Bryansk is an administrative center of Bryansk region. The area of Bryansk is 34,900 square km and the population is 458,000 people. The region is located in the central part of the East European Plain and stands on Desna River.
Bryansk region borders Belarus and Ukraine, and Kaluga, Smolensk, Oryol and Kursk regions of Russia. The population of the region is about 1.5 million people which is 1% of the Russia’s total. Population density is 42 people per square kilometer. The region consists of 27 districts and has 16 cities and 27 urban-type settlements. The largest cities in the region are Bryansk, Klintzy, Novozybkov, Dyatkovo.
The history of Bryansk is longer than a millennium. The town was founded in 985 as a military settlement on the right bank of Desna River. It was first mentioned in written records in 1146 as Dobryansk.
In 1252 the town became the capital of a Russian principality. Since XV century it was an important location on the southwest of Russian state. Under Peter the Great a part of Russian fleet was constructed in Bryansk.
During World War II the town was occupied by Nazi troops and about 92% of buildings were destroyed. Bryansk Partisans in World War II, far behind the front lines, liberated whole districts of the region from the Nazis and restored the Russian power.
Bryansk Region as a part of Russian Federation was formed on July, 5, 1944. Bryansk became the capital of the region. The region's soil has suffered from radioactive contamination as a result of the 1986 accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power station.
The climate in Bryansk is temperate continental. Winter is relatively tender and snowy, summer is warm. The average temperature in January is –8 C, the average temperature in July is 18 C.
The region has diverse flora and fauna. There are 125 rivers in Bryansk region, the longest river being Desna. There are 49 large lakes in the region, the largest being Kozhany Lake.
Because of the favourable natural conditions, the regional economy is dominated by agriculture, mainly grain and vegetable production and animal husbandry. The main branch of agriculture is cattle breeding. Crops, including grain and potato, are also grown. Among the other cultures is the flax, hemp and others. Minerals include peat, sands, clay, chalk etc.
Bryansk city is the industrial center of the road-building machine manufacturing. Well-known in Russia are diesel-locomotives, giant ship diesels, locomotive diesels, refrigerator cars, heavy-load cars, rail-polish trains produced in Bryansk. According to a survey by Bank Austria, the oblast is 14th among Russia's 89 regions in terms of investment climate.
Main railroads and highways, network of oil and gas pipelines cross the region. The new international airport has been opened in Bryansk. The main pipeline is famous Druzhba ("Friendship" in English). It's a main pipeline connecting Russia with the East Europe. There are also large gas pipelines Dashava - Moscow and Shebelinka – Moscow traveling through the region.
The main theater of the town is perhaps the Bryansk Dramatic Theatre of Tolstoy. The Bryansk Forest Museum is in the original wood pavilion in the Museum of Tolstoy. For the children in Bryansk city there are the Bryansk Puppet Theatre and the Theater of the Young Spectators.
There are about twenty museums in Bryansk region. The largest of them is the Regional Museum on the Partizan Square of the Bryansk city. It has 14 branches in the other cities and communities of the Bryansk Region. The other popular museum is the Dyatkovo Art Glasware Museum in the nearby Dyatkovo city.
One can see a real WWII Partisan base and to know about the heroes of the Bryansk Resistance on the memorial "Partizanskaya Polyana" ("The Partisan Field") in the Beliye Berega settlement not far from the Bryansk city.
From the art galleries the most interesting are the Bryansk Regional Art Museum and the Museum of Tkachev brothers.
The Bryansk land was the source of inspiration for ancient singer Boyan and the Fyodor Tutchev, writers Alexey K. Tolstoy and the Daniil Andreev. Art glass and crystal wares of the Dyatkovo Art Glassware factory are known around the world.