Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia

The Kaliningrad Oblast or region (until July 4, 1946 - the Königsberg region) is a subject of the Russian Federation, the westernmost region of the country.

Located in Central Europe. In the south it borders on Poland, in the north and east - on Lithuania (see the border of the Kaliningrad region). In the west it is washed by the Baltic Sea and its bays - Curonian and Kaliningrad (Vistula). The area is 15.125 thousand km² (13.3 thousand km² minus the area of the bays).

It is a semi-exclave of Russia, since it does not have a common land border with its main territory, but is connected to it by sea. It is part of the Northwestern Federal District and forms the Kaliningrad economic region. The extreme western point of Russia (frontier post Normeln) is located within the region.

Population - 1,032,913 people. (2023). The administrative center is Kaliningrad.



For tourists, the following regions can be distinguished:
Amber Coast
Baltic Spit and Kaliningrad Bay
South of the Kaliningrad region
East of the Kaliningrad region
Northeast of the Kaliningrad region
Administratively, the region is divided into 22 municipalities: Kaliningrad, 6 urban districts and 15 districts.








Other destinations

Curonian Spit

Lake Yantarnoye is located in the area of Yantarnoye and Sinyavino. It was formed on the site of an abandoned German amber quarry, separated from the sea by a narrow strip of land. The shores of the lake are steep and rather inaccessible, but very picturesque. The unique features of the lake are its great depth, clear water, clean sandy bottom, blue clay, underwater forest, as well as cold springs constantly beating from the bottom, forming two so-called thermoclines, when warm and cold water layers do not mix and the temperature difference reaches 10 degrees . One of the most popular places for divers, lovers of camping and fishing.
The Great Moss Swamp Reserve is the largest in the region, preserved in its natural state, its area exceeds 4900 hectares. It is located at a distance of 27 km from the city of Polessk, Kaliningrad region.


Almost all sights of the Kaliningrad region belong to the German period. Perhaps the only "remarkable" monument of the Soviet era can be called the House of Soviets in Kaliningrad (an unworthy administrative building in the center of Kaliningrad in the brutalist style, which still causes controversy in society). In the post-Soviet era, quite a lot of new Orthodox churches were built in the region (although a significant part of Orthodox parishes are located in German churches). Of artistic interest is perhaps the Church of Faith, Hope, Love and their mother Sophia in Bagrationovsk, which is a qualitative imitation of Russian church architecture of the 17th century. The Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Kaliningrad rather impresses with its size.

The main layer of the German heritage is the monuments of the Teutonic era, castles and churches. They are built in the characteristic North German Brick Gothic style. Unfortunately, the state of most of them is deplorable.

Balga Castle is located on the shores of the Kaliningrad Bay. Built in the 14th century by the Teutonic Order on the site of the Prussian fortress of Honede. The architectural monument is currently in a dilapidated state.

Georgenburg Castle is located in the village. Maevka, 2 km from the city of Chernyakhovsk, Kaliningrad region. It was erected on the site of the Prussian settlement Karzovin (Garzoven) in the middle of the XIV century by the master of the Teutonic Order Winrich von Kniprode. Currently owned by the Russian Orthodox Church, is a tourist attraction. Part of the premises has been renovated, excursions are being conducted, a museum of living history is being created.

Insterburg Castle is located in the city of Chernyakhovsk (formerly Insterburg), on Zamkova Street. Founded in 1336 by order of the master of the Teutonic Order Dietrich von Altenburg. Its location allowed control of the crossroads at the confluence of the Angerapp, Pissa and Inster rivers (from which the castle takes its name). During its history, it was rebuilt many times, in the 18th-19th centuries it finally lost its military significance. The castle housed a court court, a food and fodder warehouse, during the Napoleonic wars - an infirmary, a barracks for the Uhlan squadron. After the First World War, part of the barracks was given to the police, while the main museum of the Insterburg Antiquities Society was opened in the main ones. The castle was badly damaged in 1945 during the assault by Soviet troops and in the post-war years - from a fire. At present, due to the efforts of local enthusiasts, the remains of ancient buildings are partially conserved; various historical and cultural events are held in the castle. Since 2010, Insterburg Castle has been transferred to the ownership of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Labiau Castle traces its history from the Labegove fortress, located on the Labe River (today's Deima) to protect the waterway that ran along the Deima to the Curonian Lagoon - to the Memel fortress. The fortress has been mentioned in historical documents since 1258. For a long time the castle was an advanced defensive position in the wars with Lithuania. Twice - in 1758 and 1813 - he was engaged in Russian troops. In 1860, it lost its military significance and was rebuilt as a prison. It was used in this capacity until 1963 (it was taken by Soviet troops in January 1945). Badly damaged in 1968 by fire. Currently, the building of the castle houses the MBU "Polessky CDC", the museum of puppets, the museum of the city of Polessk and the INS-theater "Labiau".

Schaaken Castle is located on the shore of the Curonian Lagoon in the village. Nekrasovo. The word "schaaken" is of Prussian origin and means "grass". Erected by the Teutonic Order on the site of the Prussian fortress Zoke, it served as a stronghold on the coast of the bay, on the ice of which Prussian and Lithuanian tribes often raided. Until 1871 the castle belonged to the royal dynasty. Three times - in 1711, 1712 and 1717 - the castle was visited by Tsar Peter I. During the Second World War, Schaaken was almost not injured, in Soviet times it was given over to housing, in the 90s, local residents began to dismantle it into bricks. In the early 2000s, attempts were made to save the castle, the restoration of walls and buildings began, a private museum was opened, and excursions began to be held. Currently, the castle belongs to the Russian Orthodox Church.

In Kaliningrad and some other cities of the region, examples of civil buildings of the late 19th and early 20th centuries have been preserved. The condition, again, is often deplorable.

An interesting layer of the heritage of the Kaliningrad region is the defensive structures of the 19th - 20th centuries. First of all, this is the system of city fortifications of Kaliningrad and the sea fortress Pillau (Baltiysk).



The official language on the territory of the Kaliningrad region, as well as throughout Russia, is Russian.


