyuchevsky districts are the most severe. The highest air temperatures in summer are observed in the Uglovsky and Mikhailovsky districts, the lowest in winter — in Yeltsovsky, Zalesovsky, Zarinsky. The largest amount of precipitation falls in the Krasnogorsk, Altai and Soloneshensky districts, the least in the Uglovsky district and the western part of the Rubtsovsky district. The highest average annual wind speed is observed in the Blagoveshchensk district, the lowest in Biysk.

Snow cover is established on average in the second decade of November, collapses in the first decade of April. The height of the snow cover is on average 40-60 cm, in the western regions it decreases to 20-30 cm. The depth of soil freezing is 50-80 cm, in snow-free steppe areas freezing to a depth of 2-2.5 m is possible.



Altai Krai has 17,085 rivers flowing through its territory, with a total length of more than 51,000 km. The rivers of the region belong to the hydrological system of the Ob and that of the Irtysh (sub-basin of the Ob). The surface water flow rate is 55.1 km3/year. In the area of the Ob basin, which occupies 70% of the territory, 54.5 km3 of flow is formed. In the area of the Irtysh basin (30% of the territory), only 0.5 km3 of runoff is formed. The average annual flow of water entering the territory of Altai Krai from neighboring regions is 34.2 km3. The largest rivers are the Ob, the Biya, the Katun, the Alei and the Tcharych.

The region has a large number of lakes, with more than 11,000, including more than 230 that have an area greater than 1 km2. A large part of these lakes is in the steppe, and the largest are located there. The largest lakes are Kulunda Lake (728 km2), Kuchuk Lake (181 km2), Gorkoye lake in Romanovo raion (140 km2), Bolshoye Topolnoye Lake (76.6 km2) and Bolshoye Yarovoye Lake (66.7 km2).

The largest artificial body of water in the krai is the Gilevskoye Reservoir on the Alai River, with a capacity of 471 million m3. It is created by a 2,760 m long dam with a reservoir with an area of 59.5 km2. It is intended to supply the industrial hub of Rubtsovsk and the cities and villages along the Aley River with water. The second largest reservoir is the Sklyukhinskoye Reservoir, which is also intended to supply water to Rubtovsk. It is also located on the Alei River, and its capacity is 36.8 million m3.


Flora and fauna

The variety of zonal and intrazonal landscapes of the Altai Territory contributes to the species diversity of the animal world. The fauna includes 89 species of mammals from 6 orders and 22 families, more than 320 species of birds from 19 orders, 9 species of reptiles, 7 species of amphibians, 1 species of round-mouthed and 33 species of fish.

About 2,000 species of higher vascular plants grow here, which makes up two thirds of the species diversity of Western Siberia. Among them, representatives of endemic and relict species. Especially valuable are: golden root (rhodiola rosea), maral root (safflower rhaponticum), red root (forgotten kopeck), mary's root (dodging peony), licorice Ural, oregano, St. John's wort, high elecampane and others.

The forest fund occupies 26% of the territory's area. In 2020, forest monitoring was carried out on 1.9 million hectares of 19 thousand km2. In total, the forest fund is 4.43 million hectares, and the forests themselves occupy 3.88 million hectares of 38.8 thousand km2.



They include polymetals, table salt, soda, brown coal, nickel, cobalt, iron ore and precious metals. Altai is famous for its unique deposits of jasper, porphyry, marbles, granites, ochre, mineral and drinking waters, and natural therapeutic mud.


Ecological status

The state of atmospheric air is largely determined by the location and concentration of ecologically active branches of material production, the level of purification of industrial emissions from pollutants, the concentration and congestion of transport highways. At the enterprises of the region, gas purification plants capture 64% of pollutants released into the atmosphere. More than 560 thousand are operated in the region. cars whose emissions of harmful substances account for more than 45% of total atmospheric air pollution, including: carbon monoxide 69%, nitrogen oxides 37%, hydrocarbons 92%.

The main pollutants of the region's water bodies are enterprises of chemistry and petrochemistry, mechanical engineering, and thermal power engineering. A particular problem is the damage caused to small rivers by shallowing and pollution. Due to the reduction of forest cover, there is an increase in water erosion, which causes shallowing of the riverbed. Numerous small lakes are polluted by household wastewater from settlements and livestock complexes.

A number of settlements in the region are officially recognized as victims of radiation exposure as a result of nuclear weapons tests at the Semipalatinsk test site.

In addition, launch trajectories of launch vehicles from the Baikonur cosmodrome pass over the territory of the region, as a result of which rocket fuel products and parts of stages burned in the atmosphere fall to the surface.


Specially protected natural areas

At present, the original natural landscapes have practically not been preserved, all of them have experienced the effects of economic activity or the transfer of substances by water and air flows. To preserve the diversity of flora and fauna, it is planned to create an extensive network of specially protected natural areas (protected areas): nature reserves, national parks, sanctuaries, and natural monuments.

