Ленинградская область (Russian)
|— Oblast —|
|Established||August 1, 1927|
|Government (as of August 2010)|
|- Governor||Alexander Drozdenko|
|- Legislature||Legislative Assembly|
|Area (as of the 2002 Census)|
|- Total||84,500 km2 (32,600 sq mi)|
|Population (2010 Census)|
|- Density||20.32 /km2 (52.6 /sq mi)|
|Time zone(s)||MSK (UTC+04:00)|
Leningrad Oblast (Russian: Ленингра́дская о́бласть, Leningradskaya oblast) is a federal subject of Russia (an oblast). It was established on August 1, 1927, although it was not until 1946 that the oblast's borders had been mostly settled in their present position. The oblast was named after the city of Leningrad (now Saint Petersburg).
The oblast overlaps the historic region of Ingria and is bordered by Finland in the northwest, Estonia in the west, as well as five federal subjects of Russia: the Republic of Karelia in the northeast, Vologda Oblast in the east, Novgorod Oblast in the south, Pskov Oblast in the southwest, and the federal city of Saint Petersburg in the west.
The first governor of Leningrad Oblast was Vadim Gustov (in 1996–1998). The current governor, since 2012, is Alexander Drozdenko.
The oblast has an area of 84,500 square kilometers (32,600 sq mi) and a population of 1,716,868 (2010 Census); up from 1,669,205 recorded in the 2002 Census. The most populous town of the oblast is Gatchina, with 88,659 inhabitants (as of the 2002 Census). Leningrad Oblast is highly industrialized.
The territory of present-day Leningrad Oblast was populated shortly after the end of the Weichsel glaciation and hosts numerous archaeological remnants. The Volga trade route and trade route from the Varangians to the Greeks crossed the territory. Staraya Ladoga, the first capital of legendary Rurik, founded in the 8th-9th century, is situated in the east of the oblast, on the Volkhov River.
In the 12th-15th century, the territory was divided between the Kingdom of Sweden and Novgorod Republic (see Swedish-Novgorodian Wars) and mostly populated mostly by various Baltic Finns people such as Karelians (northwest), Izhorians and Votes (west), Vepsians (east), as well as Ilmen Slavs of Novgorod (south). During the Russo-Swedish Wars of the 15th-17th centuries, the border moved back and forth over the land.
The central part of the territory is known as the historical region of Ingria (or the land of Izhora) and in the 17th century, after most of the present-day territory of Leningrad Oblast was captured by Sweden with the Treaty of Stolbovo of 1617, became subject to substantial Finnish Lutheran population influx from Finnish Karelia (which included Karelian Isthmus, the northwestern part of present-day Leningrad Oblast) and Savonia. Ingrian Finns soon became the dominant ethnic group.
During the Great Northern War (1700–1721) the territory of what is now Leningrad Oblast was returned from Sweden by Russia under Peter the Great, who founded Saint Petersburg amidst the land in 1703, which soon became the capital of the Russian Empire. In 1708, most of the territory was organized into Ingermanland Governorate under Governor General Alexander Menshikov. It was renamed Saint Petersburg Governorate in 1710 (the borders of that governorate, however, differed very significantly from those of the present-day oblast and included much of the areas of current Novgorod, Pskov, and Vologda Oblasts). In 1721, the territorial concessions of Sweden were confirmed with the Treaty of Nystad.
The life of the countryside was greatly influenced by the vicinity of the imperial capital, which became a growing market for its agricultural production as well as the main consumer of its mineral and forest resources. In 1719–1810, Ladoga Canal was dug between the Svir River and the Neva River as part of the Volga-Baltic waterway to bypass stormy waters of Lake Ladoga. Since the advent of the rail transport in the late 19th century, the areas in the vicinity of Saint Petersburg had been a popular summer resort destinations (dachas) for its residents. However, while Saint Petersburg itself from the very beginning was populated mostly by Russians, it was not until the 20th century that its surrounding population was Russified.
