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Primorsky Krai ( ) also known as Primorye ( ), is a federal subject of Russiamarker (a krai). Primorsky means "maritime" in Russian, hence the region is sometimes referred to as Maritime Province.


  • Borders length — over , including of the sea borders.
  • Highest peak — Anik Mountainmarker,
  • Average life expectancy in 1994 — 62.5 years (male — 56.8, female — 69.4).
  • Railroads length — (of which are electrified).
  • Automobile roads length —

Primorsky Krai, bordered by Chinamarker, North Koreamarker, and warm - though freezing in winter – waters of the Sea of Japanmarker, is the extreme South-Eastern region of Russiamarker, located between 42° and 48° north latitude and 130° and 139° east longitude. It is stretched in the meridianal direction, the distance from its extreme Northern point to the extreme Southern point totals about . Highlands dominate the territory of the krai. Most of the territory is mountainous, and almost 80% is forested. The average elevation is about . Sikhote-Alinmarker is a mountainous formation, extending for the most part of the Krai. It consists of a number of parallel ranges: the Partizansky, the Siny (Blue), the Kholodny (Cold), and others. There are many karst caves in the South of Primorye. The relatively accessible Spyashchaya Krasavitsa cave (the Sleeping Beauty) in the Ussuriysky Nature Preserve could be recommended for tourists. There are comparatively well-preserved fragments of the ancient volcanoes in the area. The ranges are cut by the picturesque narrow and deep valleys of the rivers and by large brooks, such as the Partizanskaya, the Kiyevka, the Zerkalnaya, the Cheryomukhovaya, the Yedinka, the Samarga, the Bikin, and the Bolshaya Ussurka. Most rivers in the Krai have rocky bottoms and limpid water. The largest among them is the Ussuri, with a length of . The head of the Ussuri River originates to the East of Oblachnaya Mountain. The vast Prikhankayskaya Lowland extends into the West and the South-West of Primorye, carpeted by coniferous-deciduous forests. A part of the Lowland surrounding the largest lake in the Russian Far East, Khanka Lakemarker, is occupied by a forest-steppe.

The geographic location of Primorye accounts for the variety of its flora - there are the mountainous tundra areas, conifers and coniferous-deciduous forests, forest-steppe, which is sometimes called the Far Eastern Prairie, where the ancient plant species have been preserved: the ferns, the lotus, the Chozenia Willow, etc.

The fauna of Primorye is also diverse. The following animals are found in the Krai: the Ussuri black bear (Ursus thibetanis), the Amur tiger, the Amur leopard, the lynx, the wild boar, the Manchurian deer (Cervus elaphus xanthopygos), the Siberian Roe Deer, the musk deer, the goral (Nemorhaedus goral), the sika deer, the sable, the mandarinka duck (Aix galericulata), the black stork (Ciconia nigra), the scaly goosander (Mergus squamatus), the Japanese starling (Sturnia philippensis), the black griffon (Aegypius monachus), the large-winged cuckoo (Cuculidae family), and others. Among 690 species of birds inhabiting the territory of the former USSRmarker, 350 are found in Primorye. Rich fisheries of salmon, Hucho taimen, lenok and marine fisheries of crab, pollock and other species make the aquatic and maritime environment a valuable resource for the region. However, the rich diversity of wildlife in Primorye is threatened by poaching and the illegal wildlife trade. Wildlife Conservation Society, World Wildlife Fund, Wild Salmon Center, and Russian NGOs including Phoenix Fund are active in the region's wildlife and habitat conservation.

Time zone

Primorsky Krai is located in the Vladivostok Time Zone (VLAT/VLAST). UTC offset is +1000 (VLAT)/+1100 (VLAST).


The cliffs Brat ("Brother") and Sestra ("Sister") in the environs of Nakhodka.
  • Average annual temperature — near in the North of the krai, on the southern coast.
  • Average annual precipitation — 600–850 mm.


