DESCRIPTION OF THE REGION
History and culture
The Ryazan region has rich traditions and centuries-old history. Back into the ancient times, people, who lived here, created a great cultural layer of traditions and memory of many generations which is inseparable from Slavic culture. Historians consider Ryazan to be of the same age as Kiev (6-7 century). During the next five centuries, the city having a favorable geographical position grew and developed rapidly. Its beauty and infrastructure could be compared to Novgorod & Kiev. But in 1237 the old city of Ryazan was completely destroyed by the army of Baty, together with its citizens, who refused to give up to the enemy. 113 years later after destruction of Old Ryazan, the prince Oleg Ryazansky established his residence in the town called Pereyaslavl-Ryazansky. In the process of centralization of the Russian lands in 1521 the Ryazan County was joined to Moscow.
Later in 1778, Pereyaslavl- Ryazansky was renamed into Ryazan. Having experienced together with the whole country the periods of flights and falls, ravaging wars and years of revival and flourishing, the citizens of Ryazan have inscribed many glorious pages into the home history, science and culture through their selfless labor, heroic battle deeds, scientific discoveries and creative inspiration.
Ryazan has given 500 knights of the St. George the Victor order, over 300 heroes of the Soviet Union & 42 full knights of the Glory order to the motherland.
We pronounce with special tribute the names of the Nobel Prize laureates: academician-physiologist Ivan Pavlov and writer Alexander Solzhenitsin; poet Sergey Yessenin, engraver Ivan Pozhalostin and great singers, the Pirogov brothers, the founder of cosmonautics Konstantin Tsiolkovsky and his follower academician Vladimir Utkin, artist Petr Boklevsky. The list of the famous names could be continued endlessly.
The architects are also worth worshiping, namely those who created a real wonder of stone - the ensemble of the Ryazan Kremlin. Its Pearl is the Assumption Cathedral of the 17th century. With deep insight the talented masters of stone had chosen the elevated location for the cathedral - its glistening golden domes can be seen from far away. They have become a peculiar symbol of the modern city.
The cultural life of the Ryazan region is rich and diverse. There is the regional Drama Theatre, the Theatre for the Youth, the Puppet Theater, the regional Concert Hall, which has branches all over the region, the Ryazan Circus, the Museum of Arts, Municipal Cultural Center, the Palace of the Youth's Creative work, a number of museums in Ryazan that are at the same time the home-places of the outstanding citizens of Ryazan who have won the glory of our region.
The main waterway - the Oka river - divides the territory of the Ryazan region into two parts: the northern part covered with forests and the southern one, including the areas of deciduous forests and forest-steppes. The climate of the region is gently continental.
Forest resources of the region are characterized by the following indexes: the total forest area is 1053 thousand hectares, with coniferous woods covering 590 thousand hectares. There are great opportunities for timber production: the estimated woodcutting area is 1333 thousand cubic meters.
The region can boast of «The Oka biosphere natural reserve» which has an international importance as well as «The Meschera State National Park». The main natural resource of the Ryazan region is a high-quality peat that is bedded in massive layers.
There are more than 500 natural reservoirs (with the total impounded water level area - about 60 thousand hectares) containing a great number of sapropel deposits (medicinal mud). Explored reserves of sapropel found in 52 reservoirs, account for 81 million cubic meters.
The bottom of the rivers Oka, Moksha, Tsna contains more than 1 million cubic meters of fumed oak - the most valuable raw material for the production of decorative and finishing materials used in construction and furniture industry.
On the territory of the region there are deposits of limestone, marl, fireproof and refractory clay, sands. The most valuable of them are glass and quarts sands bedded in the Kasimov and Miloslavsky regions and cement limestone bedded in the Mikhilov region. There are also deposits of phosphorite, gypsum-containing rocks, ironstone, coal, and raw materials for mineral dyestuffs. The forest areas of Meschera situated far from the industrial centers and not contaminated with industrial wastes are of great interest.
The recent years have been characterized by the growth of the basic macro-economic indexes. Machine-building, metal processing, construction materials industry, electric energy, chemical, food, light industry and non-ferrous metallurgy have been developing especially rapidly. In 2004 the volume of the manufactured industrial products made more than 54 billion rubles, the index of the physical volume made 105% as compares to the year 2003.
The basic types of industrial products are the following: oil products, chemical fibers, metal-cutting machines, radio electronics, medical equipment, forge-pressing equipment, automobile aggregates, machines for public services, non-ferrous metals, construction materials, leather, textiles, clothes and footwear, foodstuffs. Ryazan is the main industrial center, which accounts for over 50% of the regional production.
A set of large projects with the participation of the domestic & foreign capital has been realized. Here are some of the most significant of them:
- construction of the plant for the production of non-alcoholic drinks in Sasovo;
- reconstruction of the Ryazan oil-refinery plant;
- construction of the mining factory «Murayevnya»;
- modernization of the starch-syrup factory «Ibred»;
- foundation of the Prioksky oil plant;
- creating the enterprise with foreign investment LLC «Chocolate Factory «Meshera»;
- putting into operation the Skopinsky pharmaceutical plant & the first stage of the plant for the production of polyethylene forms;
- reconstruction of the Mikhailovasky concrete plant.
