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Флаг автономного округа-Югры

The history of resettlement

The first mentioning of the people inhabiting the territory of modern Ugra are related to the mesolite era. In the early Middle Ages the formation of the ethnic groups khanty and mansi began. At the end of the X century they were populating the large areas from Ural to Yenisei and from Ob to Barabinskie prairie.

The legendary Ugra is a historical motherland of the Ob-Ugrians: the Khanty, the Mansi, the Nenets, and the Selkups. Their primary occupations were hunting, fishing and herding. When they were driven further north by the Turkic tribes they gradually adapted to live in a more severe environment. It was in the new territories that the Ugrians began practicing reindeer domestication.

The oldest occupation sites in the territory of the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug - Ugra belong to the Mesolithic period. During the Neolithic mostly the left bank territories of the Ob river were settled. In the early Bronze Age a large number of settlements appeared in the Ob right-bank areas (Barsova Gora, the Surgut region). Later in the early Iron Age wider Ob region territories were colonized. During the early Middle Age period the clan system gradually gave way to the more familiar characteristics of the Khanty and the Mansi ethnic groups.

The first millennium AD saw the appearance in the vast territories of the taiga right-bank Ob region of major hillforts - the Khanty fortresses. Their inhabitants harvested furs, fished and defended their homes from invaders.

In the first half of the second millennium AD the core of the material and spiritual culture of the Khanty, the Mansi, and the forest Nenets was formed. Apparently their traditional culture did not change significantly since that time.

In the 12th - 13th centuries the territorial Khanty and Mansi clan formations, also known as the principalities, emerged in the Irtysh and the Ob regions. Each principality had its own fortified settlement which was its administrative, religious and economic center. In the second half of the 13th century the territory became part of the Golden Horde which added another dimension to its development vector. By that period the Sibirs (an ethnic group formed by the descendants of the Ugrians and the Turkic populations) already had their own military units and the chiefs whose power was inherited. One of the better known Sibir chiefs was Taibuga who founded Chingi-tura - the center of the Tyumen Khanate.

By the end of the 14th century the decline of the Golden Horde brought about a split-off of the Tyumen Khanate with the capital in Chingi-tura and the ruling dynasty of the Taibugids. In 1495 the Khanate of Sibir was formed with the capital in Kashlyk (Isker or Sibir). It was then that the main principles of the politico-administrative and the socio-economic structure of the territory were shaped. At the time the territory was known as Ugra.

Gradual conquest of Siberia by Moscow state started in 1582 with the Yermak's campaign. In autumn of 1585 already after the death of Yermak the Cossacks led by Voivode Ivan Mansurov founded the first Russian fortified settlement - the Ob fortress - at the mouth of the Irtysh river on the right bank of the Ob. Thus the Mansi and the Khanty lands became part of the Russian state which was finally consolidated in 1592 by the founding of Pelym and Berezov, and in 1594 of Surgut. The fortified towns of the Ob North soon became the centers of trade. Special horse changing stations, "yams" were placed along some of the most active trade routes. In 1637 two yams were organized - the Demjansky and the Samarovsky (today's Khanty-Mansiysk).

The Siberian Province was established by Peter I decree in 1708 (in included Berezov, and Surgut towns). In 1775 Catherine the Great issued a decree on establishing of the Tobolsk Province. In the 18th - 19th centuries Russian policy towards Western Siberia was quite peaceful. Siberia gradually became an agrarian migration destination for the European part of Russia. From the middle of the 18th century the territory was used as a place of exile for state criminals. Among famous people exiled to Berezov were Prince Alexander Menshikov, Prince Dolgoruky with his family, and Count Andrey Osterman. After the Senate Square uprising the insurgents who became known as the Decembrists were also exiled to Siberia.

Transformations of the second half of the 19th century provided for the emergence of capitalist economy institutions in the region. The Ugra fairs - the Surgut, the Berezov, the Larjak, the Ugansk - were thriving.

In the late 1920 the collectivization campaign began. And from the 1930s the North experienced a wave of new migrants the "special settlers" or political exiles who were the main labor force behind the construction of Khanty-Mansiysk and many other towns in the region. One of the leading sectors of the region's economy of the time was timber industry supplying timber to both Siberia and the Ural. First exploration for oil and gas in the region began as early as 1934.