Republic of Karelia
|o Finnish||Karjalan tasavalta|
|o Olonets Karelian||Karjalan tazavaldu|
|o Karelian Proper||Karjalan tasavalta|
|o Vepsian||Karjalan tazovaldkund|
|Anthem: Anthem of the Republic of Karelia|
|o Body||Legislative Assembly|
|o Head||Artur Parfenchikov|
|o Total||172,400 km2 (66,600 sq mi)|
| o Estimate |
|o Density||3.7/km2 (9.7/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+3 (MSK )|
|ISO 3166 code||RU-KR|
The Republic of Karelia (Russian: , tr. Respublika Kareliya, IPA: [r'spublk? k?'r?el(j)?]; Karelian: Karjalan tazavaldu; Finnish: Karjalan tasavalta; Veps: Karjalan Tazovaldkund), or Karelia (Russian: , ; Karelian: Karjal), is a republic of Russia situated in Northern Europe. The republic is a part of the Northwestern Federal District, and covers an area of 172,400 square kilometres (66,600 square miles), with a population of roughly 650,000 residents. Its capital is Petrozavodsk.
The modern Karelian Republic was founded as an autonomous republic within the Russian SFSR by the Resolution of the Presidium of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee (VTsIK) of June 27, 1923, and by the Decree of the VTsIK and the Council of People's Commissars of July 25, 1923, from the Karelian Labour Commune.
From 1940 to 1956, it was known as the Karelo-Finnish Soviet Socialist Republic, one of the union republics in the Soviet Union. In 1956, it was once again an autonomous republic and remains part of Russia after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991.
The republic is in the northwestern part of Russia, between the White and Baltic Seas. The White Sea has a shoreline of 630 kilometers (390 mi). It has an area of 172,400 km2 (66,600 sq mi). It shares internal borders with Murmansk Oblast (north), Arkhangelsk Oblast (east/south-east), Vologda Oblast (south-east/south), and Leningrad Oblast (south/south-west), and it also borders Finland (Kainuu, Lapland, North Karelia, Northern Ostrobothnia, and South Karelia); the borders measure 723 km. The main bodies of water next to Karelia are the White Sea (an inlet of the Barents Sea) to the north-east and Lake Onega and Lake Ladoga both shared with neighboring Oblasts to the south. Its highest point is the Nuorunen peak at 576 m (1,890 ft).
As a part of the Fennoscandian Shield's ancient Karelian craton, most of the Republic of Karelia's surficial geology is Archaean or Paleoproterozoic, dated up to 3.4 billion years in the Vodlozero block. This area is the largest contiguous Archaean outcrop in Europe and one of the largest in the world.
Since deglaciation, the rate of post-glacial rebound in the Republic of Karelia has varied. Since the White Sea connected to the World's oceans uplift along the southern coast of Kandalaksha Gulf has totaled 90 m. In the interval 9,500-5,000 years ago the uplift rate was 9-13 mm/yr. Prior to the Atlantic period uplift rate had decreased to 5-5.5 mm/yr, to then rise briefly before arriving at the present uplift rate is 4 mm/yr.
There are 60,000 lakes in Karelia. The republic's lakes and swamps contain about 2,000 km³ of high-quality fresh water. Lake Ladoga (Finnish: Laatokka) and Lake Onega (Ääninen) are the largest lakes in Europe. Other lakes include:
White Sea coast:
In Lake Onega:
In Lake Ladoga:
The majority of the republic's territory (148,000 km2 (57,000 sq mi), or 85%) is composed of state forest stock. The total growing stock of timber resources in the forests of all categories and ages is 807 million m³. The mature and over-mature tree stock amounts to 411.8 million m³, of which 375.2 million m³ is coniferous.
The Republic of Karelia is located in the Atlantic continental climate zone. The average temperature in January is -8.0 °C (17.6 °F) and +16.4 °C (61.5 °F) in July. Average annual precipitation is 500-700 mm.
The Karelian people and culture developed during the Viking Age in the region to the west of Lake Ladoga. The Karelians' alliance with Novgorod developed into domination by the latter in the 13th century. Around this time, Sweden's interest in Karelia began a centuries-long struggle with Novgorod (later Russia) that resulted in numerous border changes following the many wars fought between the two.
From 1940, it was made into the Karelo-Finnish SSR, incorporating the Finnish Democratic Republic which nominally operated in those parts of Finnish Karelia that were occupied by the Soviet Union during the Winter War. Annexed territories were incorporated into Karelo-Finnish SSR, but after the Second World War, the Karelian Isthmus was incorporated into the Leningrad Oblast. The status of Karelo-Finnish SSR was changed back to the Karelian ASSR in 1956.
In 1941, Finland occupied large parts of the area but was forced to withdraw in 1944. Though Finland is not currently pursuing any measures to reclaim Karelian lands ceded to Russia, the "Karelian question" remains a topic present in Finnish politics. The autonomous Republic of Karelia in its present form was formed on 13 November 1991.