Getting here

By plane
To Kaliningrad Airport (IATA:KGD) "Khrabrovo" by direct flights of airlines: "Aeroflot", "S7", "Kuban Airlines", STC "Russia", "UTair" from the main cities of Russia. International companies also work with the airport: the Latvian "airBaltic" and the Belarusian "Belavia" and "Gomelavia".

By train
All trains go through Lithuania and Belarus. To travel by train, you need a passport and a transit Schengen visa. Citizens of the Russian Federation receive it directly on the train, provided that the ticket is purchased 48 hours before the train's departure. Such a transit visa for two trips within 3 months (there and back) is issued by the Lithuanian consul, who is on the train en route. A prerequisite for obtaining such a visa is that the passenger must travel from Kaliningrad to any point in the Russian Federation or from anywhere in the Russian Federation to Kaliningrad. To travel from Kaliningrad to other countries by train (Belarus, Ukraine), you need to contact the Lithuanian consulate. From the Kaliningrad-Yuzhny station, trains with direct links to Moscow, St. Petersburg, Chelyabinsk, Adler, Gomel, Kharkov, as well as trailer cars to Kyiv and Murmansk, regularly leave.



The settlements of the Kaliningrad region are interconnected by rail and bus.

There are 6 pairs of electric trains a day from Kaliningrad to the resort town of Svetlogorsk, and 6 pairs a day to the city of Zelenogradsk. On the branch line Zelenogradsk - Pionersky resort passes 2-3 pairs of electric trains a day.

On other lines commuter traffic is very rare: 1 train per day.


Where to eat

The cuisine practically does not have any local flavor, but a large number of beer-themed establishments, a strong presence of Lithuanian, German and Polish cuisines can be noted. Several private breweries operate in the region. On the "continental" territory of Russia, the myth of a truly Kaliningrad dish - bedbugs is widespread. According to the Kaliningraders themselves, hardly one in ten has tried this dish at least once in their life.


Precautionary measures

Many roads in the Kaliningrad region have a pre-war shape and width. Since the time of the German government, there have been close plantings of linden trees along the roads. The local name for such landings is "the last soldiers of the Reich", which is not entirely correct. Many plantings were carried out already under the USSR, this is clearly seen in the age of lindens, often not exceeding 50 years. Pump trees help keep the roadway intact from landslides. In summer, lindens provide a pleasant shade, a motorist standing in a traffic jam will surely appreciate it. However, there is a local saying: "A tree ran across his path", so you should respect the speed limit and be careful when overtaking and cornering.


Physical and geographical characteristics

Geographical position

The Kaliningrad region is the westernmost region of Russia. Separated from the rest of Russia by the territory of other states, but connected by the sea and is thus a semi-exclave.

The maximum length of the region from west to east is 205 km, from north to south - 108 km.

The length of the borders of the region, which are at the same time the state border of the Russian Federation, is 540 km. Of these, 410 km fall on land - approximately equally on the border with Poland and Lithuania and the 140-kilometer sea border along the coast of the Baltic Sea.



The offset from UTC is +2:00. Kaliningrad time differs from Moscow time by −1 hour, the time does not change during the year (summer time is not introduced), as in all of Russia, so here from April to October the same time as in Central Europe, where due to for the summer transition, the time is an hour more.



The relief of the region is a hilly plain, some parts of which are below sea level (these are the Lower Neman lowland and the lowland in the lower reaches of the Neman and Deima rivers). In the east of the region, in the Nesterovsky district, the relief is more uneven, here is the Vishtynetskaya Upland with heights up to 230 meters above sea level. Also, there are hills in the Bagrationovsky district (Varmiyskaya or Varminskaya upland). The Instruch Ridge stretches along the right bank of the Instruch River.

The lowest areas of the region are located in the north, in the Slavsky district. These are the so-called polders - lands constantly under the threat of flooding and fenced with dams. The area of the Kaliningrad polders is about a thousand square kilometers, which is more than half of all the polders of the former USSR.

The average absolute height of the land surface of the Kaliningrad region above the level of the World Ocean is 15 meters. Excessive moisture in a flat, low-lying terrain requires extensive land reclamation work. Therefore, almost the entire territory of the region is covered with drainage reclamation canals.


Landscape areas

Sambian moraine plateau
This landscape area is a moraine plateau and is located within the Kaliningrad (Sambian) peninsula. The terrain is hilly. The maximum height is 110 m. The influence of the sea is expressed here in lower temperatures in spring and summer and higher in autumn and winter, compared to the eastern regions of the region. The average temperature in January is −2.3°C, in July + 16.6°C. The sum of positive temperatures is above + 10°C. The frost-free period is 180-190 days, the longest in the region. The sum of average annual precipitation is 706 mm. The climatic difference of this region is most clearly manifested in the wind regime. This region has breeze circulation, and here is the largest number of days with winds over 15 m/s. The valleys of small rivers flowing into the Curonian Lagoon and the Pregol cut through the territory in the meridional direction. The soils are mostly soddy-slightly podzolic on non-calcareous moraine, under broad-leaved forests - brown forest. Forests occur in small areas and occupy hilly-ridged landforms.

Instruch hilly-morainic ridge
This territory is characterized by an alternation of flat low-lying areas with hills, with a variation in absolute heights from seventy meters in a hilly area to twenty in low areas.

The soils on the moraine are soddy-podzolic. Meadow vegetation prevails, interspersed with mixed and broad-leaved forests. The climate is more continental than in the western regions of the region.

Warmian hilly-morainic upland
It is located in the southwest of the region. The hilly moraine upland occupies the northern macroslope of the Gurovskie Heights, the main part of which is located in Poland. Only the northern part of this hill enters the territory of the Kaliningrad region. The relief of the region can be characterized as a system of hills and ridges of various shapes. Absolute heights here reach 70-80 m, and relative elevations - 50 m. The highest point of the hill reaches 101 meters.