There are two federal protected areas in the territory of the region — the Tigirek Nature Reserve and the Salair National Park, and regional protected areas are represented by a system of 80 natural monuments, the Aya and Foothills of Altai nature parks and 35 state nature reserves:

Aleussky Nature Reserve
The Bashelak Nature Reserve
Blagoveshchensk Nature Reserve
Bobrovsky Nature Reserve
Bolsherechenskiy Nature Reserve
Volchikhinsky Nature Reserve
Yegoryevsky Nature Reserve
Yeltsovsky Nature Reserve
Zavyalovsky nature reserve
Zalesovsky Nature Reserve
Cascade of waterfalls on the Shinok River
Kasmalinsky Nature Reserve
Kislukhinsky Nature Reserve
Kornilovsky Nature Reserve
Kulundinsky Nature Reserve
Swan Reserve
Lifland Nature Reserve
Loktevsky Nature Reserve
Mammoth Nature Reserve
Mikhailovsky Nature Reserve
Neninsky Nature Reserve
Ob Nature Reserve
Lake Bolshoy Tassor
Muskrat Reserve
Pankrushikhinsky Nature Reserve
The Struya Peninsula
Sary-Chumyshsky Nature Reserve
Sokolovsky Nature Reserve
Suetskiy Nature Reserve
Togulsky Nature Reserve
Urzhumsky nature reserve
Lyapunikha tract
Ust-Chumyshsky Nature Reserve
Charyshsky nature Reserve
Chinetinsky nature reserve.

The total area of specially protected natural territories is 758.43 thousand hectares, or slightly less than 6% of the territory of the region (world standard: 10% of the area of the region with developed agriculture and industry), which is significantly lower than the average in Russia and not enough to maintain landscape and ecological balance in the biosphere.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Ecology of the Altai Territory is constantly working to identify new places of plant growth and animal habitats belonging to rare or endangered species, including with the aim of creating new protected areas.



The settlement of the territory of the Altai Territory began in the Paleolithic, for which the Karama site, Okladnikov, Denisov, Kozya, Chagyrskaya caves and the Hyena Lair are known. The remains of representatives of three species of the human race were discovered: Neanderthals, Homo sapiens and Denisov man. Tools of the West Eurasian Mycotic industry, which came to Siberia with the second wave of Neanderthal migrants, were found in the Chagyr cave.


Altai Mountain District

The settlement of the Upper Ob region and the foothills of Altai by Russians began in the 2nd half of the XVII century. The development of the territories accelerated after the construction of the Bikatun (1709) and Beloyarsk (1717) fortresses to protect against the militant Dzungarian nomads.

At the same time, search parties were equipped in Altai in order to explore valuable ore deposits, the discoverers of which are considered to be the father and son of the Kostylevs. Later, the Ural breeder Akinfiy Demidov took advantage of their discoveries. In the 1730s, a settlement was founded at the confluence of the Barnaul River with the Ob River at the Demidov silver smelter, named Barnaul. In 1771, Barnaul received the status of a city, and received the status of the capital of the Altai Territory in 1937.

By the second half of the XVIII century, the Kolyvan-Voskresensky Mountain District was formed, the territory of which included the modern Altai Territory, Novosibirsk and Kemerovo regions, part of the Tomsk and East Kazakhstan regions with a total area of over 500 thousand km2 and a population of more than 130 thousand souls.

After Demidov's death, the Emperor was the owner of Altai factories, mines, lands and forests, and their main management was carried out by the Cabinet located in St. Petersburg. The backbone of the on-site management was made up of mountain officers. The main role in the production was played by non-commissioned officers and technicians, from whose ranks came talented craftsmen and inventors I. I. Polzunov, K. D. Frolov, P. M. Zalesov, M. S. Laulin, etc.

Mining, which was the main branch of the economy of the district, entered a period of crisis after the abolition of serfdom in 1861. Since the beginning of the 1870s, the unprofitability of factories began to grow uncontrollably, and by the end of the century almost all of them were closed. However, this trend did not affect the gold mining enterprises of the region, many of which, like the Altai gold mining joint-stock company, existed until nationalization after the October Revolution of 1917.

At the end of the XIX century, the territory of Altai, the present Altai Territory and the Altai Republic was part of the Tomsk province.

Gradually, agriculture became the basis of the region's economy. Along with the cultivation of grain crops (wheat, oats, rye), potato planting expanded, and beekeeping received significant development.

At the beginning of the 20th century, dairy farming and buttermaking came to the fore. Altai oil was exported to Western European countries.

At the end of the XIX century, a section of the Trans-Siberian Railway passed through the northern part of the district, by 1915 the Altai Railway was built, connecting Novo-Nikolaevsk (Novosibirsk), Barnaul and Semipalatinsk (Semey).

Water transport was improved. Stolypin land reform gave impetus to the resettlement movement to Altai, which generally contributed to the economic recovery of the region.


