Mari El

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The Mari El Republic (Russian: Респу́блика Мари́й Эл; Mari: Марий Эл Республика) is a federal subject of Russia (a republic). The direct transliteration of the republic's Russian name is Respublika Mariy El and Mari name is Marii El Respublika. The republic is also sometimes called Mariy El or Marii El in English.

Mari El Republic
Республика Марий Эл
Марий Эл Республика
Image:Flag of Mari El.svg Image:Ru-me).gif
Flag of Mari El Coat of arms of Mari El
Capital Yoshkar-Ola

- total
- % water

Ranked 75th

- 23,200 km²
- 4% (including 1% of swamps)


- Total
- Density

Ranked 66th

- est. 727,979 (2002)
- est. 31.4/km²

Political status Republic
Federal district Privolzhsky (Volga) Federal District
Economic Region Volga-Vyatka
Cadaster # 12
Official languages Russian, Mari (Meadow variant)
President Leonid Igorevich Markelov
Vice-President Dmitry Yevgenyevich Frolov
Legislature {{{LegiNm}}}


[edit] Geography

The Republic is located in the eastern part of the East European Plain of the Russian Federation, along Volga River. The swampy Mari Depression is located in the west of the republic. 57% of the republic's territory is covered by forests.

[edit] Time zone

Mari El is located in the Moscow Time Zone (MSK/MSD). UTC offset is UTC+3 (MSK)/UTC+4 (MSD).

[edit] Rivers

There are 476 rivers in Mari El. Most of them are considered to be minor: 10-50 m wide and .5-1.4 m deep. They usually freeze from mid-November till mid-April. Major rivers include:

[edit] Lakes

There are over 200 lakes in Mari El, most of them with an area less than 1 km² and depth of 1-3 m. Many lakes are located among swamps. Swamps cover large areas (10-70 km², up to 100 km²), and usually freeze in December. Average depth of the swamps is .5-1.5 m (up to 3 m), but they are impassable in fall and spring due to flooding.

Major lakes include:

[edit] Natural resources

There are virtually no natural resources of industrial significance in the republic. Other resources include peat, mineral waters, and limestone.

[edit] Climate

Climate is moderately continental. Winters are moderately cold and snowy. Summers are warm and often rainy.

  • Average January temperature: −13°C
  • Average July temperature: +19°C
  • Average annual precipitation: 450-500 mm

[edit] Administrative divisions

[edit] Demographics

Main article: Mari people

The Mari did not have a designated territory before Russian Revolution of 1917. Now only 48.3% of the Mari live within Mari El. 4.1% of the Mari live outside of Russia.

According to the 2002 Census, Russians at 345,513 make up 47.5% of the republic's population, while the ethnic Mari at 312,178 make up 42.3%. Other groups include Tatars (43,377, or 6.0%), Chuvash (7,418, or 1.0%), Ukrainians (5,097, or 0.7%), and a host of smaller groups, each accounting for less than 0.5% of the total population. 2,911 people (0.4%) did not indicate their nationalities during the Census.

  • Population: 727,979 (2002)
    • Urban: 459,687 (63.1%)
    • Rural: 268,292 (36.9%)
    • Male: 338,485 (46.5%)
    • Female: 389,494 (53.5%)
  • Females per 1000 males: 1,151
  • Average age: 36.7 years
    • Urban: 36.7 years
    • Rural: 36.7 years
    • Male: 34.0 years
    • Female: 39.0 years
  • Number of households: 263,382 (with 717,938 people)
    • Urban: 173,246 (with 455,006 people)
    • Rural: 90,136 (with 262,932 people)

[edit] Crime

Main article: Crime in Mari El

[edit] History

Mari El map

Ancient Mari tribes were known since the 5th century. Later their area was a tributary of Volga Bulgaria and the Golden Horde. In the 1440s it was incorporated into the Khanate of Kazan and was occupied by Russia after the fall of Kazan in 1552.

Mari Autonomous Oblast was established on November 4, 1920. It was re-organized into Mari ASSR on December 5, 1936.

The autonomous Mari El Republic in its present form was formed on December 22, 1990.

[edit] Politics

The head of government in the Mari El Republic is the President. As of 2004, the president is Leonid Igorevich Markelov, who was elected in January of 2001.

Ethnic Mari people are under heavy russification and Leonid Markelov has ordered many Mari language newspapers to quit. Ethnic Mari activist live under fear of violence. Mari activist and chief editor Vladimir Kozlov was badly beaten after he published criticism toward Leonid Markelov's politics.

[edit] Economy

The most developed industries are machine construction, metal working, timber, woodworking, and food industries. Most of the industrial enterprises are located in the capital Yoshkar-Ola, as well as in the towns of Kozmodemyansk, Volzhsk, and Zvenigovo

[edit] Transportation

In the republic, there is one airport, 15 train stations, 53 bus stations, and a river port in Kozmodemyansk (on Volga River), as well as four other minor river ports.

[edit] Communication

Telephony, Internet service and cable television are provided by Volga Telecom.

[edit] Culture

There are eight museums in Mari El. The largest ones include the National Museum, the Museum of History, and the Republican Museum of Fine Arts in Yoshkar-Ola, and the Museum of Arts and History in Kozmodemyansk.

[edit] Education

The most important facilities of higher education include Mari State Technical University, Mari State University, and Mari State Pedagogical Institute; all located in Yoshkar-Ola.

[edit] Religion

The most common confessions include Russian Orthodox Church, Russian Orthodox Old Believers, and Islam. Traditional Mari religion (marla faith—Christianity with elements of Totemism and Shamanism) is also popular.

[edit] Tourism

Mari El is a favourite place of Tatarstan tourists. There is Marii Chodra national park in the valley of Ilet, with various attractions, such as boating, riding, mushrooming, etc. Marii Chodra is also favourite place of Kazan Tolkienist, where they use to play their battles.

[edit] External links

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