The Western Kazakhstan region was founded in March 10, 1932 and it is situated in the northwestern part of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Also knows as the gates to the central and north region of Kazakhstan and to the countries of Central Asia. The region borders on five regions of the Russian Federation and length of its boundary are 1532 km. Inside the country, it borders with cities such as Aktyubinsk and Atyrau. The area of the region is 151.3 square km, that is 5.6 per cent of the total area of the republic. According to the data from May 1st, 2016, the permanent population of the region was 639,0 thousand people. The administrative center of the region is the city of Uralsk. Currently, the region consists of 12 administrative districts, namely
with overall population of 319,6 thousand people. Uralsk is known as a city of the regional importance and Aksai town of the district importance. Moreover, Aksai well-known as a town of oil and gas.
First nomad tribes came to the territory of present West Kazakhstan region in 1,000 B.C. Ancient Huns, Ogyses, Kimaks, Kipchaks lived in these lands, they were cattle-breeders and handicraftsmen. In early 15th century after the Golden Horde split the territory was a part of Nogai Horde and later of Kazakh khanate (1465-1712).
Uralsk was formed in 1868 by Russian Empire and its current boundaries were declared on March 10th, 1932, by USSR as West Kazakhstan oblast.
The region’s economy is based on industrial and agricultural sectors. The main industries of the region are oil and gas, refining of petroleum products, machinery, metallurgy, defense, mining, clothing, and food industries.
One of the world’s largest oil and gas field Karachaganak is located in the West Kazakhstan region. The region accounts for 99% of the total Kazakhstan’s volume of gas condensate and 47 % of the country’s volume of gas production. It has about 1,200 million tons of oil and 1,300 billion of gas condensate. The region also has vast deposits of other natural resources, such as borate ore, shale oil, potassium and magnesium salts, construction and alluvial sand.
The climate is extremely continental. The winds blow high through the year. Dry hot winds are very frequent in the summer. The average temperature of January is -14, July - +25. The annual precipitation is 250 mm in the south of the region and 400 mm in the north.
The ethnic composition of the region consists of 75,2% of the Kazakhs, 20,2% of the Russians, 2.4% of the Ukrainians, 1.5% of the Tatars, 2.3% of the other nationalities.
The region borders with two regions of Kazakhstan and five regions of Russia. Thus, West Kazakhstan borders with Orenburg region of Russia in the north, Aktobe region of Kazakhstan in the east, Atyrau region of Kazakhstan and Astrakhan region of Russia in the south, Volgograd and Saratov regions of Russia in the west, Samara region of Russia in the north-west.The longest river of the region is 2428 km long Oral (Zhaiyk) River. The length of the River in the territory of Kazakhstan makes 1082 km.The largest lake is Chelkar (360 sq km) located in Terekti district.The largest district is Akzhaiyk district with the territory of 25.2 thousand sq km.The region is located in the central part of Eurasia in the north-west of Kazakhstan. The landscape of the territory is flat. The altitude decreases from the north-east to the south-west of the region. The region has several districts in accordance with the landscape – Common Szert, Emba Plateau, Caspian Lowland.The branches of the Common Szyrt and Pre-Urals Plateau are located in the north and north-east of the region.The highest point of the region is Ichka mountain. Its height is 259 meters above the sea level.
The region has about 200 small and big rivers with the total length of 4600 km. the largest of them are Ural River, Chagan River, Derkul River, Kushum River, etc. there are also 144 lakes in the region 94 of which are saline lakes. The biggest lakes are Shalkar, Rybnyi Sakryp and Kamysh-Samara lakes system. Chalkar Lake is the deepest and biggest reservoir of West Kazakhstan region. The lake collects about 1.4 billion cubic meters of water. The biggest area of the region is 24000 ha. Two rivers – Grand Ankaty and Small Ankaty disgorge into the lake from the east side. Ural River flows in the north of West Kazakhstan region. 250 km of the River are located in the territory of the region. Ural River is one of the main water arteries of national importance not only for Kazakhstan, but also for Russia.
There are Kirsanov (area – 61.0 thousand ha), Budarinsky (80.0 thousand ha) and Zhaltyrkol (19.0 thousand ha) state reserves in the region. Besides, Botanical natural monument “Dubrava”, Natural monument “Grand Ichka” mountain, monument “Sadovksoye” lake, Botanic and zoological natural monument “Mirgorodsky” Urda geobotanical reserve are located in the region.