The Republic of Buryatia

The Republic
of Buryatia

Buryatia is mainly mountainous region, with a small number of plains. A large part of Lake Baikal - the deepest freshwater lake in the world - is located in the territory of Buryatia. Farmland occupies one third of the region. Buryats grow wheat, rye, oats, buckwheat, corn, rapeseed, potatoes, and other vegetables.

The administrative center is the city of Ulan-Ude

Area 164 673 km².

Population 1 913 037 people (2018).

Population density 11,62 people per km² (2018)

Web site: www.egov-buryatia.ru

Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) Chukotka Autonomous Region Magadan Region Kamchatka Krai Sakhalin Region Khabarovsk Krai Amur Region Primorsky Krai Jewish Autonomous Region Republic of Buryatia Zabaykalsky KraiRussian Far East

History

In 1917, the first national autonomy of Buryats, Buryat-Mongolia, was formed. The Buryat-Mongolian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic with its capital in the city of Verkhneudinsk was created in 1923. This year is considered the year of formation of the Republic of Buryatia. In 1934, the city of Verkhneudinsk was renamed Ulan-Ude. In 1958, the Buryat-Mongolian ASSR was renamed the Buryat ASSR, in 1992 the Republic of Buryatia.

As the federal districts of Russia were formed in 2000, Buryatia was included into Siberian Federal District. In November 2018, the republic was transferred to the Far Eastern Federal District.

Physical and geographical characteristics

The Republic of Buryatia is located in the center of Eurasia, in the southern part of the Eastern Siberia, to the south and east of Lake Baikal.

In the west, north and east it borders the subjects of the Russian Federation the Republic of Tuva, Irkutsk Region and Zabaykalsky Krai. The southern border of Buryatia with Mongolia is the state border of the Russian Federation.

The Republic of Buryatia is a part of the mountainous zone with a high zonality and occupies large area in the south of the Eastern Siberia. Its relief features massive mountain ranges with vast, deep, and sometimes almost closed intermountain basins. The area of the mountains is 4 times greater than the area of lowlands.

The southern Buryatia with its Selengin medium-high mountains covers a significant part of the basin of Selengi River the largest waterway of Baikal, including all its major tributaries.

Time zone

Time zone UTC/GMT +8

Natural resources

More than 30 000 rivers with the total length of about 150 thousand km flow in the territory of the republic; there are 35 000 lakes with the total water-surface area of 1785 square km.

The greatest reservoirs in the region are Gusinoye Lake, Bolshoye Yeravnoye, Maloye Yeravnoye, Baunt. The greatest share (60% of the shore line) of Lake Baikal - the deepest freshwater lake in the world - is located in the territory of Buryatia. The length of Baikal makes 636 km; its width ranges from 25 to 79 km. The maximum depth makes 1637 m. About 350 rivers flow into Lake Baikal, one river (Angara River) flows from it.

There are more than 600 different mineral deposits in the republic. Subsoil of Buryatia contains 48% of the balance reserves of zinc in Russia, 24% of lead, 37% of molybdenum, 27% of tungsten, 16% of fluorspar.

The total wood reserve makes 2 billion m3.

Wild crop reserves: Pine nut - 20 200 tons, bracken - 114 tons, wild rosemary - 35 tons, mushrooms - 128 tons, cowberries - 900 tons, currants - 150 tons.

Climate

The climate of Buryatia is distinctly continental. The winter is cold, with dry frost. The main snowfall occurs in November-December. The second half of the winter is has little snow. The spring is windy, with prevailing northwest winds, light frosts, and almost no precipitation. The summer is short, with hot days and cool nights, with heavy rainfall in July and August. The autumn comes imperceptibly, without a sharp change of weather; in some years it is long and warm. The daily mean temperature in summer makes +26C; the daily mean in winter makes -25C. And the average annual temperature is -1.6C. Annual precipitation rate makes 244 mm.

Basically, the climate is affected by three contrasting components: dry and cold climate in the northern regions, hot and dry climate of the Mongolian deserts, and humid Pacific climate.