The highest executive authority in the Republic of Karelia is the Head of the Republic. The acting Head of the Republic is Artur Parfenchikov, who was appointed in February 2017.
The parliament of the Republic of Karelia is the Legislative Assembly comprising fifty deputies elected for a four-year term.
The Constitution of the Republic of Karelia was adopted on February 12, 2001.
Largest cities or towns in the Republic of Karelia
2010 Russian Census
|4||Kostomuksha||Town of republic significance of Kostomuksha||28,436|
|5||Sortavala||Town of republic significance of Sortavala||19,235|
|Average population (x 1000)||Live births||Deaths||Natural change||Crude birth rate (per 1000)||Crude death rate (per 1000)||Natural change (per 1000)||Fertility rates|
According to the 2010 Census, ethnic Russians make up 82.2% of the republic's population, ethnic Karelians 7.4%. Other groups include Belarusians (3.8%), Ukrainians (2%), Finns (1.4%), Vepsians (0.5%), and a host of smaller groups, each accounting for less than 0.5% of the total population.
|1926 census||1939 census||1959 census||1970 census||1979 census||1989 census||2002 census||2010 census1|
|1 25,880 people were registered from administrative databases, and could not declare an ethnicity. It is estimated that the proportion of ethnicities in this group is the same as that of the declared group.|
Currently Russian is the only official language of the republic. Karelian, Veps, and Finnish are officially recognized languages of the republic since 2004, and their survival is promoted. Finnish was the second official language of Karelia from the Winter War 1940 (annex of Finnish territories) up until the 1980s when perestroika began. Thereafter there were suggestions to raise Karelian as the second official language, but they were repeatedly turned down.
The Karelians have traditionally been Russian Orthodox. Lutheranism was brought to the area by the Finnish immigrants during Sweden's conquest of Karelia and was common in regions that then belonged to Finland. Some Lutheran parishes remain in Karelia.
According to a 2012 survey, 27% of the population of Karelia adheres to the Russian Orthodox Church, 2% are unaffiliated Christians, and 1% are members of Protestant churches. In addition, 44% of the population declared to be "spiritual but not religious", 18% is atheist, and 8% follows other religions or did not give an answer to the question.
Karelia's gross regional product (GRP) in 2007 was 109.5 billion rubles. This amounts to 151,210 rubles per capita, which is somewhat lower than the national average of 198,817 rubles. The Karelian economy's GRP in 2010 was estimated at 127733.8 million rubles.
Industrial activity in Karelia is dominated by the forest and wood processing sector. Timber logging is carried out by a large number of small enterprises whereas pulp and paper production is concentrated in five large enterprises, which produce about a quarter of Russia's total output of paper. Three largest companies in the pulp and paper sector in 2001 were: OAO Kondopoga (sales of $209.4 mln in 2001), Segezha Pulp and Paper Mill ($95.7 mln) and OAO Pitkjaranta Pulp Factory ($23.7 mln).
In 2007, extractive industries (including extraction of metal ores) amounted to 30% of the republic's industrial output. There are about 53 mining companies in Karelia, employing more than 10,000 people. One of the most important companies in the sector is AO Karelian Pellet, which is the 5th largest of Russia's 25 mining and ore dressing enterprises involved in ore extraction and iron ore concentrate production. Other large companies in the sector were OAO Karelnerud, Mosavtorod State Unitary Enterprise, and Pitkjaranta Mining Directorate State Unitary Enterprise.
Processing industries contributed 56,4% of the overall production in 2007. The latter figure includes pulp-and-paper (23.6%), metals and metal-working (7.9%), woodworking (7.1%), foodstuffs (5.8%) and machine-building (3.9%). Production and distribution of electricity, natural gas and water made up 13.6% of the region's output.
There is a federal railway (see Murmansk Railway) across Karelia that connects Murmansk Region with St. Petersburg, Moscow, the center of Russia and with Finland. The railroad crosses Petrozavodsk, Kondopoga.
Karelia has a relatively well-developed network of transport infrastructure. Water communications connect Karelia with the Barents, Baltic, Black, and Caspian Seas through the system of rivers, lakes, and canals. A federal railway (see Murmansk Railway) and automobile highways cross Karelia and connect Murmansk Region and Murmansk seaport with St. Petersburg, Moscow, the center of Russia and with Finland. Regular airline service connects Petrozavodsk with Joensuu and Helsinki in Finland. A fast fiber-optic cable link connecting Finnish Kuhmo and Karelian Kostomuksha was built in 2007, providing fast telecommunications.
The Republic's main export partners in 2001 were Finland (32% of total exports), Germany (7%), Netherlands (7%) and the United Kingdom (6%). Main export products were lumber (over 50%), iron ore pellets (13-15%) paper and cardboard (6-9%) and sawn timber with (5-7%). Many of Karelia's companies have received investments from Finland.
Karelia is sometimes called "the songlands" in the Finnish culture, as Karelian poems constitute most of the Karelo-Finnish epic Kalevala.