The Smolensk Region is situated in the center of the Eastern-European plain, in the westernmost part of the country. The region is a part of the Central Federal District of the Russian Federation and the Central Economic Region.
The area of the Smolensk Region in its modern borders is 49,8 thousand square kilometers, which amounts approximately to 0.3% of the total area of Russia. The region stretches for 280 kilometers from west to east and 250 kilometers from north to south. The city of Smolensk is an administrative center of the Smolensk Region which also includes 25 municipal districts, 2 town districts, 25 urban settlements, 298 rural settlements.
The population of the Smolensk Region is 967,9 thousand people, with 331 thousand people living in Smolensk.
The region lies in temperate latitudes which are considerably influenced by the masses of air from the Atlantic Ocean. This territory is a watershed of the three great rivers of the European part of Russia – the Volga, the Dnieper and the Western Dvina. These peculiarities of the geographical location affect the regional natural conditions: the moderate continental climate, prevalence of hilly landscape and minor rivers, widespread coniferous forests and brown soils. Summers are usually warm (the average temperature of July is +17 - +18°С), winters are moderately cold (the average temperature of January is -8,5°С). The annual amount of precipitation is 530-650 mm.
The Smolensk Region borders on five territorial entities of the Russian Federation: Pskov and Tver in the north, Moscow and Kaluga in the east and south-east, Bryansk in the south and two regions of the Republic of Belarus: Vitebsk - in the north-west and Mogilev – in the south-west.
The unique geographical location of the region can also be characterized by its proximity to the national capital, Moscow, which is also the main centre of tourism activity (the distance from Smolensk to Moscow is 378 km, from Gagarin to Moscow - 186 km). The region is situated near the western Russian border with a number of highways connecting Russia with European countries.
A key transportation hub with the shortest route from Russia to Europe, Smolensk has a network of motorways and railways, which includes:
- transport corridor East-West ( the shortest route from Russia to Europe), which includes the federal highway М-1 “Belarus”, А-101 «Moscow-Bobruisk», the railway and export gas transmission pipeline «Yamal – Europe»;
- transport corridor North-South which runs along the European border of Russia: the federal highway А-141 «Oryol – Rudnya», the Baltic Pipeline System (BPS-II) and other highways.
The total length of the motorways is 10,7 km, the total length of the railways is 1259 km.
Smolensk, Vyazma and Roslavl are the biggest transportation hubs which are located at the junction of federal and regional highways and railways.
The unique geographical location, its vast territory, natural resources, significant technological and intellectual potential, developed transportation and communication infrastructure make the Smolensk Region one of the most promising and attractive regions of Russia for the development of industry and logistics.