The city of Kurgan is the centre of bordering to Kazakhstan Kurganskaya oblast. The city is situated in the central part of the oblast, in the west of the Ishimskaya plain, on the high left bank of the river Tobol (the Ob basin). It is the railway unit connecting with Chelyabinsk, Omsk and Ekaterinburg. The population is 375 thousand people. The city has more than 300-year history.
Instead of today's Kurgan there was a fortified large village Tsarevo Gorodishe founded in 1553. Kurgan was established in 1662 as a peasant large village on the river Tobol. The status of city was given by Catherine II in 1782. Through Kurgan various agricultural products were trasported, there was some industry, mainly processing of agricultural raw materials. Up to the end of 19 centuries the city developed slowly being a place for exile. 13 decembrists served their exile here. Among them are Wilhelm Kuchelbecker, Andrey Rozen, Mikhail Naryshkin.
In the annals of Kurgan you can note two powerful pulses for its development.
The first was construction of the Transsiberian highway and start-up of the railway in 1894 through Kurgan. In the next decade there appeared industrial enterprises, telecommunication and telegraph, cinema, electricity.
The second and even more powerful pulse was reception of the status of the regional centre (before 1943 Kurgan was a part of Chelyabinskaya oblast), and owing to evacuation of large enterprises from the western part of the country and post-war construction in the 50s and 60s it developed greatly.
In pre-war years Kurgan became the large industrial, scientific and cultural centre. During the Great Patriotic War of 1941-45 the Kurgan industry worked for defense. In years of the Soviet Union Kurgan became the important centre of various machine-building industry (plants: "Kurganselmash", Plant of wheeled tractors, Bus plant, Chemical machine-building plant, Reinforce plant, Plant of road machines, Plant of wood-working machine tools), chemical industry (Factory of medical preparations). Food and light industry: large meat-packing plant, mill and poultry factory, butter factory and tannery, knitting mill, sewing and shoe factories.
Nowadays it is a large industrial and cultural centre. Its enterprises produce armed troop carriers, powerful wheel tractors, buses, medical products, constructions for railway and automobile bridges, agricultural and road machines, equipment for petroleum industry and other.
In the city productively works the world-famous All-Russian Scientific Centre "Regenerative Traumatology and Orthopedy" named after Academician Ilizarov, who himself was its founder.
There are 11 faculties in the Kurgan State University. Besides there are the Agricultural Academy and Military Institute of the Federal Boundary Service of the Russian Federation. There are Machine-building and Pedagogical institutes, Building and Agricultural Technical Schools, Medical, Musical and Cultural and Educational schools.
The Drama Theatre, the Puppet Theatre "Gulliver", the Museum of Local Lore, the Philarmonic Society. The House - Museum of decembrists, the Museum of the poet S.A.Vasiliyev. Monuments to L.B.Krasin, to D.E.Pichugin, to Kurgan commissioners, etc. There is the Memorial complex to soldiers- inhabitants of Kurgan who died in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-45.
Kurgan is the twin city for Rufin (district Florence, Italy) and Appleton (state of Wisconsin, USA).