Udmurtia: Wikis


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Udmurt Republic (English)
Удмуртская Республика (Russian)
Удмурт Республика  (Udmurt)
Map of Russia - Udmurt Republic (2008-03).svg
Coordinates: n/a
Coat of Arms Flag
Coat of arms of Udmurtia.svg
Coat of arms of Udmurtia
Flag of Udmurtia.svg
Flag of Udmurtia
Anthem: National Anthem of the Udmurt Republic
Capital Izhevsk
Established November 4, 1920
Political status Republic
Federal District Volga[1]
Economic region Urals[2]
Area[3] 42,100 km2 (16,254.9 sq mi)
- Rank within Russia 57th
ISO 3166-2:RU
Population (as of the 2002 Census)
Population[4] 1,570,316 inhabitants
- Rank within Russia 29th
- Density 37.3 /km2 (96.6/sq mi)
- Urban[4] 69.7%
- Rural[4] 30.3%
Official language(s) Russian, Udmurt[5]
Government (as of November 2008)
President[6] Alexander Volkov[7]
Legislative body State Council[6]
Constitution Constitution of the Udmurt Republic
Official website

Udmurt Republic (Russian: Удму́ртская Pеспу́блика; Udmurt: Удмурт Республика) or Udmurtia (Удму́ртия) is a federal subject of Russia (a republic). The direct romanization of the Republic's Russian name is Udmurtskaya Respublika or Udmurtiya; Udmurt name: Udmurt Respublika. Its size is almost 42,000 km² with a population of 1,600,000. Its capital is Izhevsk.



Udmurtia is located in the eastern portion of the Eastern European Plain, between the Kama and Vyatka Rivers.

Kind Polity or geographical feature Direction
Internal Kirov Oblast SW/W/NW/N
Perm Krai NE/E
Republic of Bashkortostan SE
Republic of Tatarstan S/SW
Water Votkinsk Reservoir E
  • Highest point: 332 m (1,089 ft)
  • Maximum N->S distance:320 km (200 mi)
  • Maximum E->W distance: 200 km (120 mi)


Major rivers include:


While there are no large lakes in the Republic, Votkinskoye Reservoir is partially located on its territory.

Natural resources

Udmurtia's natural resources include oil, peat, mineral waters, and more. Oil reserves are estimated to be 820 million tons (as of 2002). Approximately 7–8 million tons are extracted annually. Most of the oil is exported.

Forests cover over 40% of the Republic's territory. Most of the forests are coniferous.


Udmurtia has moderate continental climate, with warm summers and cold winters with a lot of snow.

Average temperatures
Month Average temperature
January −14.5 °C (5.9 °F)
July 18.3 °C (64.9 °F)

Administrative divisions


Census 2002

  • Population: 1,570,316
  • Urban Pop: 1,094,338
  • Urban percentage: 69.7%
  • Rural Pop: 475,978
  • Rural percentage: 30.3%
  • Male percentage: 46.2%
  • Female percentage: 53.7%
  • Females per 1000 males:1,160
  • Average age: 35.8
  • Average age, Urban: 35.6
  • Average age, Rural: 36.1
  • Average age, Male: 32.8
  • Average age, Female: 38.4
  • TFR: 1.613 children per women. (2008)
  • Urban TFR: 1.395 children per women. (2008)
  • Rural TFR: 2.214 children per women. (2008)
  • Vital statistics
Source: Russian Federal State Statistics Service
Births Deaths Birth rate Death rate
1970 23,286 13,265 16.4 9.3
1975 26,497 14,666 18.2 10.1
1980 27,601 16,862 18.3 11.2
1985 29,343 17,553 18.8 11.2
1990 24,345 15,816 15.1 9.8
1991 22,213 16,002 13.7 9.9
1992 20,074 18,063 12.4 11.1
1993 17,126 21,923 10.6 13.5
1994 16,874 24,183 10.4 14.9
1995 15,484 22,445 9.6 13.9
1996 14,877 20,641 9.2 12.8
1997 15,368 19,881 9.6 12.4
1998 16,130 19,080 10.1 11.9
1999 15,793 20,745 9.9 13.0
2000 16,256 21,852 10.2 13.7
2001 16,636 22,810 10.5 14.4
2002 17,746 24,520 11.3 15.6
2003 17,982 24,571 11.5 15.7
2004 18,238 23,994 11.7 15.4
2005 17,190 24,006 11.1 15.5
2006 17,480 22,011 11.3 14.3
2007 19,667 21,727 12.8 14.2
2008 20,421 21,436 13.3 14.0

