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Yakutia

 

Yakutia

Sakha (Yakutia) Republic
Республика Саха (Якутия) (Russian)
Саха Өрөспүүбүлүкэтэ (Sakha)
—  Republic  —
Flag
Coat of arms
Anthem: National Anthem of the Sakha Republic
Coordinates: 66°24′N 129°10′E / 66.400°N 129.167°E / 66.400; 129.167Coordinates: 66°24′N 129°10′E / 66.400°N 129.167°E / 66.400; 129.167
Political status
Country Russia
Federal district Far Eastern[1]
Economic region Far Eastern[2]
Established April 27, 1922[3]
Capital Yakutsk[3]
Government (as of August 2010)
 - President[4] Yegor Borisov[5]
 - Legislature State Assembly (Il Tumen)[4]
Statistics
Area [6]
 - Total 3,083,523 km2 (1,190,554.9 sq mi)
Area rank 1st
Population (2010 Census)[7]
 - Total 958,528
 - Rank 55th
 - Density[8] 0.31 /km2 (0.80 /sq mi)
 - Urban 64.1%
 - Rural 35.9%
Time zone(s) YAKT (UTC+10:00)[9]
VLAT (UTC+11:00)[9]
MAGT (UTC+12:00)[9]
ISO 3166-2 RU-SA
License plates 14
Official languages Russian;[10] Sakha; languages of small indigenous peoples of the North are official in places of their concentration[11]
Official website

The Sakha (Yakutia) Republic (Russian: Республика Саха (Якутия), tr. Respublika Sakha (Yakutiya), IPA: [rʲɪsˈpublʲɪkə sɐˈxa jɪˈkutʲɪjə]; Sakha: Саха Өрөспүүбүлүкэтэ, Sakha Öröspǖbülükete) is a federal subject of Russia (a republic). It has a population of 958,528 (2010 Census),[7] consisting mainly of ethnic Yakuts and Russians.

Comprising half of the Far Eastern Federal District, it is the largest subnational governing body by area in the world at 3,083,523 square kilometers (1,190,555 sq mi)[6] and the eighth largest territory in the world, if the federal subjects of Russia were compared with other countries. It is larger than Argentina and just smaller than India which covers an area of 3,287,590 square kilometers (1,269,350 sq mi).[6] It has a population of fewer than one million inhabitants. Its capital is the city of Yakutsk. The Sakha Republic is one of the ten autonomous Turkic Republics within the Russian Federation.[12] Yakutia also fosters close cultural, political, economic and industrial relations with the independent Turkic states through membership in organizations such as the Turkic Council and the Joint Administration of Turkic Arts and Culture.[13][14][15]

Geography


Sakha stretches to the Henrietta Island in the far north and is washed by the Laptev and Eastern Siberian Seas of the Arctic Ocean. These waters, the coldest and iciest of all seas in the northern hemisphere, are covered by ice for 9–10 months of the year. New Siberian Islands are a part of the republic's territory. After Nunavut was separated from Canada's Northwest Territories, Sakha became the largest subnational entity (statoid) in the world, with an area of 3,083,523 square kilometers (1,190,555 sq mi),[6] slightly smaller than the territory of India (3.3 million km²).

Sakha can be divided into three great vegetation belts. About 40% of Sakha lies above the Arctic circle and all of it is covered by permafrost which greatly influences the region's ecology and limits forests in the southern region. Arctic and subarctic tundra define the middle region, where lichen and moss grow as great green carpets and are favorite pastures for reindeer. In the southern part of the tundra belt, scattered stands of dwarf Siberian pine and larch grow along the rivers. Below the tundra is the vast taiga forest region. Larch trees dominate in the north and stands of fir and pine begin to appear in the south. Taiga forests cover about 47% of Sakha and almost 90% of the cover is larch.

The Sakha Republic is the site of Pleistocene Park, a project directed at recreating pleistocene tundra grasslands by stimulating the growth of grass with the introduction of animals which thrived in the region during the late Pleistocene — early Holocene period.

Time zones


Sakha spans three different time zones (no Daylight Saving Time in summer):

  1. Lena River as well as the territories of the districts located on the both sides of the Lena River.
  2. longitude.
  3. UTC+12). Covers most of the republic's territory located east of 140°E longitude.