In 1914, with the beginning of World War I, Saint Petersburg was renamed Petrograd and the governorate was accordingly renamed Petrograd Governorate. After the Russian Revolution, in 1918, the capital was transferred from Petrograd to Moscow, farther from the borders of the country. In 1919, during the Russian Civil War, the Northwestern White Army advancing from Estonia and led by Nikolai Yudenich tried to capture Petrograd and even managed to reach its southern outskirts, but the attack against the Red Army under Leon Trotsky ultimately failed, and Yudenich retreated back. The border with Estonia was established in the Russian-Estonian Treaty of Tartu of 1920. Ingrian Finns of North Ingria attempted to secede in 1918–1920, but were incorporated back with the Russian-Finnish Treaty of Tartu, which settled the border between Finland and Soviet Russia. In 1924, Petrograd was renamed Leningrad and Petrograd Governorate was again renamed accordingly (Leningrad Governorate).
Leningrad Oblast was established on August 1, 1927 by the resolutions of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee "On the Establishment of Leningrad Oblast" and "On the Borders and Composition of the Okrugs of Leningrad Oblast" by merging Cherepovets, Leningrad, Murmansk, Novgorod, and Pskov Governorates. The territory of the oblast corresponded to the modern territories of the present-day Leningrad Oblast (with the exception of the Karelian Isthmus and the territories along the border with Estonia), Novgorod Oblast, Pskov Oblast, parts of Vologda Oblast, most of Murmansk Oblast, and the federal city of Saint Petersburg. The total area of the oblast was 360,400 square kilometres (139,200 sq mi); more than four times larger than the modern entity. Administratively, the oblast was divided into nine okrugs (Borovichi, Cherepovets, Leningrad, Lodeynoye Pole, Luga, Murmansk, Novgorod, Pskov, and Velikiye Luki), each of which was in turn subdivided into districts.
In 1929, Velikoluksky District was transferred to newly formed Western Oblast. Leningrad was administratively separated from Leningrad Oblast in December 1931. In 1935 five southernmost districts were made part of Kalinin Oblast. In 1936 some parts of the territory of Leningrad Suburban District of Leningrad was returned to Leningrad Oblast and divided into Vsevolozhsky District, Krasnoselsky District, Pargolovsky District and Slutsky District (renamed Pavlovsky District in 1944). Vologda Oblast, which has included the easternmost districts of Leningrad Oblast (former Cherepovets Governorate), was created in 1937. Murmansk Oblast was excluded from Leningrad Oblast in 1938.
In the fall of 1934, the Forbidden Border Zone along the western border of the Soviet Union was established, where nobody could appear without special permission issued by the NKVD. It was officially only 7.5 km deep initially, but along the Estonian border it extended to as much as 90 km. The zone was to be free of Finnic and some other peoples, who were considered politically unreliable. Starting from the 1929, the Soviet authorities carried out mass deportations of the Ingrian Finnish population of the oblast, which constituted majority in many rural localities as late as in the beginning of the century, to the east, replacing them with people from other parts of the Soviet Union.
On November 30, 1939, the Soviet Union waged the Winter War against neighboring Finland and with the Moscow Peace Treaty in 1940 gained some territories, including Karelian Isthmus. Their Karelian population was hastily evacuated to inner Finland and later replaced with people from other parts of the Soviet Union. A small part of the territory (the municipalities of Kanneljärvi, Koivisto and Rautu) was incorporated into Leningrad Oblast, the rest being included within the Karelo-Finnish Soviet Socialist Republic.
