Kurgan Oblast, Russia

The Kurgan region is a region on the border of the Urals and Western Siberia, which local residents do not consider either one or the other, but call the Trans-Urals, thus emphasizing some originality. Indeed, in the Trans-Ural region there are features of the Urals, Siberia and even Northern Kazakhstan, but none of them are pronounced enough to make it worth traveling here especially, especially from afar, although by Ural standards local tourism is well developed here. In the Kurgan region, it is interesting to look at the ancient buildings of Shadrinsk, the aviation museum near Kurgan, swim in salt lakes or visit the Dalmatovsky Monastery - the oldest Trans-Ural monastery, founded in those years when there were no cities in the Urals itself. A huge lake region, popular for fishing and just outdoor recreation, comes to the west of the region from the Chelyabinsk region.






How to get there

By plane
There is an airport in the eastern part of the city of Kurgan. In 2018, it received planes from Moscow.

By train
Trans-Siberian Railway: Chelyabinsk - Kurgan - Petropavlovsk (Kazakhstan) - Omsk
Ekaterinburg - Kurgan
Kurgan - Troebratsky (Kazakhstan) - Novoishimsky (Kazakhstan)

By car
Along the M51 Irtysh highway (Chelyabinsk - Kurgan - Petropavlovsk (Kazakhstan) - Omsk).
On the P345 highway (Ekaterinburg - Kurgan)
On the road Tyumen - Isetskoye - Belozerskoye - Kurgan
On the road Kostonay (Kazakhstan) - Ubagan (Kazakhstan) - Zverinogolovskoye - Kurgan



Holy Dormition Dalmatovsky Monastery, Dalmatovsky district, Dalmatovo, Sovetskaya str., 194.
Holy Kazan Chimeevsky Monastery, Belozersky district, village. Chimeevo.
Holy Vvedensky Convent, Kataysky district, village. Upper Techa.
Convent of Praise of the Mother of God, Kataysky district, village. Borovskoe.



In large settlements and along highways there are catering establishments; in villages you can try to find a grocery store and buy food.


General information

The territory is 71,488 km², which is 0.42% of the area of Russia. According to this indicator, the region ranks 46th in the country. From west to east the region stretches for 430 km, and the greatest length from north to south is 290 km.

Population - 761,586 people. (2023).

Formed by the Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR on February 6, 1943. The region included 32 districts of the eastern part of the Chelyabinsk region and 4 districts of the Omsk region with a total population of 975,000 people.

in the west - with the Chelyabinsk region
in the north-west - with the Sverdlovsk region
in the northeast - with the Tyumen region
in the southeast - with the North Kazakhstan region (Republic of Kazakhstan)
in the south - with the Kostanay region (Republic of Kazakhstan)

The administrative center of the region is the city of Kurgan.


Physiographic characteristics


The relief of the region is flat, with a slight slope to the northeast (absolute heights from 57 to 206 meters). The area is replete with many basins, giving the region a unique appearance.

Depressions come in a variety of shapes and sizes - from several m² to tens of hectares, with a depth of 20-30 centimeters to 10 meters or more. These lowlands, or so-called saucers, are mostly occupied by water and form lakes.

There are more than 3 thousand lakes in the region. Some of them are not inferior to the best Russian and world analogues in terms of the mineralogical properties of water and the presence of medicinal mud.

Geological structure and minerals
The region has rich mineral resources. The following minerals are mined in the region: uranium, bentonite clays, mineral and drinking groundwater, building stones, brick clays, building sands.

The Kurgan region is one of the uranium mining regions of Russia; bentonite clay reserves account for about 20% of Russia's reserves; the Shadrinskoye mineral water deposit is considered unique in the Ural Federal District.