The Soviet period

The revolution of 1917 and the subsequent civil war led to the establishment of Soviet power in Altai. In July 1917, the Altai province was formed with the center in Barnaul, which existed until 1925. From 1925 to 1930, the territory was part of the Siberian Territory (the regional center is the city of Novosibirsk), and from 1930 to 1937 it was part of the West Siberian Territory (the regional center is the city of Novosibirsk). In 1937, the Altai Territory was formed (the center is the city of Barnaul).

The outbreak of the Great Patriotic War required the restructuring of the entire economy. Altai has received more than 100 evacuated enterprises from the western regions of the country, including 24 plants of all-Union importance. At the same time, the region remained one of the main breadbaskets of the country, being a major producer of bread, meat, butter, honey, wool, etc. 15 formations, 4 regiments and 48 battalions were formed on its territory. In total, more than 550 thousand people went to the front, of which 283 thousand died or went missing.

In the post-war decades, a period of mass development of new equipment and technologies began. The growth rate of the region's industry was several times higher than the average Union. Thus, in the mid-1950s, the first automatic line for the production of ploughshares in the USSR came into operation at the Altayselmash plant, the Biysk Boiler Plant used a production line for the production of boiler drums for the first time in the history of boiler construction, and the Barnaul Plant of Mechanical Presses introduced the design of new stamping presses with a pressure of 1000-2000 tons. By the early 1960s, more than 80% of tractor plows and over 30% of freight wagons and steam boilers produced in the RSFSR were produced in the region.

At the same time, in the 1950s and 1960s, the development of virgin lands in the western steppe part of the region began. A total of 2.9 million hectares were plowed, 78 large state farms were created. In order to participate in these large-scale works, about 350 thousand people from different regions of the country (Moscow, Leningrad, Ukraine, the Urals, Kuban) arrived in Altai over several years, including 50 thousand young specialists on Komsomol vouchers. In 1956, a record harvest was harvested in the region: more than 7 million tons of grain, for which the region was awarded the Order of Lenin. The Altai Territory received the Second Order of Lenin in 1970.

In the 1970s and 1980s, there was a transition from separately operating enterprises and industries to the formation of territorial production complexes: agricultural and industrial hubs, production and industrial and scientific associations. Rubtsovo-Loktevsky, Slavgorodsko-Blagoveshchensk, Zarinsko-Sorokinsky, Barnaul-Novoaltaysky, Aleysky, Kamensky and Biysk agro-industrial complexes were created. In 1972, the construction of the Altai Coke Plant began, and in 1981 the first coke was obtained.


The modern period

In 1991, the Gorno-Altai Autonomous Region left the Altai Territory and was transformed into an independent subject of the Russian Federation: the Republic of Altai.

After the collapse of the USSR, the regional economy entered a protracted crisis associated with the loss of government orders in industry and the unprofitability of agricultural production, which lasted until the early 2000s. The discontent of the population and the resulting political sentiments contributed to the fact that for a long time the Altai Territory was part of the so-called "red belt", here the majority of the power structures remained with the left forces. In 1996, Alexander Surikov, the informal leader of the left forces, became the governor of the region, and his associate Alexander Nazarchuk took the place of chairman of the Legislative Assembly.

The regional budget was in deficit for a long time, and the economy and social sector were supported by subsidies from the federal center and loans. For example, at the expense of the Semipalatinsk program for compensation of damage from tests at the nuclear test site, about 400 social facilities were built: outpatient clinics, schools, hospitals. At one time, the budget of the Semipalatinsk program was one third of the regional budget. The gasification of the region, which began in 1996, played a positive role, main gas pipelines were built, and the conversion of boilers to a new type of fuel began. In 14 years, more than 2,300 kilometers of gas distribution networks have been installed.

In 2004, the famous pop artist and film actor Mikhail Evdokimov won the election of the governor of the Altai Territory. A year and a half later, he died in a car accident near Biysk. From 2005 to 2018, Alexander Karlin was the head of the region. In 2014, he won the gubernatorial elections, which were resumed in Russia after 2004. Since September 2018, Viktor Tomenko has been the governor of the Altai Territory.



National composition

More than 100 nationalities live in the Altai Territory: 94% of the population are Russians, the next largest are Germans (2%), Ukrainians (1.4%); all the rest are 3%.

According to the results of the 2010 All-Russian Population Census, the quantitative national composition of the region's population was as follows:

Russians — 2,234,324 (93.9%),
Germans — 50,701 (2.2%),
Ukrainians — 32,226 (1.4%),
Kazakhs — 7979 (0.3 %),
Armenians — 7640 (0.3%),
Tatars — 6794 (0.3%),
Belarusians — 4591 (0.2%),
Altaians — 1763 (0.1%),
Kumandins — 1401 (0.1%).



There are many religious communities in the Altai Territory. The largest: Orthodox. There are Catholic and Lutheran communities that resumed their activities in the 1960s. In addition, there are parishes and associations of various religious trends: Pentecostals, Evangelical Baptist Christians, Seventh-day Adventists, the Church of Christ, the Society of Krishna Consciousness, etc.



The head of the executive power of the Altai Territory is the head of the regional administration (governor). The Government of the Altai Territory is the executive body, the successor of the regional executive committee.

