Irkutsk Oblast, Russia

Irkutsk region is a subject of the Russian Federation in the southeastern part of the Siberian Federal District. Included in the East Siberian economic region.

The administrative center is the city of Irkutsk.

It borders in the west with the Krasnoyarsk Territory, in the northeast with Yakutia, in the east with the Trans-Baikal Territory, in the east and south with Buryatia, in the southwest with Tuva.

Area - 774,846 km² (4.52% of the territory of Russia).

Population - 2,344,360 people. (2023). Population density - 3.03 people/km² (2023). The share of the urban population is 78.25% (2022).



Baikal-Lena Nature Reserve


Pribaikalsky National Park
Vitim Nature Reserve



The settlement of the territory of the Irkutsk region began in the Paleolithic era. The Igeteysky Log III site belongs to the Middle Paleolithic; the Malta, Buret, Igeteysky Log I, Makarovo III, Glazkovsky necropolis and others sites belong to the Late Paleolithic.

The region was formed on September 26, 1937 when the East Siberian region of the RSFSR was divided into the Irkutsk and Chita regions.

On January 1, 2008, the Ust-Orda Buryat Autonomous Okrug, which had existed as a separate subject of the Russian Federation since 1990, became part of the Irkutsk region.

After the merger of the Irkutsk region and the Ust-Orda Buryat Autonomous Okrug, the united new subject of the Russian Federation began to bear the name “Irkutsk region” and is the legal successor of both subjects.

Unification of the Irkutsk region and the Ust-Orda Buryat Autonomous Okrug
On October 11, 2005, the parliaments of the Irkutsk region and the Ust-Orda Buryat Autonomous Okrug adopted an appeal to the President of the Russian Federation on the formation of a new subject of the Federation.

The attitude towards the unification was ambiguous. For example, in the spring of 2006, the President of the World Association of Mongols Dashiin Byambasuren (the 1st Prime Minister of Mongolia, elected through democratic elections) appealed to Russian President Vladimir Putin with a protest against plans for unification and “violation of the rights of the Buryat-Mongol people to preserve national statehood "

On April 16, 2006, a referendum was held on the unification of the Irkutsk region and the Ust-Orda Buryat Autonomous Okrug, as a result of which on January 1, 2008, the Ust-Orda Buryat Autonomous Okrug became part of the Irkutsk region.

After the merger of the Irkutsk region and the Ust-Orda Buryat Autonomous Okrug, the united new subject of the Russian Federation began to bear the name “Irkutsk region” and is the legal successor of both subjects. The Ust-Ordynsky Buryat Autonomous Okrug is part of the Irkutsk region with a special administrative status and is called the Ust-Ordynsky Buryat Okrug.



Over the years of industrialization, the Irkutsk region has become the largest center of energy and energy-intensive industries and has become the most important supplier of aluminum, petroleum products, timber and cellulose, organic synthesis products, and coal.

In terms of the level of industrial growth, the degree of development of natural resources, specialization and concentration of industrial production, it is ahead of many other regions, territories and republics of Siberia and the Far East.

The Irkutsk region has unique resources: high intellectual, industrial and natural potential, an advantageous geographical location, rich recreational advantages, and its own scientific and educational complex. Today, the main industries for the regional economy are forestry, woodworking, pulp and paper, mining, mechanical engineering, etc. There are 4 hydroelectric power stations in the region: Irkutsk, Bratsk, Ust-Ilimsk, Mamakanskaya.

One of the largest scientific potentials in the eastern regions of the Russian Federation is concentrated in the Irkutsk region. It includes 9 academic institutes of the Irkutsk Scientific Center of the SB RAS, the East Siberian Scientific Center of the SB RAMS, agricultural research organizations, more than 20 applied research and design institutes. These institutions include 7 academicians and 6 corresponding members of the Russian Academy of Sciences, 2 academicians and 4 corresponding members of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, and dozens of members of public academies. The region's scientific industry employs about 5,000 people, about a third of whom have advanced degrees.


Physiographic characteristics


The Irkutsk region is the largest landlocked region in Russia. Also, the Irkutsk region is one of the largest subjects of the Russian Federation, occupying an area of 774,846 km² (4.52% of Russia's territory), which is slightly smaller than Turkey (780,580 km²), and also larger than any state entirely located in Europe. Forests occupy 71.5 million hectares, and the forest fund 69.4 million hectares (715 and 694 thousand km², respectively).

