Siberia

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Coordinates: 60°0′N105°0′E / 60.000°N 105.000°E / 60.000; 105.000

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Siberia

Russian: Сибирь (Sibir')
Siberia-FederalSubjects.svg
        Siberian Federal District

       Geographic Russian Siberia

        North Asia, greatest extent of Siberia
Country Russia
Region North Asia, Eurasia
Parts West Siberian Plain
Central Siberian Plateau
others...
Area
  Total13,100,000 km2 (5,100,000 sq mi)
Population
 (2017)
  Total36,000,000
  Density2.7/km2 (7.1/sq mi)

Siberia ( /sˈbɪəriə/ ; Russian :Сиби́рь, tr. Sibír',IPA:  [sʲɪˈbʲirʲ] ( Loudspeaker.svg listen )) is an extensive geographical region spanning much of Eurasia and North Asia. Siberia has historically been a part of modern Russia since the 17th century.

Russian language East Slavic language

Russian is an East Slavic language, which is official in the Russian Federation, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, as well as being widely used throughout Eastern Europe, the Baltic states, the Caucasus and Central Asia. It was the de facto language of the Soviet Union until its dissolution on 25 December 1991. Although nearly three decades have passed since the breakup of the Soviet Union, Russian is used in official capacity or in public life in all the post-Soviet nation-states, as well as in Israel and Mongolia.

Romanization of Russian Romanization of the Russian alphabet

Romanization of Russian is the process of transliterating the Russian language from the Cyrillic script into the Latin script.

In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics, human impact characteristics, and the interaction of humanity and the environment. Geographic regions and sub-regions are mostly described by their imprecisely defined, and sometimes transitory boundaries, except in human geography, where jurisdiction areas such as national borders are defined in law.

The territory of Siberia extends eastwards from the Ural Mountains to the watershed between the Pacific and Arctic drainage basins. The Yenisei River conditionally divides Siberia into two parts, Western and Eastern. Siberia stretches southwards from the Arctic Ocean to the hills of north-central Kazakhstan and to the national borders of Mongolia and China. [1]

Ural Mountains Mountain range in Russia

The Ural Mountains, or simply the Urals, are a mountain range that runs approximately from north to south through western Russia, from the coast of the Arctic Ocean to the Ural River and northwestern Kazakhstan. The mountain range forms part of the conventional boundary between the continents of Europe and Asia. Vaygach Island and the islands of Novaya Zemlya form a further continuation of the chain to the north into the Arctic Ocean.

Drainage divide Elevated terrain that separates neighbouring drainage basins

A drainage divide, water divide, divide, ridgeline, watershed, water parting or height of land is elevated terrain that separates neighbouring drainage basins. On rugged land, the divide lies along topographical ridges, and may be in the form of a single range of hills or mountains, known as a dividing range. On flat terrain, especially where the ground is marshy, the divide may be harder to discern.

Pacific Ocean Ocean between Asia and Australia in the west, the Americas in the east and Antarctica or the Southern Ocean in the south.

The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest of Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south and is bounded by Asia and Australia in the west and the Americas in the east.

With an area of 13.1 million square kilometres (5,100,000 sq mi), Siberia accounts for 77% of Russia's land area, but it is home to approximately 36 million people—27% of the country's population. This is equivalent to an average population density of about 3 inhabitants per square kilometre (7.8/sq mi) (approximately equal to that of Australia), making Siberia one of the most sparsely populated regions on Earth. If it were a country by itself, it would still be the largest country in area, but in population it would be the world's 35th-largest and Asia's 14th-largest.

Australia Country in Oceania

Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands. It is the largest country in Oceania and the world's sixth-largest country by total area. The neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, and East Timor to the north; the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to the north-east; and New Zealand to the south-east. The population of 25 million is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, and its largest city is Sydney. The country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, and Adelaide.

Worldwide, Siberia is well known primarily for its long, harsh winters, with a January average of −25 °C (−13 °F), [2] as well as its extensive history of use by Russian and Soviet governments as a place for prisons, labor camps, and internal exile.

Soviet Union 1922–1991 country in Europe and Asia

The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a Marxist-Leninist sovereign state in Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, its government and economy were highly centralized. The country was a one-party state, governed by the Communist Party with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. Other major urban centres were Leningrad, Kiev, Minsk, Tashkent, Alma-Ata, and Novosibirsk. It spanned over 10,000 kilometres (6,200 mi) east to west across 11 time zones, and over 7,200 kilometres (4,500 mi) north to south. It had five climate zones: tundra, taiga, steppes, desert and mountains.

Etymology

The origin of the name is unknown. Some sources say that "Siberia" originates from the Siberian Tatar word for "sleeping land" (Sib Ir). [3] Another account sees the name as the ancient tribal ethnonym of the Sirtya  [ ru ] (also "Syopyr" (sʲɵpᵻr)), an ethnic group which spoke a Paleosiberian language. The Sirtya people were later assimilated into the Siberian Tatars.[ citation needed ]

Paleosiberianlanguages or Paleoasian (Paleo-Asiatic) are terms of convenience used in linguistics to classify a disparate group of linguistic isolates as well as a few small families of languages spoken in parts both of northeastern Siberia and of the Russian Far East. They are not known to have any linguistic relationship to each other; their only common link is that they are held to have antedated the more dominant languages, particularly Tungusic and latterly Turkic languages, that have largely displaced them. Even more recently, Turkic and especially Tungusic, have been displaced in their turn by Russian.