Ethnic groups

According to the 2002 Census, Russians make up 60.1% of the republic's population, while the ethnic Udmurts only make up 29.3%. Other groups include Tatars (7.0%), Ukrainians (11,527, or 0.7%), Mari (8,985, or 0.6%), and a host of smaller groups, each accounting for less than 0.5% of the republic's total population. 2,957 people (0.2%) did not indicate their nationalities during the Census.

Ethnic group census 1926 census 1939 census 1959 census 1970 census 1979 census 1989 census 2002
Udmurts 395,607 (52.3%) 480,014 (39.4%) 475,913 (35.6%) 484,168 (34.2%) 479,702 (32.1%) 496,522 (30.9%) 460,584 (29.3%)
Besermyan 9,200 (1.2%) 2,998 (0.2%)
Russians 327,493 (43.3) 679,294 (55.7%) 758,770 (56.8%) 809,563 (57.1%) 870,270 (58.3%) 945,216 (58.9%) 944,108 (60.1%)
Tatars 19,248 (2.5%) 40,561 (3.3%) 71,930 (5.4%) 87,150 (6.1%) 99,139 (6.6%) 110,490 (6.9%) 109,218 (7.0%)
Others 4,716 (0.6%) 19,481 (1.6%) 30,314 (2.3%) 36,794 (2.6%) 43,061 (2.9%) 53,435 (3.3%) 53,408 (3.4%)

Over two thirds of the world population of Udmurts live in Udmurtia.[8]

Although as of 2007 population is declining, the decline is more pronounced in Urban areas. Out of the 19,667 births reported in 2007, 12,631 were in urban areas(11.86 per 1000) and 7,036 were in rural areas(14.88 per 1000). Birth rates for rural areas are 25% higher than that of urban areas. Of the total of 21,727 deaths, 14,366 were reported in urban areas(13.49 per 1000) and 7,361 were in rural areas(15.56 per 1000). Natural decline of population was measured at -0.16% for urban areas and an insignificant -0.07% for rural areas(Average for Russia is -0.33%). [1]


Map of Udmurtia

Udmurt means literally "field people". The Udmurts are first mentioned in written history by Herodotos by the Greek name of "Budini" who lived around the Volga and Kama rivers. The name Budins is a variant of "Vodins" and is derived from place names. The Vodins never formed any state, only a loose league between the Udmurt tribes. The Udmurts lived close to the Scythians and even some Greeks, Gelons, had settled as fur traders among the Udmurts. There were many fortified wooden settlements along the Kama and Vitka (Viatka) rivers inhabited by Udmurts.

By the time of the Roman Empire, the Udmurts had settled in the Volga bend area and they are also mentioned by the Greek historian Strabo who mentions new settlers from east appearing in Bohemia called Zumis and Butonis.

During the time of Turkic - Mongol - Hun invasion of Europe some Udmurt tribes joined the Sarmatians in the great "Folk-Wandering" and settled in the Vistula basin c. 100-300 CE. They were mentioned by Ptolemy c. 150 CE.

