About Voronezh Region
A Brief History of the Voronezh Region
The chronicles of Russia cannot be understood without the Voronezh lands. Our Region has always been at the center of our country's historical development.
The official documents state that, in the year 1586, a fortified town of Voronezh was built on the southern borders of Russia. Its purpose was straightforward – to guard Russian lands against nomadic raids from the South.
However, some local historians hold to an older version that Voronezh was actually founded considerably earlier and had been the capital of the ancient country of Ruskolan – the predecessor of Ancient Rus. Whichever version is accurate, our region was populated ages and ages ago. Archeologists have discovered about sixty settlements dating back to ancient Paleolithic times on the banks of the River Don, in the vicinity of the villages of Kostenky and Borshchevo. These settlements are between 25,000 and 45,000 years old, making Voronezh one of the cradles of Russian civilization.
Few people know that for a while Voronezh was the capital of our country. It was here, in the 17th century, that Tsar Peter the Great laid the foundation of Russia’s Navy; it was here that he built his first battleship “Divine Providence” and other ships for the Azov Campaign. The entire court moved here while the tsar wielded his shipbuilder’s axe at the Voronezh dockyard.
Later our lands played critical roles in Russian history. In 1711 Voronezh became the capital of the Azov Province. In the 18th century our province included the current Tambov, Kursk, Belgorod, Penza, Saratov, Ryazan, Vladimir, Tula, and Orel regions. From 1928 to 1934 Voronezh was the administrative center of the Central Black Soil Region, comprising the territories of the current Voronezh, Tambov, Orel and Kursk Regions. In the 1920s there was even an idea to separate the capitals of USSR and RSFSR, and to transfer the latter to Voronezh.
The Voronezh Region has always been at the forefront of historical change. After the peasant reform of 1861, the first industrial plants and factories started their work in Voronezh. In 1868 the railway approached Voronezh from Moscow. In 1913 the first higher education establishment was opened here – it was an Agricultural Institute, and in 1918 the Voronezh State University was created as a part of the Yuryev (Derpt) University which had been evacuated from the Baltic Area.
In the 1920s and 1930s industry developed rapidly in the area. Those years were significant in still one other respect. The Voronezh lands, not only became the cradle of the Russian Navy, but also the birthplace of the Parachute Corps. On August 2, 1930, near Voronezh, the first airborne assault exercise in the USSR was performed.
During the Second World War Voronezh was a defensive bulwark, stopping enemy advances. Here devastating battles raged with terrible casualties suffered from July 1942 to January 1943. German, Romanian, Italian and Hungarian troops, armed to the teeth, were opposed by Soviet soldiers who often did not have enough ammunition or firearms. These outgunned warriors provided countless examples of heroism and courage and stopped the enemy against incredible odds. The Fascists did not manage to take control of the entire city, even though they destroyed ninety percent of it. Hitler's Coalition sustained an overwhelming defeat in our steppes. Following the war, Voronezh was awarded with the Great Patriotic War Order of the First Degree, and in 2008 it was given the honorary title of the City of Military Honor.
The reconstruction of Voronezh was completed only in 1950. At the same time the foundations of new, modern enterprises were being erected. The knowledge-intensive industry sectors and agricultural lands became the target for economic development. By the late 1990s, up to 70% of the Region’s gross product was derived from industrial production, mostly from machine-building, electronics, aviation and space technology. A significant number of enterprises were also involved in defense projects for the country.
Many product lines developed and manufactured in Voronezh became pioneers in the Russian economy. They include short-wave radio-sets and KVN TV-sets, the supersonic jetliners TU-144, video cassette recorders, integral circuits and many other. The third stage engine for the rocket booster that launched the world’s first cosmonaut, Yuri Gagarin, into earth orbit was developed by our Design Bureau for Chemical Automatics. Engines for rocket boosters such as Voskhod, Soyuz, Proton, and Energiya were also developed in Voronezh. The same skill and knowledge base that produced these pioneering successes, makes our region a strong competitor for investment in the new knowledge-based economy.
The Voronezh Region is also famous for horse-breeding. Count A.G. Orlov founded the Khrenovskoy Horse Farm in the Bobrov area of the Voronezh province, where the Orlov Trotter was bred.