The modern usage of the name was recorded in the Russian language after the Empire's conquest of the Siberian Khanate. A further variant claims that the region was named after the Xibe people. [4] The Polish historian Chyliczkowski has proposed that the name derives from the proto-Slavic word for "north" (север, sever), [5] same as Severia.

Anatole Baikaloff has dismissed this explanation. He said that the neighbouring Chinese, Turks, and Mongolians, who have similar names for the region, would not have known Russian. He suggests that the name might be a combination of two words with Turkic origin, "su" (water) and "bir" (wild land). [6]

Prehistory

The region has paleontological significance, as it contains bodies of prehistoric animals from the Pleistocene Epoch, preserved in ice or in permafrost. Specimens of Goldfuss cave lion cubs, Yuka (mammoth) and another woolly mammoth from Oymyakon, a woolly rhinoceros from the Kolyma River, and bison and horses from Yukagir have been found. [7]

The Siberian Traps were formed by one of the largest-known volcanic events of the last 500 million years of Earth's geological history. Their activity continued for a million years and some scientists consider it a possible cause of the "Great Dying" about 250 million years ago, [8] – estimated to have killed 90% of species existing at the time. [9]

At least three species of human lived in Southern Siberia around 40,000 years ago: H. sapiens , H. neanderthalensis , and the Denisovans. [10] In 2010 DNA evidence identified the last as a separate species.

History

Chukchi, one of many indigenous peoples of Siberia. Representation of a Chukchi family by Louis Choris (1816) Choris, Tschuktschen.jpg
Chukchi, one of many indigenous peoples of Siberia. Representation of a Chukchi family by Louis Choris (1816)

During past millennia different groups of nomads - such as the Enets, the Nenets, the Huns, the Xiongnu, the Scythians and the Uyghurs inhabited various parts of Siberia. The proto-Mongol Khitan people also occupied parts of the region. In 630 the Khan of Sibir in the vicinity of modern Tobolsk was known as a prominent figure[ citation needed ] who endorsed Kubrat as Khagan of Old Great Bulgaria. In the 13th century, during the period of the Mongol Empire, the Mongols conquered a large part of this area. [11]

Map of the Siberian Route in the 18th century (green) and the early 19th century (red). Map Siberian route.svg
Map of the Siberian Route in the 18th century (green) and the early 19th century (red).

With the breakup of the Golden Horde, the autonomous Khanate of Sibir formed in the late-15th century. Turkic-speaking Yakut migrated north from the Lake Baikal region under pressure from the Mongol tribes during the 13th to 15th century. [12] Siberia remained a sparsely populated area. Historian John F. Richards wrote: "... it is doubtful that the total early modern Siberian population exceeded 300,000 persons". [13]

The growing power of Russia in the West began to undermine the Siberian Khanate in the 16th century. First, groups of traders and Cossacks began to enter the area. The Russian Army was directed to establish forts farther and farther east to protect new settlers who migrated from European Russia. Towns such as Mangazeya, Tara, Yeniseysk and Tobolsk developed, the last becoming the de facto capital of Siberia from 1590. At this time, Sibir was the name of a fortress at Qashlik, near Tobolsk. Gerardus Mercator, in a map published in 1595, marks Sibier both as the name of a settlement and of the surrounding territory along a left tributary of the Ob. [14] Other sources[ which? ] contend that the Xibe, an indigenous Tungusic people, offered fierce resistance to Russian expansion beyond the Urals. Some suggest that the term "Siberia" is a Russification of their ethnonym.[ citation needed ]

By the mid-17th century Russia had established areas of control that extended to the Pacific. Some 230,000 Russians had settled in Siberia by 1709. [15] Siberia became one of the destinations for sending internal exiles. [16] [17] [ need quotation to verify ] [18]

The first great modern change in Siberia was the Trans-Siberian Railway, constructed during 1891–1916. It linked Siberia more closely to the rapidly industrialising Russia of Nicholas II (r. 1894–1917). Around seven million people moved to Siberia from European Russia between 1801 and 1914. [19] Between 1859 and 1917 more than half a million people migrated to the Russian Far East. [20] Siberia has extensive natural resources: during the 20th century, large-scale exploitation of these took place, and industrial towns cropped up throughout the region. [21]

Siberian Cossack family in Novosibirsk Novosibirsk-Karimov.jpg
Siberian Cossack family in Novosibirsk

At 7:15 a.m. on 30 June 1908 the Tunguska Event felled millions of trees near the Podkamennaya Tunguska (Stony Tunguska) River in central Siberia. Most scientists believe this resulted from the air burst of a meteor or a comet. Even though no crater has ever been found, the landscape in the (sparsely inhabited) area still bears the scars of this event. [22]

In the early decades of the Soviet Union (especially in the 1930s and 1940s), the government used the Gulag state agency to administer a system of penal labour camps, replacing the previous katorga system. [23] According to semi-official Soviet estimates, which did not become public until after the fall of the Soviet government in 1991, from 1929 to 1953 more than 14 million people passed through these camps and prisons, many of them in Siberia. Another seven to eight million people were internally deported to remote areas of the Soviet Union (including entire nationalities or ethnicities in several cases). [24]