Middle Ages

Udmurts are also mentioned by Arab historians Ibn Fadhlan (921) and Abu-Said al-Balchi (950) as neighbouring people of Idel river Bolgars. In 981, Prince Vladimir of Kiev started a war against the Vjatitsi (which literally means "Udmurts living in the Vitka river valley") tribes. Next year they rebelled again against Kievan Rus rule. Vladimir deported all the most powerful and richest tribal chiefs to southern area held by Kievan Rus. One of these tribal chiefs was Arbegs or Arpek. (The name itself means Ar = Udmurt in Old Tatar language. Finno-Ugrian names did not have soft b during that period. It came later from the Russian language. Pek is presumably place name.) From this started the ethnic cleansing of Finno-Ugric tribes in the Oka, Vitka (Viatka) and Kama rivers area. During the 1000–1200 the Udmurts rebelled continuously against the Kievan Russian rule. Prince Vladimir Monomak tried to crush the waves of rebellion, but had to fight a hard battle in 1200 against the Udmurt Vjatitsi chief Chodota. The first Orthodox missionary monk from Kiev was murdered. Many Udmurts avoided the Slav expansion and moved away to the Unsa, Vetluga, Suhona and Sheksna river valleys where they later were mixed with Komi-murts.

During the Mongol invasion of Volga Bulgaria of 1237 the Mongols also conquered land where most of the Udmurts lived. They had to pay annual taxes to the Khan of Kazan, who did not otherwise intervene in Udmurt tribal society. The Udmurts joined Tatars in the "Battle of Kulikovo" in 1380 and many thousands of Udmurts perished. The Khan of Kazan sent an army against the Udmurts in 1452 but the Tatars found it very difficult to conquer the Udmurts. Instead Khan of Kazan made an alliance with Udmurts.

In 1466 the Udmurts attacked the Russians in the Vitka river valley. In 1500 Russians called Udmurts "Arjaans". By this time some Udmurt tribes were mixed with Tatars and these people still using Udmurt language, were called Besermaans, in Udmurt Busurmans. The Mordvins called Udmurts "Odo". From this name the Russians derived their second alternative name for Udmurts, Otjans (Otjaki) or Otiny. This derived later to form Votjaki. The Udmurts fought with Tatars against the Muscovite Princes up to 1552 when the Khanate of Kazan was conquered and destroyed by the Russians. The territory of modern Udmurtia was divided after 1552 between the Kazan and Vyatka Governorates (guberniyas). In 1553–1557 Udmurts rebelled against the Russians. In 1582 a new rebellion took place. The Russians had to make from Moscow an armed venture against the Udmurt rebels. A new revolt started again in 1592 together with Maris. In 1609 Udmurts took part in a rebellion and conquered in 1612 for a short period Kazan together with Tatars. The next uprising took place when Udmurts joined the Stenka Razin rebellion in 1667–1671. However, the Russians still considered Udmurts dangerous enough that it was ordered in 1697 not to sell any iron which could be used to arm the Udmurt population. The last large scale uprising took place in 1773–1774 when Udmurts joined the Yemelyan Pugachyov's rebellion.

20th century

The first industrial enterprise in Udmurtia was the state owned Votkinsk Zavod founded as a weapons arsenal on the west bank of the river Kama. In 1917 Udmurts joined the short lived Idel-Ural League which was dissolved in December 1918. Since then a massive Russification took place. On November 4, 1920 Votsk Autonomous Oblast was formed. On January 1, 1932, Votsk Autonomous Oblast was renamed Udmurt Autonomous Oblast, which was then reorganized into the Udmurt ASSR on December 28, 1934. In Stalin's Great Purge of 1937–1938 the murder of most of Udmurt's intellectuals had its effects on Udmurt society. During the Great Patriotic War of 1941–1945 many industrial factories were evacuated from Ukraine and western borderlands to Udmurtia, considerably increasing the ethnic Russian population in Udmurtia.

see* Labour camp Karkalai 1952

The Udmurt Republic in its present form has existed since September 20, 1990.


The head of government in Udmurtia is the President, who is elected for a five-year term. As of 2008, the president is Alexander Volkov, who assumed his post on November 3, 2000. Prior to the elections, Volkov was the Chairman of the Republic's Council—the highest post at that time.

