General information about Irkuts region
- Administrative center: Irkutsk (population: 623.3 thousand people).
- Distance from Irkutsk to Moscow: 5,042 km.
- Time difference with Moscow: + 5 hours.
- Total area of the Irkutsk Region: 774.8 thousand sq. km. (4.6% of the total territory of Russia).
- The Irkutsk Region measures 1,400 km from north to south and 1,500 km from west to east.
- Administrative division of the Irkutsk Region: 33 administrative districts and 22 towns.
- Total population of the Irkutsk Region: 2,712.9 thousand people (1.9% of the total population of Russia).
The Irkutsk Region is the largest landlocked region of Russia. By rail, the distance from Irkutsk to Moscow is 5,192 km; the distance to Vladivostok is 4,106 km. Time difference between Irkutsk and Moscow is 5 hours.
The Irkutsk Region is economically important. The main industry sectors include logging, woodworking, pulp and paper industries, mining, fuel industry, ferrous and non-ferrous metal industries, power industry, engineering, and food, chemical, and petrochemical industries. Mineral resources of the Region are an important driver of industry development.
The Irkutsk Region boasts a well-developed transportation system including all modes of transport: aviation, water, rail, and road transport. The main rail artery of the Region is the Trans-Siberian Railway. The western section of the Baikal-Amur Mainline, one of the largest railways in the world, is also in the Region. It starts from the town of Taishet and stretches to the east. The Circum-Baikal Railway following the southwestern coastline of Lake Baikal is a unique monument of engineering. Irkutsk Airport provides flights to 60 cities and 10 countries of the world. Its international route network includes over 20 destinations – from South Korea and China to Bulgaria.
The Irkutsk Region is part of the Baikal-Mongolian belt of seismic activity.
Baikal is the deepest lake on the planet and the largest reservoir of fresh water. The Lake and its coastal areas are characterized by a unique diversity of flora and fauna. Most of the animal species here are endemic. Local people and many Russians traditionally call Lake Baikal the Sea. Thanks to its unique properties – out of 2,635 known species of animals and plants inhabiting the Lake almost two thirds are endemic and cannot be found anywhere else – Lake Baikal was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in December 1996.