The region's iron ore deposits have become in demand. The southern section of the Glubochenskoye deposit with reserves of 109 million tons (Tselinny district), the Petrovskoye deposit with reserves of 430 million tons (Yurgamysh district) were transferred for use. It is planned to transfer the Northern section of the Shchuchansky deposit (Schuchansky district) for the purpose of their geological study, exploration and production. Successful exploration of these deposits at the expense of subsoil users, placing their reserves on the state balance sheet will in the future serve as the basis for the development of a new direction in the mining industry in the region; areas of titanium-zirconium placers have been identified. The prospects for gas and oil production are assessed positively.



he location of the Kurgan region in the depths of a huge continent determines its climate as continental. It is remote from the warm seas of the Atlantic Ocean, fenced off from the west by the Ural Range, located close to the center of the continent, completely open on the north side and very little protected from the south. Therefore, both arctic cold masses and warm dry masses from the steppes of Kazakhstan easily penetrate into the region’s territory, which leads to unstable meteorological conditions. Continental air masses of temperate latitudes coming from Eastern Siberia have a great influence on the climate.

The coldest month is January (average −18°), the warmest month is July (+19°). The annual amplitude between the lowest and highest temperatures in the region was noted in 1943 (in January -50°, in July +41°), and in July 2012, about +50°. The average annual precipitation in the region is 300-400 mm, but varies significantly from year to year. The minimum amount of precipitation fell in 1952 (182 mm).



Almost the entire territory of the region is located in the Tobol River basin, and only the eastern regions belong to the Tobol-Ishim interfluve and are a drainage zone. In the Kurgan region there are 449 watercourses with a total length of 5175 kilometers, there are 2943 lakes with a total area of 3000 square kilometers, which is 4% of the region’s area. Of the total number of lakes, 88.5% are fresh, 9% are salty, 2.5% are bitterly salty. Some of them, in terms of the mineralogical properties of their water, correspond to the best natural health resorts in Russia. The resorts “Lake Medvezhye”, “Pine Grove”, and the children’s sanatorium “Lake Gorkoe” are very popular. “Lake Medvezhye” is the largest of the salt lakes in the region (5853 hectares). The mineralization of its sodium chloride brine is 120-270 g/l, reaching 360-400 g/l in the summer. At the bottom of the lake there are significant reserves of sulfide mud. In terms of medicinal properties, the water of Lake Medvezhye is analogous to the water of the Dead Sea.



Within the region, the underlying rocks of the soil are horizontal strata of Paleogene, Neogene and Quaternary ages. Pre-Quaternary rocks are represented mainly by clays and heavy loams of various colors. The rocks often contain concretions of gypsum, siderite, marcasite, lime, and other salts. The salinity of these rocks causes the formation of saline and solonetzic soils. Quaternary rocks have a more uniform color. On such rocks, chernozem soils with a relatively high humus content and a large thickness of the humus layer are formed in the Kurgan region. They cover more than a third of the area's surface.



The total area of forests in the region as of January 1, 2011 is 1825 (thousand hectares). The Kurgan region lies within the forest-steppe zone of Western Siberia. The north of the region gradually turns into a strip of small-leaved forests of the taiga zone. In the south there are sections of northern steppes. Birch forests occupy about 1475 (thousand hectares), which is 21% of the region's territory. Among the forested area, birch forests predominate (60%), over 30% are in pine forests, and about 10% are in aspen groves and poplar groves. Birch forests in the northern regions are classified as subtaiga. Long before the arrival of man, the north of the region was under the rule of the taiga. With climate change, the spruce forests retreated, and their place was taken by birch forests, under the cover of which a large group of taiga plant species has survived to this day - a legacy of a previous era. The pine-linden forests located in the area of Lake Medvezhye are especially unique in that they are located more than 180 kilometers from the southern limit of linden distribution in Western Siberia. Spruce forests are found only in the north of the Shatrovsky district and occupy small spaces among tracts of pine and birch forests. In the Ketovsky district there is a natural monument “Prosvetsky Arboretum”.


Animal world

The fauna of the region is very diverse. The fauna of the region combines forest, steppe and forest-steppe species of animals. The first naturalist to begin studying the animal world of the Kurgan region was Peter Simon Pallas, who traveled in 1770 through the south of Western Siberia.

In the region, 2,500 species of invertebrates have been recorded (including 100 species of arachnids and 450 species of butterflies), 67 species of mammals from 6 orders and 17 families, the number of bird species is estimated from 224 to 283, 7 species of reptiles from 2 orders and 5 families , 9 species of amphibians from 2 orders and 5 families, 30 species of fish.

