The Russian Far East (Russian :Дальний Восток России, tr. Dal'niy Vostok Rossii,IPA: [ˈdalʲnʲɪj vɐˈstok rɐˈsʲiɪ] , literally "The far East of Russia") is a region in North Asia which includes the Far Eastern Federal District, the easternmost territory of Russia, between Lake Baikal in Eastern Siberia and the Pacific Ocean.
The Far Eastern Federal District shares land borders with Mongolia, China and North Korea to its south, and shares maritime borders with Japan to its southeast and with the United States to its northeast.
Although commonly considered part of Siberia, the Russian Far East is categorized separately from Siberia in Russian regional schemes (and previously during the Soviet era when it was called the Soviet Far East).
In Russia, the region is usually referred to as just "Far East" (Дальний Восток). What is known in English as the Far East is usually referred to as "the Asia-Pacific Region" (Азиатско-тихоокеанский регион, abbreviated to АТР), or "East Asia" (Восточная Азия), depending on the context.
Russia reached the Pacific coast in 1647 with the establishment of Okhotsk, and consolidated its control over the Russian Far East in the 19th century, after the annexation of part of Chinese Manchuria. Primorskaya Oblast was established as a separate administrative division of the Russian Empire in 1856, with its administrative center at Khabarovsk.
Several entities with the name "Far East" had existed in the first half of the 20th century, all with rather different boundaries:
Until 2000, the Russian Far East lacked officially defined boundaries. A single term "Siberia and the Far East" (Сибирь и Дальний Восток) was often used to refer to Russia's regions east of the Urals without drawing a clear distinction between "Siberia" and "the Far East".
In 2000, Russia's federal subjects were grouped into larger federal districts, and the Far Eastern Federal District was created, comprising Amur Oblast, Chukotka Autonomous Okrug, Jewish Autonomous Oblast, Kamchatka Oblast with Koryak Autonomous Okrug, Khabarovsk Krai, Magadan Oblast, Primorsky Krai, the Sakha (Yakutia) Republic, and Sakhalin Oblast. In November 2018, Zabaykalsky Krai and the Republic of Buryatia were added, formerly being considered part of the Siberian Federal District.Since 2000, the term "Far East" has been increasingly used in Russia to refer to the federal district, though it is often also used more loosely.
Defined by the boundaries of the federal district, the Far East has an area of 6.2 million square kilometres (2,400,000 sq mi)—over one-third of Russia's total area.
Russia in the early 1900s persistently sought a warm water port on the Pacific Ocean for the navy as well as to facilitate maritime trade. The recently established Pacific seaport of Vladivostok was operational only during the summer season, but Port Arthur in Manchuria was operational all year. After the First Sino-Japanese War and the failure of the 1903 negotiations between Japan and the Tsars's government, Japan chose war to protect its domination of Korea and adjacent territories. Russia, meanwhile, saw war as a means of distracting its populace from government repression and of rallying patriotism in the aftermath of several general strikes. Japan issued a declaration of war on 8 February 1904. However, three hours before Japan's declaration of war was received by the Russian Government, the Imperial Japanese Navy attacked the Russian Far East Fleet at Port Arthur. Eight days later Russia declared war on Japan.
The war ended in September 1905 with a Japanese victory following the fall of Port Arthur and the failed Russian invasion of Japan through the Korean Peninsula and Northeast China; also, Japan had threatened to invade Primorsky Krai via Korea. The Treaty of Portsmouth was later signed and both Japan and Russia agreed to evacuate Manchuria and return its sovereignty to China, but Japan was allowed to lease the Liaodong Peninsula (containing Port Arthur and Talien), and the Russian rail system in southern Manchuria with its access to strategic resources. Japan also received the southern half of the Island of Sakhalin from Russia. Russia was also forced to confiscate land from Korean settlers who formed the majority of Primorsky Krai's population due to a fear of an invasion of Korea and ousting of Japanese troops by Korean guerrillas.
Between 1937 and 1939, the Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin deported over 200,000 Koreans to Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, fearing that the Koreans might act as spies for Japan. Many Koreans died on the way in cattle trains due to starvation, illness, or freezing conditions. Many community leaders were purged and executed, and Koryo-saram were not allowed to travel outside of Central Asia for the next 15 years. Koreans were also not allowed to use the Korean language and its use began to become lost with the involvement of Koryo-mar and the use of Russian.
Development of numerous remote locations relied on GULAG labour camps during Stalin's rule, especially in the region's northern half. After that, the large-scale use of forced labour waned and was superseded by volunteer employees attracted by relatively high wages.
During the Japanese invasion of Manchuria in 1931, the Soviets occupied Bolshoy Ussuriysky Island, Yinlong Island, and several adjacent islets to separate the city of Khabarovsk from the territory controlled by a possibly hostile power.