Ancient history

According to archaeological data, the first inhabitants of Primorsky Krai were the Palaeasiatic and Tungus peoples. They probably appeared in this area 50-60 thousand years ago in the Paleolithic period. The descendants of the Tungus-speaking tribes are still inhabiting Primorye and Priamuryemarker. These are the Nanai, the Orochs and the Udege.

From 698 to 926, the Korean kingdom of Balhae occupied northern Koreamarker and parts of Manchuria and Primorsky Krai, consisting of the above-mentioned people and the people of the recently fallen Goguryeo kingdom of Korea. Balhae was an early feudal medieval state of Eastern Asia, which developed its industry, agriculture, animal husbandry, and had its own cultural traditions and art. People of Balhae maintained political, economic and cultural contacts with the Chinese Tang Dynasty, as well as Japanmarker.

From 1115 to 1234, the southern area of the modern Russian Far East was occupied by a more powerful state — The Jurchen Empire, also called the Jin Dynasty. The Jurchen were a Tungusic people. Nomadic stock raising and common agriculture formed their economic basis. They also developed a metallurgical industry, shipbuilding, and the manufacture of luxury articles. The Jin Dynasty conducted independent foreign and domestic policies. The Jurchen established close contacts with the southern Chinese Song dynasty, Koreamarker and Japanmarker. Having conquered northern China, the Jurchens thrived until the Mongol invasions of the 13th century.

The Jin Dynasty came to an end as a result of the Mongol invasion led by Genghis Khan. The Mongols destroyed the empire's cities and ports along with the sizable Jurchen fleet. The majority of the population was either killed or enslaved, while the survivors retreated into the wilderness. The end result of the Mongol invasion was a permanant social, cultural and economic shift in the region; the remaining population of the area permanently abandoned urbanism and resettled in the remote forests and river valleys of the Amurmarker and Zabaykalyemarker, as well as along the Okhotskymarker coast and parts of Sakhalinmarker island. Industry and skilled craft faded as the local economy reverted to subsistance fishing and hunting.

The Yongle emperor of the Ming Dynastymarker conquered the area in the 14th century.

Modern history

The territory of the future Primorsky Kray (east of the Ussuri River - Oussouri on the map) on a 1734 French map

Little economic and cultural development occurred in the period following the departure of the Mongols and the arival of the first Russian settlers in the 17th century.

The acquisition of Siberia by the Tsardom of Russiamarker and the subsequent Russian expansion to the Far East, brought the Russians into direct contact with the Qing Empiremarker. The Nerchinsk Treaty of 1689 demarcating the borders of the two states gave all lands lying south of the Stanovoy Mountainsmarker, including Primorye, to the Qing Empire. However, with the weakening of the Qing Empiremarker in the second half of the 19th century, Russia began its expansion into the area. In 1858 the towns of Khabarovskmarker and Blagoveshchenskmarker were founded.

In 1858, Nikolay Muravyov-Amursky signed the Aigun Treaty with Chinamarker, followed by the Beijing Treaty two years later. As a result of the two treaties the Sino-Russian border shifted south to the Amurmarker and Ussuri rivers; granting Russiamarker full control of Primorye.

In the period from 1859 to 1882 ninety five settlements were established in the Primorye region, including Vladivostokmarker, Ussuriyskmarker, Razdolnoye, Vladimiro-Aleksandrovskoye, Shkotovo, Pokrovka, Tury Rog, and Kamen-Rybolovmarker. The population was primarily engaged in hunting, fishing and cultivation. These activities involved more than two-thirds of the territory's inhabitants.

Coat of arms of Primorskaya Oblast in the beginning of the 20th century

The latter part of the 19th century saw significant economic development in Primorye. Coal mining became a prominent industry as did the export of sea-kale, velvet antlers, timber, crab, dried fish, and trepangs. The rapid economic expansion of Primorye was financed in large measure by Russian and foreign capital investment.

In 1922, shortly before the end on the Civil War Primorye came under Bolshevik control and the economic, scientific, and cultural development of the territory were dictated by the new government. The Soviet Governmentmarker spent the following ten years combating "bourgeois ideology" in many areas of life and culture. As a result the music, theater, literature, and the fine arts of Primorye were reformed to conform to Soviet ideology.

