Izhevsk is the capital city of the Republic of Udmurtia - a sovereign republic within the Russian Federation. The republic is situated in the Western part of the Middle Urals between the Kama and Vyatka rivers. It borders the Kirov region, the Perm region, Bashkortostan and Tatarstan.
The territory of Izevsk is 31,666 hectares. Currently the population of Izhevsk is 700,000 people which is 40% of the population of the republic. Izhevsk is located 1325 km fom Moscow, 1904 km from Saint-Petersburg, 800 km from Yekaterinburg and 395 km from Kazan.
The climate in the region is temperate continental with cold winters and rather warm summers. Average temperature in January is about -15 C and the average temperature in July is +18 C.
Local flora and fauna are rich and diverse. Among the forest animals are fox, marten, ermine, wolf, squirrel, hare, etc. The birds inlude hazel-grouse, heath-cock, partridge. Bream, perches, tenches, ides and burbots are found in local rivers.
The first Russian settlements appeared on the territory of Udmurtia at the end of the XII century. In the ancient times Udmurts lived on the territory of the contemporary Kirov region and Tatarstan and later moved further to the east and north.
The city of Izhevsk was founded on April 10, 1760 on the bank of the Izh River as a workmen's settlement of the iron-works belonging to Count Shuvalov. In 1763 the first products - metal bands and ship anchors - were manufactured.
The economic flourishing of Izhevsk is dated XIX century. In 1808 the tool production was established. By 1812 the Izhevsk arms factory supplied the Russian army with a large number of guns and pistols.
The second half of the XIX century was marked by the rapid development of industry and culture in Udmurtia. Many private factories, workshops, banks, partnerships, gymnasiums, industrial colleges, theaters, libraries were open. Regional enterprises displayed their products at the biggest exhibitions in Russia and all over the world. In 1899 the main railway line Perm-Cotlas was constructed.
Because of the industrial growth, in 1817 the population of the Izhevsk factory settlement had grown up to 8,000 people. In 1897 it was about 41,074 people. In February 1918 Izhevsk acquired the status of a city and in 1921 it became the capital of Udmurtia. During the Stalin era there was a period when strict national policy was conducted in Udmurtia.
During World War II Izhevsk supplied about 12.5 million arms for the army. From 1985 to 1987 the name of the city was Ustinov. In 1993 the Republic of Udmurtia introduced its flag. The anthem of Udmurtia was introduced in 1994.
Izhevsk is a high-developed industrial center. In terms of output and assortment of the goods produced, the city takes one of the leading places in the Ural region. There are more than 200 industrial enterprises in the republic, including 49 major industrial enterprises. The largest enterprises of the republic are mostly concentrated in Izhevsk.
The main industries include production of cars and motorbikes, sporting and hunting guns, metal-cutting machines, structural, alloy and stainless steel rolled stock, rocket and space equipment, microelectronics and communications manufacturing, medical equipment, machines for cellulose and paper industry, various reduction gearboxes, geological survey equipment, drilling and other equipment for the oil industry, various bearings.
The food industry is represented by bakeries, 8 meat-packing plants, 10 milk, butter and cheese factories etc.
The climate and nature allow successful multi-branch agriculture. The main crops grown in the republic are grain forage, potatoes and other vegetables, flax-fibre and forage grasses. Cattle-breeding is well developed.
The main and traditional export goods are oil, timber, sporting and hunting guns, cars and motorbikes, rolled constructional, alloyed, stainless steel and others. The main foreign partners are Ukraine, Germany, Hungary, the USA and Kazakhstan.
Today there are 8 professional theaters, several museums, Philarmonic Society and a circus, currently under reconstruction. There are 105 monuments of architecture, history and culture in the capital of Udmurtia.
The Pyotr I.Chaikovski's House Museum - a unique memorial architectural ensemble - is in Votkinsk town (40 km from Izhevsk). The Chaikovski family relics are presented there. The Museum of Mikhail T.Kalashnikov, the general designer of the world-reknowned submachine-gun AKM, is currently being built.
Five higher educational institutions provide training of experts in 61 specialities: Udmurt State Univrsity, Izhevsk State Technical University, Izhevsk State Medical Academy, Izhevsk Agricultural Academy and Glazov Teachers' Training Institute. 27.5 thousand students study in the higher educational institutions.
A number of institutes of Ural department of Academy of Science of the Russian Federation is available in Izhevsk, such as phisical and technical, economy, applied mechanics, Institute of History, Language and Literature of Udmurtia.
There are not many achievements in modern architecture, but in former times a lot of beautiful architectural ensembles were created in various styles reflecting the designs of different historical periods.
Railway, motorway, waterway and airway communications connect Izhevsk with the other regions of Russia. The transportation network is comprised of 878 km of railways (504 km of which are electrified), 4469 km of paved roads, 178 km of inner navigable waterways.
Main wharves are at Sarapul and Kambarka. Navigation is organized on the Kama river along 162 km of its length within the republic and lasts for 6.5 months a year.
The Izhevsk airport accepts air-planes from than 20 towns of Russia and the CIS. It takes 1 hour 45 minutes to get from Izhevsk to Moscow by plane. There is an international passenger and freight gateway under construction.