Voronezh Region has numerous memorable places, connected to famous and talented people born and bred in the region. These include the lyrical poets A.V. Koltsov (1809-1842) and I.S. Nikitin (1824-1861) who created their works here. In 1870 a world-famous writer, Nobel Prize winner, I.A. Bunin was born in our region. From 1905 to the 1980’s the creative genius of authors such as A.P. Platonov, V.A. Korablinov, Yu.D. Goncharov, N.A. Zadonsky, G.N. Troepolsky, and poets such as V. Gordeychev, A. Zhigulin, A. Praslov, E. Isayev, etc. were active here.
Two famous scientists – both Noble Prize winners -- born in Voronezh: the Academician A.P. Cherenkov (discoverer of a new optical effect) and the Academician N.G. Basov (development and practical application of the laser beam). The famous military equipment inventor, the designer of the three-line rifle, S.I. Mosin was also a native of our land.
Voronezh region is full of music too. Here was born the creative life of M.E. Pyatnitsky (1864-1927), the tireless and passionate promoter of the Russian folk song tradition. Today the Pyatnitskiy Choir is well-known, not only in Russia, but also throughout the world.
The history of Voronezh is rich, full of events and names. This history makes us proud and inspires us to continue the good work of our renowned ancestors to strengthen and develop our country, to take the lead in modernizing Russia.
Investment Profile of the Voronezh Region
The Voronezh Region is one of the largest regions in the Black Soil Zone of Russia, and it is located in the Central European part of the Russian Federation. It borders with the Belgorod, Kursk, Lipetsk, Tambov, Saratov, Volgograd, and Rostov Regions of the Russian Federation, as well as with Lugansk Region of the Ukraine. It is an integral part of the Central Federal District (CFD) of the Russian Federation. The Region is the second largest in the CFD according to its territory, population, as well as economic potential, surpassed only by the Moscow Region.
The administrative and territorial division of the Region comprises the city of Voronezh and 32 districts of the Region. The Voronezh Region occupies the area of 52,400 km2 (0.3% of the Russian Federation territory), stretching 277.5 km from North to South and 352 km from East to West. Its territory is crossed by 16 branches of major gas pipelines, a 2400 km long network of railways.
28 rivers pass through it, with the total length of more than 10,000 km. The main water artery is the River Don providing navigation with the Azov Sea and the Black Sea.
The Region is located within the central belt of the East European (Russian) Plain, in the middle reaches of the River Don Basin, at the junction of the forest-steppe and steppe natural zones. The Region’s land resources are represented by 4.1 mln hectares of agricultural land, including 3 mln hectares of plough-land containing high-yield black soil.
The mineral resource base mostly comprises fireclays, lime and glass sands, chalk, malm, limestone, wallstone, granites. There are also several mineral water sources. A prospective deposit of copper-and-nickel ores rated third in Russia according to its capacity, is located in the Voronezh Region. The forest resources are represented by oak, pine, birch, and alder woods (mainly protective forests). The share of woodland does not exceed 10%.
The Region’s recreational resources are extremely varied and involve a lot of perspectives for recreational and touristic activities. The Voronezhsky and Novokhopersky Biosphere Reserves are located on the territory of the Region.
The Voronezh Region is positioned at the juncture of transport mainlines, connecting it with industrial regions of Russia and the CIS countries. One of the main transportation arteries of the Russian railway network passes through the Voronezh Region – the South East Railway. The Moscow-Voronezh-Rostov Highway, intersecting the Region from North to South, connects the Central District not only with the Russian Federation constituent territories in the North Caucasus, but also with the Trans-Caucasian states, Turkey and Middle East states.
The Region’s economy is of distinct industrial and agricultural nature. The Region’s industrial complex sectorial composition has been historically formed, with the specialization in aircraft construction, compression-type machines, excavating machines, mining equipment, machines and equipment for food manufacturing industry, agricultural machine building, radio engineering products, synthetic rubber, tyres, mineral fertilizers.
he current specialization of the Voronezh Region within the territorial labor division in the Central Federal District is defined by the following: aviation technology production (IL-96-300, IL-96-400, An-148, as well as spare parts for the «Airbus» aviation corporation), production of rocket-and-space engines, communication devices, bridge structures, synthetic rubber, mineral fertilizers, car tyres, low-power electric motors, ceramic tiles, granulated sugar, vegetable oil.