Rivers


Navigable Lena River (4,310 km), as it moves northward, includes hundreds of small tributaries located in the Verkhoyansk Range. Other major rivers include:

Lakes

There are over 800,000 lakes in the republic.[16] Major lakes and reservoirs include:

  • Lake Mogotoyevo
  • Lake Nedzheli
  • Lake Nerpichye
  • Vilyuyskoye Reservoir

Mountains

Sakha's greatest mountain range, the Verkhoyansk Range, runs parallel and east of the Lena River, forming a great arc that begins the Sea of Okhotsk and ends in the Laptev Sea.

The Chersky Range runs east of the Verkhoyansk Range and has the highest peak in Sakha, Peak Pobeda (3,147 m). The second highest peak is Peak Mus-Khaya reaching 3,011 m.

The Stanovoi Range borders Sakha in the south.


Natural resources

Sakha is well endowed with raw materials. The soil contains large reserves of oil, gas, coal, diamonds, gold, silver, tin, tungsten and many others. Sakha produces 99% of all Russian diamonds and over 25% of the diamonds mined in the world.

Climate

Sakha is known for its climate extremes, with the Verkhoyansk Range being the coldest area in the northern hemisphere. Winters here are extremely cold. Some of the lowest natural temperatures ever recorded have been here. The Northern Hemisphere's Pole of Cold is at Verkhoyansk, where the temperatures reached as low as −67.8 °C (−90.0 °F) in 1892, and at Oymyakon, where the temperatures reached as low as −71.2 °C (−96.2 °F) in 1926.

  • Average January temperature: −28 °C (−18 °F) (coast) to −47 °C (−53 °F) (Pole of Cold).
  • Average July temperature: +2 °C (36 °F) (coast) to +19 °C (66 °F) (central parts). However, it gets very hot during the day in Yakutsk in July (record = +38.3 °C (100.9 °F)).
  • Average annual precipitation: 200 mm (central parts) to 700 mm (mountains of Eastern Sakha).

Administrative divisions

History

Template:See

Early history

The Turkic Sakha people or Yakuts probably settled in the area in the 13th and 14th centuries, migrating north from the Lake Baikal area to the middle Lena. According to their own traditional accounts, the Sakha were driven out of their earlier homeland by the Buryats. From their new center along the middle Lena they gradually expanded northeast and west beyond the Lena basin towards the Arctic Ocean.

The name Sakha is of Turk origin, "Saqa-Saha" meaning "Cue, Bat". The term Yakut is a Turk word, probably a corruption of zhaqut - yakut "semi-precious stone". The Sakha displaced earlier, much smaller populations who lived on hunting and reindeer herding, introducing the pastoralist economy of Central Asia. The indigenous populations of Paleosiberian and Tungusic stock were mostly assimilated to the Sakha by the 17th century.[17]

Russian conquest

The Tsardom of Russia began its conquest of the region in the 17th century, moving east after the defeat of the Khanate of Sibir. Tygyn, a king of the Khangalassky Yakuts, granted territory for Russian settlement in return for a military pact that included war against indigenous rebels of all North Eastern Asia (Magadan, Chukotka, Kamchatka and Sakhalin). Kull, a king of the Megino-Khangalassky Yakuts, began a Sakha conspiracy by allowing the first stockade construction.

In August 1638, the Moscow Government formed a new administrative unit with the administrative center of Lensky Ostrog (Fort Lensky), the future city of Yakutsk, which had been founded by Pyotr Beketov in 1632.

The arrival of the Russian settlers at the remote Russkoye Ustye in the Indigirka delta likely also dates to the 17th century.[18] The Siberian Governorate was established as part of the Russian Tsardom in 1708.

Russian settlers began to form a community in the 18th century, which adopted certain Yakut customs and was often called Yakutyane (Якутя́не) or Lena Early Settlers (ленские старожилы). However, the influx of later settlers assimilated them into the Russian mainstream by the 20th century.

Russian Empire


In an administrative reform of 1782, Irkutsk Governorate was created. In 1805, Yakutsk Oblast was split from Irkutsk Governorate.

