Republic of Karelia

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For other uses of Karelia, see Karelia (disambiguation).

The Republic of Karelia (Russian: Респу́блика Каре́лия) is a federal subject of the Russian Federation (a republic). The direct transliteration of the republic's name is Respublika Kareliya. In Karelian, the Republic is called Karjalan Tazavalla.

Republic of Karelia
Республика Карелия
Image:KareliaFlag.svg Image:Karelgerb.gif
Flag of the Republic of Karelia Coat of arms of the Republic of Karelia
Capital Petrozavodsk

- total
- % water

Ranked 23rd

- 172,400 km²
- 25%


- Total
- Density

Ranked 67th

- est. 716,281 (2002)
- est. 4.2/km²

Political status Republic
Federal district Northwestern Federal District
Economic Region North
Cadaster # 10
Official language Russian[1]
Head of the Republic Sergey Leonidovich Katanandov
Prime Minister Pavel Viktorovich Chernov
Legislature Legislative Assembly
Anthem Anthem of the Republic of Karelia


[edit] Geography

The Republic is located in the north-western part of the Russian Federation, taking intervening position between the basins of White and Baltic seas. The White Sea shore line is 630 km.

[edit] Time zone

The Republic of Karelia is located in the Moscow Time Zone (MSK/MSD). UTC offset is +0300 (MSK)/+0400 (MSD).

[edit] Rivers

Image:Karelia today.png
The Regions of North and South Karelia lie in Finland and the Karelian Republic in Russia. The Karelian Isthmus is now part of the Leningrad Oblast.

There are about 27,000 rivers in Karelia. Major rivers include:

[edit] Lakes

There are 60,000 lakes in Karelia. Republic's lakes and swamps contain about 2,000 km³ of high-quality fresh water. Lake Ladoga (Finnish:Laatokka) and Lake Onega (Ääninen) are the largest lakes in Europe. Other lakes include:

[edit] Natural resources

The most part of the republic's territory (148,000 km², or 85%) is comprised of state forest stock. The total growing stock of timber resources in the forests of all categories and ages is 807 million m³. The mature and overmature tree stock amounts to 411.8 million m³, of which 375.2 million m³ is coniferous.

Fifty useful minerals are found in Karelia, located in more than 400 deposits and orebearing layers. Natural resources of the republic include iron ore, diamonds, vanadium, molybdenum, and others.

[edit] Administrative divisions

[edit] Demographics

Early 20th-century photo of a bridge across the Shuya River

According to the 2002 Census, ethnic Russians at 548,941 make up 76.6% of the republic's population, while the ethnic Karelians at 65,651 are only 9.2%. Other groups include Belarusians (37,681, or 5.3%), Ukrainians (19,248, or 2.7%), Finns (14,156, or 2.0%), Veps (4,870, or 0.7%), and a host of smaller groups, each accounting for less than 0.5% of the total population. 4,886 people (0.7%) did not indicate their nationality during the Census.

  • Population: 716,281 (2002)
    • Urban: 537.395 (75.0%)
    • Rural: 178,886 (25.0%)
    • Male: 331,505 (46.3%)
    • Female: 384,776 (53.7%)
  • Females per 1000 males: 1,161
  • Average age: 37.1 years
    • Urban: 35.9 years
    • Rural: 40.6 years
    • Male: 33.9 years
    • Female: 39.9 years
  • Number of households: 279,915 (with 701,314 people)
    • Urban: 208,041 (with 525,964 people)
    • Rural: 71,874 (with 175,350 people)

The Karelian language is close to Finnish, and in recent years, it has been considered by some authorities as a dialect of Finnish. Nevertheless, far Eastern Karelian might not be completely mutually intelligible with Finnish and could be considered a proper language. Russian is currently the only official language of the republic, but there is a motion in the republic's government to make Karelian official as well.

[edit] History

Image:Kizhi old.jpg
Many fine examples of old Russian wooden architecture survive in Karelia.

Historically Karelia was a region to the northwest of Russia, east of present-day Finland, controlled by the Novgorod Republic. From the 13th century and onwards various parts were conquered by Sweden, and incorporated into Swedish Karelia until they were lost to Russia by the Treaty of Nystad in 1721.

In 1923 the province became the Karelian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (Karelian ASSR). From 1940 it was made into the Karelo-Finnish SSR, incorporating the Finnish Democratic Republic created during the Winter War. Occupied territories were incorporated into Karelo-Finnish SSR after the Winter War but after the Continuation War the Karelian Isthmus was incorporated into the Leningrad Oblast. Its status was changed back to an ASSR in 1956. During the Continuation War in 1941 Finland occupied large parts of the area but was forced to withdraw in 1944.

The autonomous Republic of Karelia in its present form was formed on November 13, 1991.

[edit] Politics

The highest executive authorityin the Republic of Karelia is the Head of the Republic. As of 2006, the Head of the Republic is Sergey Leonidovich Katanandov, who was elected in May of 2002.

The parliament of the Republic of Karelia is the Legislative Assembly comprising 50 deputies elected for a four year term.

The Constitution of the Republic of Karelia was adopted on February 12, 2001.

[edit] Culture

Image:Kem prokudin.jpg
View of the old town of Kem in 1911.

Karelia is sometimes called "the songlands" in the Finnish culture, as Karelian poems constitute most of the Finnish national epic Kalevala.

[edit] Religion

The Karelians have been traditionally Russian Orthodox, known in Finland for their small chapels called tsasouna. However, Lutheranism was brought to the area by the Finnish immigrants during Sweden's conquest of Karelia.

[edit] Notes

  Russian is currently the only official language of the Republic of Karelia. Although the Karelian language does not have official status at present, a motion has been set in place to grant it a place alongside Russian in the republic's government.

[edit] See also

[edit] External links

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