Under the present market conditions many machine constructing enterprises are mastering new types of products, perform diversification of the production. Among the most successfully functioning enterprises there are: GRES-24, The State Ryazan Instrument-Making Plant, the Ryazan Experimental Plant of Oil-Chemical Products, the Federal State Unitary Enterprise «Globus», the open joint-stock company «Granit», the open joint-stock company «Plazma», the open joint-stock company «Sasta», the open joint-stock company «Metal-Ceramic Devices Plant», the open joint-stock company «Krasnoye Znamya», Ryazan Plant for Silicate Products, Kasimovsky Instrument-Making Plant, Ryazan Cardboard-Ruberoid Plant & many others.
Different types of soils are represented in the Ryazan region: from podzol and swampy in the north to black-earth ones in the south. The flood lands of the Oka River provide great opportunities for developing meat and milk cattle farming. Favorable climate conditions, clean fertile soils create the possibilities for production of a great number of ecologically safe products. The land resources of the region constitute 2600 thousand hectares, including agricultural grasslands - 2179 thousand hectares, and are characterized by the following indexes:
ploughed field - 1585 thousand hectares,
hayfields and pastures - 594 thousand hectares.
In 2004 the substantial volume of agricultural products was manufactured.
The total profit of agricultural enterprises made 495,3 million rubles, that is twice as much as the level of the previous year. The profitability of production increased from 6 to 12,7%. The total harvest of crops made 884 thousand tons, which also exceeds the level of the year 2003. The average regional volume of the produced milk for one cow made 2690 kg. Hundreds of farms are making good profits. The absolute leaders in this branch are such farms as «Avangard» in the Ryazan district, «Maxy» of the Sarayevsky district, «Shelkovskoy» of the Starozhilovsky district, «Vpered» of the Shatsky district, «Pushkary» of the Mikhailovsky district, «Krasny Mayak» of the Spassky district & others. The number of the profitable agricultural enterprises makes 63%.
The regional stockbreeding specializes in meat and dairy farming. Cereals & sugar beet-root production prevails in plant-growing.
Powerful processing industry is the most important condition for the development of agriculture. The region possesses a wide network of bread-baking plants, meat-processing factories, dairy factories, grain elevators and distilleries. The sugar mill in Sotnitsyno performs full processing of sugar beet produced in the region.
Energy, Transport, Communication
Energy complex of the Ryazan region is one of the key branches in social-economical development of the region. Ryazan region consumes only 40% of produced energy, that allows to develop energy-intensive production, combining with the oil-processing company, 4 gas mains, crossing the territory of the region, underground gas storages. Production of electric and heating power is provided by 4 large thermoelectric power stations with the total capacity of 3600 MWt, and also the Ryazan GRES (Hydro Electric Station), which is one of the biggest in Europe. Great work is made in energy saving and economical production of electric and heating energy. The adoption of mini-boilers, alternative resources of electric energy, means of energy's potential is also big. There is strong necessity to modernize energy-producing equipment. Strong attention is paid to the realization of tariff politics.
The system of railways and motor roads in the region -3 railways and 3 motor roads of federal importance completed with local lines, gives the opportunity to organize the delivery of any cargoes with minimal costs. Developed structure of locomotive depot, motor transport enterprises provides services for transportation of freights and passengers by transport, based on the territory of the Ryazan region.
The main waterway, the Oka River, connects the Ryazan region directly with the Moscow, Vladimir, Nizhny Novgorod regions giving the way to the Volga basin. There is a well-equipped river port in Ryazan. At the present time there is a large transport terminal of interregional importance, which was built in the outskirts of Ryazan on the basis of the existing storage facilities.
Communication services market is developing successfully on the territory of the Ryazan region, where there are more than 80 communication operators today. They provide services of all modern communication kinds: digital, satellite, cellular, mobile, all kinds of facsimile communication, work in different informational systems. The annual increase of communication services' volume makes more than 30%, the number of subscribers of cellular communication also keeps growing constantly.
The amount of money, spent in 2004 for the construction, was in 1,7 times more that the volume of the year 2003. Over 20 social objects were introduced into operation.
The planned work is carried out for the gas distribution in the Ryazan region. In 2004 the level of the gas supply in the region made 54,4% - which is practically the average level in the whole Russia.
The total length of automobile roads of common use in the Ryazan region made 6943 km, including 502 km of federal roads. 70% of inhabited localities are connected with roads with solid pavement. The money spent on the maintenance & development of the regional roads in 2004 allowed putting into operation over 39 km of automobile roads & a number of bridges.
The Ryazan region has developed construction industry, which satisfies all demands in concrete, soft roofing, brick, ferroconcrete goods, metal constructions, timber, asphalt, bitumen, etc. In 2004 the volume of construction materials' production has significantly increased, as compared to the level of 2003.