The representative body of legislative power is the Altai Regional Legislative Assembly. It consists of 68 deputies elected by the population of the region in elections for a period of 5 years: one half — in single—mandate constituencies, the other - on party lists. The Chairman of the Legislative Assembly is Alexander Romanenko. In the 2016 elections, the United Russia party won, gaining 44 seats in the regional parliament; 6 people represent the Fair Russia party; 8 — the Communist Party and 8 — the Liberal Democratic Party.

In the State Duma of the 7th convocation (2016-2021), the Altai Territory is represented by 10 deputies: from United Russia — Nikolai Gerasimenko, Viktor Zobnev, Daniil Bessarabov, Oleg Bykov, Valery Elykomov, Natalia Kuvshinova, Ivan Loor, Alexander Prokopyev; from Just Russia — Alexander Terentyev; from the Communist Party — Sergey Shargunov. There are 2 representatives of the region in the Federation Council — Sergey Belousov and Alexander Karlin.




The flag of the Altai Territory is a red cloth with a blue stripe at the shaft and a stylized image of a yellow ear on this stripe as a symbol of agriculture. The image of the coat of arms of the Altai Territory is reproduced in the center of the flag.



The coat of arms of the Altai Territory was approved in 2000. It is a shield of the French heraldic form, the base of which is equal to eight-ninths of the height, with an edge protruding in the middle of the lower part of the shield. The lower corners of the shield are rounded. It is divided by a horizontal strip into 2 equal parts. In the upper part of the coat of arms, on an azure background symbolizing greatness, a smoking blast furnace of the XVIII century is depicted, as a reflection of the historical past of the Altai Territory. In the lower part of the coat of arms, on a red (scarlet) background symbolizing dignity, bravery and courage, there is an image of the Kolyvan queen of vases (jasper with a predominance of green), which is kept in the State Hermitage Museum. The shield of the coat of arms is framed by a wreath of golden ears of wheat, personifying agriculture as the leading branch of the economy of the Altai Territory. The wreath is intertwined with an azure ribbon.



The budget of the region

For 2021, the budget of the Altai Territory is planned for revenues of 123,822 million rubles, and expenditures of 129,757 million rubles.

As of October 1, 2020, the state debt amounted to 1,857 million rubles, or 3.1% of its own income.

In 2020, budget revenues amounted to 134,281 million rubles, 125 percent compared to the corresponding period last year, including tax and non-tax revenues of 60,020 million rubles, which is 4 percent more than in the corresponding period last year.

Expenses amounted to 128,947 million rubles, or 120 percent compared to the corresponding period last year. Table of expenses in 2020 South


Agricultural industry

Altai Krai is the largest agricultural region in Russia. Grain, milk, meat are traditionally produced here, sugar beet, sunflower, oilseed flax, flax, hops, rapeseed and soybeans are grown.

In 1954-1960, about 3 million hectares of virgin and fallow lands were developed in the region. The total land area today is almost 16 million hectares, of which 40% is occupied by agricultural land. Due to the deterioration of the economic situation of most rural producers, 125.3 thousand hectares of arable land are not cultivated and are counted as deposits.

Altai Territory consists of seven soil and climatic zones. The Altai Territory occupies the territory of mountainous regions, as well as steppe and forest zones. Chernozems, gray forest and chestnut soils prevail, which occupy about 80% of the territory. The total area of the land fund of the region is 15,799.6 thousand hectares. Land cultivation is 40.6%. 105.7 thousand hectares are irrigated, of which 99.5 thousand hectares are arable. There are 8.5 thousand hectares of drained lands in the region, mainly in the floodplains of the forest—steppe zone, the main share is in forage lands - 7.3 thousand hectares. There is a persistent problem of organic matter deficiency, which arises due to the use of vapors, oversaturation of crop rotations with row crops and grain crops, as well as an extremely low level of application of organic fertilizers. Only half of the arable land is provided with phosphorus, a third is not provided with potassium, there is almost everywhere a lack of nitrogen fertilizers and insufficient supply of zinc, sulfur, cobalt and molybdenum. Acidification of soils by 15% of arable land, and 600 thousand hectares of arable land are saline or brackish soils.

The most favorable areas for agriculture are the areas of the so-called Biysk zone: Biysk, Zonal, Smolensky, Bystroistoksky and Troitsky, as well as the foothills: Krasnogorsk, Altai, Sovetsky and, partially, Soloneshensky. Soils rich in chernozem are concentrated here, there is a sufficient amount of precipitation, but there are many areas with unfavorable terrain. The districts closest to Barnaul are also favorable for agriculture: Pavlovsky, Kalmansky, Rebrikhinsky, Koshikhinsky. The soils here are somewhat worse than in the Biysk zone, but the soil moisture is also sufficient, and the relief is favorable. Most areas of the steppe zone do not have such a combination of favorable conditions, but nevertheless they are suitable for the cultivation of cereals and sugar beet, as well as for animal husbandry. The regions of the extreme south and south-west of the region (Uglovsky, Mikhailovsky, Egoryevsky, Kulundinsky) are unfavorable for agriculture due to frequent droughts, dry winds, littering of land with grass, remoteness of water supply sources and the eastern regions of the region (Togulsky, Yeltsovsky, Saltonsky, Zarinsky) due to insufficient arable land due to abundance forests and taiga, rocky terrain, severe swampiness.

