Kirov Oblast

   An administrative region of the Russian Federation. Part of the Volga Federal District and the Volga-Vyatka Economic Region, the Kirov Oblast is bordered by Komi, Perm Krai, Udmurtiya, Tatarstan, Mari El, and the oblasts of Archangel, Vologda, Kostroma, and Nizhny Novgorod. Kirov is located at the eastern edge of the East European Plain, which turns to uplands and ridge in the north and northwest of the oblast. The region has a land area of 120,800 square kilometers and a population of 1.5 million. Nine out of 10 inhabitants are ethnic Russians; the significant minority populations are Tatars (3 percent), Maris (2.6 percent), and Udmurts (1.2 percent). Unlike most oblasts, the capital city, Vyatka, does not share its name with the region due to a name change in 1992. A failed attempt to reorganize the province into the Vyatka Krai failed in 1994 due to a veto by Moscow. The region is named after the Old Bolshevik and revolutionary Sergey Kirov (born Kostrikov).
   During the 1990s, both Communists and Vladimir Zhirinovsky enjoyed popularity in the region. The Communist Party candidate Vladimir Sergeyenkov won election in 1996 with a majority of votes cast; he immediately set about renationalizing portions of the regional economy. Sergeyenkov was reelected in 2000 but was prevented from running for a third term by local legislation. In 2004, he was succeeded by a former deputy general prosecutor and Duma member, Nikolay Shaklein. Shaklein has focused on introducing innovative technology, improving regional transportation infrastructure, and developing new industries such as biofuels.
   The regional economy has experienced growth in the areas of nonferrous metal industry, cellulose and paper production, construction materials, and furniture manufacture in recent years. Forestry and the military-industrial complex are also important drivers of the local economy. Peat deposits in the region are substantial; discovery of oil, gold, and other natural resources in recent years also show promise. Recently, the destruction of chemical weapons stored in the Maradykovsky Arsenal, Russia’s second-largest stockpile of such weapons, has become a hot-button issue on the local and international stages.
   See also Weapons of Mass Destruction.

Historical Dictionary of the Russian Federation. . 2010.

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