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Coordinates: 52°30′N 83°00′E / 52.5°N 83°E / 52.5; 83

Altai Krai (English)
Алтайский край (Russian)
Map of Russia - Altai Krai (2008-03).svg
Coordinates: n/a
Coat of Arms Flag
Coat of Arms of Altai Krai.svg
Coat of arms of Altai Krai
Flag of Altai Krai.png
Flag of Altai Krai
Administrative center Barnaul
Established September 28, 1937
Political status Krai
Federal District Siberian[1]
Economic region West Siberian[2]
Area[3] 169,100 km2 (65,289.9 sq mi)
- Rank within Russia 22nd
ISO 3166-2:RU
Population (as of the 2002 Census)
Population[4] 2,607,426 inhabitants
- Rank within Russia 20th
- Density 15.4 /km2 (39.9/sq mi)
- Urban[4] 53.2%
- Rural[4] 46.8%
Official language(s) Russian[5]
Government (as of December 2008)
Governor[6] Alexander Karlin[7]
Legislative body Legislative Assembly[8]
Charter Charter of Altai Krai
Official website

Altai Krai (Russian: Алта́йский край, Altaysky kray) is a federal subject of Russia (a krai) in the Siberian Federal District. It borders with, clockwise from the south, Kazakhstan, Novosibirsk and Kemerovo Oblasts, and the Altai Republic. The krai's administrative center is the city of Barnaul.

The krai's economy depends on agriculture.

As of the 2002 Russian census, Russians form an overwhelming majority of the population, at 92%. Germans are the second-largest group, at about 3% (see Mennonite settlements of Altai). Other groups include Ukrainians (2%) , Kazakhs (0.4%) , Tatars (0.35%), Belarusians (0.32%), Armenians (0.31%), and people of other nationalities.



Altai Krai has rolling foothills, grasslands, lakes, rivers, and mountains.[9] The climate is severe with long cold dry winters and hot, usually dry summers. The region's main waterway is the Ob River. The Biya, Katun, and Chuya Rivers are also important. The biggest lakes are Lake Kulundinskoye, Lake Kuchukskoye, and Lake Mikhaylovskoye.[10] Altai Krai has huge reserves of raw materials, especial materials used for building, as well as significant mineral reserves. These include nonferrous metals, lead and iron ores, manganese, tungsten, molybdenum, bauxite, and gold. Forests cover about 60,000 km² of the krai's land.[10]. See also Geography of South-Central Siberia.


This area is part of a great crossroads in the ancient world.[11] Nomadic tribes crossed through the territory during periods of migration. The nomadic tribes were composed of different peoples. Archeological sites reveal that ancient humans lived in the area.[10] The Altay people are a Turkic people, some of whom have settled here, who were originally nomadic and date back to the 2nd millennium BCE.[12]




Altai Krai is situated in the southeastern part of Western Siberia and is part of the West Siberian economic region along with Kemerovo, Novosibirsk, Omsk, Tomsk, and Tyumen regions and the Altai Republic. The krai is favorably located close to major sources of raw materials, has a well-developed infrastructure, especially in the area of heavy industry, and an abundance of natural resources. It is a major industrial and agricultural region of the country. As in the rest of Russia, the economic restructuring of the 1990s led to a marked economic decline in Altai Krai, particularly in industry and agriculture. However, there is now reason to believe that the krai's economy is stabilizing. Its present economic prospects are good due to the presence of abundant local raw materials, high scientific potential, leading technologies, skilled personnel, and a low-cost labor force. The sales market extends far beyond the borders of the West Siberian economic region. The krai administration is interested in foreign investments and is creating the necessary conditions for setting up joint ventures.

There are more than 2000 industrial companies operating in both heavy and light industry. The leading sectors are the power, engineering, chemical and petrochemical, building material, textile, and light industries. Output is currently increasing in certain industries for the first time since perestroika. This increase is particularly noticeable in the flour-, grain-, and feed-milling and chemical and petrochemical industries and in individual heavy industry sectors, tractor production.