In this period all enterprises of this branch has been modernizing the production actively.
In the region the positive processes continue in the development of the consumer market of goods & services. During the year 2004 there was the stable increase of the retail trade volumes, the growth of its turnover, as well as public catering & consumer services.
In 2004 the volumes of the wholesale deliveries of products have also grown, including the deliveries beyond the borders of the region. Especially close contacts have been formed with Moscow, the Moscow & Tula regions, as well as with Belorussia, which consumes over the half of products, delivered from our region. The geography of cooperation has also been widened.
The dynamic development of the consumer market is preconditioned by the creation of the favorable economic situation in the region for the development of business, which has opened new opportunities for potential investors.
The activation of exhibition-fair activity is assisting greatly to the successful promotion of products, manufactured by enterprises of Ryazan & the region, both in the Russian & external market. The big contribution to it is made by Ryazan Chamber of Commerce & Industry.
The Ryazan region possesses the developed structure of retail trade. There are good conditions for the realization of goods through private entrepreneurs, whose activities are performed basically on the organized food & clothing marketplaces.
The small businesses make 70% of commercial cargo deliveries & 36% of passenger transportation. The retail trade turnover of small businesses makes over 20% of the regional turnover. The number of employees of small enterprises is about 20% of the economically active population of the region. But, in spite of the achieved indexes, small business still faces obstacles in its development: the lack of turnover capital, the unacceptable for most small businesses conditions of renting municipal & regional property, high rates of bank credits, the constantly growing tariffs for the products & services of natural monopolies, difficult & tough tax policy.
The Ryazan region has wide & diverse interregional relations. The long-term cooperation agreements are concluded with 74 subjects of the Russian Federation, 6 regions of Belorussia, The Chernovitsky region of the Ukraine. During the recent years the direct business links of the Ryazan entrepreneurs with other regions have been sufficiently activated.
The total turnover of the Ryazan region in the foreign trade in 2004 made 1 billion 495 million US dollars, which in 6 times exceeds the level of the year 1997. The traditionally active balance of the foreign trade has been formed.
The growth of the commodity turnover has been achieved, first of all, due to the significant increase of export deliveries. Simultaneously, the volumes of the goods imported to the region have also been growing.
Oil products remain the main products exported from the Ryazan region. Engine oils, automobile fuel, fuel oil and other oil products produced by the Ryazan oil-refinery company, machines-tools, automated lines produced by the Ryazan machine-tool plant and the joint-stock company «Sasta», forging-press equipment of the joint-stock company «Tyazhpressmash», radio location equipment of the State Ryazan instrument-making plant, chemical fiber of the joint-stock company «Ryazan Chemical Fiber», ferreed contacts of the Metal-Ceramic Devices Plant, cash register machines of «Oka» type manufactured by the closed joint-stock company «PRO-SAM», control measuring devices of the open joint-stock company «Teplopribor», medical devices of the Yelatomsky instrument-making plant, footwear of the joint-stock company «Ryazan-West» - this is far from being a complete list of products exported from the Ryazan region, the quality of which has been proved by market and time.
The range of imported goods is wider, & its structure has not been changed significantly as compared to the years 2002 & 2003. Over the half of the cost volume of all the imported goods is made by the plants' protection means & condensate gas.
For the 1st of January 2005 in the Ryazan region there were 79 enterprises with foreign investment registered, & 61 branches of foreign companies, with the total number of employees over 8 thousands people. Over 70% of them work in the sphere of production & services. The volume of production of these enterprises makes over 5% of the total regional volume.
The tourism in the Ryazan region can be very interesting for people from other regions & countries, for our land is rich in historical & cultural memorials, which are inseparably connected with the history of Russia. In the region there are perfect opportunities for rest in the open & in resort areas. Small rivers, reserved forests, the lakes of Meshera are unique tourism. The Ryazan region possesses the great potential in the production of souvenirs & decorations of the national character. Ceramics from Skopin, rods' products from Shilovo, lace from Mikhailov & Kadom, wood carving & painting from Kasimov, soft toys - these are only some examples of unique products of folk trends.
In the Ryazan region there are more than 40 scientific-research and designer's organizations. The basic trends of research and investigations are the following:
- electric and radio technical profile: gas-discharge devices, communication devices, indicators, color flat TV receivers, lasers, information systems, galvanic engineering, radar equipment, geo computer science, medical equipment;
- agriculture: research and investigations carried out in such branches as plant growing, horse breeding, bee breeding, storage and use of fertilizers and pest-killers;
- medicine: research in the sphere of bio-chemistry, pharmacology, surgery, urology, endocrinology, valeology and others;
- investigations in the sphere of humanitarian sciences: pedagogical science, law, psychology, sociology.
In the Ryazan region there are 11 Institutes of Higher Education including the largest of them - Radio Technical and Agricultural Academies, Pedagogical and Medical Universities & others. Every year about 4 thousand young specialists with higher education graduate from them.