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Social and natural resources


The name of KhMAO-Ugra region has a thousand year old history. "Ugra" was the collective name that Russian merchants gave to the local peoples - the Khanty and the Mansi. The first written mention of Ugra dates back to XI century, but people came to live here long before that. Archeologists found 4,000 well-preserved historical monuments of the Stone Age and the Bronze Age. Some of them have been transformed into tourist attractions.
In the Middle Ages, among forests and swamps there were the so-called Ugrian princedoms and fortified towns. From XIII century, the lands of Ugra became dependent on Velikiy Novgorod - one of the Russian princedoms in the Middle Ages. After accession of Novgorod to the Moscow princedom in 1478, the land of Ugra was also affiliated to the first Russian state. But it was only after Russian troops fought numerous battles against the warriors of the Siberian Khanate (a fragment of Genghis Khan's empire) in XVI century that Russia secured its rights for Ugra.


Khanty and Mansi warriors were famous for their courage and fighting skills. 


Yermak's campaign to Siberia, that was sang of in Russian heroic epics, relates to this period. In XVIII century, Russian settlers started to actively inhabit these lands. Towns and monasteries started to appear, trade became active. A new life for this region started in the 1950's. Oil was found here. And soon enough, the industrial production began.


Geography, natural resources

KhMAO-Ugra is located in the West Siberian Plain and has a regional area of 534,000 sq. km.


 Forests and lakes take up most of Ugra.hmao_nature


Over a third of this area is covered with forests; 80% are coniferous forests of pine and cedar. The total reserve of timber is 3 billion cubic metres. The forests are home to various game animals - sable, muskrat, and forest birds. Rivers and lakes contain reserves of valuable fish - Siberian sturgeon, whitefish, and salmon.
The mountainous region in the Okrug is 450 km long and 30-45 km wide. Maximum heights: Mount Narodnaya - 1,894 m (the Circumpolar Urals), and Mount Pedi - 1,010 m (the Northern Urals).
Apart from oil and gas, alluvial gold and vein quartz are mined in the Okrug. Deposits of brown and black coal have been discovered. Deposits of iron, copper, zinc, lead, niobium, tantalum, and some bauxites have been detected, too. In the preparation stage for development are deposits of trim stone, brick and bloating clays, and mason's sands.
Commercial reserves of mineral (iodine-bromine) waters have been explored and confirmed.


Towns and population

Over the last 30 years the population of the Okrug has increased by over 1 million people - this is all due to the rapid development of the oil and gas producing industry. In 2008, the average annual number of Ugra's resident population was 1.5 million people. Their average age was 32. This can be accounted for by the fact that most people came here in the 1980's to develop oil resources. Even now people are employed in the oil fields. Thanks to this, people here have one of the highest salary levels in Russia.
In terms of ethnicity, Russians, Ukrainians, Tatars, and Bashkirs prevail. Indigenous people - Khanty, Mansi, and forest Nenets - are very small in numbers - 1.5% of total population. They lead a traditional way of life in their tribal lands - they are reindeer herders, fishermen, and hunters.
Over 91% of Ugra's population lives in cities involved in oil production. The main cities of the Okrug are: Surgut (294,000 people), Nizhnevartovsk (243,000 people) and Nefteyugansk (115,000 people). Khanty-Mansiysk, the capital city of the Okrug, has a population of 67,000 people.



Professional and academic training is provided in 68 higher education establishments. Mostly, these are represented here by branches of Russian colleges and universities. The Tyumen State University and the Tyumen State Oil and Gas University have the largest number of departments. Generally, students are trained in specialties related to mining and processing of natural resources. For every 10,000 citizens, Ugra has 129 students of vocational training and 357 students of higher professional education.



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