The Republic's parliament is the State Council, popularly elected every five years. The State Council has 100 deputies.

The Republic's constitution was adopted on December 7, 1994.


Udmurtia is an industrialized republic. The most developed industries include machine building, chemical, and oil and gas industries. Udmurtia also benefited from the transfer of defense industry production during World War II. Izhevsk is the home to the Izhmash factory (AKA Izhmash Joint Stock Company) and Izhmech (AKA Izhevsky Mehanichesky Zavod); Izhmash being the primary manufacturer of Kalashnikov based weapon systems, and the 'home' of the AK-47 rifle. The Udmurt Republic is also home for other military technology factories, and also possesses a potential in electronics and nano technology industries.


In Udmurtia, there are eight professional theaters, the Philharmonic Society, and more than ten state and numerous public museums which tell about history and culture of Udmurtia and its people, like the Museum of history and culture in Sarapul, or the Tchaikovsky Museum in Votkinsk. One of the oldest arms museums is located in Izhevsk, as well as the newer Kalashnikov Museum (dedicated in November 2004), which has recently become a general small-arms museum. Since the breakup of the Soviet Union a new, pan-Finno-Ugric cultural movement has evolved called "Ethnofuturism". [2]


The most important facilities of higher education include the Udmurt State University, Izhevsk State Technical University, and Izhevsk State Medical Academy, all located in the capital Izhevsk.


The majority of the Republic's population is atheist or Russian Orthodox. Shamanism is also practiced.


  1. ^ Госстандарт Российской Федерации. №ОК 024-95 27 декабря 1995 г. «Общероссийский классификатор экономических регионов. 1. Федеральные округа», в ред. Изменения №5/2001 ОКЭР. (Gosstandart of the Russian Federation. #OK 024-95 December 27, 1995 Russian Classification of Economic Regions. 1. Federal Districts, as amended by the Amendment #5/2001 OKER. ).
  2. ^ Госстандарт Российской Федерации. №ОК 024-95 27 декабря 1995 г. «Общероссийский классификатор экономических регионов. 2. Экономические районы», в ред. Изменения №5/2001 ОКЭР. (Gosstandart of the Russian Federation. #OK 024-95 December 27, 1995 Russian Classification of Economic Regions. 2. Economic Regions, as amended by the Amendment #5/2001 OKER. ).
  3. ^ Федеральная служба государственной статистики (Federal State Statistics Service) (2004-05-21). "Территория, число районов, населённых пунктов и сельских администраций по субъектам Российской Федерации (Territory, Number of Districts, Inhabited Localities, and Rural Administration by Federal Subjects of the Russian Federation)" (in Russian). Всероссийская перепись населения 2002 года (All-Russia Population Census of 2002). Federal State Statistics Service. http://perepis2002.ru/ct/html/TOM_01_03.htm. Retrieved 2008-10-17.  
  4. ^ a b c Федеральная служба государственной статистики (Federal State Statistics Service) (2004-05-21). "Численность населения России, субъектов Российской Федерации в составе федеральных округов, районов, городских поселений, сельских населённых пунктов – районных центров и сельских населённых пунктов с населением 3 тысячи и более человек (Population of Russia, its federal districts, federal subjects, districts, urban localities, rural localities—administrative centers, and rural localities with population of over 3,000)" (in Russian). Всероссийская перепись населения 2002 года (All-Russia Population Census of 2002). Federal State Statistics Service. http://perepis2002.ru/ct/html/TOM_01_04_1.htm. Retrieved 2008-10-17.  
  5. ^ Constitution, Article 8
  6. ^ a b Constitution, Article 9.1
  7. ^ Official website of the Udmurt Republic. Alexander A. Volkov
  8. ^ "NUPI: Centre for Russian Studies". Norsk Utenrikspolitisk Institutt (NUPI). http://www.nupi.no/cgi-win/Russland/etnisk_b.exe?Udmurtian. Retrieved 2006-09-09.   Data from the Soviet census of 1989. The table at the bottom states that in "Udmurtiya"(the y is optional), the "% av gruppen"(% of total world population) is "69,46%" which is more or less two thirds.


