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oblast (province), western Russia. The oblast covers an area of 46,650 square miles (120,800 square km) and occupies almost the entire basin of the Vyatka River. It is a rolling morainic plain rising from the broad, central valley of the Vyatka to the dissected limestone uplands of the Severnye Hills in the north and the Vyatsky Hills and Verkhne (Upper) Kama upland in the east. Nearly all the oblast lies in swampy forest, or taiga, of pine, fir, spruce, and birch; in the extreme south deciduous species such as oak begin to appear. There are extensive areas of peat bog and swamp. Most of the population live in the Vyatka River valley. Timber working is a major element in the economy. Iron deposits near Omutninsk, which have been worked since the 18th century, are the base, together with Urals ore, for the oblast's metallurgical industries. Phosphorite is mined at Rudnichny. Agriculture is poor and relatively unimportant, and a heavy emigration of rural population has continued since the 1930s. Kirov city is the administrative centre. Pop. (1995 est.) 1,648,000.