The period also saw the beginnings of centralized planning. As in the rest of the Soviet Union, priority was given to heavy industry, with a special emphasis on mining and commercial fishing. Rail and sea transit was greatly expanded and new port facilities were constructed.

The 1970s witnessed an expansion of scientific institutions in Primorye, espeically in the city of Vladivostokmarker. As a result the city possess several large research institutions such as the Institute of Biology and Agrigulture, The Pacific Institute of Bio-organic Chemistry, The Institute of Marine Biology, The Pacific Institute of Geography, The Pacific Oceanological Institute, as well as several Institutes affiliated with the Far Eastern Division of the Russian Academy of Science

By the early 1990s the once small enterprises had developed into large companies. Some of the most prominent include the DVMP shipping company, the Dalmoreprodukt sea-food concern, Progress Arsenyevmarker Aircraft Works, and Vostok Mining. Commercial fishing plays an important part in the ecnonomy of the Primorye and includes firms like Vladivostok Trawling and Refrigerating Fleet (VBTRF), the Active Marine Fisheries Base of Nakhodkamarker, and the Fishing and Marine Transport Fleet of Primorye. Numerous enterprises of the Russian Military Industrial Complex were also established in Primorye.

Administrative divisions


Primorsky Krai's economy, the most balanced in the Russian Far East, is also the largest in absolute terms. Food production is the most important sector, represented mainly by fish processing. Annual catch exceeds two million tonnes, or one half of the Russian Far East total. Second is machine building, where half of the output is geared toward the fishing industry and shipyards. Defense is another important sector, producing naval vessels and military aircraft. The construction materials industry here provides for the whole Russian Far East. Lead smelting is conducted in the coastal town of Rudnaya Pristanmarker.

The timber industry, though in recession, is still second only to Khabarovsk Krai's with an annual yield of about 3 million cubic meters of timber. Primorsky Krai is the largest coal producer in the Russian Far East and generates more electricity than any other Russian Far East administrative division, but power shortages are common. Agriculture is also important; the Krai produces rice, milk, eggs, and vegetables.

Primorsky Krai is the Russian Far East's banking and finance center. It has more than 100 banks and affiliates and well-developed futures and stock exchanges.

The Krai's proximity to Pacific Rim markets gives it an edge over most other Russian Far East administrative divisions in developing foreign trade. Major trade items are seafood products, timber products, and ferrous metals. Major trading partners are Japanmarker, Chinamarker, and Koreamarker.

Primorsky Krai's compact territory is well endowed with infrastructure. Its railway density is twice the Russian average. Railroads connect it with Chinamarker and North Koreamarker. Vladivostokmarker, the eastern terminus of the Trans-Siberian railway, was surpassed as a port by the nearby Nakhodkamarker-Vostochny Portmarker container, coal and timber terminals. Primorsky Krai-based shipping companies provide 80% of marine shipping services in the Russian Far East. All the Krai's significant ports are now open to international shipping.

Production of grain, soybeans, potatoes, and vegetables is the leading agricultural sector. The breeding of livestock, especially sheep, is well developed in Primorye; a fur farming industry is also being developed through the establishment of fur farms and animal nurseries.

Natural resources


Population: According to the (2002 Census), the population of the krai was 2,071,210, which is down from 2,258,391 recorded in the 1989 Census. Due to its geographical location, Primorsky Krai boasts a mixture of not only ethnic Russians, but also Korean, Volga German, Udege, Buriat, Nanai, Oroch, and Taz minorities.

Ethnic groups: There were thirteen recognised ethnic groups of more than two thousand persons each, and the national composition was

  • Births (2008): 22,749
  • Deaths (2008): 29,123 [26175]


The krai is the location of the massive Sikhote-Alin Meteoritemarker, which fell February 12, 1947, in the Sikhote-Alin Mountainsmarker, near the village of Paseka (approximately 440 km northeast of Vladivostokmarker).

Sister districts

See also



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