Yakutsk Oblast in the early 19th century marked the easternmost territory of the Russian Empire, including such Far Eastern (Pacific) territories as were acquired, known as Okhotsk Okrug within Yakutsk Oblast. With the formation of Primorskaya Oblast in 1856, the Russian territories of the Pacific were detached from Yakutia.

The Russians established agriculture in the Lena River basin. The members of religious groups who were exiled to Sakha in the second half of the 19th century began to grow wheat, oats, and potatoes. The fur trade established a cash economy. Industry and transport began to develop at the end of the 19th century and in the beginning of the Soviet period. This was also the beginning of geological prospecting, mining, and local lead production. The first steam-powered ships and barges arrived.

Yakutia's remoteness, even compared to the rest of Siberia, made it a place of exile of choice for both Czarist and Communist governments of Russia. Among the famous Tsarist-era exiles were the democratic writer Nikolay Chernyshevsky, Doukhobor conscientious objectors (whose story was told to Leo Tolstoy by Vasily Pozdnyakov), and the Socialist Revolutionary and writer Vladimir Zenzinov, who left an interesting account of his Arctic experiences.

Soviet era

On April 27, 1922, former Yakutsk Oblast was proclaimed the Yakut ASSR, although in fact the eastern part of the territory, including the city of Yakutsk, was controlled by the White Russians (see Yakut Revolt).

In 1992, after the fall of the Soviet Union, Yakutia was recognized in Moscow as the Sakha (Yakutia) Republic under the jurisdiction of the Russian Federation. Yakutia is historically part of Russian Siberia, but since the formation of the Far Eastern Federal District in 2000, it is administratively part of the Russian Far East.

Demographics


Population: Template:Ru-census2010 949,280 (2002 Census);[19] 1,081,408 (1989 Census).[20]

Vital statistics

Source: Russian Federal State Statistics Service
Average population (x 1000) Live births Deaths Natural change Crude birth rate (per 1000) Crude death rate (per 1000) Natural change (per 1000) Fertility rates
1970 674 13,899 5,700 8,199 20.6 8.5 12.2
1975 775 15,636 6,242 9,394 20.2 8.1 12.1
1980 887 18,132 7,501 10,631 20.4 8.5 12.0
1985 1,002 22,823 7,266 15,557 22.8 7.3 15.5
1990 1,115 21,662 7,470 14,192 19.4 6.7 12.7 2.46
1991 1,110 19,805 7,565 12,240 17.8 6.8 11.0 2.32
1992 1,090 17,796 8,710 9,086 16.3 8.0 8.3 2.17
1993 1,072 16,771 9,419 7,352 15.6 8.8 6.9 2.08
1994 1,051 16,434 10,371 6,063 15.6 9.9 5.8 2.07
1995 1,029 15,731 10,079 5,652 15.3 9.8 5.5 2.01
1996 1,015 14,584 9,638 4,946 14.4 9.5 4.9 1.88
1997 1,003 13,909 9,094 4,815 13.9 9.1 4.8 1.81
1998 986 13,640 8,856 4,784 13.8 9.0 4.9 1.80
1999 970 12,724 9,480 3,244 13.1 9.8 3.3 1.71
2000 960 13,147 9,325 3,822 13.7 9.7 4.0 1.77
2001 954 13,262 9,738 3,524 13.9 10.2 3.7 1.78
2002 950 13,887 9,700 4,187 14.6 10.2 4.4 1.85
2003 949 14,224 9,660 4,564 15.0 10.2 4.8 1.86
2004 950 14,716 9,692 5,024 15.5 10.2 5.3 1.91
2005 950 13,591 9,696 3,895 14.3 10.2 4.1 1.74
2006 950 13,713 9,245 4,468 14.4 9.7 4.7 1.73
2007 951 15,268 9,179 6,089 16.1 9.7 6.4 1.92
2008 953 15,363 9,579 5,784 16.1 10.1 6.1 1.92
2009 955 15,970 9,353 6,617 16.7 9.8 6.9 2.00
2010 957 16,109 9,402 6,707 16.8 9.8 7.0 2.02
2011 960 16,418 8,956 7,462 17.1 9.3 7.8 2.06
2012 962 16,908 8,907 8,001 17.6 9.3 8.6 2.12

Ethnic groups

According to the 2010 Census, the ethnic composition is:[7]