Half a million (516,841) prisoners died in camps from 1941 to 1943 [25] due to food shortages caused by World War II.[ citation needed ] At other periods, mortality was comparatively lower. [26] The size, scope, and scale of the Gulag slave-labour camps remain subjects of much research and debate. Many Gulag camps operated in extremely remote areas of northeastern Siberia. The best-known clusters included Sevvostlag (the North-East Camps) along the Kolyma River and Norillag near Norilsk, where 69,000 prisoners lived in 1952. [27] Major industrial cities of Northern Siberia, such as Norilsk and Magadan, developed from camps built by prisoners and run by former prisoners. [28]

Geography

Physical map of Northern Asia.
Altai, Lake Kutsherla in the Altai Mountains Altai Kutscherla-See.jpg
Altai, Lake Kutsherla in the Altai Mountains
The peninsula of Svyatoy Nos, Lake Baikal 26 swiatoinos.jpg
The peninsula of Svyatoy Nos, Lake Baikal
Vasyugan River in the southern West Siberian Plain Vasyugan.jpg
Vasyugan River in the southern West Siberian Plain
Siberian taiga Siberian autumn in taiga..JPG
Siberian taiga
Koryaksky volcano towering over Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky on the Kamchatka Peninsula Koryaksky volcano Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky oct-2005.jpg
Koryaksky volcano towering over Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky on the Kamchatka Peninsula

With an area of 13.1 million square kilometres (5,100,000 sq mi), Siberia makes up roughly 77% of Russia's total territory and almost 10% of Earth's land surface (148,940,000 km2, 57,510,000 sq mi). While Siberia falls entirely within Asia, many authorities such as the UN geoscheme will not subdivide countries and will place all of Russia as part of Europe and/or Eastern Europe. Major geographical zones include the West Siberian Plain and the Central Siberian Plateau.

Eastern and central Sakha comprises numerous north-south mountain ranges of various ages. These mountains extend up to almost 3,000 metres (9,800 ft), but above a few hundred metres they are almost completely devoid of vegetation. The Verkhoyansk Range was extensively glaciated in the Pleistocene, but the climate was too dry for glaciation to extend to low elevations. At these low elevations are numerous valleys, many of them deep and covered with larch forest, except in the extreme north where the tundra dominates. Soils are mainly turbels (a type of gelisol). The active layer tends to be less than one metre deep, except near rivers.

The highest point in Siberia is the active volcano Klyuchevskaya Sopka, on the Kamchatka Peninsula. Its peak is at 4,750 metres (15,580 ft).

Mountain ranges

Lakes and rivers

Grasslands

Geology

The West Siberian Plain consists mostly of Cenozoic alluvial deposits and is somewhat flat. Many deposits on this plain result from ice dams which produced a large glacial lake. This mid- to late-Pleistocene lake blocked the northward flow of the Ob and Yenisei rivers, resulting in a redirection southwest into the Caspian and Aral seas via the Turgai Valley. [30] The area is very swampy, and soils are mostly peaty histosols and, in the treeless northern part, histels. In the south of the plain, where permafrost is largely absent, rich grasslands that are an extension of the Kazakh Steppe formed the original vegetation, most of which is no longer visible.[ why? ]

The Central Siberian Plateau is an ancient craton (sometimes named Angaraland) that formed an independent continent before the Permian (see the Siberian continent). It is exceptionally rich in minerals, containing large deposits of gold, diamonds, and ores of manganese, lead, zinc, nickel, cobalt and molybdenum. Much of the area includes the Siberian Traps—a large igneous province. This massive eruptive period was approximately coincident with the Permian–Triassic extinction event. The volcanic event is said to be the largest known volcanic eruption in Earth's history. Only the extreme northwest was glaciated during the Quaternary, but almost all is under exceptionally deep permafrost, and the only tree that can thrive, despite the warm summers, is the deciduous Siberian Larch (Larix sibirica) with its very shallow roots. Outside the extreme northwest, the taiga is dominant, covering a significant fraction of the entirety of Siberia. [31] Soils here are mainly turbels, giving way to spodosols where the active layer becomes thicker and the ice content lower.

Belukha Mountain Akkem Valley 2011.jpg
Belukha Mountain
Autumn forest in the eastern Sayan Mountains, Buryatia Osennii les v gorakh Vostochnykh Saian, Buriatiia, Rossiia.jpg
Autumn forest in the eastern Sayan Mountains, Buryatia

The Lena-Tunguska petroleum province includes the Central Siberian platform (some authors refer to it as the Eastern Siberian platform), bounded on the northeast and east by the Late Carboniferous through Jurassic Verkhoyansk foldbelt, on the northwest by the Paleozoic Taymr foldbelt, and on the southeast, south and southwest by the Middle Silurian to Middle Devonian Baykalian foldbelt. [32] :228 A regional geologic reconnaissance study begun in 1932, followed by surface and subsurface mapping, revealed the Markova-Angara Arch (anticline). This led to the discovery of the Markovo Oil Field in 1962 with the Markovo 1 well, which produced from the Early Cambrian Osa Horizon bar-sandstone at a depth of 2,156 metres (7,073 ft). [32] :243 The Sredne-Botuobin Gas Field was discovered in 1970, producing from the Osa and the Proterozoic Parfenovo Horizon. [32] :244 The Yaraktin Oil Field was discovered in 1971, producing from the Vendian Yaraktin Horizon at depths of up to 1,750 metres (5,740 ft), which lies below Permian to Lower Jurassic basalt traps. [32] :244

Climate

Russia vegetation.png

     polar desert     tundra     alpine tundra     taiga     montane forest
     temperate broadleaf forest     temperate steppe     dry steppe

Vegetation in Siberia is mostly taiga, with a tundra belt on the northern fringe, and a temperate forest zone in the south.

