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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Northwestern Federal District
Северо-Западный федеральный округ
—  Federal district of Russia  —
Country Russia
Established May 18, 2000
Administrative center Saint Petersburg
Federal subjects 11
 - Presidential Envoy Ilya Klebanov
 - Total 1,677,900 km2 (647,840.8 sq mi)
Area rank 4th
 - Total 13,974,466
 - Density 8.3/km2 (21.6/sq mi)
Population rank 5th

Northwestern Federal District (Russian: Се́веро-За́падный федера́льный о́круг; tr.: Severo-zapadny federalny okrug) is one of the seven federal districts of Russia. It consists of the northern part of European Russia. Its population was 13,974,466 (82.3% urban) according to the 2002 Census, living on an area of 1,677,900 km² (647,840.8 mi²). The current Envoy to the Northwestern Federal District is Ilya Klebanov.




Federal subjects

Northwestern Federal District
The map and key are listed in Russian alphabetical order.
# Flag Federal Subject Capital/Center
1 Flag of Arkhangelsk Oblast.png Arkhangelsk Oblast
(Архангельская область)
2 Flag of Vologda Oblast.png Vologda Oblast
(Волого́дская область)
3 Flag of Kaliningrad Oblast.svg Kaliningrad Oblast
(Калининградская область)
4 Flag of Karelia.svg Republic of Karelia
(Республика Карелия)
5 Flag of Komi.svg Komi Republic
(Республика Коми)
6 Flag of Leningrad Oblast.svg Leningrad Oblast
(Ленинградская область)
7 Flag of Murmansk Oblast.svg Murmansk Oblast
(Мурманская область)
8 Flag of Nenets Autonomous District.svg Nenets Autonomous Okrug
(Ненецкий автономный округ)
9 Flag of Novgorod oblast.png Novgorod Oblast
(Новгородская область)
Veliky Novgorod
(Великий Новгород)
10 Pskov Oblast
(Псковская область)
11 Flag of Saint Petersburg Russia.svg Saint Petersburg

Presidential plenipotentiary envoys

  1. Viktor Cherkesov (May 18, 2000 – March 11, 2003)
  2. Valentina Matviyenko (March 11, 2003 – October 15, 2003)
  3. Ilya Klebanov (November 1, 2003 – Present)

External links


  1. ^ According to Article 13 of the Charter of Leningrad Oblast, the government bodies of the oblast are located in the city of St. Petersburg. However, St. Petersburg is not officially named to be the administrative center of the oblast.

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Europe : Russia : Northwestern Russia

Northwestern Russia is a region of Russia stretching from the major population center of Leningrad Oblast on the Baltic Sea to vast, remote, and empty lands above the Arctic Circle.

Leningrad Oblast
Novgorod Oblast
Pskov Oblast
Vologda Oblast
Murmansk Oblast
Arkhangelsk Oblast
Komi Republic


Northwestern Russia has long vied with Central Russia for political and cultural preeminence, first under the trading center of the Novgorod Republic, later under Peter The Great's creation Saint Petersburg. Saint Petersburg, having lost the capital status to Moscow under the Soviet regime, retains its popular image as Russia's Northern Capital, window to Europe, and in the eyes of many remains the nation's foremost cultural center for its unparalleled museums, art galleries, classical music, and architectural history. Just outside the city are three staggeringly beautiful and enormous Tsarist palaces at Peterhof, Puskin, and Pavlovsk.

Not far from Saint Petersburg are a few other small cities with rich history—especially Novgorod, which is a must-see attraction for visitors to the region, but also Pskov and the twin castle cities of Ivangorod and Narva (Narva being across the river in present-day Estonia). Further off the beaten path, but still possible as day trips from Saint Petersburg are small towns such as Staraya Ladoga, the birthplace of Russia, and Staraya Rusa, Dostoevsky's rural retreat, where he wrote and set The Brothers Karamazov'.

Far further from Saint Petersburg and isolated from major population centers are some of Russia's most important sights, which are hard but rewarding to get to. Kizhi Island, a tiny island in Lake Onega, is home to some of Russia's most important and beautiful intricate wooden architecture. Isolated and breathtaking fourteenth century Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery in Vologda Oblast, on the shores of Siversky Lake, was once one of the wealthiest landowners of all Russia. Solovki in the White Sea is a singular destination; once one of the mightiest monasteries in Russia, and fortress of the White Sea, Solovki was turned into a notorious gulag under Stalin's reign.

For the most adventurous travelers, the North Seas await. Arkhangelsk is the principal port for giant Russian icebreakers heading out into the Barents Sea and off into the Arctic. Expensive tours are available via these great ships, which can take you to some of the most isolated lands in the world along the Russian north coast, Severnaya Zemlya, Novaya Zemlya, and all the way to the Russian Far East to Chukotka, Wrangel Island, and off to the Bering Sea.


Russian is the native language of the majoraty of Northwestern Russia inhabitants. Important minoraty languages are: Finnish, Karelian and Veps languages in Karelia republic and Komi laguage in Komi republic. Almost all Finnish, Karelain, Komi and Veps speakers are bilingual and are fluent in Russian, aside from their native languages.

Basic English is widely understood in big cities, while in smaller cities and the countryside it can be very difficult to find an English speaker. German can also be useful. Older generations (over 30 years old) are less familiar with foreign languages than younger people.

Get in

The only one international airports in the region are in Saint Petersburg, but far-flung Murmansk and Arkhangelsk both have domestic airports served by flights from Saint Petersburg, Moscow, and each other.

Get around

By plane

As noted above, Murmansk and Arkhangelsk have domestic airports with services between them and Saint Petersburg. In Arkhangelsk's Talagi airport lands a airplanes from Luleå (Sweden), Rovaniemi (Finland), Tromsø, Bergen, Kristiansund (Norway), Homel (Belarus) and Antalya (Turkey). Air travel works in a pinch, but the fares are high (while train fare is often very low), and you will likely have more inconveniences dealing with airport staff and what have you, than if you take the more standard overnight trains. If you are trying to get to Naryan-Mar in Nenetsia (good luck), air travel is the only plausible means of success, with occasional service from Arkhangelsk.

By train

The principal mode of transport in Northwestern Russia (and Russia generally) is rail. Saint Petersburg is the undisputed rail hub of the region, and virtually all major cities in the region have rail service direct to the "Northern Capital." Southern cities also have direct service to Moscow. Given the vast distances throughout this sparsely populated section of the world, overnight trains are the most frequent mode of transport.

For intra-oblast travel, the most efficient and simple mode of transport are the electric train lines (Russian: электрички elektrichki. These small suburban radiate out from the main cities not just to suburbs, but to far-off smaller cities as well as small villages.

By bus

If the elektrichki don't take you all the way to your destination, you are in for an adventure. Buses and their smaller cousins (Russian: маршрутки marshrutki) connect the rest of the small towns and villages to the broader transit system. It is rare, however, to see a bus that has a clearly marked route. Often the only way to know which bus to take, and for that matter when to get off, is to ask. If you don't have enough command of Russian to do so, consider finding a tour operator to arrange transport to your destination instead.

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