Vishtynets hilly-morainic upland
The hill is located in the south-east of the region, near the border with Lithuania and Poland, on the northern slope of the Baltic moraine ridge. It is dissected by the valleys of the tributaries of Angrapa and Pissa. This is the highest part of the territory of the Kaliningrad region with heights up to 200 meters and Mount Bezymyannaya (230 m). The hills at the base join and form moraine ridges. Low-lying areas are occupied by lakes - (the largest is Vishtynetskoe). The climate is the most continental in the area with the most rainfall. The soils are soddy and weakly podzolic on sandy moraine and glacial deposits. The vegetation is meadow, marsh, interspersed with spruce and mixed forests. The picturesque landscape and remoteness from big cities make this area an attractive tourist attraction.

Pregolskaya lacustrine-glacial plain
The gently sloping spaces of the Pregolskaya lowland were formed on the site of a large lake-glacial reservoir and an ancient hollow for the flow of melted near-glacial waters. The height above sea level is from 13 to 25-30 meters, which contributes to the formation of rather large swampy massifs on it.

Sheshupskaya lacustrine-glacial plain
On the Sheshupskaya glacial lacustrine plain, individual hills rise and tributaries of the Instrucha River originate.

curonian spit
The sand dunes of the Curonian Spit have a small absolute height - up to 30-40 meters, the highest dune is located near the village of Morskoe - 68 meters. To ensure the nature protection of the spit, the Curonian Spit State Natural National Park was established. The dunes of the Baltic Spit are slightly lower than the dunes of the Curonian Spit, their height usually does not exceed 40 meters.

The Curonian Spit has a length of 98 km, while the Kaliningrad region belongs to 48 km, the rest is the Lithuanian part. The width of the spit is from 400 meters to 4 km.

Baltic (Vistula) Spit
The length of the spit is 65 km, of which 35 km belongs to the Kaliningrad region, the rest belongs to Poland. The width of the spit is from 300 to 1800 meters.



The main natural wealth of the region is amber. The Kaliningrad region is called the Amber Territory, since more than 90% of the explored world reserves of this amazing mineral are located on its territory. Amber is found in sandy-clay deposits with an admixture of a bright green mineral - glauconite, which gives the rock a specific shade, which is why the amber-bearing layers are called "blue earth". The distribution area of the amber-bearing rock covers a significant part of the Kaliningrad Peninsula and adjacent areas of the sea shelf, as well as the western part of the coast of the Kaliningrad Bay. With distance from the coast, the depth of the rock increases, and the thickness of the reservoir decreases. Along with amber there are pieces of phosphorite. Currently, the annual production of amber reaches several hundred tons, but only a small part of it is used in the jewelry production of the Kaliningrad region itself. The extraction and export of amber from the Kaliningrad region is often accompanied by offenses, such as illegal mining and smuggling of amber to the countries of Western Europe. To stimulate the processing of mined raw materials within the country, in 2013 the government introduced a complete ban on the export of unprocessed amber.

Amber is one of the symbols of the city and the Kaliningrad region, so its mention can be found in many names of enterprises, organizations, cultural events, products of Kaliningrad manufacturers.

The region has several small oil fields on land and on the shelf, including the Krasnoborskoye field operating in the declining production mode (total reserves up to 11 million tons, commercial production began in 1975) and the Kravtsovskoye (D6) field, the largest in the Baltic, located on shelf of the Baltic Sea with geological reserves of about 21.5 million tons, and recoverable about 9.1 million tons.

On the territory of the Kaliningrad region there are significant reserves of high-quality rock salt (first discovered in 1954) and peat (total reserves of about 3 billion tons, the largest deposits are Agilskoye, Nesterovskoye, Tarasovskoye, the total distribution area is more than a thousand square kilometers), reserves of brown coal ( the largest deposits are Grachevskoye (up to 50 million tons) and Mamonovskoye). Peat is mainly used for agricultural purposes as an organic fertilizer.

The region provides itself with such building materials as sand, clay, gravel-sand mixtures; heavy sands containing titanium, zirconium and ferro-manganese nodules have been found off the coast of the region. Mineral waters located at great depths with a high degree of mineralization are widely used in the food industry and healthcare in the region. The resorts of the region use local therapeutic mud.



The climate of the Kaliningrad region is determined by its geographical location and is transitional from maritime to temperate continental.

The influence of the Baltic Sea leads to the fact that the average annual temperatures increase from 7.5°C in the northeast of the region to 8°C in the southwest. The maximum difference in average monthly temperatures is observed in January-February (up to two degrees). Usually the coldest month is January, but in February the air temperature differs from January by only half a degree. The warmest month is August (July is half a degree colder). The maximum air temperature in summer is 22-26°C, the minimum temperature in winter is from -3 to -15°C. The absolute minimum was -35°C in the cities of Sovetsk and Nesterov, the absolute maximum (in Kaliningrad) - +37°C.

It rains on average 185 days a year, snow - 55 days, 60 days are cloudy, 68 days are sunny.

The heat and frosts in the region are short, the snow cover is absent or does not last long. The average air temperature in the region is about +8°C. The coldest month is January, the average temperature is +0.5…-4°C, the warmest month is August, its average temperature is +22…+23°C.

The annual amount of precipitation varies across the region from 600 to 740 mm. More precipitation falls in summer than in winter; more in autumn than in spring. The maximum amount of precipitation falls in July and August (up to 100 mm), the minimum - at the end of winter and in April-May (35-55 mm). In spring and in the first half of summer, long periods without precipitation often occur.

In autumn, westerly storm winds often pass over the region. The number of days with strong winds on the coast reaches 35. Thunderstorms in the region can occur throughout the year, although in winter they occur on average once every 10 years.



The area is washed by the waters of the Baltic Sea. In the north of the region there is a unique hydrographic object - the Curonian Spit.

The region is rich in rivers. A well-developed river network is characterized by high density, exceeding the average European by 10 times. The density of the river network is about 1 km per 1 km2. area, increasing in the lower reaches of the Neman and Pregol rivers up to 1.5 km per 1 km2. In total, 148 rivers with a length of more than ten kilometers flow through the territory of the region, but most of all in the region there are very short rivers and streams (less than 10 km long). They account for 70% of the total length of the Kaliningrad rivers. 339 rivers in the Kaliningrad region have a total length of 5.2 thousand km, the total number of watercourses (including streams), together with reclamation channels, reaches 4.6 thousand, and their total length exceeds 12.7 thousand km ..