The climate of Siberia varies dramatically, but it typically has short summers and long, brutally cold winters. On the north coast, north of the Arctic Circle, there is a very short (about one-month-long) summer.

Taiga near Lake Baikal BaikalForest (pixinn.net).jpg
Taiga near Lake Baikal

Almost all the population lives in the south, along the Trans-Siberian Railway. The climate in this southernmost part is Humid continental climate (Köppen Dfb) with cold winters but fairly warm summers lasting at least four months. The annual average is about 0.5 °C (32.9 °F). January averages about −20 °C (−4 °F) and July about +19 °C (66 °F) while daytime temperatures in summer typically are above 20 °C (68 °F). [33] [34] With a reliable growing season, an abundance of sunshine and exceedingly fertile chernozem soils, southern Siberia is good enough for profitable agriculture, as was proven in the early 20th century.

By far the most commonly occurring climate in Siberia is continental subarctic (Koppen Dfc or Dwc), with the annual average temperature about −5 °C (23 °F) and an average for January of −25 °C (−13 °F) and an average for July of +17 °C (63 °F), [35] although this varies considerably, with a July average about 10 °C (50 °F) in the taiga–tundra ecotone. The Business oriented website and blog Business Insider lists Verkhoyansk and Oymyakon, in Siberia's Sakha Republic, as being in competition for the title of the Northern Hemisphere's Pole of Cold . Oymyakon is a village which recorded a temperature of −67.7 °C (−89.9 °F) on 6 February 1933. Verkhoyansk, a town further north and further inland, recorded a temperature of −69.8 °C (−93.6 °F) for three consecutive nights: 5, 6 and 7 February 1933. Each town is alternately considered the Northern Hemisphere's Pole of Cold, meaning the coldest inhabited point in the Northern hemisphere. Each town also frequently reaches 86 °F (30 °C) in the summer, giving them, and much of the rest of Russian Siberia, the world's greatest temperature variation between summer's highs and winter's lows, often being well over 170–180+ °F (94–100+ °C) between the seasons. [36] [ failed verification ]

Southwesterly winds bring warm air from Central Asia and the Middle East. The climate in West Siberia (Omsk, Novosibirsk) is several degrees warmer than in the East (Irkutsk, Chita) where in the north an extreme winter subarctic climate (Köppen Dfd or Dwd) prevails. But summer temperatures in other regions can reach +38 °C (100 °F). In general, Sakha is the coldest Siberian region, and the basin of the Yana River has the lowest temperatures of all, with permafrost reaching 1,493 metres (4,898 ft). Nevertheless, as far as Imperial Russian plans of settlement were concerned, cold was never viewed as an impediment. In the winter, southern Siberia sits near the center of the semi-permanent Siberian High, so winds are usually light in the winter.

Precipitation in Siberia is generally low, exceeding 500 millimetres (20 in) only in Kamchatka where moist winds flow from the Sea of Okhotsk onto high mountains – producing the region's only major glaciers, though volcanic eruptions and low summer temperatures allow limited forests to grow. Precipitation is high also in most of Primorye in the extreme south where monsoonal influences can produce quite heavy summer rainfall.

Climate data for Novosibirsk, Siberia's largest city
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Average high °C (°F)−12.2
(10.0)
−10.3
(13.5)
−2.6
(27.3)
8.1
(46.6)
17.5
(63.5)
24.0
(75.2)
25.7
(78.3)
22.2
(72.0)
16.6
(61.9)
6.8
(44.2)
−2.9
(26.8)
−8.9
(16.0)
7.0
(44.6)
Daily mean °C (°F)−16.2
(2.8)
−14.7
(5.5)
−7.2
(19.0)
3.2
(37.8)
11.6
(52.9)
18.2
(64.8)
20.2
(68.4)
17.0
(62.6)
11.5
(52.7)
3.4
(38.1)
−6
(21)
−12.7
(9.1)
2.4
(36.3)
Average low °C (°F)−20.1
(−4.2)
−19.1
(−2.4)
−11.8
(10.8)
−1.7
(28.9)
5.6
(42.1)
12.3
(54.1)
14.7
(58.5)
11.7
(53.1)
6.4
(43.5)
0.0
(32.0)
−9.1
(15.6)
−16.4
(2.5)
−2.3
(27.9)
Average precipitation mm (inches)19
(0.7)
14
(0.6)
15
(0.6)
24
(0.9)
36
(1.4)
58
(2.3)
72
(2.8)
66
(2.6)
44
(1.7)
38
(1.5)
32
(1.3)
24
(0.9)
442
(17.4)
Source: [37]

