Tomsk is a regional centre of Tomsk region with a population of 560,5 thousand people. It’s located in Western Siberia, on the right bank of the Tom River in 3,5 thousand kilometres from Moscow.

Tomsk was founded in 1640 through a decree by Boris Godunov as a military fortress. Throughout all of the 17th century Tomsk was the most important military centre and ensured safety of the eastern borders of Russia.

In 18th century the borders of the state were removed to the South and East and Tomsk lost its strategic importance until the middle of 20th century at which time it became the place of exile. Ibrahim Hannibal (The Negro of Peter the Great), Gabriel Batenkov (Decembrist), Mikhail Bakunin (one of the ideologues of anarchism), Nikolai Erdman (playwright), and Nikolai Klyuev (poet) were all exiled here in different points in time. In 1708, after the formation of the Siberian province, Tomsk became a district city.

Not long after, the Siberian path became the foundation of urban life (it was built in 1728), connecting the centre of Russia with its eastern edges. Due to this new link, chauffeuring and trading had become a main source of income for citizens.

In 1804 the city was the big centre of the Tomsk province, which included territories of what are today the Altay Republic, Altay territory, Kemerovo, Novosibirsk, the Tomsk regions, the East Kazakhstan region (Kazakhstan), along with the western part of Khakassia and Krasnoyarsk territory.

The rapid expansion of Tomsk began in the late 1830s, after gold was discovered and mines were developed in the province of Tomsk. The development of the gold industry had brought great wealth to Tomsk, which revitalized the Siberian merchants and led to the opening of the first Siberian Commodity Exchange being developed in 1901.

By the end of the 19th century, Tomsk had become the most populous city in Siberia, and by the beginning of World War II Tomsk was one of the 20th largest cities of the country. Also at the end of XIX century the first Asia-Russian institutes of higher education were opened in Tomsk. Imperial University and the Institute of Technology, The Siberian Advanced Women Courses, secondary general education, and professional schools were opened in early 20th century.

The construction of the Trans-Siberian Railway at the end of the19th century had a negative impact on trade in Tomsk and its economic position as well as the growth of the city stagnated.

The Soviet government was proclaimed in Tomsk on the 6th (19) of December, 1917. By the 26th of January (February 8) 1918 the Tomsk city council disbanded the Siberian Regional Duma. As a result of the revolt of the Czeсhoslovak Corps in May 31, 1918 Tomsk came under the power of the White Guards, but in December 22 (1919), the Red Army finally established Soviet government in the city.

After the revolution Tomsk lost gubernatorial status. For the first time, the city was a part of Siberian, then – of the West-Siberian region. In 1937 Tomsk with all of the included territories became a part of the Novosibirsk region. The period from 1918 to 1944 was a time of serious loss of power and regional status; as a result a huge decline of the population in growing Novosibirsk and other cities happened.

The administrative and economic situation in Tomsk changed in the Great Patriotic War. 30 enterprises were relocated to Tomsk from the European side of Russia and it became the base of the city's industry: during the war the volume of industrial production in Tomsk had tripled. This changed the administrative status – on the 13th of August 1944 the Tomsk region with administrative centre was formed.

In 1960 a new impetus of development: Educational Complex, defence production, and military electronics were developing. The closed type enterprise of the Soviet atomic project appeared (Seversk); agro-industries were opened around the city and a strong base of construction enterprises was created.

In May 1970, in the Russian Federation it was approved the first list of historical towns and villages, in which Tomsk was included. The buildings of wooden architecture, which were built at the end of 19th century, played a major role in that fact. The restriction of foreigners visiting the city, due to the presence of military production, was maintained until the Perestroika period.

Currently Tomsk is one of the country's largest research and education centres. Eight universities, 11 research institutes, and five business incubators are located here. In accordance with the Government Resolution dated December 21, 2005 a Technology Innovative Special Economic Zone (SEZ) was created in Tomsk. Currently, more than 60 companies - residents are registered in the SEZ. In 2013 they produced goods passing through customs worth 10.2 million dollars that’s a growth of 27%.

Today more than 25,000 companies and organizations, 11,700 small businesses, some 3000 malls and shops, more than 80 schools and high schools, and 60 cultural and recreational facilities operate in Tomsk.