The appearance and regime of almost all rivers have been changed by man: many are straightened and serve as water intakes for drainage systems, some are connected by canals. On a number of rivers there are dams of power plants destroyed by our time.

The largest rivers of the region are the Neman and Pregolya, most of the territory of the region belongs to the basin of these two rivers. The main tributaries of the Neman in the region are Sheshupe and Tylzha, Pregoli - Pissa, Angrapa, Instruch, Lava.

Rivers not belonging to the Neman and Pregol basins flow either into the Curonian (Rzhevka with tributaries Zlaya, Staraya Osa, Shventa, etc.), or into the Kaliningrad Bay (Prokhladnaya with tributaries Kornevka, Maiskaya, Nelma, etc.). Only a small number of small rivers flow directly into the Baltic Sea.

The rivers of the region have a mixed supply (40% - snow, 35% - rain and 25% of the annual flow falls on the ground). They are characterized by spring floods. Even the smallest rivers never dry up. The ice regime of the rivers is unstable, in mild winters the ice thickness is 10–15 cm, in average temperatures it is 30–40 cm, and in severe winters it is up to 65–70 cm.

The average annual resources of surface water bodies in the Kaliningrad region are stable and are estimated at 22.7 km3, of which 2.7 km3 are formed on the territory of the region; coming from the adjacent territories of Lithuania or Poland - 20.0 km3. The river runoff of the region's watercourses in 2016 was 15.1 km3, which is 33.5% less than the average (in 2015 - 17.7 km3).

The rivers of the region have some energy potential, realized at the beginning of the 2000s in the amount of about 11 million kWh per year.

In the Kaliningrad region, there are 38 lakes with an area of ​​more than 0.1 km² (?) (together with reservoirs and ponds). The largest of them is Vishtynetskoye Lake. It is located in the east of the region on the border with Lithuania. The area of this lake is 16.6 km². Since 1975 it has had the status of a natural monument.

The rest of the lakes in the area are small. Among the lakes of the region there are quite a few oxbow lakes. Such, for example, are the relatively large lakes Voronye and Pustoye (the oxbow lakes of the Pregol River). In the Slavsky district there are several small lakes, the oxbow lakes of the Neman. In the south-east of the region there are many lakes formed during the melting of the glacier, for example, the border Red Lake. Lake Vishtynetskoye also belongs to this family of lakes.

Also, man-made lakes-ponds are often found in the region. Examples of such lakes are the ponds Veliky, Divny and Shkolny, located in the Zelenograd region. A popular holiday destination for Kaliningraders is Chisty Pond, located on the eastern outskirts of the city (in the colloquial language, it is much more often called Isakovskoye Lake).

The Lava River is blocked in two places by hydroelectric dams, and reservoirs have formed here.

Another group of man-made lakes in the Kaliningrad region are ponds - former quarries. Behind the southwestern outskirts of Kaliningrad lies a group of such ponds, collectively known as the Blue Lakes. To the east of Kaliningrad, near the village of Pushkarevo, there are flooded quarries formed after sand mining. These ponds are a recreation area for citizens. Near the village of Yantarny, there is a large Sinyavinskoye Lake, which used to be an amber quarry.

There are seven lake districts: Sheshupe-Nemansky, Sambisky (Zemlandsky), Curonian, Instruchsky, Pregolsky, Warmia and Vishtynetsky.

The largest inland water bodies of the region are the bays of the Baltic Sea - Curonian and Kaliningrad (Vistula). In fact, they are lagoons - estuaries fenced off from the sea by sandy spits, Curonian and Baltic (Vistula), respectively. The water in the bays is fresh.



Forests in the region are predominantly secondary - both naturally regenerated and largely artificially created: planted in the 18th-19th centuries after broad-leaved forests were cut down. Forests are clearly divided into quarters.

The territory of the Kaliningrad region belongs to the zone of mixed coniferous-deciduous forests. The forest cover of the region reaches 18.5%. The eastern part of the region is the most forested (Krasnoznamensky, Nesterovsky, Chernyakhovsky districts).

In the Nesterovsky district, on the border with Poland, there is the Red Forest, which is part of the Romintenskaya Pushcha.

Despite the presence of a developed pulp and paper industry in the region, there is practically no logging in the region - forests are mainly of environmental and recreational importance.

Also, a significant part of the territory of the Curonian and Baltic Spit is covered with forest. The planting of forests is of great importance there to curb the migration of sands.

The main species are spruce, pine, oak, maple, birch. In the eastern regions of the region, the most common species is spruce (25% of the forest area). Pine is widespread (17% of the total area), especially in Krasnoznamensky, Nesterovsky, Zelenogradsky districts, on the Curonian and Baltic spits. Oak forests form small massifs in the area. Ash and linden forests grow in small tracts in the Polessky, Zelenograd, Pravdinsky, Gvardeysky districts, and there are patches of beech forest in the Zelenogradsky and Pravdinsky districts. Up to a quarter of the total forest area in the Bagrationovsky and Pravdinsky districts are birch forests, oxalis and herbaceous plants. Lowlands with prolonged excessive moisture are occupied by alder and black alder forests. They are widespread in Slavsky, Polessky, Gvardeysky and Zelenogradsky districts.

In the vegetation cover of the region there are more than 1250 species of higher plants, of which about 1000 are introduced into the landscaping culture. These are woody, shrubby and herbaceous plants imported from other continents.

Plants brought from countries with a warmer climate, as well as from the Crimea and the Caucasus, have been introduced into the region. Often there are coniferous trees - spruce and pine, deciduous - birch, beech, hornbeam, oak, maple, linden, alder, ash. Near Zelenogradsk there is a grove of black alder. A unique thousand-year-old oak is located in the city of Ladushkin. There are also beech groves. Sea buckthorn grows on the Baltic Spit in the vicinity of an abandoned airfield.