Researchers, including Sergei Kirpotin at Tomsk State University and Judith Marquand at Oxford University, warn that Western Siberia has begun to thaw as a result of global warming. The frozen peat bogs in this region may hold billions of tons of methane gas, which may be released into the atmosphere. Methane is a greenhouse gas 22 times more powerful than carbon dioxide. [38] In 2008, a research expedition for the American Geophysical Union detected levels of methane up to 100 times above normal in the atmosphere above the Siberian Arctic, likely the result of methane clathrates being released through holes in a frozen 'lid' of seabed permafrost, around the outfall of the Lena River and the area between the Laptev Sea and East Siberian Sea. [39] [40]

Fauna

A Siberian tigress and cub. Panthera tigris altaica 13 - Buffalo Zoo.jpg
A Siberian tigress and cub.

Order Artiodactyla

Order Carnivora

Family Felidae

Family Ursidae

Flora

Politics

Borders and administrative division

Map of the most populated area of Siberia with clickable city names (SVG) Siberian Cities Map.svg
Map of the most populated area of Siberia with clickable city names (SVG)
Comparison of the nine biggest Siberian cities' growth in the 20th century Siberian Cities Graph.svg
Comparison of the nine biggest Siberian cities' growth in the 20th century

The term "Siberia" has a long history. Its meaning has gradually changed during ages. Historically, Siberia was defined as the whole part of Russia to the east of Ural Mountains, including the Russian Far East. According to this definition, Siberia extended eastward from the Ural Mountains to the Pacific coast, and southward from the Arctic Ocean to the border of Russian Central Asia and the national borders of both Mongolia and China. [49]

Soviet-era sources ( Great Soviet Encyclopedia and others) [50] and modern Russian ones [51] usually define Siberia as a region extending eastward from the Ural Mountains to the watershed between Pacific and Arctic drainage basins, and southward from the Arctic Ocean to the hills of north-central Kazakhstan and the national borders of both Mongolia and China. By this definition, Siberia includes the federal subjects of the Siberian Federal District, and some of the Ural Federal District, as well as Sakha (Yakutia) Republic, which is a part of the Far Eastern Federal District. Geographically, this definition includes subdivisions of several other subjects of Urals and Far Eastern federal districts, but they are not included administratively. This definition excludes Sverdlovsk Oblast and Chelyabinsk Oblast, both of which are included in some wider definitions of Siberia.

Other sources may use either a somewhat wider definition that states the Pacific coast, not the watershed, is the eastern boundary (thus including the whole Russian Far East) [52] or a somewhat narrower one that limits Siberia to the Siberian Federal District (thus excluding all subjects of other districts). [53] In Russian, the word for Siberia is used as a substitute for the name of the federal district by those who live in the district itself and less commonly used to denote the federal district by people residing outside of it.

Ulan-Ude Oktiabr'skii raion (Ulan-Ude).jpg
Ulan-Ude
Novosibirsk is the largest city in Siberia Opernyi teatr4.jpg
Novosibirsk is the largest city in Siberia
Federal subjects of Siberia (GSE)
SubjectAdministrative center
Ural Federal District
Khanty–Mansi Autonomous Okrug Khanty-Mansiysk
Kurgan Oblast Kurgan
Tyumen Oblast Tyumen
Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug Salekhard
Siberian Federal District
Altai Krai Barnaul
Altai Republic Gorno-Altaysk
Irkutsk Oblast Irkutsk
Republic of Khakassia Abakan
Kemerovo Oblast Kemerovo
Krasnoyarsk Krai Krasnoyarsk
Novosibirsk Oblast Novosibirsk
Omsk Oblast Omsk
Tomsk Oblast Tomsk
Tuva Republic Kyzyl
Far Eastern Federal District
Buryat Republic Ulan-Ude
Sakha (Yakutia) Republic Yakutsk
Zabaykalsky Krai Chita
Amur waterfront in Khabarovsk Khabarovsk, letom na naberezhnoi Amura.JPG
Amur waterfront in Khabarovsk
Vladivostok, Primorsky Krai VladivostokGoldenHorn.jpg
Vladivostok, Primorsky Krai
Yakutsk is the capital of the Sakha Republic Iakutsk. Vid na tsentral'nuiu chast' goroda (2).JPG
Yakutsk is the capital of the Sakha Republic
Federal subjects of Siberia (in wide sense)
SubjectAdministrative center
Far Eastern Federal District
Amur Oblast Blagoveshchensk
Chukotka Autonomous Okrug Anadyr
Jewish Autonomous Oblast Birobidzhan
Kamchatka Krai Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky
Khabarovsk Krai Khabarovsk
Magadan Oblast Magadan
Primorsky Krai Vladivostok
Sakhalin Oblast Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk
Ural Federal District
Chelyabinsk Oblast Chelyabinsk
Sverdlovsk Oblast Yekaterinburg

Major cities

The most populous city of Siberia, as well as the third most populous city of Russia, is the city of Novosibirsk. Other major cities include:

Wider definitions of Siberia also include:

Economy

Russia is a key oil and gas supplier to much of Europe. RF NG pipestoEU.gif
Russia is a key oil and gas supplier to much of Europe.