The distance from Irkutsk to Moscow by rail is 5192 km, to Vladivostok - 4106 km. The time difference between the region and Moscow is 5 hours.

The Irkutsk region is located in Eastern Siberia. The southernmost point of the region is located at 51° north latitude, the northern tip almost reaches the 65th parallel. From north to south the region stretches for almost 1450 km, from west to east for 1318 km.

The southeastern border of the Irkutsk region runs along Lake Baikal.

The region occupies the southeastern part of the Central Siberian Plateau, the plateaus and ridges of which have heights from 500 to 1000 m.

In the south, the Irkutsk region is surrounded by spurs of the Eastern Sayan (height up to 2875 m): Agul Belki, Biryusinsky, Gutarsky, Okinsky, Udinsky and other ridges; in the east - the Baikal Mountains: part of the northern slopes of Khamar-Daban with the peak of Khan-Ula (2374 m, in the territory of neighboring Buryatia in close proximity to its border with the Irkutsk region), the Primorsky ridge with the highest point - Three-headed Golets (1728 m), The Baikal ridge with Mount Chersky (2572 m), then the North Baikal and Patom highlands, part of the Delyun-Uransky ridge and the western part of the Kodar ridge.

The territory of the Irkutsk region is included in the Mongol-Baikal belt of active earthquake occurrence.



The climate of the Irkutsk region is sharply continental, with long cold winters and short but hot and dry summers. But even in the summer months, during the breakthrough of cold Arctic fronts, night frosts down to −1 −3 degrees are possible. Frosts do not occur only in July.

In winter, severe cold snaps are possible from October to March.



The Irkutsk region is part of the East Siberian economic region; is of great economic importance, the main branches of specialization of the region are forestry, woodworking, pulp and paper, mining, mechanical engineering, etc. In terms of GDP per capita, the Irkutsk region ranks 20th among 85 subjects of the Federation, in terms of average per capita income - 21st place.

Territorial-industrial complexes
The Irkutsk region is divided into 6 territorial-industrial complexes (TIC):
Irkutsk-Cheremkhovo industrial zone
Bratsko-Ust-Ilimsk TPK
Ziminsko-Tulunsky TPK
Mamsko-Bodaybinsky mining district
Taishet industrial district
Verkhnelensky TPK



The Irkutsk region is a large industrial region. In all-Russian production, it provides 6.5% of electricity production, 15% of commercial timber exports, 6% of coal production, almost 20% of all-Russian pulp production, more than 10% of cardboard, and about 9% of oil is processed. At the end of 2019, the industrial production index decreased by 2.6 percentage points. compared to the same period last year. This indicator is 3.7 percentage points lower than the Russian average. and by 2.1 p.p. average value for the Siberian Federal District.

In the industry of the region, the forestry, woodworking and pulp and paper, mining, fuel industries, non-ferrous metallurgy, energy, mechanical engineering, food, chemical and petrochemical industries, and ferrous metallurgy have gained the greatest development. An important factor in industrial development is the region's mineral resources. Thus, the development of the large Sukhoi Log deposit, which accounts for 28% of gold reserves in Russia, is expected.

Industry is concentrated in Irkutsk and a number of regional centers.

Large industrial enterprises of the region:
Bratsk timber industry complex;
Bratsk Aluminum Plant;
JSC "Battery Technologies";
Angarsk Petrochemical Company;
Irkutsk Aviation Plant;
Irkutsk Heavy Engineering Plant;
Korshunovsky Mining and Processing Plant;
Osetrovsky river port;
Ust-Ilimsk timber industry complex;
Irkutsk Aluminum Plant;
PJSC "Verkhnechonskneftegaz"
Irkutsk Oil Company.



Rural population - 524.3 thousand people, 22% of the population of the Irkutsk region. The area of agricultural land is 2.38 million hectares, arable land - 1.6 million hectares. The region is half supplied with agricultural products; food products are imported from other regions. In 2019, agricultural production amounted to 61.9 billion rubles, exports (oil and fat products, eggs, poultry meat, drinking water, etc.) amounted to $42.5 million.