There are several hundred swamps in the region. Their total area is over 1000 km². Marshy places are rich in berries (lingonberries, blueberries, cranberries, cloudberries, blueberries), medicinal herbs.


Animal world

The fauna of the region is diverse. The region is inhabited by 338 species of terrestrial vertebrates, which form stable biotopic links with the territory of the region. The number of registered bird species in 2015 is 325 species. More than 50 species of fish live in the Baltic Sea, Kaliningrad (Vistula) and Curonian Lagoons adjacent to the territory of the region.

152 species of vertebrates (45%) are classified as rare and very rare, requiring protection, including 4 species of cyclostomes, 12 species of fish, 4 species of amphibians, 111 species of birds and 21 species of mammals. The Red Book of the Russian Federation includes 3 species of mammals, 24 species of birds and 1 species of amphibians living in the region. In the Red Book of the Baltic region, 22 species of mammals, 79 species of birds, 1 species of reptiles and 5 species of amphibians are listed as rare, endangered and endangered. The Red Book of the Kaliningrad Region, published in 2010, includes 11 species of mammals, 43 species of birds, 1 species of amphibians and 1 species of reptiles. 6 species of mammals, 44 species of birds and 2 species of amphibians, not included in the Red Data Book of the Kaliningrad Region, also need special protection.

There are mammals of orders of ungulates, predators, rodents, insectivores and bats.

The largest representative of the fauna of the region is the elk. Other representatives of the deer family in the region are red deer, spotted deer, roe deer, fallow deer.

The number of roe deer in the forests of the region is several thousand heads, red deer and elk are several hundred. After the Great Patriotic War, spotted deer were brought to the region, which are bred to obtain antlers - a valuable raw material for the manufacture of pantocrine. Wild boars are often found (including on the Curonian Spit).

Of the predators in the region, there are foxes, ermines, martens, ferrets, weasels. By the 1970s, wolves were completely exterminated by hunters, although there are appearances of wolves from Poland or Lithuania - they are allowed to hunt.

Rodents are represented by beaver, nutria, muskrat, squirrel.

The species composition and density of the main hunting species of animals living in the region exceeds the indicators of other subjects of the Russian Federation, which is explained by the natural and climatic conditions and the fodder capacity of the lands. Intensive and successful hunting activities are carried out on the territory of the region, while maintaining a stable, tending to increase, number of the main hunting species.

An ancient migratory route of birds (about 150 species) from the northern regions of Europe to the southern regions of Europe and North Africa passes over the territory of the region in the area of the Curonian Spit.

The forests are dominated by passerine birds (finches, starlings, tits, swallows, flycatchers, warblers, robins, redstarts, larks, bramblings, warblers, jackdaws, magpies, crossbills). In addition, woodpeckers, pigeons, hazel grouse and black grouse live in the forests. Predatory forest birds - hawk, harrier, owls, owls, owls.

Fields and meadows are inhabited by partridges, field harrier, storks. Marshes - sandpipers, cranes, herons. Reservoirs - various types of ducks, geese, gulls, mute swan.



Starting from the 5th century, the Prussian tribes lived on the territory of the present Kaliningrad region, a people related to the current Lithuanians and Latvians. By the 11th century, the Prussians lived in communities, engaged in agriculture, hunting, fishing and river (coastal) trade. The Prussians settled on a tribal basis, erecting fortified settlements. They professed paganism.

After the adoption of Christianity by Poland (966), active attempts were made to Christianize the Prussians. In 1206, Pope Innocent III issued a bull on the Christianization of the Prussians, and in 1217, Pope Honorius III announced a campaign against the Prussian pagans, which became part of the campaigns in East Prussia, known as the Prussian Crusade, to which the Teutonic Order joined in 1226. In 1230, the Pope gives the right to the Teutonic Order to baptize the Prussians. The German crusaders, who had interests in Eastern Europe, began to colonize new territories, which soon formed the state of the Teutonic Order. The colonization did not take place peacefully - a considerable part of the Prussian leaders waged an active war with the crusaders, while some of the leaders converted to Christianity. The Teutonic Order gave certain privileges to loyal Prussians, integrating them into the feudal system of their state. During the main phase of colonization (13th-14th centuries), two major Prussian uprisings took place - the first Prussian uprising (1242-1249) and the second Prussian uprising (1249-1260). During the uprisings, the Prussians remained divided, and despite significant difficulties, the crusaders managed to turn the tide of both uprisings and gain a foothold in the conquered territories.

During the colonization, the knights founded castles, which were their strongholds. Initially, the order castle was a fortified house that served as the place of residence of the brothers of the order. Such a house was built of wood and fortified with a palisade. In the XIV century, the construction of castles in stone began. The first of them on the territory of the Kaliningrad region was the Balga castle, founded in 1239 on the shores of the Vistula Lagoon and preserved in the form of ruins to this day.

Prussian culture and the Prussian language gradually lost their significance - new feudal relations replaced the traditional way of Prussian society, German became the language of trade and diplomacy. Most of the Prussians gradually assimilated, mixing with the mass of German colonists. The Prussian language survived as the language of rural communities until the 16th-17th centuries. Most of the non-Germanized Prussians switched to the Lithuanian language, receiving the name Letuvinniki (Prussian Lithuanians).

German colonists, for security reasons, settled near the walls of castles, forming the so-called lishke. Thus, many cities and towns of the Kaliningrad region arose, including Königsberg (Kaliningrad). At the moment, a significant number of historical monuments of the Prussian and Order period remain on the territory of the Kaliningrad region, which are mainly the ruins of castles and churches, the remains of ramparts and settlements.

The state of the Teutonic Order waged constant wars with Poland and Lithuania, expanding its influence in the Baltic region. After the adoption of Christianity by Lithuania, the legal basis for the presence of the Teutonic Order in the lands of Prussia was exhausted, the flow of crusaders and funding from Germany began to gradually dry up. After the defeat at Tannenberg (Battle of Grunwald) in 1410 and the thirteen years of war that followed, the state of the Teutonic Order lost a significant part of its territories and was in a deplorable economic state.

