Rostov region, as the administrative area, was constituted by the decree of the General Executive Committee USSR dated 13.09.1937. The total area of the territory is 100,8 thousand square km.
Among the other subjects of the Russian Federation it is characterized by the high research-and-production, resource and financial potential. The economy development is based on the advantageous economic-geo- graphical position, natural resources, historically favorable conditions for development, high labor resources supply and transport infrastructure. The region is surrounded by the economically developed regions: Donets Basin region in the west, central part of Russia in the north, Volga region in the east and Caucasus in the south. In the territory of Rostov region there flows one of the biggest rivers in Europe - the Don (2 thousand km), there is the Tsymliansk reservoir (volume is 24 billion cubic m). In the mineral raw materials there is a group of fuel-energy resources. Among them, there are coals of the Eastern Donets Basin, especially anthracite, which is considered to be the best one in calorie content. The deposits of non-metallic raw materials for metallurgy and construction materials production are being developed. The explored reserves of natural gas are evaluated as 56.2 billion cubic meters.
The recreation resources are represented by the resorts for the summer holiday with the resources of high-quality mineral waters, as well as great possibility of international tour-ism development.
The population of Rostov region is 4 million 406 thousand 07 people, more than 2/3 of them are city-dwellers (according to the All- Russia population census of 2002). According to the national composition 90 % t of the population of the region are Russian, г 3,4 % are Ukranian, 1,8 % are Armenian, 0,9% - Byelorussian, and 0,4 % are Tatars and Chechen, accordingly. On the whole, in the Don region there live representatives of about 100 nations.
The administrative center of Rostov region is the city of Rostov-on-Don with the population of more than 1 million people, it is a big industrial, cultural and research center, river port, important transport nodal point. At the same time Rostov-on-Don is the capital of the Southern Federal District. Big towns of Rostov region are: Taganrog with the population of 282.3 thousand people, Schakhty with the population of 252.6 thousand people, Novocherkassk with the population of 184,5 thousand people, Volgodonsk with the population of 179,2 thousand people and Novoshakhtinsk with the population of 117,8 thousand people.
In the total volume of the regional produce the industry constitutes 24,9 %, agriculture constitutes 14,8 %, trade and catering -17,7%, transport and communication - 9,1 %, construction - 8,7 %.
The Don region land has got richest cultural and historical roots, that trace back to the ancient times. Among them are Scythians, Greek culture, Cossacks, migration of Armenians and many other facts. The official date of foundation of Rostov region is 13 September, 1937, its history continues developing combining with the far and recent past. The end of 20-s - beginning of 30-s of the XX century, when there started a big industrial engineering and construction, were very important for Rostov region. During that period of time there was constructed Rostov shoe factory, thermoelectric power stations in Schakhty biggest in the country Rostov zinc white factory (now JSC "Empils"). In 1930 they finished constructing "Rostselmash" plant - one of the biggest agricultural engineering plants in Europe. During those years the region changed its status from the pure agricultural to the industrial and agricultural. To present day industry and agriculture are the leading ones and have nearly equal shares in the production volumes.
The region suffered greatly during the Second World War, and only in "the end of 60-s the region managed to recover from losses. In 70-s there appeared and started to work at full power dozens of new plants, among them Novocherkassk state district power plant, Atommash', Donetsk excavator plant, Shakhtinskiy cotton plant. The Don region miners set up records in coal production, farmers gather great harvests: the average annual harvests increased up to 6.6 million tons. During the following decade, when in the country there was declared the acceleration of social and economic development, the Don region economy reached more qualitative level.
Radical changes that took place in the life of the country in the end of 80-s - beginning 90-s of the XX countries, could not but influence the social, political and economical development of the Don region. However, even during that difficult period for the country, the new authorities of Rostov region, namely Administration and Legislative Assembly, managed to reach and keep social and civil stability, not to allow international confrontations, which were typical of Russia in the end of the XX century.
Rostov region has always differed from the others with the paces of industrial development and business activity; it has always been and is the region with richest historical and cultural traditions.
The events and people's names, that are written in the chronicle of Russia, are closely connected with the Don history. Such famous people as conqueror of Siberia Ermak Timopheevich, prominent Cossack commander, ataman Matvey Platov originated in the Don land. Many events are connected with the name of Emperor Peter I.
During several centuries in the territory of the Don steppes from different, but free people there developed the Great Don Cossack Army, oldest among Cossack armies in Russia. The Cossacks became active agricultural and military class, that had always been remarkable for their patriotism, readiness to fight and protect the interests of Russia. The Don region is a cultural and creative center. Anton Chekhov was born and grew in Taganrog. Worldly known artist Martiros Saryan started his creative career in Nakhichevan, very famous Russian and Soviet cinematography Sergey Bondarchuk was also from the Don capital.
One of the most prominent thinkers of the XX century Aleksey Losev was born and grew in Novocherkassk. The inventor of the radio Aleksander Popov worked in Azov area in the Boyage post building. Worldly famous armourer, inventor of the pistol TT Fedor Tokarev, originated in the village of Egorlykskaya.
The streets of Rostov-on-Don still remember the time when the future author of the "GULAG", the Nobel Prize winner Aleksander Isaevich Solzhenitsyn was walking along its streets.
And, we can’t help mentioning the name of the Great Russian writer, who wrote the world-famous novel "Slow flows the river Don", the Nobel Prize winner Mikhail Aleksandrovich Sholokhov. Nobody can be indifferent to the tragic pages of the Russian history and Don Cossacks, strong and beautiful characters of its heroes, that were perfectly described on pages of the books of the writer from the village Veshenskaya.