Russian Far East: Wikis

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Far Eastern Federal District (highlighted in red)

Russian Far East (Russian: Да́льний Восто́к Росси́и; pronounced [ˈdalʲnʲɪj vʌˈstok rʌˈsʲiɪ]) or Transbaikalia is a term that refers to the Russian part of the Far East, i.e., extreme east parts of Russia, between Lake Baikal in Central Siberia, and the Pacific Ocean. The Russian Far Eastern Federal District, which covers this area, should not be confused with the Siberian Federal District, which does not stretch all the way to the Pacific.

Contents

Terminology

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In Russia

In Russia, the region is usually referred to as just "Far East", creating potential confusion with the international meaning of Far East in translation. The latter is usually referred to in Russia as "the Asia-Pacific Region" (Азиатско-тихоокеанский регион, abbreviated to АТР), or "East Asia" (Восточная Азия).

Geographic Features

History

Early history

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.

Territory

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." Several entities with the name "Far East" had existed in the first half of the 20th century, all with rather different boundaries:

From 1938 to 2000, there was no official entity with this name and the term "Far East" was used loosely, much like "the West" in the United States.

In 2000, Russia's federal subjects were grouped into larger federal districts, and Far Eastern Federal District was created, comprising Amur Oblast, Chukotka Autonomous Okrug, Jewish Autonomous Oblast, Kamchatka Oblast, Koryak Autonomous Okrug, Khabarovsk Krai, Magadan Oblast, Primorsky Krai, Sakha (Yakutia) Republic, and Sakhalin Oblast. Since 2000, the term "Far East" has been increasingly used in Russia to refer to the 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 kilometers—over one-third of the Russia's total area.

Demographics

Population

According to the 2002 Census, Far Eastern Federal District had a population of 6,692,865. Most of it is concentrated in the southern parts. Given the vast territory of the Russian Far East, 6.7 million people translates to slightly more 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 has 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.

Ethnic Russians and Ukrainians make up the majority of the population.

75% of the population is urban. The largest cities are (all population figures are as of the 2002 Census):

Traditional ethnic groups

The original population groups of the Russian Far East include (grouped by language group):

See also

References

External links


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Europe : Russia : Russian Far East
Volcano on the Kamchatka Peninsula
Volcano on the Kamchatka Peninsula

Far Eastern Russia (Дальний Восток России Dalniy Vostok Rossii) is the easternmost part of Russia, comprising its Pacific Ocean islands, coastline and a swathe of eastern Siberia.


Amur Oblast
Chukotka
Jewish Autonomous Oblast
Kamchatka
Khabarovsk Krai
Kuril Islands
Magadan Oblast
Primorsky Krai
Sakhalin
Yakutia
  • Atlasov Island — a volcanic island renowned for the pure beauty of its perfect conical shape
  • The National Parks of Kamchatka — some of the most stunning landscapes in the world, full of volcanoes, geysers, and lakes of acid.
  • Kolyma — the terrifying Soviet gulag system of Siberia's coldest, remotest, and most hopeless mining region
  • Oymyakon — the coldest place on earth outside Antarctica, in the heart of Yakutia
  • The Sikhote-Alin mountain range — the region home to the famous Amur Tiger as well as an enormous meteorite crash site, and designated a UNESCO World Heritage site for its diverse ecosystems ranging from Siberian to subtropical.
  • Wrangel Island — an arctic island and UNESCO World Heritage site at the end of the earth, of dramatic mountainous tundra landscapes, biodiversity, walruses, grey whales, and the world's highest concentration of polar bear dens.

Understand

The Russian Far East is extraordinarily far from Russia's major population centers in Europe and is usually visited separately, unless by the Trans-Siberian Railway. The largest city in the region, Vladivostok, is a full seven time zones away from Moscow, with 9,300 km of railroad between them. The Far East is very different from popular conceptions of Russia—it is very mountainous and has an often spectacular Pacific coastline.

If time and money are not constraints, the highlights of this massive region include the city of Vladivostok, the beautiful Kuril Islands, the otherworldly National Parks of Kamchatka, cruising along the coast of Chukotka, and big game hunting in the wildlife paradise of Yakutia.

Talk

There are a good number of Finnic and Chukutko-Kamchatkan languages spoken throughout the more northerly regions of the Far East. Korean is also widely spoken in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk by the Sakhalin Koreans. But, as in all of Russia, Russian is the principal language and is spoken by nearly everyone, regardless of their first language. Chinese and Japanese are common foreign languages in the nearby border regions of Russia, but European languages are far less widespread than in European Russian and travelers should not expect to rely on them.

Get in

The principal transit hubs, with good sized international airports, are Khabarovsk, Vladivostok, and to a lesser extent Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. In general, you will either arrive by plane or the Trans-Siberian Railway. But it is also possible to arrive by boat from Alaska and Japan to destinations on the Russian Pacific coast.

Get around

Distances between cities and towns in the Russian Far East are huge and infrastructure is lacking. A combination of using the Trans-Siberian Railway, the Baikal-Amur Mainline, and for destinations off the rail system, domestic flights, will get you around the majority, but not the entirety, of the region. In particular, Northeastern Russia is almost entirely without interregional transportation infrastructure and is off the Russian rail network—the one exception is the long, lonely, (and extremely dangerous) country roads connecting Yakutsk to Magadan. Heading north from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky by road will only take you as far as Palana; from Palana onwards, overland travel becomes wilderness adventure.

Get out

The Russian Far East borders Mongolia and China to the south, North Korea and Japan to the southeast, and Alaska to the northeast, and there is transport available to all of them from nearby regions in the Far East.

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