In 2010, the region held a leading position among the regions of the Siberian Federal District in the production of agricultural products. As a percentage of the total volume in the federal District, the region's share is 23%. In particular, the production of meat, milk, and eggs has increased. Compared with the data for 2020, the index of agricultural production in the region is 108.5%.

Due to the high prices prevailing in the grain market, Altai farmers were able to earn even on a small harvest. By the beginning of December 2020, the price of third-class food wheat reached 15-16.5 thousand rubles per ton, whereas last year it barely reached eleven thousand. Buckwheat has risen in price by one and a half times — to 35-37 thousand rubles per ton instead of last year's 22-24 thousand. In 2020, the net profit of agricultural enterprises in the Altai Territory exceeded 18 billion rubles, which is almost 40% higher than last year, the growth was achieved mainly due to crop production. Taking into account subsidies, the profitability of agricultural enterprises is at the level of 30% (in 2019 it was 22%, the maximum in 2016 was 26.1%).

In 2020, the profit of agriculture amounted to 143.3 billion rubles. Net profit amounted to +18 billion rubles.


Animal husbandry

As of August 1, 2021, in farms of all categories, the number of cattle amounted to 690.2 thousand heads (5.7% less than the same date of the previous year), of which 293.4 thousand cows (3.8% less), pigs 417.5 thousand heads (7.9% less), sheep and goats 196.1 thousand. heads (10.3% less). In the structure of livestock, households accounted for 42.4% of cattle, 60.0% of pigs, 75.6% of sheep and goats (as of August 1, 2020, respectively 41,5 %, 61,5 %, 77,5 %).

In agricultural organizations, as of August 1, 2021, the number of cattle decreased by 7.5%, of which cows by 4.8%, pigs by 2.5%, sheep and goats by 4.0%, poultry by 37.1%. Milk yield per cow in agricultural organizations (excluding small businesses) amounted to 3,234 kilograms (in January-July 2020 — 3,332 kilograms), the egg production of one laying hen was 192 eggs (185 eggs).

The Altai Territory is one of the five regions of Russia in terms of cattle (705.6 thousand heads) and in 4th place among the regions in terms of milk production. Milk produced more than 1,210 thousand tons (100.5% by 2019), livestock and poultry for slaughter 276 thousand tons (101.1% compared to 2019), eggs — for the first time more than 1 billion pieces (101.6%).

In 2020, the average milk yield per cow is 4477 kg (+99 kg per year), of which agricultural organizations are 5223 kg (+277 kg), farms are 3730 kg (+200 kg), households are 4021 kg (-45 kg).

According to the bonus data for 2020, 4 breeds of dairy and beef cattle and 2 types were bred in the Altai Territory. The Simmental breed was bred in 43 steppe, foothill and mountainous regions of the region, its share in the structure of the regional dairy herd is 37.2%. The black-and-white breed and the Priobsky type are common in 25 districts, it accounts for 32.9% of the herd. The red steppe breed and the Kulundinsky type massif of this breed were bred in 17 districts of the steppe zone of the region, its share was 22.8% of the livestock of dairy cattle. The red-mottled breed was bred in 2 districts of the region, accounting for 8.0% of the dairy cattle population. The specific weight of purebred animals is 97.8%.

The list of breeding and gene pool enterprises of the Altai Territory.


Crop production

Altai Krai is an agricultural region with the largest arable land in the Russian Federation at 6.5 million hectares. The total acreage in 2021 amounted to 5.2 million hectares. About 3.3 million hectares are occupied by cereals and legumes. In terms of grain harvesting, the region ranks fourth in the country and first among the regions located beyond the Urals.

Vegetable and potato farming meet the needs of the local population. Plantations are spread throughout the territory of the region, but mainly concentrated in specialized farms near Barnaul, Biysk and Rubtsovsk. In 2020, more than 4,000 hectares (40 km2) of potatoes were planted. The yield is ~170 c/ha (17 t/ha 170 t/km2). The farms of the Altai Gardens association are engaged in the industrial production of fruits and berries.

In 2023, 15,000 hectares of corn for grain were sown in more than 20 districts. In many areas, the yield ranges from 60 to 90 quintals per hectare, and in steppe areas such as Khabar and Mikhailovsky — 30-50 kg/ha.

In 2022, the harvest of cereals and legumes exceeded expectations and reached 5.948 million tons. Buckwheat produced 807 thousand tons (+130 thousand tons by 2021). 1,765 million tons of oilseeds were harvested. There has been a significant increase in the production of flax and rapeseed. High yields of winter cereals in Ust-Kalmansky (44.7 c/ha), Zonal (42.9 c/ha), Bystroistoksky (40.7 c/ha), Altai (36.6 c/ha), Kytmanovsky (34.3 c/ha), Koshikhinsky (33.2 c/ha) and Zalesovsky (33.2 c/haha) districts.