Small and medium business is developing rapidly in Altai Krai, which is a necessary condition for economic stability and growth. Today, nearly a quarter of the entire working population is employed in this sector.


Altai Krai is one of Russia's most important agricultural regions. Development of the krai's lands began in the second half of the 18th century; and peasants from other Russian regions began resettling here in 1861. By 1917, the krai's rural population had reached 1,998,000 people and the total area under cultivation was 25,060 square kilometres.

Today, farmland covers an area of 110,000 km², of which 69,220 km², or nearly 41% of the total area of the krai, is cropland. The main crops are hard varieties of spring wheat, buckwheat, millet, peas, barley, oats, and potatoes and other vegetables. This is this only region of Siberia where sunflowers, soybeans, sugar beets, and certain kinds of fruit grow.

In 1960, the State Economic Council under the Council of Ministers of the USSR carried out comprehensive zoning of Altai Krai, which divided the krai into seven natural and economic agricultural zones. Wide temperature swings are characteristic of the krai's climate, so that ensuring harvest stability is not easy. It requires a specific approach to developing cropland in order to increase farming efficiency. The Kulundinskaya Plain, the Priobskoe Plateau, and the left and right banks of the Ob River are well developed agriculturally. Natural fodder land, including hayfields and pasture, occupies 39,060 km², which includes 11,930 km² of hayfields and 27130 km² of pasture.

Livestock farming specializes in meat, milk, wool, and egg production. Altai Krai is a major wool producer and an important base for breeding fine-fleeced pedigreed sheep, which makes it possible to export more than 30,000 head of pedigreed sheep per year. The territorial market also offers pedigreed swine, poultry, meat, eggs, honey, and wild products such as deer antlers, furs, and pelts.

Fruit-growing in Altai is made possible by specialists of the internationally known Lisavenko Horticultural Research Institute, which has developed a range of fruit and berry varieties adapted to the climate.

Today, Altai Krai not only meets the agricultural product requirements of its own population, but also the requirements of many other Russian regions. Altai exports many kinds of cereals, as well as processed grain products such as wheat and rye flour, pasta products, sugar beets, sunflower seeds, and flax fiber. The krai is Siberia's largest grain, sugar, and meat producer and its second-largest cheese producer.


Russians make up 91.97% of the population, while Germans make up 3.05% and Ukrainians-Belorussians 2.34%. Around 98% of the population is Slavic, Finnic or German. [13]

  • Births : 28,209 (2007) & 30,951 (2008) [14]
  • Deaths : 37,402 (2007) & 37,664 (2008) [15]

During the first three months of 2009, there were around 7,484 births (1% higher than that of 2008). [16] Only 12 raions out of 72 were having a natural population growth during the same period (Barnaul, Belokurikha, Slavgorod, ZATO Sibirsky, Burlinsky, Deutsche Nationalkreis Halbstadt, Rubtsovsk, Soviet, Soloneshensky, Tretyakovsky and Habarsky Raions were having natural population growth).

Administrative divisions


On August 7, 2005 the krai's then head of administration Mikhail Yevdokimov died in a car crash.