The largest enterprises of the Region’s industrial complex: JSC Minudobreniya (mineral fertilizers production), JSC VASO (aircraft production), JSC Voronezhsintezkauchuk (synthetic rubber production), JSC Voronezhstalmost, JSC Liskimontazhkonstruktsiya, JSC Voronezhselmash, a branch of JSC RASKO – The Voronezh Glass Container Plant; JSC Corporation NPO “Rif”, JSC Voronezhskoye Rudoupravleniye (Voronezh Mining Administration), a branch of JSC Baltika Breweries – Baltika Voronezh. The implementation of investment projects aimed at the technical and technological reconstruction and modernization of the running productions and construction of new enterprises is the foundation of the economic growth. The largest of them are “Technical upgrading of the mineral fertilizers production” at JSC Minudobreniya, organization of mounting assemblies production for the «Airbus» Aviation Corporation aircrafts and aircrafts of ANTK named after Antonov at JSC VASO, the construction of a full-cycle oil-extraction plant at the Kashira District by Bunge CIS Ltd company.
Based on the volume of agricultural products yield incattle breeding, the Voronezh Region has traditionally occupied one of the leading positions in the CFD. The agricultural production index in all categories for the Voronezh Region has grown by 13% in 2008 as compared to 2007 and amounted to 126.2% (in 2007 agricultural production index amounted to 113.2%), which surpasses the average Russian level of 110.8% (the growth in comparison to the level of 2007 - 7.4%) as well as the average CFD level of 115.0% (the growth to the level of 2007 - 7.6%). The crop production index grew by 25.8% in comparison to 2007 and amounted to 139% (the 1st position in the CFD).
The Region’s consumer market can be characterized by stability and sustainable growth of the retail and wholesale trade turnover. The retail trade turnover in 2008 amounted to 150.4 bln rubles (112.7% in comparable prices against 2007).
The investment activity management for the Region is considered a priority. In 2008 the total investment volume in the capital stock on the territory of the Region amounted to 92.1 bln rubles or 117.7% against 2007.
Based on the Expert RA Rating Agency evaluation results, the Voronezh Region held the 18th position in the investment risks rating in 2008. The Voronezh Region was awarded the 1st place in the special nomination “For the greatest progress in the investment climate improvement over the year” based on the results of the investment attractiveness rating for the Russian regions in 2007-2008.
The Region has formed a comprehensive infrastructure supporting the small business, ensuring the complex approach to satisfying the small business needs in the financial, material, informational, and other types of support. There are Entrepreneurship Support Centers operating in 16 areas of the Region. Currently, the Region is implementing a pilot project for the establishment and development of four industrial parks, “Sodruzhestvo”, “Mitem”, “Kalininsky”, “Kosmos-Neft-Gaz”, where over 50 small innovative enterprises are working, producing goods in the sphere of electronics and radio technology.
In 2008 the foreign trade turnover for the Voronezh Region amounted to 1.9 billion US dollars, and it increased by 141.9 million US dollars in comparison to 2007. Compared to a similar period of the previous year, the export increased by 3.5% and amounted to USD 975.4 mln, and the imports grew by 11.9% and amounted to USD 908.2 mln. The major export partners in 2008 were the Ukraine (21.8% of the total volume of exported products), USA (9.8%), Thailand (9.2%), Turkey (8.6 %), and Kazakhstan (4.2%). The major partners in import operations in 2008 were Uzbekistan (38.1% of the total volume of imported products), the Ukraine (18.2%), Germany (7.7%), China (6.1%), and USA (4.3%). The enterprises of the Voronezh Region taking a traditionally active part in the foreign economic activities: JSC Minudobreniya, JSC Voronezhsintezkauchuk, JSC VZPP Mikron (semiconductor plant), JSC Tyazhmekhpress (mechanical presses production), JSC Amtel-Chernozemye, JSC Verkhnekhavsky Elevator (grain elevator), JSC Ostrogozhsky Malt Production Plant.
The Long-Term Strategy of Social and Economic Development of the Voronezh Region was developed and received the status of the regional law in 2007. It establishes long-term (up to 2020) goals and priorities of the real sector of economy development and improvement of the quality of life of the Region’s population, defines specific implementation mechanisms and indicators, using the management-by-objective method.
The Region’s perspectives are connected with the advantages of the Region’s geographical location and are related to the innovation model of economic development.