Geographic location. Bryansk region is located in the central part of the East European Plain. It borders on two states: Ukraine in the south, Belarus in the west and north-west; and four regions of the Russian Federation: Smolensk Region in the north, Kaluga Region the north-east, Orel Region in the east, Kursk Region in the south. The area of Bryansk Region is 34,900 sq. km. It stretches 270 km from west to east and 190 km from north to south. The Bryansk Region’s territory is larger than that of Belgium and the Netherlands, and 13 times as large as the territory of Luxembourg.
Federal district: Central
Administrative center: Bryansk (412,753 people, distance to Moscow – 380 km)
Major cities: Klintsy, Novozybkov, Dyatkovo.
Population (January 1, 2013 estimate): 1.25 million
Primary economic activities in Bryansk Region are construction, manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade, agriculture, hunting and forestry, which account for about 52% of the produced GRP. The industrial complex of Bryansk Region is represented by more than 300 large and medium-sized enterprises, and more than 7,000 small businesses. The most developed industries are machine building and metalworking, building materials production, manufacturing of wood products. Processing and food industries form the basis of food security in the region. The state of the mineral resource base allows maintaining high industrial potential of the region′s construction industry and exporting cement raw materials in other subjects of Russia.
Natural environment and mineral resources. Located at the junction of three republics and two natural zones, the region boasts of rich and diverse nature. Here you can find all types of forests: coniferous, mixed, broadleaved, as well as forest-steppe and cultivated steppe. Forests cover more than 1.15 million hectares. The most valuable are coniferous forests, which occupy 53% of the forest area. Up to 80 species of trees and shrubs grow in the forests. Total timber reserves are about 138 million cubic meters.
The territory of Bryansk Region is covered by a dense river network - there are more than 120 rivers with a total length of 9,000 kilometers. Almost all the rivers belong to the basins of the Black and Caspian Seas. The largest river of the region is the Desna.
Bryansk Region has significant reserves of natural raw materials (cement raw materials, carbonate rocks, glass sands, clays, tripolith, chalk) for the building materials industry and the glass industry; developed reserves of peat, phosphate-containing ores for the production of mineral fertilizers. In total, there are 80 fields of various minerals in the region.
The main treasure of Bryansk Region is peat reserves, which exceed those of Orel, Kaluga, Tula and Kursk regions combined by 1.4 times. Moors stretch for 82,000 hectares, together with the forest peat deposits their total area is 125 hectares.
One of the most studied (after peat) natural resources in the region is phosphates. Bryansk Region is the birthplace of the industrial production and processing of phosphate rock. The reserves of Polpinskoe field, the only field currently used and located in the north-eastern outskirts of Bryansk, are determined at 62 million tons.
The region also has deposits of glauconite, sapropel, marl and other.
Agriculture. The agricultural sector of Bryansk Region comprises more than 1.3 million enterprises and farm households. Animal husbandry, crop and seed production are highly developed. The total agricultural area in the region is 1.9 million hectares, of which 1.2 million hectares are arable lands. The main branches of farm production are dairy and beef cattle breeding and poultry breeding. The main specialization of crop breeding is growing cereal crops (rye, wheat), potatoes, flax, vegetables, sugar beets.
Fuel and energy complex. The backbone industry of Bryansk Region is represented by Bryansk TPP and Klintsovskaya TPP, as well as electrical network with rated voltage up to 35kV.
The main sources of power in the region are Kursk NPP and Smolensk NPP. The share of the region’s own electricity in the structure of the electricity balance is only 6%. The share of TPPs in heat supply from centralized sources is about 30%. The thermal network of Bryansk Region is technically imperfect, so the main tasks of energy base development are saving energy, replacement of obsolete equipment, technical re-equipment of the fuel and energy complex, power industry development using local raw materials - peat, wood processing waste.
Foreign trade turnover of Bryansk Region made USD 1.65 billion in 2012, including export – USD 418.4 million, import - USD 1.23 billion. The largest share of the foreign trade turnover (over 60%) accounted for the CIS countries. Bryansk goods were mainly exported to Belarus, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Mongolia. The five main importers include Belarus, Ukraine, Turkey, Germany, Poland.
The largest share of exported goods is machinery, equipment and vehicles (36.8%), metals and metal products (15.3%), mineral products (9.6%), chemical products (12.4%), timber and woodwork (7.6%). The imported goods are mainly food products and raw materials for their production (38.5%), machinery and equipment (25.6%), metals and metal products (14.6%), textiles, footwear (5, 8%), chemical products (4.8%).
Transport infrastructure. Bryansk Region is a major transport hub for railway, air and motor transport, oil and gas pipelines. It is located on the shortest transport routes that connect Moscow through Ukraine to Western Europe, and St. Petersburg to the southern regions of Russia.
Passenger and freight traffic from the countries of near and far abroad pass through the territory of Bryansk Region.
Rail transportation is highly developed. The total length of railway lines is more than 1,000 km (network density is 32.5 km / 1,000 sq. km - one of the highest indicators in Russia). The region is crossed by major railway lines Moscow - Kiev, Riga - Orel - Voronezh, Moscow - Kharkov - Rostov.
The motorways of strategic and international importance are the M3 motorway - Moscow - Kiev (with access to M20 highway - St. Petersburg - Kiev - Odessa), M13 - Bryansk - Kobrin (with access to M1 highway - Moscow - Minsk - Brest and M20), A141 - Orel - Roslavl. The length of hard-surfaced public roads is 6,200 km.
Bryansk Region has an international airport “Bryansk”, which is located in the international air route R-22, connecting Moscow to Kiev and Western Europe. There are several customs terminals in Bryansk and the region.
Tourism. Bryansk Region lies in the center of the East European Plain, where two major river systems - the Dnieper and the Volga – cross. Ample river and water resources attract outdoor enthusiasts, hunting and fishing fans. Horse riding, hiking, bicycle and motorcycle touring, caravanning, water activities (rafting, boating, etc.) are highly developed.
The region miraculously keeps the memory of various architectural styles and traditions. Here wooden houses with patterned carving are combined with the majestic temples in the classical style.
Bryansk Region has some very interesting sights that draw attention of tourists from different countries:
Pokrovskaya Mountain is the historic core of Bryansk, located on the steep right bank of the Desna, where the ancient Kremlin with oak walls is situated. To the south and west of the Mountain, the modern administrative and cultural center has been formed.
Chashin Kurgan is an archaeological monument, a fortress under state protection. The village that had emerged here in the VII century lied on a major waterway - the so-called Zhizdrinsky trailing route that linked the southern and northern regions of Russia.
Vshchizh was an appanage town of Yaroslav the Wise. Today, the archaeological complex Vshchizh mainly consists of ancient - mainly Old Russian - monuments, representing the remains of the annalistic town of Vshchizh, which was first mentioned in 1142, but had existed as a fortified settlement since IX century. In 1238, the city was razed to the ground by hordes of Batu Khan. Later, Vshchizh was reborn as a village that still exists today.