History of Kuzbass

Kemerovo Region (mostly overlapping the territory of Kuznetsk coal basin, Kuzbass for short) is a subject of the Russian Federation, a part of Siberian Federal District. Formerly the region was a part of Novosibirsk Region, and on the 26 January, 1943 it was established as a new separate region. Administratively Kemerovo Regions consists of 20 cities and 18 districts.

The region is located in the southeast of Western Siberia, occupying the foothills of the Altai and Sayan. It is the most populous part of Siberia and the Asian part of Russia. Besides Russians, who account for more than 90% of the population, there also live Shor and Teleut small peoples, the indigenous population, and Siberian Tatars, who have preserved their cultural traditions.

The territory is - 95,725 sq km (34th place in the country). The length of the region from north to south is about 500 km, from west to east  - 300 km). Kemerovo Region borders with Tomsk Region on the north-east and north, Krasnoyarsk Territory in the north-east, the Republic of Khakassia in the east, the Republic of Altai in the south, Altai Territory in the south-west, and Novosibirsk Region in the north-west.

The population is 2,724,990 people (2015), the population density is 28.47 persons / km² (2015). Most of the population lives in urban areas, there are also large areas with low population density. The share of the urban population amounts to 85.71% (2015).

The administrative center of the region is the city of Kemerovo with the population of 549 159 people (2015). Together with other cities (Topki, Berezovsky and others) Kemerovo forms an agglomeration with a population of over 685 thousand people (2014).

The largest city in the region is Novokuznetsk - 550 127 people. (2015).

Ancient period

There a number of sites of ancient ages on the territory of the region. Mokhovo 2 in Kuznetsk Basin is a site of the Middle Paleolithic Age. Shumikha-I, Bedarevo I, II, II, Shorokhovo-I, Ilinka-II, Sarbala, Voronino-Yaya, the settlement on the river Kiya, near the village of Shestakovo are all sites dated by the late Paleolithic Age. Big Berchikul-1, Bychka-I, Pechergol-1 are the sites of the Mesolithic Age. Berchikul-4, Smirnovsky creek-1, Pechergol-2, Bychka-1 (late layer), Tomskaya pisanitsa are the sites of the Neolithic Age. Bronze and Iron Ages are represented by the settlements of Samus, Andronovo, Korchazhkino, "andronoid" Elovo, Irmen, Bolsherechye, Tagar, Kulay, and Tashtyk cultures.

The Russian Empire Period

The current territory of Kemerovo region has been inhabited for several thousand years. In 1618, in the south of the future region Kuznetsk stockaded town (fortress) was founded to protect the land from Mongolian and Jungar invaders, in 1698 the city of Mariinsk was founded. These two are the oldest settlements of Kemerovo region.

In 1721 Kuznetsk dowser Mikhaylo Volkov found "Burning mountain" on the banks of the Tom River (burning coal seam), thus becoming a pioneer of Kuznetsk coal.

A notable period of development in the region falls on the end of the XVIII century: at that time Kolyvan-Voskresensk plants of A.N. Demidov were built, which later became the property of the Imperial House of the Romanovs, from this moment most of Kuzbass, joined to Altai mining district was owned by the Cabinet of His Imperial Majesty.

During the XIX century the territory of the region was a part of the Tomsk province, forming Kuznetsk and Mariinsk counties. During this period, the first industrial enterprises appeared: Tomsk ironworks, Gavrilovsky and Guriev silver plants, Sukharinsky and Salair mountain mines. As a result of the construction of the Trans-Siberian Railway Kuzbass industry gained an impulse for rapid development.

The Soviet Period

Following the October Revolution, Kuzbass becomes a part of the West Siberian Territory, and later, a part of Novosibirsk Region.

Post-revolutionary period is characterized by the transition to the planned economy, creation of the Ural-Kuzbass industrial complex, development of coal, metallurgical and chemical industries of Kuzbass: Kemerovo Coke plant and Kuznetsk Metallurgical Combined Enterprise were built, a lot of new mines were launched. Near the industrial enterprises workers' settlements were built, which quickly became cities: Kiselevsk, Osinniki, Krasnobrodsky, Tashtagol, Kaltan, Mezhdurechensk, and others.

During the Great Patriotic War, Kemerovo Region is becoming a major supplier of coal and metal. More than 50,000 tanks and 45,000 aircrafts were manufactured of Novokuznetsk steel. Equipment of 71 enterprise was evacuated to Kuzbass from the occupied areas, most of these enterprises have remained in Kuzbass. Thus, the war doubled the capacity of Kuzbass.

In 1943, the Presidium of the USSR Supreme Soviet decreed on January 26 to separate Kuzbass from Novosibirsk Region and establish on its territory Kemerovo Region with the administrative center in the city of Kemerovo. The new area included 17.5% of the territory of Novosibirsk Region, 9 of the 12 cities of regional subordination, 17 of the 20 workers' settlements, 23 out of 75 districts. The population of Kemerovo Region was 42% of the total population of Novosibirsk Region.

The rapid growth of the region in the post-war and the years that followed led to the emergence of new Kuzbass cities Polysaevo, Mezhdurechensk, Osinniki, Taiga and others.

The Russian Federation Period

Events that took place in the 1990s, completely changed the course of further development, not only in the region, but also in the whole country. The important feature of the transition process was the privatization of state property. Only a part of the enterprises had remained state-owned in the territory of Kemerovo Region by the beginning of 1997.

New forms of economy organization appeared in Kuzbass village. They were introduced by the decree of the President of Russia to allow private ownership of land and to recognize the diverse forms of land management.

However, as a result of privatization and cancellation of the collective farm system the regional economy, as well as the economy of the whole country, went into a deep systemic crisis.

In the 1990s, the region's economy went into decline, but by the end of the decade there have been positive developments, and first of all, the development of the coal industry; attention was paid to the development of open-pit coal mining as a more effective and safe technology. Only in 1999, 15 coal enterprises were launched. During the last two decades 11 new mines and 16 open-pit mines have been put into operation.

Since 2001, OJSC "Gazprom" is implementing a pilot program "Experimental-Industrial Extraction of Methane from Coal Beds of Kuznetsk Basin."

Another new industry for the Kemerovo region is oil refining: development of oil refineries started in 2003.

In February 2010, Coal and Gas extraction enterprise for production and use of methane from coal beds was officially launched.

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