Livestock farming accounts for 46% of agricultural production. They raise cows (meat and dairy cattle (Kalmyk, Hereford)), pigs, sheep, goats, horses, deer, rabbits, poultry (chickens (Hisex White), ducks, geese, turkeys, guinea fowl, quails, pheasants, ostriches), bees , fur-bearing animals (mink, blue fox), fish (trout, carp, peled). Fishing, fur trade.

As of June 1, 2021, the number of cattle in all categories of farms is 382.1 thousand heads, including cows - 150.5 thousand heads, pigs - 219.5 thousand heads, sheep and goats - 113.9 thousand heads, poultry in agricultural organizations 6481.7 thousand heads

In 2019, the number of cattle in all categories of farms is 290.8 thousand heads, including cows - 132.7 thousand heads, pigs - 181.7 thousand heads, sheep and goats - 104.4 thousand. heads

Dairy breeding cattle breeding in the Irkutsk region is represented by black-and-white, Simmental, Holstein, black-and-white and red-and-white cattle. The average productivity of cows according to valuation was 6449 kg of milk, for the black-and-white breed - 6,514 kg, for the Simmental breed - 5,488 kg, for the red-and-white breed - 5,360 kg. Beef cattle breeding is represented by Hereford, Kazakh white-headed, Aberdeen-Angus and Kalmyk cattle. The main breeds of pigs in the region are Large White, Landrace and Duroc.

There are 27 breeding organizations in the region. The breeding stock of cattle is 37.3 thousand heads, including 16.6 thousand heads of cows. The productivity of cattle in breeding organizations is 6711 kg, and in general in agricultural organizations of the region, the milk yield per 1 cow was 5872 kg (the average for Russia is 6486 kg). 449.6 thousand tons of milk, 151.1 thousand tons of meat, 985.2 million eggs were produced (the egg production of laying hens is 334 pieces).

Large and medium-sized organizations produce 95% of meat. For 9 months of 2020, the volume of purchases of milk from peasant (farmer) and private farms in the region amounted to 28.2 thousand tons, meat - 2.3 thousand tons.


Crop production

If you choose the right variety of any agricultural crop, the yield increase can be up to 200%. Therefore, the use of certain zoned varieties of grains, vegetables, and potatoes recommended in a given year is of great importance.

They grow wheat (spring), oats, barley (spring), rye (winter), buckwheat, millet, rapeseed (spring), soybeans, corn (feed), peas, sunflower (silage), potatoes, cucumbers, white cabbage, table beets , carrots, onions, fruits, currants, gooseberries, sea buckthorn, perennial and annual herbs, fodder root crops.

More than 50% of all arable land (and 60% of production) in the region is located in the forest-steppe zone with favorable climatic conditions along the Trans-Siberian Railway from Irkutsk to Tulun, as well as on the right bank of the upper reaches of the Angara (Bokhan - Ust-Uda). 20% of the arable land is chernozem in the steppe zone in the Ust-Ordynsky Buryat Okrug, Cheremkhovo and Olkhonsky districts. The rest of the arable land is in the taiga zone, with insufficient heat supply for agricultural crops, in the northern regions along the Taishet-Lena railway, the Western section of the BAM and the upper reaches of the Lena River.

As of September 27, 2022, the harvesting campaign is in full swing, 164.7 thousand hectares of grain and leguminous crops have been threshed, or 41.2% of the sown area (a total of 403.3 thousand hectares of grain and leguminous crops have been sown, of which 85.1 thousand ha are barley), the gross harvest amounted to 372.7 thousand tons of grain crops with a yield of 22.6 c/ha (+1% by 2021), including wheat - 170.1 thousand tons, barley - 137.6 thousand tons , oats 53.1 thousand tons. The potato harvesting plan was completed by 89.7%, and the vegetable harvesting plan by 55%. Agricultural enterprises and peasant farms dug up 76.4 thousand tons of potatoes and collected 14.1 thousand tons of open ground vegetables. The average yield of potatoes is 206.7 c/ha (178.5 c/ha in 2021), vegetables 293.9 c/ha (+19%). Harvesting carrots, beets and onions continues, and we have begun harvesting cabbage. In terms of gross potato harvest, the leaders are Usolsky district - 36 thousand tons, Irkutsk district - 27 thousand tons, Cheremkhovo district - 6 thousand tons, in the collection of vegetable crops in Usolsky district - 9.8 thousand tons, Irkutsk region - 3.4 thousand tons, Bratsk area 472 tons.