Historical population figures are shown below:

Ethnic
group
1926 Census 1939 Census 1959 Census 1970 Census 1979 Census 1989 Census 2002 Census 2010 Census1
Number  % Number  % Number  % Number  % Number  % Number  % Number  % Number  %
Yakuts 235,926 81.6% 233,273 56.5% 226,053 46.4% 285,749 43.0% 313,917 36.9% 365,236 33.4% 432,290 45.5% 466,492 49.9%
Dolgans 0 0.0% 10 0.0% 64 0.0% 408 0.0% 1,272 0.1% 1,906 0.2%
Evenks 13,502 4.7% 10,432 2.5% 9,505 2.0% 9,097 1.4% 11,584 1.4% 14,428 1.3% 18,232 1.9% 21,008 2.2%
Evens 738 0.3% 3,133 0.8% 3,537 0.7% 6,471 1.0% 5,763 0.7% 8,668 0.8% 11,657 1.2% 15,071 1.6%
Yukaghir 396 0.1% 267 0.1% 285 0.1% 400 0.1% 526 0.1% 697 0.1% 1,097 0.1% 1,281 0.1%
Chukchis 1298 0.4 400 0.1% 325 0.1% 387 0.1% 377 0.0% 473 0.0% 602 0.1% 670 0.1%
Russians 30,156 10.4% 146,741 35.5% 215,328 44.2% 314,308 47.3% 429,588 50.4% 550,263 50.3% 390,671 41.2% 353,649 37.8%
Ukrainians 138 0.0% 4,229 1.0% 12,182 2.5% 20,253 3.0% 46,326 5.4% 77,114 7.0% 34,633 3.6% 20,341 2.2%
Tatars 1,671 0.6% 4,420 1.1% 5,172 1.1% 7,678 1.2% 10.976 1.3% 17,478 1.6% 10,768 1.1% 8,122 0.9%
Others 5,260 1.8% 10,303 2.5% 14,956 3.1% 19,770 3.0% 32,719 3.8% 59,300 5.4% 48,058 5.1% 46,124 4.9%
1 23,864 people were registered from administrative databases, and could not declare an ethnicity. It is estimated that the proportion of ethnicities in this group is the same as that of the declared group.[21]

Languages

The official languages are both Russian and Sakha, also known as Yakut, which is spoken by approximately 60% of the population. The Yakut language is a member of the Turkic language family.

Religion

Template:Pie chart Before the arrival of the Russian Empire, the majority of the local population believed in Tengrianism common to Turkic-language people of Central Asia, or in Paleoasian indigenous shamanism with both 'light' (community leading) and 'dark' (healing through spirit journey) shamans. Under the Russians, the local population was converted to the Russian Orthodox Church and required to take Orthodox Christian names, but in practice generally continued to follow traditional religions. During the Soviet era, most or all of the shamans died without successors.

Currently, while Orthodox Christianity maintains a following (however, with very few priests willing to be stationed outside of Yakutsk), there is interest and activity toward renewing the traditional religions. As of 2008, Orthodox leaders described the world view of the republic's indigenous population (or, rather, those among the population who are not completely indifferent to religion) as dvoyeverie (dual belief system), or a "tendency toward syncretism", as evidenced by the locals sometimes first inviting a shaman, and then an Orthodox priest to carry out their rites in connection with some event in their life.[22]

According to the Information Center under the President of Sakha Republic (Информационный центр при Президенте РС(Я)), the religious demography of the republic was as follows:[23] Orthodoxy: 44.9%, shamanism: 26.2%, non-religious: 23.0%, new religious movements: 2.4%, Islam: 1.2%, Buddhism: 1.0%, Protestantism: 0.9%, Catholicism: 0.4%.

According to a 2012 official survey[24] 37.8% of the population of Yakutia adheres to the Russian Orthodox Church, 1% are unaffiliated generic Christians, 13% of the population adheres to Tengrism or Yakut shamanism, 2% to Islam, 1% to forms of Protestantism, and 0.4% to Tibetan Buddhism. In addition, 17% of the population deems itself to be "spiritual but not religious", 26% is atheist, and 1.8% follows other religions or did not give an answer to the question.[24]

Politics

The head of government in Sakha is the President. The first president of the Sakha Republic was Mikhail Yefimovich Nikolayev.[25] As of 2010, the president is Yegor Borisov, who took office on May 31, 2010; his vice president is Evgeniya Mikhailova.

