Altai Territory or Altay Territory, administrative division (1995 pop. 2,697,200), c.102,400 sq mi (265,220 sq km), S central Siberian Russia. Barnaul is the capital. It is drained by the Upper Ob River and traversed by the TurkSib and South Siberian railroads. To the southeast is the Altai Republic, a former subdivision of the region. The fertile Kulunda steppe, where spring wheat, oats, corn, and sugar beets are grown, is in the western part of the territory. Major cities, besides Barnaul, include Biysk and Chesnokovka.
Barnaul (bərnəōōl´), city (1989 pop. 602,000), capital of Altai Territory, SW Siberian Russia, on the Ob River. A port and major railway junction, Barnaul is in the heart of the Kulunda steppe, an agricultural area where wheat, corn, and sugar beets are grown. The city's chief industries produce cotton textiles, chemicals, artificial fibers, and machinery. Altai State Univ. is there. Barnaul was founded in 1771 as a silver-smelting center.