Since 2022, varieties of spring soft wheat — Gonets and Union, as well as varieties of spring durum wheat — Shukshinka and ATP Prima, created by Altai breeders, have been zoned in the Altai Territory. The new varieties are more productive in comparison with the standards and have resistance to diseases and pests. With an average yield of modern varieties of 31.5 c/ha, the durum wheat variety Shukshinka produced a yield of 39.6 c/ha, ATP Prima — 49.7 c/ha. At the same time, the new varieties have better quality indicators, valuable for the production of pasta — the elastic properties of gluten and the color of pasta.



The main role in the industry is occupied by mechanical engineering (tracked tractors and plows, steam boilers and freight wagons, diesel engines and tires, forging machines and drilling rigs, generators for tractors and automobiles). A significant part is made up of the products of enterprises of the defense complex. A significant role is played by the food industry, which focuses on grain processing, meat and dairy production, and the production of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.

The largest enterprises: PJSC "Altai Motor Plant", PJSC "Barnaultransmash", LLC "Barnaul Plant of mechanical presses", PJSC "Altayvagon", PJSC "Altaycox", PJSC "Itkul Distillery", JSC "FNPC"Altai"", CJSC Evalar, Federal State Enterprise Biysk Oleum Plant, LLC Altai Salt Mining Company.

The chemical and petrochemical industries are less developed. The bulk of them is occupied by the Kuchuksulfate Combine in the village. Steppe Lake, which produces sodium sulfate with partial processing into sodium sulfide, used in non-ferrous metallurgy and light industry, as well as the Biysk Oleum Plant, which specializes in the production of industrial explosives, oleum, sulfuric acid and electrolytes, diesel fuel additives, concrete modifier.

In the innovative development strategy of the city of Biysk as a science city, along with the defense center and the pole of nanotechnology, one of the poles of growth is the Altai biopharmaceutical cluster, focused on solving the state strategic task of import substitution of medicines.

This area is an important link in the investment project "Integrated Development of the Altai Ob region", included in the list of priority investment projects of the Strategy for Socio-economic Development of Siberia until 2020, approved by Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation dated July 5, 2010 No. 1120-R.


Energy industry

As of the end of 2018, 11 thermal power plants with a total capacity of 1,537.5 MW were in operation in the Altai Territory. In 2018, they produced 6896 million kWh of electricity.

The level of development of the region's economy largely determines the state of the electric power industry. Its basis is thermal power plants: in Barnaul: CHP-2 and CHP-3, Biysk: CHP, Rubtsovsk: CHP of the former tractor plant. They work on the coals of the Kuznetsk, Neryungrinsky, Kansko-Achinsk deposits, and the boilers are powered by fuel oil. With the arrival of natural gas, some of the boilers were replaced with gas ones (along the Barnaul — Biysk — Belokurikha line).

The region generates only half of the required amount of electricity, the rest it receives from the Unified Energy System of Siberia.



The foreign trade turnover of the Altai Territory in 2009 amounted to 1,124,449.9 thousand US dollars and decreased by 43.1% compared to 2008. At the same time, exports amounted to 764,080.2 thousand dollars (57.2% compared to 2008), imports — 360,369.7 thousand dollars (56.1% compared to 2008).

The main partners from the CIS countries in 2008 were Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, from non-CIS countries: Belgium, Iran, China, USA, Germany, Afghanistan, Mongolia, Italy and Japan. The main trading partners in interregional trade are Kemerovo, Omsk, Lipetsk, Novosibirsk, Sverdlovsk, Chelyabinsk and Irkutsk regions, the city of Moscow and the Republic of Bashkortostan. The largest participants in foreign economic activity are the companies Altai-Cox, Altayvagon, Barnaul Cartridge Plant, Kuchuksulfate, Altai Tire Plant, Evalar, Altai Forest and Valeria. The main exports are coke, lumber, boiler equipment, wagons, flour, aluminum alloys, hunting and sporting cartridges.

A large share of exports is occupied by the sale of products from the grain processing industry. One of the major exporters of these products is the Altai Mills company, which was founded in 2008 to consolidate the promotion of grain processing products to the world market.

Major players in the retail market are represented by local and federal retail chains "Anix", "Forne", "Detsky Mir", "Lenta", "M.Video", "Maria-Ra", "Novex", "Sibvez", "Sportmaster", "Holiday Classic", "Eldorado".



In recent years, the role of tourism and related services has been increasing in the economy of the Altai Territory. So for 9 months of 2010, about 950 thousand people visited the region, of which more than 60 thousand were foreign citizens. According to forecasts, the tourist flow to the Altai Territory by the end of 2010 will increase by 35% (compared to 2009) — up to 1.1 million people. The federal resort Belokurikha, the tourist and recreational zones "Turquoise Katun" and "Siberian Coin" are located in the region. Other popular vacation spots in the region: salt lakes in the west of the region (Yarovoye, Zavyalovsky district), foothill areas (Altai, Kuryinsky, Zmeinogorsky).