Siberia is extraordinarily rich in minerals, containing ores of almost all economically valuable metals. It has some of the world's largest deposits of nickel, gold, lead, coal, molybdenum, gypsum, diamonds, diopside, silver and zinc, as well as extensive unexploited resources of oil and natural gas. [55] Around 70% of Russia's developed oil fields are in the Khanty-Mansiysk region. [56] Russia contains about 40% of the world's known resources of nickel at the Norilsk deposit in Siberia. Norilsk Nickel is the world's biggest nickel and palladium producer. [57]

Siberian agriculture is severely restricted by the short growing season of most of the region. However, in the southwest where soils are exceedingly fertile black earths and the climate is a little more moderate, there is extensive cropping of wheat, barley, rye and potatoes, along with the grazing of large numbers of sheep and cattle. Elsewhere food production, owing to the poor fertility of the podzolic soils and the extremely short growing seasons, is restricted to the herding of reindeer in the tundra—which has been practiced by natives for over 10,000 years.[ citation needed ] Siberia has the world's largest forests. Timber remains an important source of revenue, even though many forests in the east have been logged much more rapidly than they are able to recover. The Sea of Okhotsk is one of the two or three richest fisheries in the world owing to its cold currents and very large tidal ranges, and thus Siberia produces over 10% of the world's annual fish catch, although fishing has declined somewhat since the collapse of the USSR. [58]

While the development of renewable energy in Russia is held back by the lack of a conducive government policy framework, [59] Siberia still offers special opportunities for off-grid renewable energy developments. Remote parts of Siberia are too costly to connect to central electricity and gas grids, and have therefore historically been supplied with costly diesel, sometimes flown in by helicopter. In such cases renewable energy is often cheaper. [60]

Sport

KHL game HC Sibir Novosibirsk vs Amur Khabarovsk Pujacs and Safronov 2011-12-04 Amur-Sibir KHL-game.jpeg
KHL game HC Sibir Novosibirsk vs Amur Khabarovsk
Opening Ceremony of the 2019 Winter Universiade Otkrytie XXIX Vsemirnoi zimnei universiady v Krasnoiarske 05.jpg
Opening Ceremony of the 2019 Winter Universiade

Professional football teams include FC Tom Tomsk, FC Sibir Novosibirsk and FK Yenisey Krasnoyarsk.

The Yenisey Krasnoyarsk basketball team has played in the VTB United League since 2011–12.

Russia's third most popular sport, bandy, [61] is important in Siberia. In the 2015–16 Russian Bandy Super League season Yenisey from Krasnoyarsk became champions for the third year in a row by beating Baykal-Energiya from Irkutsk in the final. [62] [63] Two or three more teams (depending on the definition of Siberia) play in the Super League, the 2016–17 champions SKA-Neftyanik from Khabarovsk as well as Kuzbass from Kemerovo and Sibselmash from Novosibirsk. In 2007 Kemerovo got Russia's first indoor arena specifically built for bandy. [64] Now Khabarovsk has the world's largest indoor arena specifically built for bandy, Arena Yerofey. [65] It was venue for Division A of the 2018 World Championship. In time for the 2020 World Championship, an indoor arena will be ready for use in Irkutsk. That one will also have a speed skating oval. [66]

The 2019 Winter Universiade was hosted by Krasnoyarsk.

Demographics

Tomsk, one of the oldest Siberian cities, was founded in 1604. Street Scene in Tomsk - Russia.JPG
Tomsk, one of the oldest Siberian cities, was founded in 1604.

According to the Russian Census of 2010, the Siberian and Far Eastern Federal Districts, located entirely east of the Ural Mountains, together have a population of about 25.6 million. Tyumen and Kurgan Oblasts, which are geographically in Siberia but administratively part of the Urals Federal District, together have a population of about 4.3 million. Thus, the whole region of Asian Russia (or Siberia in the broadest usage of the term) is home to approximately 30 million people. [67] It has a population density of about three people per square kilometre.

All Siberians are Russian citizens, and of these Russian citizens of Siberia, most are Slavic-origin Russians and russified Ukrainians. [68] The remaining Russian citizens of Siberia consists of other groups of non-indigenous ethnic origins and those of indigenous Siberian origin.

Among the largest non-Slavic group of Russian citizens of Siberia are the approximately 400,000 ethnic Volga Germans, [69] Russified Romanians with ancestral origins from Bessarabia (present-day Moldova) also live in Siberia. The original indigenous groups of Siberia, including Mongol and Turkic groups such as Buryats, Tuvinians, Yakuts, and Siberian Tatars still mostly reside in Siberia, though they are minorities outnumbered by all other non-indigenous Siberians. Indeed, Slavic-origin Russians by themselves outnumber all of the indigenous peoples combined, both in Siberia as a whole and its cities, except in the Republic of Tuva.