  • №663-XII 7 декабря 1994 г. «Конституция Удмуртской Республики», в ред. Закона №62-РЗ от 22 ноября 2007 г. (#663-XII December 7, 1994 Constitution of the Udmurt Republic, as amended by the Law #62-RZ of November 22, 2007. ).

Further reading

  • Kalder, Daniel. Lost Cosmonaut: Observations of an Anti-tourist. Scribner Book Company. ISBN 0-7432-8994-3.
  • Shkliaev, Aleksandr; Eva Toulouze (March 2001). "The mass media and the national question in Udmurtia in the 1990s". Nationalities Papers 29 (1): 97–108. doi:10.1080/00905990120050811.  

External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Udmurtia is a region in the Upper Volga, bordering Kirov Oblast to the west and north, Perm to the east, Bashkortostan to the southeast, and Tatarstan to the south.

  • Izhevsk — the capital city is most famous for its weapons manufacturing, especially for its AK-47 factory, designed by native Mikhail Kalashnikov, who still resides in the city; be sure to visit the Udmurt Presidential Palace, the Kalashnikov Museum, and check out Italmas—an Udmurt folk theater and dance company
  • Glazov — a mid-sized industrial city on the Trans-Siberian Railway; there is an ancient Udmurt settlement, Idnakar, just outside the city that is worth investigating
  • Paravay — a small village that is a center of contemporary Udmurt shamanism
  • Sarapul — the second largest city in the region
  • Sep — a picturesque Udmurt village in the Udmurt National Cedar Forest
  • Sundur — this village is a stronghold of Udmurt national culture
  • Votkinsk — a mid-sized industrial city with a big ICBM plant and the birthplace of the great Russian composer Tchaikovsky


Udmurtia is named for its native Finno-Ugric Udmurt people, who have inhabited the Volga Region since at least the days of Ancient Greece. The majority of the Udmurt's recorded history has been devoted to fighting for survival and rebelling against their more powerful neighbors, the Mongols, Tatars, and Russians. But the Udmurts were perhaps finally subdued by the USSR, which purged most of the Udmurt nationalist intelligentsia and relocated large industries from Central Russia and with them large numbers of ethnic Russians, who now comprise the majority of the region's population while Udmurts now are represent only about a third.

The Udmurts are of especial interest to anyone interested in paganism—Udmurtia is one of Europe's last remaining strongholds of organized shamanism, despite its active repression under the Tsarist and Soviet governments. Travelers interested in Udmurtia's native religion should try to seek out a recent Udmurt film, "Shadow of Alangasar." Shamanist structures and sites persist to this day in isolated villages throughout the region.

Perhaps top on anyone's list of things to do in Udmurtia is to see the Udmurt national folk theater and dance company Italmas.


The Udmurt language shares official status with Russian, but you can expect that anyone you meet will be at least bilingual in Russian. Udmurt is a Finno-Ugric language closely related to Komi.

Get in

Flights arrive in Izhevsk from Moscow, Saint Petersburg, and Yekaterinburg. The flight from Moscow takes about 2 hours.

Trains run to Izhevsk from Moscow (daily, 18 hours), Saint Petersburg (~31 hours), Yekaterinburg (11 hours), Kazan (6 hours), and Perm (10 hours).

Glazov is a stop on the Trans-Siberian Railway.


Udmurtia would make an interesting destination (to say the least) for hunting, fishing, horseback riding, and hiking.


There are a few restaurants in Izhevsk where you can sample Udmurt cuisine, but outside of those, it should not be too hard to find some Udmurt pies (peperechi).


Try the Udmurt national drink, Kumiska.

Get out

The next stops on the Trans-Siberian Railway are Zuevka, Kirov Oblast to the west and Perm to the east.

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

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  1. A republic of Russia in the Caucasus region, with capital Izhevsk.

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