Location South Eastern Siberia near Baikal Lake. North off China and Mongolia, halfway between Moscow and Vladivostok on the Trans Siberian Railway
Distance from Moscow: 5000 km (2600 miles); from Vladivostok: 4000 km (2100 miles)
Population 2,7 million; ranked 16th in Russia. Urban 80%. Density: 3.7 people per sq. km
Area 745,500 square km (3 times the United Kingdom), the 5th largest area in Russia, 5% of Russian territory
Major Cities Irkutsk (administrative capital, population 632,000 founded in 1686) , Angarsk (population 267,000), Bratsk (257,000), Ust-Ilimsk, Usolye-Sibirskoye
Climate Extreme continental climate. Average temperature in January is -15 and in July +18 C.
Economy Ranked 11th of 89 Russian regions by total industrial output. Main Industries: fuel, oil & gas; steel & metal; forestry & paper; power & energy; machine-building; chemical.