The supreme legislative body of state authority in Sakha is a unicameral State Assembly known as the Il Tumen. The government of the Sakha (Yakutia) Republic is the executive body of state authority.

Economy

Industry generates slightly above 50% of the gross national product of Sakha, stemming primarily from mineral exploitation. Industrial enterprises are concentrated in the capital Yakutsk, as well as in Aldan, Mirny, Neryungri, Pokrovsk, and Udachny. The diamond, gold and tin ore mining industries are the major focus of the economy. Uranium ore is beginning to be mined. Turkic-language Sakha are in politics, government, finance, economy and cattle-breeding (horses and cows for milk and meat). The Paleoasian indigenous peoples are hunters, fishermen, and reindeer herders. As of 2008, Sakha Republic is the 19th most developed federal subject in Russia.

Transportation

Water transport ranks first for cargo turnover. There are six river ports, two sea ports (Tiksi and Zelyony Mys). Four shipping companies, including the Arctic Sea Shipping Company, operate in the republic. The republic's main waterway is the Lena River, which links Yakutsk with the rail station of Ust-Kut in Irkutsk Oblast.

Air transport is the most important for transporting people. Airlines connect the republic with most regions of Russia. Yakutsk Airport has an international terminal.

Two federal roads pass the republic. They are Yakutsk–Bolshoy Never and Yakutsk–Magadan. However, due to the presence of permafrost, use of asphalt is not practical, and therefore the roads are made of clay. When heavy rains blow over the region, the roads often turn to mud, sometimes stranding hundreds of travellers in the process.[26]

The BerkakitTommot railroad is currently in operation. It links the Baikal Amur Mainline with the industrial centers in South Yakutia. Construction of the Amur Yakutsk Mainline continues northward; the railway was completed to Nizhny Bestyakh, across the river from Yakutsk, in 2013.

Education

The most important facilities of higher education include North-Eastern Federal University (previously Yakutsk State University) and Yakutsk State Agricultural Academy.

Culture

Cultural life of Yakutsk is constantly developing. There are many places worth visiting.

There are State Russian drama theatre named after A. S. Pushkin, Sakha Theater named after P. A. Oiyunsky, State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre named after D. K. Sivtsev - Suorun Omoloon, Young Spectator's Theatre.

There are numer of interesting museums as well. National Fine Arts Museum of Sakha, Museum of Local Lore and History named after E. Yaroslavsky and the only in the world Khomus Museum and Museum of Permafrost.

National days

  • 27 April — Republic Day
  • 21 June — Ysyakh festival

See also

Notes

References

  • Верховный Совет Республики Саха (Якутия). 4 апреля 1992 г. «Конституция (основной закон) Республики Саха (Якутия)», в ред. Конституционного закона №581-З 53-IV от 22 июля 2008 г. (Supreme Council of the Sakha (Yakutia) Republic. April 4, 1992 Constitution (Basic Law) of the Sakha (Yakutia) Republic, as amended by the Constitutional Law #581-Z 53-IV of July 22, 2008. ).

External links

  • (Russian) Official website of the government of Sakha Republic
  • (Russian) Sakhalife – Live news
  • (Russian) Photo gallery at the site of the Ministry of Construction of the Sakha Republic with pictures of residential buildings, schools, colleges, hospitals, theaters, stadiums, etc. constructed in Yakutia
  • (English) (Russian) Official website of the Ministry of Foreign Relations of Sakha (in development)
  • (Yakut) Orto Doydu — Samples of music, songs and video in Sakha
  • (Yakut) Kyym — weekly newspaper
  • Yakutia Organized — Independent Travelogues, Photo Blogs, General Info
  • (Russian) Official website of the Yakutsk State University
  • Information on Sakha from Scott Polar Research Institute
  • (Russian) History of Yakutia
  • Anthem of Sakha
  • Ask Yakutia - Ask Questions about Sakha Republic
  • eYakutia – English Yakutia – Blog about the life in Yakutia
  • Independent guide on Yakutia
  • (English) (Russian) Yakutia in Pictures

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