In 2020, 23 thousand hectares of fallow land were put into circulation, of which 25% were in the Bratsk region. During the period from 2017 to 2019, 90.4 thousand hectares were introduced.

In 2020, agricultural organizations and peasant farms harvested 53.6 thousand tons of potatoes, with a yield of 151.2 c/ha; they harvested 40% more open-ground vegetables - 26.2 thousand tons with a yield of 289.5 c/ha.

In 2020, the harvest of grain and leguminous crops was 865.1 thousand tons (in weight after processing) (+85.9 thousand tons or 11%). 56.2% of the harvest was collected by peasant farms, the share of agricultural organizations in grain production is decreasing annually, in 2020 - from 45.8% to 43.5%.

There are 179 agricultural organizations, 1,600 peasant (farm) enterprises and 290.4 thousand personal subsidiary plots of the population, 1,090 non-profit associations in the region. 64 agricultural consumer cooperatives and 21 organizations are engaged in the purchase of surplus agricultural products from private plots of the population. The Irkutsk region accounts for 1.5% of the volume of agricultural products in Russia and 8.9% of agricultural products in the Siberian Federal District. At the end of 2019, the agricultural production index was 2.6 percentage points lower than the same period in 2018. This indicator is 7 percentage points lower than the Russian average. and by 2.3 p.p. average value for the Siberian Federal District.



The dynamic development of trade relations with China after the collapse of the USSR led to changes in forestry and the environmental situation in the region. Based on ten years of observations, it was concluded that the volume of felling is many times greater than permitted and declared. This has caused concern to the World Wildlife Fund. Chinese-owned sawmills and timber yards play a key role in the spread of illegal logging (page 17). Moreover, representatives of organized crime groups occupy not the last place in this business. There has been an emerging trend of Chinese logging companies operating under the guise of local (Russian) ones. For example, one of the largest sawmill companies in Russia (Trans-Siberian Forestry Company), according to data, sold shares to Chinese entrepreneurs, and in fact ceased to be Russian. Poaching contributes to the decline of rare animal species; and the main direction of smuggling was the export of parts and derivatives.

In the Taishet region, it is planned to develop charcoal production, which is environmentally unsafe. Data obtained from the analysis of satellite images objectively indicate significant damage caused to the forest fund from 2001 to 2019.



The level of economic development of the Irkutsk region is largely determined by the state of the electric power industry. There are 4 hydroelectric power stations operating in the region, which form the basis of the region’s energy sector:
Irkutsk hydroelectric power station;
Bratsk hydroelectric power station;
Ust-Ilimsk hydroelectric power station;
Mamakan hydroelectric power station.

In 2011, the region generated 62.5 billion kWh of energy. The majority of electricity production in the region is controlled by OAO Irkutskenergo.


Gasification of the region

In February 2004, a cooperation agreement was signed between OAO Gazprom and the administration of the Irkutsk region, providing for the development by Gazprom of a General Gasification and Gas Supply Scheme for the Irkutsk Region. On December 16, 2005, Gazprom and the Irkutsk region signed an agreement on gasification of the region. It is planned to gasify 899 settlements in the region and increase the level of gasification of the region with natural gas to 82%. This will exceed the current all-Russian level (64%). Currently, the gasification program for the region is frozen until 2018.

The Irkutsk region has one of the largest hydrocarbon reserves on the territory of the Russian Federation; the total recoverable reserves of free gas (C1 + C2), recorded in the state balance sheet of the Russian Federation, amount to 3.64 trillion. m³, gas condensate - 170.9 million tons. On the territory of the Irkutsk region there are more than a dozen oil, gas and gas condensate fields, the largest of which are the Kovykta gas condensate field and the Verkhnechonskoye oil and gas condensate field.

Despite the natural resources, in 2019 the share of natural fuel consumption in the region fluctuates around 9%; it is provided by the local gas transmission system in Bratsk and the Bratsk region. By 2024, the Cabinet of Ministers intends to reach the figure of 10.4%.