According to the Main Department of Economy and Investments of the Altai Territory, as of 2010, 770 tourist enterprises operate in the region, including 545 collective accommodation facilities with a total number of seats — 45 thousand. Of these, about 17 thousand are year—round, 41 sanatorium-resort facilities for 9 thousand places of accommodation.



Altai has a well-developed railway network. Their total length is 1,803 km. 866 km are railway tracks of industrial enterprises. In the pre—revolutionary period, the Barnaul — Semipalatinsk lines with a length of about 650 km and Barnaul - Biysk with a length of about 150 km operated. Before 1945, the Slavgorod — Kulunda — Pavlodar and Lokot — Ust-Kamenogorsk highways were built, in the postwar years — sections of the South Siberian (Kulunda — Barnaul — Artyshta) and Middle Siberian (Barnaul — Kamen-na-Obi — Karasuk) directions.

The longest line of the region is the West Siberian Railway, which transports goods from the eastern regions of Russia to Central Asia. The South Siberian Railway carries transit cargo flows to the western regions of Russia and the central regions of Kazakhstan. The largest railway stations are Altayskaya, Barnaul, Biysk, Kulunda, Rubtsovsk, Aleyskaya. The construction of the Biysk—Gorno-Altaysk railway line is planned.

The length of public roads is 15.5 thousand km. All regional centers are connected to Barnaul by paved roads. Federal highways run through the territory of the region:
R-256 "Chuisky tract" Novosibirsk — Biysk is the state border with Mongolia,
A—322 Barnaul - Rubtsovsk is the state border with the Republic of Kazakhstan.
A-321 Barnaul—Pavlovsk is the border with the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Public passenger transport serves 78% of all settlements. Trams and trolleybuses operate in Barnaul (see Barnaul tram, Barnaul trolleybus), Biysk (see Biysk tram), Rubtsovsk (see Rubtsovsky trolleybus). 12.5 thousand (2006) enterprises operate in the road transportation market, which provide 886 routes, of which 220 are urban, 272 are suburban and 309 are intercity. In addition, there are 8 bus stations and 47 passenger bus stations.

Barnaul Airport provides air service to 30 cities in other regions of the country and abroad. It is planned to revive the Biysk airport. To date, the Rubtsovsky airfield has been recognized as abandoned.

The total length of the shipping lines is about 650 km, of which about 450 km are in continuous operation as of 2020. A sixth of the territory of the region with a population of about 1 million people is located in the area of potential water transport services. Navigation is developed along the rivers Ob, Biya (to Biysk), Katuni (to Shulginka). In the 1950s - 1980s, active small—scale navigation was developed along the Chumysh (to Talmenka), Charysh (to Kalmanka) and the lower reaches of the Aley (to Ust-Aleyka). The main category of cargo is construction materials and coal. Until the mid-1990s, grain and timber were also transported en masse (before the prohibition of logging). There are specialized marinas and river stations on the rivers (Barnaul, Kamen-na-Ob). The main ports are Biysk and Barnaul. As of 2020, there are about 30 RT-type tugboats in operation.


Science and education

At the beginning of 2020, 35 organizations in the Altai Territory were engaged in various types of scientific, design and survey activities.

In 2021, higher education in the Altai Territory will be provided at 12 state universities, as well as several branches and representative offices of universities from other regions.

The largest universities and institutes are located in Barnaul. Among them, Altai State University, Altai State Technical University, Altai State Agrarian University, Altai State Medical University, Altai State Pedagogical University, Altai State Institute of Culture, Altai Academy of Economics and Law, Altai Institute of Economics and Law, Altai Institute of Financial Management and Barnaul Law Institute of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia.

In addition, there are branches and representative offices of the Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation (until 2014 All-Russian Correspondence Institute of Finance and Economics), the Russian Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, the Altai Institute of Economics of the St. Petersburg Academy of Management and Economics, Leningrad State Regional University, Moscow State University of Culture and Arts, Barnaul branch of the Modern Humanitarian Academy.

Barnaul has 11 design and survey institutes and their branches and 13 research institutes.

Among the Barnaul research institutes that are leaders in their fields: Lisavenko Research Institute of Horticulture of Siberia (with its arboretum in the Mountainous part of the city), Institute of Water and Environmental Problems of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Altai Research Institute of Mechanical Engineering Technology, Altai Research Institute of Agriculture, Altai Research Institute of Aquatic Bioresources and Aquaculture, Siberian Research Institute of Cheese Making.

About 3,700 people are engaged in scientific research at universities and research organizations, including more than 250 doctors of sciences and almost 1,500 candidates of sciences.

Altai State Technical University has opened the Altai Technopolis on its base, which unites enterprises of high-tech production. Altai State University has organized the Research Institute of Science and Global Studies.

Barnaul Planetarium is one of the oldest in Russia, opened in 1950. In 1964, the Small Zeiss apparatus of the German company Carl Zeiss Jena was installed in the planetarium hall.