In 1941, Germany invaded the Soviet Union in the Operation Barbarossa, and shortly thereafter the territory became place of the Battle of Leningrad. Wehrmacht captured the southwestern part of the oblast and reached Tikhvin in the east, while Finnish troops quickly recaptured the ceded territories in the Continuation War, encircling Leningrad from the land. In 1944 Soviet offensives managed to expel Wehrmacht and put military pressure on Finland, which ceded Karelian Isthmus again with the Moscow Armistice of September 19, 1944. This time the gained territories of the isthmus was incorporated within Leningrad Oblast (Vyborgsky and Priozersky Districts). In 1947 the territorial gains were confirmed with the Paris Peace Treaty. Novgorod and Pskov Oblasts were formed out of the southern parts of Leningrad Oblast in 1944. In January 1945 a small part of the Estonian SSR to the east of the River Narva with the town of Jaanilinn (now Ivangorod) was transferred to the Russian SFSR and incorporated into Leningrad Oblast. Since then, the territory of Leningrad Oblast hasn't changed much, although some suburbs of Leningrad (now Saint Petersburg) have been excluded from the oblast and incorporated into the city. In October 1946 Leningrad gained from the oblast some former Finnish territories along the northern coast of the Gulf of Finland divided into Sestroretsky District and Kurortny District, including the town of Terijoki.
In 1953, Pavlovsky District of the oblast was abolished, and parts of its territory including Pavlovsk were made subordinate to Leningrad. In 1954 the settlements Levashovo, Pargolovo and Pesochny were also transferred to Leningrad. In 1956 Boksitogorsky District of Leningrad Oblast gained a small territory of Novgorod Oblast. Uritsk was transferred from the oblast to the city of Leningrad in 1963, Krasnoye Selo and several settlements nearby—in 1973, Lomonosov—in 1978.
After a referendum in 1991, the city of Leningrad was renamed back to Saint Petersburg, but Leningrad Oblast retained its name.
The Leningrad Region Administration headed by the Governor exercises executive authority in the region. The head of the Administration is elected for a four-year term and represents the region both within Russia and abroad. In addition, he also independently forms various executive bodies and bears personal responsibility for the results of their activities. Under the powers granted to him by the region’s Statute, the Governor is authorized to:
The Leningrad Regional Legislative Assembly is the standing regional parliament, a local legislature. It autonomously exercises its function using the Constitution of the Russian Federation, federal legislation, the Statute of Leningrad Region, and regional laws as guides. The Legislative Assembly is a legal entity. Acts passed by it are binding on all bodies and officials of state authorities and local governments of Leningrad Region, organizations, and private citizens.
In the period when they were the most important authority in the oblast (1927 to 1991), the following first secretaries were appointed,
The most taxonomically diverse vascular plant families are Asteraceae, Cyperaceae, Poaceae and Rosaceae. By far the most diverse genus is Carex (68 species). The diversity in genera Hieracium (with Pilosella), Ranunculus (with Batrachium), Alchemilla, Galium, Potamogeton, Salix, Veronica, Viola, Juncus, Artemisia, Potentilla, Rumex, Festuca, Epilobium, Poa, Trifolium, Campanula, Vicia, Lathyrus, Geranium is also considerable. The territory has no endemic plant taxa. Vascular plant species of Leningrad Oblast listed in the red data book of Russia are Botrychium simplex, Cephalanthera rubra, Cypripedium calceolus, Epipogium aphyllum, Lobelia dortmanna, Myrica gale, Ophrys insectifera, Orchis militaris, Pulsatilla pratensis, Pulsatilla vernalis. 
2009 - 1.18 | 2010 - 1.17 | 2011 - 1.16 | 2012 - 1.22 | 2013 - 1.23(e)
Leningrad Oblast currently has the lowest fertility rate in all of Russia. While birth rates have risen considerably elsewhere, they have remained stuck at a very low level in Leningrad Oblast.
Ethnic groups: according to the 2010 Census, the ethnic composition was:
According to a 2012 official survey 55.1% of the population of Leningrad Oblast adheres to the Russian Orthodox Church, 4% are unaffiliated generic Christians, 1% are Muslims, 1% of the population adheres to Rodnovery (Slavic Neopaganism), 1% to Starovery (Old Believers). In addition, 20% of the population deems itself to be "spiritual but not religious", 8% is atheist, and 9.9% follows other religions or did not give an answer to the question.
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