Taking its name from the majestic Ural Mountain Range that slices through it, the Urals Region is one of Russia’s twelve economic regions, consisting of the Republic of Bashkortostan, Kurgan Oblast, Chelyabinsk Oblast, Orenburg Oblast, Perm Krai, Sverdlovsk Oblast and the Udmurt Republic. The Ural Mountains, known in Russian folklore and history as the Great Stone Belt, run from north to south across western Russia, extending into neighboring Kazakhstan and forming a natural boundary between Asia and Europe.
Located between the Ural Mountains and the Volga River, the Republic of Bashkortostan has the city of Ufa as its administrative center. The Republic of Bashkortostan has more than 13,000 rivers, many of which form part of a deepwater transportation system opening up access to ports of both the Baltic and Black Seas. It also has a large stretch of the Ural Mountains within its borders and is rich in mineral and crude oil reserves. Culture and history feature prominently in the Republic of Bashkortostan, which is home to no less than fifteen theaters, a film studio and a large number of museums and public libraries.
Located to the east of the Urals and lying on the banks of the Miass River, the city of Chelyabinsk is the administrative center of the Chelyabinskl Oblast. The city was an important depot for the construction of the famed Trans-Siberian Railway and remains an important industrial center for the Urals Region. With more than a dozen universities in the city, it is no wonder that many well respected Russian politicians, scientists, sportsmen and other personalities are from Chelyabinsk.
The Sverdlovsk Oblast has the vibrant city of Ekaterinburg as it administrative center. The Western Siberian Plain, together with the eastern slopes of the Middle and North Urals, form the bulk of the Sverdlovsk Oblast. This ruggedly beautiful part of the Urals Region of Russia has a fascinating history, which can be explored at the many museums located in Ekaterinburg and other towns and cities of Sverdlovsk Oblast.
Reputed to be one of the oldest cities in Siberia, Kurgan is the administrative center of the Kurgan Oblast in the Urals Region of Russia. The city lies between Omsk and Ekaterinburg on the Trans-Siberian Railway line. With its fertile, well-watered terrain, agriculture forms an important part of the Kurgan Oblast's economy, while the city of Kurgan is home to the Ilizarov’s Scientific Center of Reparative Traumatology and Orthopedics.
With its abundant natural beauty, fast-flowing rivers and the magnificent Urals, tourism plays an important role in the Orenburg Oblast. Located on the Ural River, the city of Orenburg is the administrative center of the Orenburg Oblast and is home to a number of universities, seven museums and five state theaters. The Udmurt Republic, with Izhevsk as its administrative center, lies between the Kama and Vyatka Rivers with forests covering more than 40 percent of its territory.
The administrative center of the Perm Krai, the city of Perm is located on the banks of the Kama River with the Ural Mountains as a picturesque backdrop. The name is derived from the Komi-Permyak language word 'Parma' meaning 'a hilly place covered with woods', and this aptly describes the region. The Kama River, which runs through the middle of the city, forms part of the waterway opening up access for the Urals Region to the Baltic Sea, White Sea, Sea of Azov, Caspian Sea and Black Sea.