At the beginning of the 16th century, the state of the Teutonic Order maintained the subordination of the Holy Roman Empire and the Pope. Suzerainty over the state of the crusaders was sought by the Kingdom of Poland, at that time with the Jagiellonian dynasty at the head. Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I fought the Jagiellons (the kings of Bohemia and Hungary at the time) for influence in Central Europe, using the crusader state in this fight. In 1501, he officially forbade Grand Master Frederick of Saxony to perform homage and pay tribute to the Polish king Jan Olbracht, before that Frederick managed to evade this ceremony on his own.

Following the results of the Congress of Vienna in 1515, Emperor Maximilian I agreed with the Jagiellons on the transfer of the state of the Teutonic Order to Poland as a vassal state. At the same time, under the influence of the ideas of Martin Luther, the process of transforming the country of the crusaders (that is, the Catholic order) into a Protestant state (under the guise of "secularization") was going on.

In 1525, by order of Grand Master Albrecht, the Teutonic Order underwent secularization, and the crusader state was transformed into a secular Duchy of Prussia (subordinate to Catholic Poland). The last Grand Master of the Teutonic Order, Duke Albrecht, became the first Duke of Prussia. Lutheran Protestantism became the state religion of the new Prussian state - thus, Prussia became the first state in the world to recognize Protestantism as its state religion.

In 1657, after the so-called. "Swedish flood", Prussia became part of the united Brandenburg-Prussian state and freed itself from vassalage from Poland.

During the Seven Years' War, between 1758 and 1762, East Prussia was part of the Russian Empire. In German historiography, this period was called the "first Russian time".

From 1871 to 1918, the territory of East Prussia was part of the German Empire, and from 1919 to 1945 - the Weimar Republic and the Third Reich. At the same time, in 1919-1939, it was separated from the rest of Germany by the territory of independent Poland, which received access to the Baltic (the so-called "Polish Corridor").

In accordance with the Potsdam Agreement of 1945, the northern part of East Prussia (about one third of its entire territory) was transferred to the Soviet Union, the remaining two thirds were transferred to Poland. A piece of the northern coast of Danzig (Gdansk) on the Baltic Sea was transferred to Poland, the northeastern region of Memel (Klaipeda) was transferred to Lithuania, the middle - the Kaliningrad region (the former Könisberg region of East Prussia) - came under the protectorate of the RSFSR.

Immediately after the Second World War, a Special Military District was organized, which also dealt with civil affairs. On April 7, 1946, by the Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, the Königsberg Region was formed on the territory of the district as part of the RSFSR. On July 4, 1946, by the Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, the Königsberg region was renamed into Kaliningrad, the city of Königsberg - into Kaliningrad. The mass resettlement of families of collective farmers and agricultural workers to the region was initiated by the Decree of the Council of Ministers of the USSR No. 1522 of July 9, 1946, signed by Stalin. The document ordered to relocate "on a voluntary basis" to the Kaliningrad region for permanent residence in August-October 1946, 12 thousand families of collective farmers from 20 regions and three autonomous republics of the RSFSR and from Belarus. As a criterion for the selection of settlers, the government decree established the presence in each resettlement family of at least two able-bodied members. The first echelon of collective farmers-migrants arrived in the Gusevsky district on August 23, 1946. The pioneers of large-scale migration were 715 residents of the Bryansk region, which suffered greatly during the war. During the resettlement campaign of 1946-1948. in fact, residents of 27 regions of the RSFSR, four union republics, and two autonomous republics became immigrants. The “reliability” of the settlers was also taken into account, which was carefully monitored by the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

The German and Lithuanian (Letuvininki - Prussian Lithuanians) population was deported to Germany by 1947. The first native inhabitant of the Kaliningrad region was Alexander Anatolyevich Dorofeev, who was born on July 4, 1946 at 0:01 am in Tapiau (Gvardeysk) in the family of Major A. V. Dorofeev, the hero of the battles for Koenigsberg and Pillau.

After the war, the Kaliningrad region became one of the most militarized territories of the Soviet Union. The Headquarters of the Twice Red Banner Baltic Fleet is located in Kaliningrad, after 1991 the city of Baltiysk (former Pillau) remained the largest base of this fleet.



As of the beginning of 2009, 6066 industrial enterprises were operating in the region, including:
in mining - 120 enterprises;
in manufacturing - 5740 enterprises;
in the production and distribution of electricity, gas and water - 206 enterprises.

Key industries - food, furniture, electrical, woodworking

Until 2020, it was planned to create three new industrial parks in the settlements of Chernyakhovsk, Sovetsk, Khrabrovo settlement (Guryev district).

Technoparks were planned as part of the State Program of the Russian Federation "Socio-economic development of the Kaliningrad region until 2020": "As part of the development of certain territories to accommodate industrial and innovative enterprises, it is planned to create industrial parks in the east of the region, in Chernyakhovsk and Sovetsk" Website of the Ministry of Regional Development of the Russian Federation (inaccessible link - history).

Industrial fishing is developed, fishing ports are located in Kaliningrad, Pioneer and Svetly.

In 2012, it was planned to build two fish farms: the West-Baltic fish hatchery and the KönigFish fish farm complex. The total annual productivity of both productions is more than 700 tons of sturgeon and caviar. The approximate cost of construction of production facilities is 1 billion 767 million rubles. (300 million rubles - the budget of the Kaliningrad region, the rest - from private investors). The main private investor is UNITED FOOD Technologies International AG.



Currently, the annual production of amber at the Kaliningrad Amber Plant reaches several hundred tons, but only a small part of it is used in the excellent jewelry production of the Kaliningrad region itself. The extraction and export of amber from the Kaliningrad region is often accompanied by offenses, such as illegal mining and smuggling of amber to the countries of Western Europe.