Slavic-origin Russians make up the majority in the Buryat, Sakha, and Altai Republics, outnumbering the indigenous Buryats, Sakha, and Altai. The Buryat make up only 25% of their own republic, and the Sakha and Altai each are only one-third, and the Chukchi, Evenk, Khanti, Mansi, and Nenets are outnumbered by non-indigenous peoples by 90% of the population. [70]

According to the 2002 census there are 500,000 Tatars in Siberia, but of these, 300,000 are Volga Tatars who also settled in Siberia during periods of colonization and are thus also non-indigenous Siberians, in contrast to the 200,000 Siberian Tatars which are indigenous to Siberia. [71]

Of the indigenous Siberians, the Buryats, numbering approximately 500,000, are the most numerous group in Siberia, and they are mainly concentrated in their homeland, the Buryat Republic. [72] According to the 2002 census there were 443,852 indigenous Yakuts. [73] Other ethnic groups indigenous to Siberia include Kets, Evenks, Chukchis, Koryaks, Yupiks, and Yukaghirs.

About seventy percent of Siberia's people live in cities, mainly in apartments. Many people also live in rural areas, in simple, spacious, log houses. Novosibirsk is the largest city in Siberia, with a population of about 1.5 million. Tobolsk, Tomsk, Tyumen, Krasnoyarsk, Irkutsk, and Omsk are the older, historical centers.

Religion

Transfiguration Cathedral, Khabarovsk Khabarovsk, sobor.jpg
Transfiguration Cathedral, Khabarovsk

There are a variety of beliefs throughout Siberia, including Orthodox Christianity, other denominations of Christianity, Tibetan Buddhism and Islam. [74] The Siberian Federal District alone has an estimation of 250,000 Muslims. An estimated 70,000 Jews live in Siberia, [75] some in the Jewish Autonomous Region. [76] The predominant religious group is the Russian Orthodox Church.

Tradition regards Siberia the archetypal home of shamanism, and polytheism is popular. [77] These native sacred practices are considered by the tribes to be very ancient. There are records of Siberian tribal healing practices dating back to the 13th century. [78] The vast territory of Siberia has many different local traditions of gods. These include: Ak Ana, Anapel, Bugady Musun, Kara Khan, Khaltesh-Anki, Kini'je, Ku'urkil, Nga, Nu'tenut, Numi-Torem, Numi-Turum, Pon, Pugu, Todote, Toko'yoto, Tomam, Xaya Iccita, Zonget. Places with sacred areas include Olkhon, an island in Lake Baikal.

Transport

Many cities in northern Siberia, such as Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, cannot be reached by road, as there are virtually none connecting from other major cities in Russia or Asia. The best way to tour Siberia is through the Trans-Siberian Railway. The Trans-Siberian Railway operates from Moscow in the west to Vladivostok in the east. Cities that are located far from the railway are best reached by air or by the separate Baikal–Amur Railway (BAM).

Culture

Cuisine

Stroganina is a raw fish dish of the indigenous people of northern Arctic Siberia made from raw, thin, long-sliced frozen fish. [79] It is a popular dish with native Siberians. [80]

See also

Related Research Articles

Geography of Russia Landforms and water bodies of the country of Russia

Russia is a country extending over much of northern Eurasia. Comprising much of eastern Europe and northern Asia, it is the world's largest country in total area. Due to its size, Russia displays both monotony and diversity. As with its topography, its climates, vegetation, and soils span vast distances. From north to south the East European Plain is clad sequentially in tundra, coniferous forest (taiga), mixed and broadleaf forests, grassland (steppe), and semi-desert as the changes in vegetation reflect the changes in climate. Siberia supports a similar sequence but is predominantly taiga. The country contains forty UNESCO biosphere reserves.

Yakutia First-level administrative division of Russia

Yakutia or Yakutiya, officially known as Sakha Republic (Yakutia) is a federal Russian republic.

Novosibirsk City in Novosibirsk Oblast, Russia

Novosibirsk is the administrative center of Novosibirsk Oblast in Russia. Located in the southwestern part of Siberia on the banks of the Ob River, it is the third-most populous city in Russia as well as the most populous city in Asian Russia, with a population of 1,612,833 as of the 2018 Census.

Krasnoyarsk Krai First-level administrative division of Russia

Krasnoyarsk Krai is a federal subject of Russia, with its administrative center in the city of Krasnoyarsk—the third-largest city in Siberia. Comprising half of the Siberian Federal District, Krasnoyarsk Krai is the largest krai in the Russian Federation, the second largest federal subject and the third largest subnational governing body by area in the world, after Sakha and the Australian state of Western Australia. The krai covers an area of 2,339,700 square kilometers (903,400 sq mi), which is nearly one quarter the size of the entire country of Canada, constituting roughly 13% of the Russian Federation's total area and containing a population of 2,828,187, or just under 2% of its population, per the 2010 Census.

Russian Far East Geographic region

The Russian Far East comprises the Russian part of the Far East, the easternmost territory of Russia, between Lake Baikal in Eastern Siberia and the Pacific Ocean.

