Tambov is both the name of a Russian city near the Ukraine border (roughly 400km south of Moscow) as well as the region surrounding the city, forming an informal political border.

Located on the Tsna River, The city is one of the major manufacturing and industrial centers of Russia, and is a major supplier of chemical products, factory mechanisms, farming implements, and railroad supplies. It's also home to the largest railyard in the entire country. In addition, it is also a major educational hub of Russia, with ten colleges and several trade schools in the area.

The city (and region) were first settled around 1636 in response to aggressive advances by Crimea and the Tartars. By the early 1700s it had become an administrative center of European Russia, distinct from the more aristocratic goings-on in Moscow. In 1786, the poet Gavril Romanovich Derzhavin served as governor of the region, before becoming poet laureate under Catherine the Great. The local state university is named after him in his honor. Other noted residents of Tambov include the great composer Sergei Rachmaninoff and writer Alexander Pushkin, whose memorial library in town is one of the largest in the world.

In 1937, the region was named one of the oblasts, or administrative units, of the Russian Federation, and remains so to this day. As of 2000, 350,000 people lived in the city and nearly 1,200,000 lived in the region. In 2003, plans for a regional symbol and flag were drawn up.

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