In 2004, an offshore ice-resistant fixed platform was launched, carrying out production drilling at the Kravtsovskoye field. The license for the right to develop the field belongs to Lukoil-Kaliningradmorneft, a subsidiary of Lukoil, located in the city of Svetly. However, this branch of production of the Kaliningrad region causes ambiguous assessments of analysts and the public of the Kaliningrad region, as well as neighboring countries (Lithuania, Poland). Platform D-6, located in the Baltic Sea, 22 km from the unique nature reserve of the Curonian Spit, included in the UNESCO World Heritage List, is the subject of a constant dispute between organizations that stand on the side of the environmental protection and security of the region, on the one hand, and industrialists and officials , on the other side. In 2008, 842 thousand tons of oil were produced at the D-6 field and 583.2 thousand tons of oil onshore.



As of 01/01/2020, the rural population is 226,187 people, 22% of the population of the Kaliningrad region.


Snimal husbandry

The number of cattle at the end of September 2020 is 178.5 thousand heads (+13.9% compared to September 2019), of which 77.3 thousand heads are cows (+13.6%), 299.6 thousand pigs. heads (+35.2%), sheep and goats 80.7 thousand heads (-11.1%), poultry 3,318.7 thousand heads (+3.6%). Agricultural organizations account for only 3.5% of the number of sheep and goats. The pig population has recovered in the region after the ASF outbreak in 2018.

From history: as of July 1, 2006, the number of cattle was 95.7 thousand heads, pigs - 50.7 thousand heads, sheep and goats - 52.8 thousand heads, and birds - 2,249.3 thousand heads.

In the Kaliningrad region, livestock farms of all categories received 212 thousand tons of milk (+14.6%) in 2020, including 130.4 thousand tons (+18.6%) in agricultural enterprises. Milk yield per forage cow in agricultural enterprises is 8506 kg (+636 kg). With the increase in milk production, the production of dairy products increased, including butter - 3.7 thousand tons (+ 72%); cheese and cottage cheese — 16.5 thousand tons (+43%); fermented milk products - 29.5 thousand tons (+31%).


Crop production

The Kaliningrad region ranks first in the Russian Federation in terms of corn yields in 2018. The corn yield in the region is 113 centners per hectare in bunker weight. In some fields in the region, the yield of this crop reached 200 centners per hectare, while the average yield of corn in Russia is 49 centners per hectare. In 2018, the area of all sown crops amounted to about 250 thousand hectares or 2.5 thousand km².

The Kaliningrad region ranks first in the Russian Federation in 2020 in terms of rapeseed yield (34.3 c/ha, the average yield in Russia is 17.7 c/ha).

In 2020, the harvest of grains and legumes amounted to 824 thousand tons in bunker weight with an average yield of 60 centners per hectare. In weight after processing, 730 thousand tons of grain, a historically record figure, of which 485 thousand tons of wheat, 175 thousand tons of corn and 48 thousand tons of barley. The gross harvest of winter and spring rapeseed amounted to 155 thousand tons with an average yield of 36 centners per hectare. Taking into account the percentage of refraction (percentage of reduction in moisture and weediness) in weight after completion of 147 thousand tons of rapeseed. This is another record harvest for the region. The record for 2019 is 118.8 thousand tons. Gross harvest of soybeans is 4.6 thousand tons with an average yield of 30 centners per hectare. This is a good indicator both for crop rotations and for increasing the export potential of the region.


Ecological situation

There are problems in nature conservation. High pollution of rivers, insufficient treatment facilities. The fresh water of the Curonian Lagoon, due to the spread of blue-green algae, became unsuitable for swimming during their mass "bloom". Some small rivers are polluted with mineral fertilizers.

The region ranks 70th (out of 85 constituent entities of the Russian Federation) in the Environmental Rating of the Russian Federation in 2020.



The air quality is satisfactory, according to the atmospheric air control data of the settlements of the Kaliningrad region, the air quality in 2016 deteriorated slightly.

The amount of emissions of pollutants from stationary sources into the atmospheric air in 2016 amounted to 20,592.9 tons (20,102.3 tons in 2015) from 7,133 emission sources, of which 4,819 are organized. The share of atmospheric air samples exceeding the maximum allowable concentration of pollutants in 2016 increased to 0.9% (in 2015 - 0.4%, in 2014 - 0.4%, in 2013 - 0.6%), which equals the average for the Russian Federation in 2015. Samples exceeding the MPC by more than 5 times have not been registered since 2011.

The share of air samples that do not meet hygienic standards in the residential area of urban settlements in 2016 increased again to 0.6% (in 2015 - 0.2%, in 2014 - 0.4%, in 2013 - 0, 6%). In 21 out of 22 municipalities in 2015, there were no excesses of hygienic standards for the studied substances. Exceedances of hygienic standards were found in the zone of influence of industrial enterprises in the city of Kaliningrad.



After the end of the Second World War, 296,103 tons of chemical weapons were discovered in the occupied territory of Germany. At the Potsdam Peace Conference of the countries of the anti-Hitler coalition in 1945, a decision was made to destroy these chemical weapons. As a result, 267.5 thousand tons of bombs, shells, mines and containers were dropped into the Baltic Sea, its bays and straits, which contained 50-55 thousand tons of 14 types of chemical warfare agents belonging to the Wehrmacht. The burial of chemical warfare agents in the Baltic significantly worsens the ecological state of the environment. Hundreds of thousands of mines, shells, aerial bombs, containers and barrels are stuffed with 14 types of poisonous substances (OS), including mustard gas, lewisite, diphosgene, phosgene, adamsite, supertoxic tabun, sarin and others.

The quality of drinking water from the water supply network is stable. The proportion of unsatisfactory samples of drinking water in terms of sanitary and chemical indicators in 2016 slightly decreased to 18.1% (in 2014 - 19.3%, in 2015 - 19.7%). Of the samples that did not meet hygienic standards in terms of sanitary and chemical indicators, 97.7% did not comply with organoleptic indicators (in 2014 - 83.0%, in 2015 - 95.2%), 86.7% - in terms of the content of chemicals, mostly iron. According to microbiological indicators, water quality is improving, the share of non-standard samples in 2016 was 1.6% (in 2015 - 2.2%, in 2014 - 2.8%). The causative agents of infectious diseases have not been identified. The main reason for the non-compliance of drinking water samples with safety requirements is emergency situations in water supply networks, their untimely elimination.