Indeed, Japan turned its military interests to Soviet territories. Conflicts between the Japanese and the Soviets frequently happened on the border of Manchuria between 1938 and 1945. The first confrontation occurred in Primorsky Krai, the Battle of Lake Khasan was an attempted military incursion of Manchukuo (Japanese) into the territory claimed by the Soviet Union. This incursion was founded in the beliefs of the Japanese side that the Soviet Union misinterpreted the demarcation of the boundary based on the Treaty of Peking between Imperial Russia and Manchu China. Primorsky Krai was always threatened by a Japanese invasion despite the fact that most of the remaining clashes occurred in Manchukuo.
The clashes ended shortly before the conclusion of the World War II when a weakened Japan found its territories of Manchukuo, Mengjiang, Korea, and South Sakhalin invaded by Soviet and Mongolian troops.
Primorsky Krai was a strategic location in World War II for both the Soviet Union and Japan and clashes over the territory were common as the Soviets and the Allies considered it a key location to invade Japan through Korea, and Japan viewed it as a key location to begin a mass invasion of Eastern Russia. Primorsky Krai also served as the Soviet Union's Pacific headquarters in the war to plan an invasion for allied troops of Korea in order to reach Japan.
After the Soviet invasion, Manchukuo and Mengjiang were returned to China and Korea became liberated. The Soviet Union also occupied and annexed Kuril Islands and southern Sakhalin. Soviet invasion of Japan proper never happened.
During the Korean War, Primorsky Krai became the site of extreme security concern for the Soviet Union.
Vladivostok was the site of the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks in 1974. At the time, the Soviet Union and the United States decided quantitative limits on various nuclear weapons systems and banned the construction of new land-based ICBM launchers. Vladivostok and other cities in Primorsky Krai soon became closed cities because of the base of the Soviet Pacific Fleet.
Incursions of American reconnaissance aircraft from nearby Alaska sometimes happened. These concerns of the Soviet military caused the infamous Korean Air Lines Flight 007 incident in 1983.
In 2016, President Vladimir Putin proposed the Russian Homestead Act to populate the Russian Far East.
Japanese citizens can visit Russian Vladivostok under a simplified visa regime. A simplified electronic visa to Primorsky Krai in 2016 brought 1338 citizens of Japan.
According to the 2010 Census, Far Eastern Federal District had a population of 6,293,129. Most of it is concentrated in the southern parts. Given the vast territory of the Russian Far East, 6.3 million people translates to slightly less than one person per square kilometer, making the Russian Far East one of the most sparsely populated areas in the world. The population of the Russian Far East has been rapidly declining since the dissolution of the Soviet Union (even more so than for Russia in general), dropping by 14% in the last fifteen years. The Russian government had been discussing a range of re-population programs to avoid the forecast drop to 4.5 million people by 2015, hoping to attract in particular the remaining Russian population of the near abroad but eventually agreeing on a program to resettle Ukrainian Illegal immigrants.
Ethnic Russians and Ukrainians make up the majority of the population.
75% of the population is urban. The largest cities are:
In 2016, an ambitious program was approved which hoped to resettle at least 500,000 Ukrainians in the Far East. This included giving free land to attract voluntary immigrants from Ukraine and the settlement of refugees from East Ukraine.
The original population groups of the Russian Far East include (grouped by language group):
The region was not connected with the rest of Russia via domestic highways, until the M58 highway was completed in 2010.
Uniquely for Russia, most cars have right-hand drive (73% of all cars in the region),though traffic still flows on the right-hand side of the road.
Railways are better developed. The Trans-Siberian Railway and Baikal–Amur Mainline (since 1984) provide a connection with Siberia (and the rest of the country). The Amur–Yakutsk Mainline is aimed to link the city of Yakutsk to the Russian railway network. Passenger trains connect to Nizhny Bestyakh as of 2013.
Like in nearby Siberia, for many remote localities, aviation is the main mode of transportation to/from civilisation, but the infrastructure is often poor.
Maritime transport is also important for delivering supplies to localities at (or near) the Pacific and Arctic coasts.
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Khabarovsk is the largest city and the administrative center of Khabarovsk Krai, Russia, located 30 kilometers (19 mi) from the Chinese border, at the confluence of the Amur and Ussuri Rivers, about 800 kilometers (500 mi) north of Vladivostok. The city was the administrative center of the Far Eastern Federal District of Russia from 2002 until December 2018, when Vladivostok took over that role. It is the largest city in the Russian Far East, having overtaken Vladivostok in 2015. As of the 2010 Census, its population was 577,441. It was previously known as Khabarovka.
Khabarovsk Krai is a federal subject of Russia. It is geographically located in the Far East region of the country and is a part of the Far Eastern Federal District. The administrative centre of the krai is the city of Khabarovsk, which is home to roughly half of the krai's population and the largest city in the Russian Far East. Khabarovsk Krai is the fourth-largest federal subject by area, with a population of 1,343,869 as of the.
