Mordovia

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The Republic of Mordovia (Russian: Респу́блика Мордо́вия; Moksha: Мордовскяй Республикась; Erzya: Мордовской Республикась) or Mordvinia is a federal subject of Russia (a republic). The direct transliteration of the republic's name is Respublika Mordoviya in Russian, Mordovskäj Respubikasj in Moksha and Mordovskoj Respublikasj in Erzya.

Republic of Mordovia
Республика Мордовия
Мордовскяй Республикась
   
Image:Flag of Mordovia.svg Image:Mordva vvapp.png
Flag of Mordovia Coat of arms of Mordovia
Image:RussiaMordovia2005.png
Capital Saransk
Area

- total
- % water

Ranked 71st

- 26,200 km²
- negligible

Population

- Total
- Density

Ranked 62nd

- est. 888,766 (2002)
- est. 33.9/km²

Political status Republic
Federal district Privolzhsky (Volga) Federal District
Economic Region Volga-Vyatka
Cadaster # 13
Official languages Russian, Moksha, Erzya
Head of the Republic Nikolay Ivanovich Merkushkin
Prime Minister
Legislature {{{LegiNm}}}
Anthem

Contents

[edit] Geography

The Republic is located in the eastern part of the East European Plain of the Russian Federation. The western part of the republic is situated in the Oka Don Plain; its eastern and central parts in the Volga Elevation.

[edit] Time zone

Mordovia is located in the Moscow Time Zone (MSK/MSD). UTC offset is +0300 (MSK)/+0400 (MSD).

[edit] Rivers

There are 114 rivers in Mordovia. Major rivers include:

[edit] Lakes

There are approximately 500 lakes in Mordovia.

[edit] Natural Resources

Natural resources include peat, mineral waters, and others.

[edit] Climate

Climate is moderately continental.

  • Average January temperature: −11°C
  • Average July temperature: +19°C
  • Average annual precipitation: ~500 mm

[edit] Administrative divisions

Main article: Administrative divisions of Mordovia

[edit] Demographics

Main article: Mordvin people

The Mordvin people are a Finnic group speaking two related languages, Moksha and Erzya, the two languages have been dealt with at various times as dialects of one Mordvinian language. In reality there are two orthographies with parallel newsmedia in the Republic of Mordovia where approximately only one third of all Mordvinian live.

According to the 2002 Census, Russians at  540,717 make up 60.8% of the republic's population, while ethnic Mordvins at 283,861 are only 31.9%. Other groups include Tatars (46,261, or 5.2%), Ukrainians (4,801, or 0.5%), and a host of smaller groups, each accounting for less than 0.5% of the total population. 3,700 people (0.4%) did not indicate their nationalities during the Census.

  • Population: 888,766 (2002)
    • Urban: 531,478 (59.8%)
    • Rural: 357,288 (40.2%)
    • Male: 408,556 (46.0%)
    • Female: 480,210 (54.0%)
  • Females per 1000 males: 1,175
  • Average age: 38.7 years
    • Urban: 36.8 years
    • Rural: 41.3 years
    • Male: 35.9 years
    • Female: 41.2 years
  • Number of households: 332,995 (with 866,749 people)
    • Urban: 197,923 (with 525,808 people)
    • Rural: 135,072 (with 340,941 people)

[edit] History

[edit] Early history

Earliest archaeological signs of human beings in the area of Mordovia are from the neolithical era. Finnic-Ugric Mordvins are mentioned in written sources in 6th century. Later, Mordvins were under the influence of both Volga Bulgaria and Kievan Rus. Mordvin dukes sometimes raided Muroma nad Bulgaria, often spoiled each other.

[edit] Mongol rule

The Mongols conquered vast areas of Eastern Europe in 13th century. They established the khanate of the Golden Horde in 1241, subjugating the area of Mordovia. Mordvins sometimes fought alongside Russians against Mongols. The Golden Horde disintegrated in 1330's, which resulted in Mordvins becoming subjects of Khanate of Kazan, the successor monarchy.

[edit] Russian rule

When Ivan IV of Russia annexed the khanate of Kazan in 1552, the Mordovin lands were subjugated to the Russian tsars. The Mordvin elite rapidly assumed Russian language and customs, whereas 1821 saw the publication of the New Testament in Erzya to address the non-elite population. In rural areas, Mordvin culture was preserved. Russians started to convert Mordvins to Orthodox Christianity in mid-1700's. Mordvins gave up their own shamanist religion only slowly, however, and many of shamanist features were preserved as parts of local culture though the population became nominally christian. Translations of literature to Mordvin languages were mostly religious books. In 1700's, the Latin alphabet was used in writing Mordvin, but from the mid-1800's, cyrillic was used.

[edit] Part of the Soviet Union

During the Russian revolution and civil war, Mordovia was held mostly by opponents of Bolsheviks. When the Bolsheviks prevailed in the war, Mordovia became a part of the Soviet Union. In 1925, the Soviet government founded autonomous districts and village councils in the area of Mordvins. During the Soviet era, two written languages were developed: based on the Erzya dialect in 1922 and on the Moksha dialect in 1923, both using Cyrillic script. The autonomous district of Mordvins was founded on 16 July 1928 and it was elevated to autonomous area on 10 January 1930. The autonomous area was formed as the Autonomous Socialist Soviet Republic of Mordovia on 20 December 1934. The Mordvinian National Okrug was established on July 16, 1928. On January 10 it was transformed into Mordvinian Autonomous Oblast, then, on December 20, 1934, into Mordvinian ASSR.

[edit] Part of the Russian Federation

When the Soviet Union disintegrated, ASSR of Mordvins proclaimed itself the Republic of Mordovia in 1991, and remained a part of Federation of Russia. The Republic of Mordovia in its present form has existed since January 25, 1994.

[edit] Politics

The head of government in the Republic of Mordovia is the Head of the Republic. As of 2004, the head of the republic is Nikolay Ivanovich Merkushkin, who was elected in February of 1998.

[edit] Economy

The most developed industries are machine building, chemical, woodworking, and food industries. Most of the industrial enterprises are located in the capital Saransk, as well as in the towns of Kovylkino and Ruzayevka, and in the urban settlements of Chamzinka (Erzya: Chaunza) and the adjacent Komsomolsky.

[edit] Culture

There are many museums in Mordovia. The largest ones include the Mordovian Republican United Museum of Regional Studies and the Museum of Mordvinian Culture in Saransk.

The National Library of the Republic of Mordovia is the largest library in the republic.

The State Puppet Theater of the Republic of Mordovia, located in Saransk, is well-known in Russia. Most of the plays played in this theater are Russian fairy-tales.

[edit] Education

The most important facilities of higher education include Mordovian State University and Mordovian State Pedagogical Institute in Saransk.

[edit] Religion

The prevailing confession is the Russian Orthodox Church.

[edit] See also

[edit] External links

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  1. On January 1, 2007, Evenk and Taymyr Autonomous Okrugs will be merged into Krasnoyarsk Krai.
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