North Asia subregion of Asia

North Asia or Northern Asia, sometimes also referred to as Siberia or Eurasia, is partly a subregion of Asia, consisting of the Russian regions east of the Ural Mountains: Siberia, Ural and the Russian Far East. The region is sometimes also known as Asian Russia. North Asia is bordered to the north by the Arctic Ocean, to the west by Eastern Europe, to the south by Central and East Asia and to the east by the Pacific Ocean and North America. North Asia covers an area of approximately 13,100,000 square kilometres (5,100,000 sq mi) or 8.8% of the earth's land area, or 1.5 times the size of Brazil. It is the largest subregion of Asia by area, but is also the least populated, with an approximate total population of only 33 million people or 0.74% of Asia’s population. North Asia is solely administrated by Russia, and makes up more than 75% of the territory of the country, but only 22% of its population, at a density of 2.5 people per km2. The region of Western Siberia and occasionally Kazakhstan is usually called Northwestern Asia or Northwest Asia;, although the name sometimes refers to Caucasus or nearby provinces.

History of Siberia Aspect of Russian history

The early history of Siberia was greatly influenced by the sophisticated nomadic civilizations of the Scythians (Pazyryk) on the west of the Ural Mountains and Xiongnu (Noin-Ula) on the east of the Urals, both flourishing before the Christian era. The steppes of Siberia were occupied by a succession of nomadic peoples, including the Khitan people, various Turkic peoples, and the Mongol Empire. In the late Middle Ages, Tibetan Buddhism spread into the areas south of Lake Baikal.

Mangazeya human settlement in Russia

Mangazeya was a Northwest Siberian trans-Ural trade colony and later city in the 17th century. Founded in 1600 by Cossacks from Tobolsk, it was situated on the Taz River, between the lower courses of the Ob and Yenisei Rivers flowing into the Arctic Ocean. The name derives from a Nenets ethnonym Monkansi or Mongandi.

West Siberian Plain large plain that occupies the western portion of Siberia

The West Siberian Plain, also known as Zapadno-sibirskaya Ravnina, is a large plain that occupies the western portion of Siberia, between the Ural Mountains in the west and the Yenisei River in the east, and by the Altay Mountains on the southeast. Much of the plain is poorly drained and consists of some of the world's largest swamps and floodplains. Important cities include Omsk, Novosibirsk, Tomsk and Chelyabinsk.

East Siberian Sea A marginal sea in the Arctic Ocean north of Siberia

The East Siberian Sea is a marginal sea in the Arctic Ocean. It is located between the Arctic Cape to the north, the coast of Siberia to the south, the New Siberian Islands to the west and Cape Billings, close to Chukotka, and Wrangel Island to the east. This sea borders on the Laptev Sea to the west and the Chukchi Sea to the east.

Yana River river in Russia

The Yana River, is a river in Sakha in Russia, located between the Lena to the west and the Indigirka to the east.

Siberian Tatars

Siberian Tatars are a Turkic ethnic group indigenous to Siberia.

Siberian natural resources refers to resources found in Russian Siberia, in the North Asian Mainland. The Siberian region is rich in resources, including coal, oil and metal ores

Ural (region) Region of Russia

Ural is a geographical region located around the Ural Mountains, between the East European and West Siberian plains. It is considered a part of Eurasian Steppe, extending approximately from the North to the South; from the Arctic Ocean to the end of Ural River near Orsk city. The border between Europe and Asia runs along the Eastern side of the Ural Mountains. Ural mostly lies within Russia but also includes a small part of Northwestern Kazakhstan. This is a historical, not an official entity, with borders overlapping its Western Volga and Eastern Siberia neighboring regions. At some point in the past, parts of the currently existing Ural region were considered a gateway to Siberia, or even Siberia itself, and were combined with the Volga administrative divisions. Today, there are two official namesake entities; the Ural Federal District and the Ural economic region. While the latter follows the historical borders, the former is a political product; the District omits Western Ural and includes Western Siberia instead.

Geographically, Siberia includes the Russian Urals, Siberian, and Far Eastern Federal Districts.

Indigenous peoples of Siberia

Including the Russian Far East, the population of Siberia numbers just above 40 million people. As a result of the 17th to 19th century Russian conquest of Siberia and the subsequent population movements during the Soviet era, the demographics of Siberia today is dominated by native speakers of Russian. There remain a considerable number of indigenous groups, between them accounting for below 10% of total Siberian population, which are also genetically related to indigenous peoples of the Americas.

Siberian River Routes were the main ways of communication in the Russian Siberia before the 1730s, when roads began to be built. The rivers also were of primary importance in the process of Russian exploration and colonization of vast Siberian territories. Since the three great Siberian rivers, Ob River, Yenisei River and Lena River all flow into the Arctic Ocean, the problem was to find parts or branches of these rivers that flow approximately east-west and find short portages between them. Since Siberia is relatively flat, portages were usually short. Because of this, and the weakness of the Siberian tribes, Russian Cossacks were able to expand from the Urals to the Pacific in only 57 years (1582-1639).

Geology of Russia regional geology of Russia

The geology of Russia, the world's largest country, which extends over much of northern Eurasia, consists of several stable cratons and sedimentary platforms bounded by orogenic (mountain) belts.

Central Siberia Nature Reserve Biosphere reserve in Russian Federation | designated in 1986

Central Siberia Nature Reserve is a Russian 'zapovednik'. With over 1 million hectares of protected area, it is one of the largest forest reserves in the world. The reserve is located in the middle Yenisei River and Podkamennaya Tunguska River valleys, of the Central Siberian Plateau. Notably, the territory covers both banks of the Yenisei for over 60 km. The reserve is situated in the Turukhansky District of Krasnoyarsk Krai.

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