Sister district

See also


  1. ^ Госстандарт Российской Федерации. №ОК 024-95 27 декабря 1995 г. «Общероссийский классификатор экономических регионов. 1. Федеральные округа», в ред. Изменения №5/2001 ОКЭР. (Gosstandart of the Russian Federation. #OK 024-95 December 27, 1995 Russian Classification of Economic Regions. 1. Federal Districts, as amended by the Amendment #5/2001 OKER. ).
  2. ^ Госстандарт Российской Федерации. №ОК 024-95 27 декабря 1995 г. «Общероссийский классификатор экономических регионов. 2. Экономические районы», в ред. Изменения №5/2001 ОКЭР. (Gosstandart of the Russian Federation. #OK 024-95 December 27, 1995 Russian Classification of Economic Regions. 2. Economic Regions, as amended by the Amendment #5/2001 OKER. ).
  3. ^ Федеральная служба государственной статистики (Federal State Statistics Service) (2004-05-21). "Территория, число районов, населённых пунктов и сельских администраций по субъектам Российской Федерации (Territory, Number of Districts, Inhabited Localities, and Rural Administration by Federal Subjects of the Russian Federation)" (in Russian). Всероссийская перепись населения 2002 года (All-Russia Population Census of 2002). Federal State Statistics Service. Retrieved 2008-10-17.  
  4. ^ a b c Федеральная служба государственной статистики (Federal State Statistics Service) (2004-05-21). "Численность населения России, субъектов Российской Федерации в составе федеральных округов, районов, городских поселений, сельских населённых пунктов – районных центров и сельских населённых пунктов с населением 3 тысячи и более человек (Population of Russia, its federal districts, federal subjects, districts, urban localities, rural localities—administrative centers, and rural localities with population of over 3,000)" (in Russian). Всероссийская перепись населения 2002 года (All-Russia Population Census of 2002). Federal State Statistics Service. Retrieved 2008-10-17.  
  5. ^ According to Article 68.2 of the Constitution of Russia, only republics have the right to establish official languages other than Russian
  6. ^ Charter, Article 82
  7. ^ Official website of Altai Krai. Biography of Alexander Bogdanovich Karlin
  8. ^ Charter, Article 67
  9. ^ "Russian program — Altai". Retrieved 2006-11-30.  
  10. ^ a b c "Altai Territory". Retrieved 2006-11-29.  
  11. ^ "Greater Altai – Altai Krai, Republic of Altai, Tyva (Tuva), and Novosibirsk — Crossroads". Retrieved 2006-11-30.  
  12. ^ "Peoples from Russia — Alexey, guide in Altay region". Retrieved 2006-11-30.  
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^ China and Russia sister cities


  • Алтайское краевое Законодательное Собрание. №3-ЗС 5 июня 1995 г. «Устав (основной закон) Алтайского края», в ред. Закона №126-ЗС от 30 ноября 2007 г. (Altai Krai Legislative Assembly. #3-ZS June 5, 1995 Charter (Basic Law) of Altai Krai, as amended by the Law #126-ZS of November 30, 2007. ).

External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

For other places with the same name, see Altai (disambiguation).

Altai Krai is in a region Western Siberia. It is located immediately west of the semi-autonomous Altai Republic. Both regions are named after the stunningly beautiful Altai mountains and are home to the Altai people, an ethnically Turkic group living in the region for over 10,000 years. During Soviet times, Altai (both Krai and Republic) were very popular tourist destinations, particularly for adventure tourists interested in fishing, hunting, mountaineering and related mountain sports. In beauty, the Altai Krai is comparable to the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska or the Swiss Alps.

  • Barnaul
  • Biysk
  • Zmeinogorsk
  • Kolyvan

Smaller towns:

  • Belokurikha -- locally renowned resort and health center
  • Kulunda
  • Srostki
  • Kamen-na-Obi



The winters in Altai are severe, with temperatures in the -30 (celcius) not uncommon. In the summer months, Altai enjoys a continental mountain climate with hot dry air and cool nights.

  • From Mongolia: There is a bus from Tsagaannuur,Mongolia to Astana,Kazakhstan that passes through Altai Krai and the Altai Republic. The roads in Altai are excellent (as of July 2009) and travel by road is the preferred and most scenic option.
  • From Kazakhstan: The return leg of the above bus.
  • A variety of adventure resorts exist in Altai Krai. In Russian, these camps are affectionately known as Bazi Otdiha (Rest Bases). At most camps, the traveler can expect to rent horses, indulge in a banya, or rent fishing or river equipment. The bases are inexpensive and welcoming of Western-style backpackers. They offer campsites and can serve as a valuable resource for information about particular sites/passes and mountain locations.
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