Flora and fauna

Buryatia has unique and diverse flora and fauna. Most of the territory of Buryatia is covered by forests (83% of the area); these are light coniferous forests of Scotch pine, Siberian larch, birch, small-leaved tree species. The forests are rich in wild berries: billberries, blueberries, currants, raspberries, cowberries, honeysuckle. Medicinal herbs: thyme, tansy, bergenia, thermopsis, yarrow, ledum, bird cherry tree, hawthorn, dog rose, burnet, willow herb, juniper, dandelion, fern, wormwood sage, rhubarb, licorice, cumin, field horsetail, shelf fungus, ramson, celandine, etc.

Lake Baikal and the surrounding area are the natural habitat for 2500 different species of animals and fishes. Seal is the symbol of Baikal. The secret of origin of this freshwater seal in the lake has not been unravelled yet.

Taiga animals include sable, squirrel, fox, Siberian weasel, ermine, lynx, roe deer, musk deer , Manchurian deer, elk, wild boar, bear.

Population

The urban population accounts for about 60% of the total population of the republic; about one third of the population lives in the capital of the republic. The indigenous peoples of the republic are Buryats, Evenks, and Soyots.

Administrative and territorial division

In Buryatia, there are 287 municipal formations including: 21 municipal districts, 2 urban districts, 4 cities of district subordination which include 12 urban settlements, 240 rural settlements.

The number of villages makes 615.

Economy

The republic's industry is formed by mechanical engineering and metalworking, power engineering, fuel, non-ferrous, light, food, forestry, woodworking, and pulp and paper industries, production of building materials.

Mechanical engineering and metalworking include enterprises producing helicopters, airplanes and spare parts for aircraft, AC motors, process equipment for light industry, devices and automation equipment, household appliances, welded steel structures.

Non-ferrous metallurgy includes gold mining industry; power engineering - generation of electric and thermal power; fuel industry - extraction of hard coal and brown coal.

The enterprises of the forestry complex are focused on production of commercial wood, board lumber, pulp, container board, paper.

Agriculture is the one of the most important economy sectors of the republic. Cultivation is carried out in the areas relating to zones of extreme, risky agriculture. Most developed sectors are animal husbandry and crops cultivation; these are the traditional activities of indigenous people.

The role of tourism is constantly growing in the republic. Its development is caused by a number of factors: convenient geographical location, transport communication connecting the republic with the regions of Russia and the foreign countries, relatively stable ecological situation, unique and diverse cultural heritage, increasing popularity of Baikal in the tourism market.

Education

In the Republic of Buryatia, there are 456 schools, 26 institutions of secondary vocational education, 4 universities: East-Siberian State University of Technology and Management, East-Siberian State Institute of Culture, Buryat State University, V.R.Filippova Buryat State Agricultural Academy.

Culture

The European and the Asian lifestyle and world outlook blend in Buryatia; this process has numerous reflections in art and culture of the republic, which makes it unique in the world space.

The National Museum of Buryatia is the treasury of the main archaeological finds related to the culture of Huns at the stage of its formation.

The hallmark of the republic has always been the G.T.Tsydynzhapov Buryat State Academic Opera and Ballet Theater. It remains the most Eastern theatre of the classical musical art in Russia and is the national heritage of Buryatia and the entire Russia.

Buryat State National Theatre of Song and Dance Baikal is another one famous theater of the republic which is widely known in many countries of the world. Performances of this unique troupe combine songs and dances of the Buryats and other peoples living in the republic, as well as dances of the Asian peoples.

Religion

Historically, the spiritual field of society's life was formed in Buryatia under the mutual influence of Buddhism, shamanism of indigenous peoples, and the Old Belief. Since ancient times, Buryats and Evenks have been shamanists. Christianity in the form of Orthodoxy and the Old Belief came to Transbaikalia with the Russian explorers of this land - the Cossacks. In 1741, Buddhism was recognized as the legal religion for the Buryat. The center of Buddhism in Russia - Ivolginsky datsann (temple) - is located in Buryatia.

In the Republic of Buryatia, there are 190 registered religious associations including: 71 - Orthodox, 51 - Buddhist, 43 - Protestant, 6 - Old Believers and Old Orthodox, 3 - Shamanic associations, 1 - Catholic, Muslim, Jewish, Bahai, Krishnaist.