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oblast (province), western Russia, occupying an area of 9,225 sq mi (23,900 sq km), northeast of Moscow astride the middle Volga River and centred on Ivanovo city. The surface is a rolling morainic plain, with forests of spruce, pine, and fir and much swamp; most soils are infertile, though the southwest, with better soils, is largely plowed. The climate is continental, with long, cold winters and warm summers; precipitation is about 24 in. (600 mm) a year. The oblast, whose population is heavily urban, is part of the central industrial region; its textile industry, which has flourished since the 18th century, supplies nearly one-third of all Soviet cotton; linen and clothing also are produced. The engineering and chemical industries supply the needs of the textile mills. Agriculture is dominated by dairying, livestock raising, and flax cultivation, with some oats, rye, potatoes, and vegetables. The large peat reserves are much used for fuel. Pop. (1991 est.) 1,316,400