The indicators are much worse than the regional average in Pravdinsky, Krasnoznamensky, Guryevsky, Bagrationovsky and Ladushkinsky urban districts, Nesterovsky district, due to the imperfection of water treatment systems. The tap water in the cities of Sovetsk, Kaliningrad and Pionersk is completely safe in epidemiological terms.

The level of concentration of oil products in sea water is low. Relative to others, the waters on the northern coast of the Sambian Peninsula near the water's edge are more polluted. The concentration of petroleum products in 2016 in absolute terms is significantly lower than in 2015. At the Kravtsovskoye oil field, located on an offshore fixed platform, the concentrations of dissolved oxygen, nitrogen, phosphorus, anionic surfactants and oil products are within natural limits.

The creation of entrance sea breakwaters in the harbor of Baltiysk shifted the southern boundary of the zone of oncoming flows to the Baltic Strait of the Kaliningrad Bay, and an abrasion basin arose between the breakwaters. The accumulation of sediments in the region of the moles is asymmetrical: they are washed out from the incoming corner of the southern mole and deposited to the north of the moles.


Household and industrial waste

According to various estimates, the volume of waste generated in the region per year ranges from 800,000 to 1,000,000 tons. According to statistical observation (form No. 2-TP), 764,989 tons were generated in 2014, 824,037 tons in 2015, and 660,335 tons of waste in 2016. At the end of 2016, the accumulated volume of waste in the Kaliningrad region was 7,699,969 tons.

According to the Regional Cadastre of Production and Consumption Wastes of the Kaliningrad Region, 1,032,369 tons of waste were generated in the Kaliningrad Region in 2015, and 819,282 tons of waste in 2016.

The waste generated in the region mainly belongs to IV (80751.84 tons in 2016) and V (669649.55 tons in 2016) hazard classes. The bulk of the waste, about 80%, is sent for storage and disposal at waste disposal facilities, about 17% is recycled (mainly industrial). 3% of waste is sent for disposal.

As of January 1, 2017, there were 8 waste disposal facilities in the Kaliningrad region, including 6 waste storage facilities and 2 solid municipal and industrial waste disposal sites. There are 16 burial sites for biological waste, including 14 cattle burial grounds and 2 inactive anthrax burial sites preserved in reinforced concrete sarcophagi.

26 waste disposal sites to be reclaimed have been identified. Of these, 14 are large, and 12 are small landfills that are enough to eliminate.

The problem of the waste management system in the Kaliningrad region is the weak development of the market for the use of individual waste fractions. The issue of disposal of toxic industrial waste has not been resolved. The operating organizations for processing, recycling and neutralization of waste do not have sufficient capacities for an environmentally safe waste management system. 17 organizations work with various waste fractions: containers (glass, wood, polyethylene), metal fractions, oily and polymeric.


The soil

The share of soil samples that do not meet the requirements of hygienic standards in the Kaliningrad region is significantly lower than the average for the Russian Federation. The number of samples that do not meet the standards for microbiological indicators decreased from 2.2% in 2015 to 0.9% in 2016. In the residential area, the indicator remained at the level of 2015 and amounted to 1.1%, while in the territory of children's institutions and playgrounds it increased and amounted to 1.3%. The share of soil samples that do not meet hygienic standards for parasitological indicators was 1% in 2016 (in 2014 - 0.7%, in 2015 - 1.2%), in the residential area - 0.9%.

As of January 1, 2017, the proportion of acidic soils in the region is 41.1% of agricultural land, of which 1.6% are strongly acidic, 10% are medium acidic and 29.5% are slightly acidic soils. Acid soils that require chemical reclamation occupy 296.4 thousand hectares, arable land - 150 thousand hectares. Works on chemical soil reclamation covered 3.4 thousand hectares in 2016 with an application dose of 5.6 t/ha. In total, 19.3 thousand tons of lime materials were introduced. It is required to annually carry out liming in the amount of 20-30 thousand hectares, with an average dose of lime material application of 5.0 t/ha.

More than half of agricultural land (51.1%) has a phosphorus content of 100 mg per kilogram of soil or less, approaching the natural state. Only 5.3% of the region's arable land has a very high supply of phosphorus and does not need to be fertilized. The area of soils with insufficient potassium content is 23.1%. There is a low level of use of organic fertilizers in the region. As of January 1, 2017, 67% of the soils of agricultural land have a humus content below 3%, and only 10.7% contains the optimal amount of humus. Most arable soils (63.4%) belong to the category of medium humus, 17.5% have a low humus content (less than 2.0%). To maintain the balance of humus, it is necessary to apply annually 11-12 tons of organic fertilizers per hectare of arable land. In fact, on average, 1-1.6 tons are applied per 1 ha of arable land, or 1.3-2.3 tons/ha of sown area.


Protected natural areas

On the territory of the Kaliningrad region there are 66 specially protected natural areas with a total area of 65,520.4 hectares. Of these, 1 protected area of federal significance is the Curonian Spit National Park (6621 ha). 65 protected areas of regional importance (58899.4 ha), of which 52 natural monuments (1496.3 ha), 1 natural park "Vishtynetsky" (22935 ha), 2 state nature reserves "Dyunny" (18600 ha) and "Gromovsky" ( 9900 ha) and 10 state natural reserves of geological profile for the preservation of amber manifestations (5968.1 ha).

In 2015, the Government of the Kaliningrad Region carried out an inventory of natural monuments, as a result of which 11 of those that were at that time, 62 were recognized as lost. Natural monuments of the Kaliningrad region are parks, rare and introduced trees and shrubs, or valuable reservoirs.

On the territory of the Kaliningrad region there are resorts of federal significance - "Svetlogorsk - Otradnoe" and "Zelenogradsk", which were previously part of specially protected natural areas of federal significance. Due to changes introduced by Federal Law No. 406-FZ dated December 28, 2013, health-improving areas and resorts were excluded from the number of specially protected natural areas.

The area of specially protected natural areas is 4.31% of the total area of the region.

Specially protected natural territories of the Kaliningrad region of regional and local significance.