Primorsky Krai, informally known as Primorye and translated in full as Maritime Territory, is a federal subject of Russia, located in the Far East region of the country and is a part of the Far Eastern Federal District. The city of Vladivostok is the administrative center of the krai, as well as the largest city in the Russian Far East. The krai has the largest economy among the federal subjects in the Russian Far East, and a population of 1,956,497 as of the 2010 Census.
The Far Eastern Republic, sometimes called the Chita Republic, was a nominally independent state that existed from April 1920 to November 1922 in the easternmost part of the Russian Far East. Although theoretically independent, it largely came under the control of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (RSFSR), which envisaged it as a buffer state between the RSFSR and the territories occupied by Japan during the Russian Civil War of 1917–1922. Its first president was Alexander Krasnoshchyokov.
Sakhalin Oblast is a federal subject of Russia comprising the island of Sakhalin and the Kuril Islands in the Russian Far East. The oblast has an area of 87,100 square kilometers (33,600 sq mi). Its administrative center and largest city is Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk. As of the 2010 Census, the oblast has a population of 497,973. Besides people from other parts of the former Soviet Union and the Korean Peninsula, the oblast is home to Nivkhs and Ainu, with the latter having lost their language in Sakhalin recently. Sakhalin is rich in natural gas and oil, and is Russia's fourth wealthiest federal subject and wealthiest oblast. It borders Khabarovsk Krai to the west and Kamchatka Krai to the north, along with Hokkaido, Japan to the south.
The Far Eastern Federal District is the largest of the eight federal districts of Russia but the least populated, with a population of 8,371,257 according to the 2010 Census. The entire federal district lies within the easternmost part of Asia and covers the territory of the Russian Far East.
Outer Manchuria is a term for a territory in Northeast Asia that is part of Russia and had formerly belonged to the Qing dynasty.Russia annexed this territory by way of the Treaty of Aigun in 1858 and the Treaty of Peking in 1860. The northern part of the area was in dispute between 1643 and 1689.
Green Ukraine, also known as Zeleny Klyn, or as Transcathay, is a historical Ukrainian name for the land in the Russian Far East area between the Amur River and the Pacific Ocean, an area roughly corresponding to the Chinese concept of Outer Manchuria.
Primorskaya Oblast was an administrative division of the Russian Empire and the early Russian SFSR, created on October 31, 1856 by the Governing Senate. The name of the region literally means "Maritime" or "Coastal." The region was established upon a Russian conquest of Daur people that used to live along Amur River. Before the Russian conquest, the territory belonged to the Chinese region of Manchuria.
Far Eastern economic region is one of twelve economic regions of Russia.
OJSC Dalsvyaz is a telecommunications service provider active in the Russian Far East. It is part of Svyazinvest Holdings, which is Russia's largest telecommunications holding company, and which owns many large regional telecommunications service providers in Russia.
After World War II there were from 560,000 to 760,000 Japanese personnel in the Soviet Union and Mongolia interned to work in labor camps as POWs. Of them, it is estimated that between 60,000 and 347,000 died in captivity.
The Sakhalin–Khabarovsk–Vladivostok pipeline is a pipeline for natural gas in Russia, transporting Sakhalin's gas to the most populated and industrialized regions of the Russian Far East. It is also projected to become a part of an international export route, carrying Russian gas to East Asian countries, such as the People's Republic of China, South Korea and Japan. The pipeline is owned and operated by Gazprom. It was opened on 8 September 2011.
Far Eastern Railway is a railway in Russia that crosses Primorsky Krai, Khabarovsk Krai, Amur Oblast, Jewish Autonomous Oblast, and Yakutia.
The Amur Annexation was the annexation of the southeast corner of Siberia by the Russian Empire in 1858–1860 through a series of unequal treaties forced upon the Qing dynasty. The two areas involved are the Priamurye between the Amur River and the Stanovoy Range to the north and the Primorye which runs down the coast from the Amur mouth to the Korean border, including the island of Sakhalin. The territory of Outer Manchuria was formerly under the administration of Qing dynasty China.
The East Asian snowstorms of 2009–2010 were heavy winter storms, including blizzards, ice storms, and other winter events, that affected East Asia from 8 May 2009 to 28 February 2010. The areas affected included Mongolia, China, Nepal, the Korean Peninsula, Japan, Kuril Islands, Sea of Okhotsk, Primorsky, and Sakhalin Island.
The indigenous small-numbered peoples of the North, Siberia and the Far East is a Russian census classification of indigenous peoples, assigned to groups with fewer than 50,000 members, living in the Russian Far North, Siberia or Russian Far East. They are frequently referred as indigenous small-numbered peoples of the North or indigenous peoples of the North.
The following is a timeline of the history of the city of Vladivostok, Primorsky Krai, Russia.
Paul Simon Unterberger was a Russo-German military and state leader, military governor of the Primorskaya Oblast (1888–1897), Nizhny Novgorod Governor (1897–1905), Military ataman of the Ussuri Cossack Host, Amur Governor-General (1905–1910). General Engineer.