Belgorod Region is an administrative division of the Russian Federation located in Central Russia 700 km south of Moscow, at the Ukrainian border. Today’s boundaries of Belgorod Region were defined on January 6, 1954.
Regional center is Belgorod.
The region’s population amounts to 1519.14 thousand residents (as of 1.01.2008), including 66.6% urban residents and 33.4% rural residents (2008).
Belgorod Region is included into the Central Black Earth Economic Region and the Central Federal District of the Russian Federation. It shares borders with Lugansk, Kharkov and Sumy regions (in the south and in the west), Kursk region in the north and Voronezh region in the east.
Being 27.1 thousand km2 in area, the region stretches for 190 km from north to south and about 270 km from west to east. The area lies on south-western and southern sides of Central Russian Upland in the river-basins of the Dnieper and the Don, in wooded steppe on a high-level flatland 200 m above sea level.
The region enjoys temperate continental climate with mild snowy winters, thaws and long-lasting summers. Yearly average temperature ranges from +5,4 0C in the north to +6,7 0C in the south-east. The coldest month is January. Frostless period lasts 155—160 days.
Up until the year 1928, the territories of today’s Belgorod Region were a part of Voronezh and Kursk governorates. After signing the Union of Brest-Litovsk, from April 1918 till January 1919 Belgorod lands were added to the Ukrainian Power of hetman P. Skoropadsky.
Belgorod Region is one of the youngest administrative divisions of the Russian Federation. At the same time, this old-established area is rich in historic heritage — several years ago, Belgorod celebrated its 1000-th anniversary.
During World War II, Belgorod lands witnessed the famous Prokhorovka tank battle which became the turning point in Russia’s victory over the Nazi Germany. In commemoration of the battle, a monument to the great victory was erected in the epicenter of the so-called Fire Arc: the Bell Tower at Prokhorovka battle field and Peter and Paul’s Cathedral built on public donations in Prokhorovka settlement. Following the blessing of His Holiness Alexei II, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, on the eve of the 55th anniversary in the Great Patriotic War, the presidents of Russia, Ukraine and Byelorussia thrice stroke the Unity Bell.
Belgorod Region holds Russia’s biggest diorama — Fire Arc Museum. In recognition of courage and fortitude shown in the Great Patriotic War and efforts in reconstruction period, on January 4, 1967 the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR awarded Belgorod region the Order of Lenin. In 1980, the bravery of Belgorod’s residents in defending their Motherland during the Great Patriotic War and the progress in economic and cultural construction, Belgorod was awarded the First Class Patriotic War Order.
For more detailed information on the Region, please refer to Internet resources of governmental authorities of the constituent entity of the Russian Federation.