Tomsk Oblast

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Tomsk Oblast (Russian: То́мская о́бласть, Tomskaya oblast) is a federal subject of Russia (an oblast). It lies in the southeastern West Siberian Plain, in the southwest of the Siberian Federal District. Viktor Kress has been governor of the oblast since 1991.

The development of the territory which now belongs to the oblast began in the early 17th century. Tomsk itself was founded in 1604. Most of the oblast's 316,900 km² territory is inaccessible because it is covered with taiga woods and swamps. The oblast shares borders with Krasnoyarsk Krai, Tyumen, Omsk, Novosibirsk, and Kemerovo Oblasts.

Tomsk Oblast is rich in natural resources, particularly oil, natural gas, ferrous and non-ferrous metals, peat, and underground waters. Forests are also among the most significant assets of the oblast: about 20% of the West Siberian forest resources are located in Tomsk Oblast. Industry makes up about half of the regional GDP, while agriculture contributes 19% and construction 13%. Chemical and oil industries are the most developed in the region, followed by machine construction. The oblast's major export items are: oil (62.1%), methanol (30.2%), and machines and equipment (4.8%). Oil extraction and lumbering are the major business of the region's joint ventures.

The oblast is home to six state higher education institutions and 47 research institutes.



Major ethnic groups living in the Oblast are Russians (90.8%), Ukrainian-Byelorussian (2.1%), Siberian Tatars (1.9%) & Volga German (1.3%). Slavs, Finns and Germans make up more than 95.2% of the population, while Tatars, Chuvash, Armenes and Khants make up the remaining part.[1]

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