The Voronezh Region is located on Central Russian upland, east part - on the Oksko-Don plain, in top of Don river basin and its inflows (Khoper, Bityug), and occupies the area 52,6 thousand sq. km. The Voronezh Region is formed June, 13, 1934. It is the largest on territory area of the central Chernozem region.
Voronezh, Kursk, Belgorod, Tambov, Orel, Lipetsk, and Eelets - are all ancient Russian lands... Vast inhabitable territory, fertile soil, rich forests, and deep rivers have always attracted freedom-loving, courageous and daring people. In those far-off days, the Region was a southern frontier of the Russian state. These towns, like legendary warriors, defended Russia against nomadic raids on the border of the forest and the steppe. Living in constant danger of attack, always being ready to secure land, home and family from nomads, surviving in hard and perilous situations, the inhabitants of this country developed extraordinary stamina, optimism, and industry. So many times their towns and villages were put to fire and sword but again and again the tenacious people restored and rebuilt their dwellings... By the end of the 17th century, the Region had grown into an important vantage point of a new Russia, the Russia of Peter the Great. In 1695 the Duma (Parliament) approved the Decree of the Czar "On the construction of the Russian Navy in the town of Voronezh". A year later, 7 years prior to the foundation of Saint Petersburg, Peter I, with the aid of Russian and foreign shipbuilders, launched first Russian battleships and headed them for the Black Sea and for glorious victories.
THE REGION PROFILE AREA: 167,700 sq.km (about 65,500 sq.miles) POPULATION: 7,750,000 people. The Central Black Earth Economic Region (CBEER) lies in the center of the European part of the Russian Federation. It is one of the most densely inhabited regions of Russia - a population density is 46 people per square kilometer (188 per square mile). The region consists of five oblasts (major administrative units): Belgorod oblast, Voronezh oblast, Kursk oblast, Lipetsk oblast, and Tambov oblast. In 1991, the Association of Economic Interaction of Black Earth Oblasts was established and in addition to these five, the Orel oblast (897,000 people; area 24,700 sq.km) has also become a member of the Association. Advantageous transport and geographic position (the Region lies at the intersection of transport routes - the "West-East" and the "Centre-South"), favorable climate, fertile black soil, and unique iron ore reserves - all these factors provide a basis for the constant growth of industrial potential and agricultural development.
The industrial sector employs about 32 per cent of the CBEER's labour force. Key industries are engineering, metallurgy of ferrous metals, metal manufacture, chemistry, and food. They account for about 75 per cent of the total industrial output of the Region. Such industries as electricity, peat-extraction, timber, construction, machine-repairing, and consumer goods are also well developed. The CBEER is one of the major producers of cereals, industrial crops and stock-breeding products in Russia. The processing industry provides about 48 per cent of Russia's total production of sugar, over 9 per cent of its meat, over 12 per cent of butter and 17 per cent of vegetable oil. Industries of the Region produce several thousand of types of goods.
Over 2000 small businesses, joint-stock companies and associations operate in the CBEER now. Over 50 industrial enterprises have been privatized. About 3000 private farms have appeared. Over 30 associations of farmers and about 100 joint-stock companies have been formed on the basis of reorganized collective-farms. A number of business and management schools with the participation of foreign experts have been opened. The Authorities have outlined the priorities of development of the economy of the CBEER and its place in the home and international division of labour. The priorities will serve to facilitate interested foreign investors, rather than to limit their possible participation in the economy of the Region.
The political and economic reforms have caused distinctive changes of the educational system. New types of educational establishments - colleges, gymnasia, lyceums, etc. - have appeared in addition to the general secondary schools. They have their own curricula and give their pupils new opportunities for substantial grounding in the chosen subjects. In a number of schools, foreign languages are introduced in the third grade. Secondary education remains free and compulsory.
Today Voronezh, as well as the entire Black Earth Region, just like 300 years ago, in the days of Peter the Great, is about to make a major breakthrough in its development. The people of this land have preserved valor, the spirit of daring, the craving for innovation, entrepreneurial abilities, efficiency, open-mindedness, and readiness for collaboration. Just like 300 years ago, the people of this land are willing to start building "ships of economy" hand in hand with foreign partners, to launch them into vast seas of business, science, culture, education, and personal contacts.