The Kostiukovichi region is located in the east of the Mogilev oblast and borders on the Khotimsk, Klimovichi and Krasnopolye regions of the Mogilev oblast and the Surazh, Gordeevka, Krasnaya Gora regions of the Bryansk oblast of the Russian Federation. The total area of the region is 1,500 square kilometers. The population is 26,800 people (as of January 1, 2007), of them 15,300 urban and 11,500 rural dwellers. The center of the region is the town of Kostiukovichi.
The region is located to the south east of Orsha-Mogilev plain. The landscape is hilly with the highest point reaching 190.6 meters. The natural deposits are cement raw materials, brick raw materials, building sands, gravel, peat. Flowing through the region are the rivers Besed, Krupnya, Surov, Zhadunka, Derazhnya, Zubar. There are also lakes: Svyatoe, Tsimenskoye, Nivonskoye, Stayucheye. The soils are humic podzol, meadow and rendzina soils, peat-bog. Forests occupy 43% of the region’s territory; marshes – 1%; arable lands – 45%.
Natural monuments of the region are as follows: springs in the villages of Studenets and Tupichino, a park in the village of Tekhanichi. There are two local reserves (landscape and hydrological); two colonies of badgers and two colonies of black stork.
The Kostiukovichi region was first mentioned in chronicles in 1508 as one of the most ancient settlements of the Radimichi tribe. The present-day territory of the region used to be part of Kievan Rus. In the 16th century Kostiukovichi became a trading center. After the partition of the Rzecz Pospolita in 1772 the region became part of the Russian Empire. In the mid 19th century there were 1,650 people and 310 households in the town of Kostiukovichi as well as one Orthodox church, one synagogue and a three-form parochial school. Pottery, cooperage and carpentry were flourishing.
Industry was rapidly developing in the Kostiukovichi region in the prewar decades. In the 1930s a flax mill, brick and sewing factories were built.
The Kostiukovichi region was founded on July 17, 1924 with the center in the town of Kostiukovichi.
During the Great Patriotic War there were four partisan brigades and six partisan groups in the region. During the occupation the Nazis executed 846 people, condemned 917 people to penal servitude, burned down 17 settlements, destroyed all manufactures, kolkhozes, 58 schools and 12 hospitals. The villages of Pan-Buda, Samotevichi and Barovaya were burned down.
The Kostiukovichi region is homeland of People’s Poet of Belarus, winner of state prizes of the USSR and BSSR Arkady Kuleshov; People’s Writer of Belarus, winner of the state prize of the USSR Ivan Chigrinov; winner of the Arkady Kuleshov Prize Alexei Rusetsky; poets and writers Vasily Khomchenko, Leonid Levanovich, Alex Pismenkov, Ivan Isachenko; playwright Alexei Simukov; sculptor Kuzma Zaitsev, painter Anton Barkhatkov; honored artists of the Russian Federation Boris Zagursky.
During the Chernobyl catastrophe, 78 settlements out of 183 with the population of over 11,000 people and almost 40% of lands were polluted with radioactive substances. Some 40 villages were resettled; 30,000 hectares of arable lands were taken out of agricultural use.