Of the mammals, 16 species are listed in the Red Book of the Kurgan Region, of which 1 species - the Russian muskrat - is listed in the Red Book of Russia. Among the invertebrates, there are 72 species of insects and 4 arachnids, of which 8 species are listed in the Red Book of Russia (Steppe bee, Apollo, Armenian bumblebee, Sweet beetle, Rhyme blueberry, Carpenter bee, Unusual bumblebee, Steppe bumblebee). In 2012, the second edition of the Red Book of the Kurgan Region was published.

Among birds, 165–170 species are nesting, and 70 species are migrating. During autumn migrations, up to 70 thousand individual birds gather on the lakes of the Makushinsky reserve. In the region, 24 species of birds listed in the Red Book of Russia are found and nest. Including 11 bird species that are globally threatened with extinction in Europe. White-headed duck, lesser lesser white-fronted lesser white-fronted lesser white-fronted goose, lesser swan, and red-breasted goose are observed on migration; nesting species include Dalmatian Pelican, Avocet, Stilt, Lapwing and others.



The entire Kurgan region is in the Ekaterinburg time zone. The UTC relative offset is +5:00. The difference with Moscow, the capital of Russia, is 2 hours.



The Late Paleolithic site Shikaevka II dates back to 18,050±95 years old. The monuments Kamyshnoye I and Ubagan III date back to the Mesolithic era.

Tsarevo Settlement, the modern city of Kurgan, was founded in 1679. The bulk of the population were Cossacks, free settlers - free and enterprising people. There was no serfdom here.

In the 19th century, the city of Kurgan became a place of political exile. The first political exile was the then famous writer and playwright August Friedrich-Ferdinand von Kotzebue, who in his memoirs called the Kurgan district “Siberian Italy”.

After the Decembrist uprising of 1825, many rebels were exiled to the Kurgan region, many of them did not return home. Among them were: F. M. Bashmakov, M. M. Naryshkin, I. F. Focht, V. N. Likharev, M. A. Nazimov, A. E. Rosen, N. I. Lorer, A. F. Briggen, I. S. Povalo-Shveikovsky, P. N. Svistunov, N. V. Basargin, D. A. Shchepin-Rostovsky, V. K. Kuchelbecker and others.

Before the revolution of 1917, the territory of the modern Kurgan region was an integral part of the Kurgan, Ishim and Yalutorovsky districts of the Tobolsk province, the Shadrinsky and Kamyshlovsky districts of the Perm province and the Chelyabinsk district of the Orenburg province.

With the construction of the Trans-Siberian Railway (1893-1894), mill farming, cooperative oil production, commercial livestock farming and mechanical engineering were actively developing. A special role in this was played by outstanding people - merchants, industrialists and entrepreneurs. One of them, the founder of the cooperative movement in Trans-Ural butter-making, was Alexander Nikolaevich Balakshin, who in 1901 organized the Union of Siberian butter-making artels, whose members included tens of thousands of producers. P. A. Stolypin noted that Siberian butter producers surpassed the gold industry in their economic contribution to the development of Russia, and the country in 1912 was second only to Denmark in butter exports. The son of A. N. Balakshin, Sergei, founded the first machine-building plant in Kurgan and the first power plant.

During the Soviet period, the territory of the modern Kurgan region was an integral part of the Tyumen and Chelyabinsk provinces, then - the Ural region (Kurgan district, Shadrinsky district, partially Chelyabinsk district and Ishim district), and then - the Chelyabinsk region.

The Kurgan region was formed by the Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR on February 6, 1943. It included 32 districts, 2 cities of regional subordination - Kurgan and Shadrinsk, 3 workers' villages and 1,784 settlements. A year later, on August 14, 1944, by Decree of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, the Tyumen region was created, to which the Armizonsky, Berdyuzhsky, Isetsky and Uporovsky districts were transferred from the Kurgan region.

On October 30, 1959, by Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, the Kurgan region was awarded the Order of Lenin for outstanding success in increasing grain production and the successful fulfillment of obligations to sell grain to the state. Then the Trans-Urals handed over 90 million poods of grain (about 1.5 million tons) to the state. The award ceremony took place only in March 1961, when N. S. Khrushchev attached the order to the banner of the region.