The Altai State Academy of Education named after V. M. Shukshin (ASAO), the Biysk Technological Institute of AltSTU, the Institute of Problems of Chemical and Energy Technologies of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IPHET SB RAS) are located in Biysk. Currently, this city is the largest science city in the Russian Federation in terms of population. The status of a science city of the Russian Federation was assigned to the city by Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 688 dated November 21, 2005 and retained for another 5 years by Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 216 dated March 29, 2011. Along with Barnaul, Biysk is an important scientific and educational center of the region. Significant scientific and technical potential is concentrated here: highly qualified personnel, modern technological and experimental base, social and industrial infrastructure that ensures research and development and obtaining significant scientific and technical results at the world level. Over the past five years, the city's higher educational institutions have developed 197 innovative projects related to the development of combat units of conventional equipment, the development and synthesis of high-energy compounds, medicinal and biologically active substances, the creation of new materials, including composite, thermal insulation, polymer compositions, micromodified nanodisperse phases, the production of superhard materials in cavitating media, etc.

Rubtsovsk is home to the Rubtsovsky Industrial Institute of AltSTU, the Rubtsovsky Institute of AltSU and the Rubtsovsky branch of the University of the Russian Academy of Education. Rubtsovsk is also home to the best Rubtsovsky Music School in the region and the Siberian Federal District.

Novoaltaysk is home to the only art school in the region, along with the Rubtsovsky Music School, it is considered one of the best in Siberia.




The traditional national musical culture is represented by the music of the Kumandin people inhabiting the southern regions, as well as Russian immigrants. The Altai Regional State Musical Comedy Theater and the State Philharmonic Society of the Altai Territory operate in Barnaul.



Most of the theaters are located in Barnaul. The largest of them are the Altai Regional State Theater of Musical Comedy, the Altai Regional Drama Theater named after V. M. Shukshin, the Altai State Youth Theater. Youth and experimental theaters are represented by the Kaleidoscope Studio Theater, the student theater "Annex" and the Shadow Theater. A drama theatre founded in 1939 operates in Biysk. There is a drama theater in Rubtsovsk, which was opened in 1937.



Since 1976, the Shukshin Readings, a festival dedicated to the memory of the writer, actor and director, have been held in Barnaul, Biysk and the village of Srostki.

Since 2006, the Mikhail Sergeyevich Evdokimov interregional folk art and sports festival "Countrymen" has been held annually in the village of Verkh-Obskoye in the Smolensk region, near Biysk (from 1992 to 2005, the cultural and sports festival was held by Mikhail Evdokimov himself). Since 2009, the festival has had the status of an all-Russian one.



In game sports, the Altai Territory is mainly represented by teams based in Barnaul. These are the Dynamo-Altai hockey club (VHL Championship; previously, the now disbanded Motor club, Dynamo football club (second division), Polymer football club (third division of Russia), Universitet volleyball club (A-League), field hockey club among women's "Communal Worker", the Altaibasket basketball team, etc. There was previously a football club "Progress" in Biysk. Currently, the Biysk "Builder", Rubtsovo "Torpedo", the Polymer team from Barnaul and the youth team of Barnaul "Dynamo" are playing in the third division of Russia. Among amateur teams, championships of the Altai Territory in basketball, hockey and football are held, as well as Olympiads among rural athletes. The captain of the Russian national football team in 2004-2005, Alexey Smertin, was born and started playing football in Barnaul. Here he founded the Olympic Reserve Sports School for children and youth (SDYUSHOR) for football.

In individual sports, such Altai athletes as Tatyana Kotova (bronze medalist of the 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games in long jump), Sergey Klevchenya (silver and bronze medalist of the 1994 Olympic Games in speed skating), Alexey Tishchenko (gold at the 2000 Olympic Games in boxing), etc. achieved high achievements. In total, in the period from 1952 to 2008, athletes from the Altai Territory won 8 gold, 10 silver and 4 bronze medals at the winter and summer Olympics. The main sports infrastructure is concentrated in the largest cities of the region: Barnaul has the Herman Titov Palace of Spectacles and Sports, the Ob sports complex, stadiums, gyms, swimming pools, a racetrack, ski bases, shooting ranges; in Slavgorod, Zarinsk and Biysk sports complexes and small football stadiums.


Mass media


Digital terrestrial TV and radio broadcasting in DVB-T2 format in the Altai Territory is conducted by the branch of RTRS "Altai KRTPC". The branch provides 97.75% of the population of the Altai Territory with 20 free digital terrestrial TV channels: Channel One, Russia-1, Match TV, NTV, Channel Five, Russia K, Russia 24, Carousel (TV channel), Public Television of Russia, TV Center, Ren-TV, Spas, STS, Domashny, TV-3, Friday!, Zvezda, Mir, TNT, Muz-TV and radio stations "Radio of Russia", "Mayak" and "Vesti FM". Analog broadcasting of federal channels was completely discontinued on June 3, 2019.