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The Sakha (Yakutia) Republic

Russia is famous around the world as a cold country with harsh and snowy winters. Yakutia partly justifies this stereotype, after all, the winters here are extremely cold. However, this is more than compensated for by the region's beauty, the character of the local population and its great cultural history and traditions. Yakutia covers a huge area of Russia's northeast and is the largest federal subject in the country. Rich in diamonds, ice and Arctic deserts – tundras, the Republic includes a large number of truly beautiful places. It is home to the Lena River with its famous Lena Pillars, as well as numerous diamond mines. Yakutia is rich in different animals that you can only see in their natural habitats.

Sakha (Yakutia) Republic

There are no golden beaches and warm seas here. But Yakutia can offer so much more than just a beach holiday. By enjoying authentic Russian nature, getting to know local customs, culture and traditions, completely new world opens up that is unlike anything else and makes this place attractive for tourists.

People settled in Yakutia a long time ago. This can be seen in the numerous archaeological finds, including Diring-Yuryakh sites (Lower Paleolithic) discovered by scientists in the middle reach of the Lena River. The Lena River became a home for Yakut ancestors; Turkic peoples who had left their native Baikal and set off to discover new lands. They had a significant influence on forming the Yakut people and culture. Russian explorers arrived in the Yakut land in the 18th century and founded wintering sites and forts on the banks of the large rivers. The first settlement was the town of Yakutsk. This is now the region's main city.

With the coming of Christianity, Yakutia got its own language and literature. Rapid industrial development in the first quarter of the 20th century in the USSR also affected the rich diversity of Yakutia's raw materials. This is when the area was industrialized. Diamonds, gold and other important resources began to be mined in the region. Transport began to be developed. Tiksi port grew at the mouth of the Lena River.

The 1990s brought about certain changes. The Yakut Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic, which was founded April 27, 1922, ceased to exist and was replaced by Sakha (Yakutia) Republic. The region received greater independence and its own president.

Yakutia is located in North East Siberia. It stretches 2,500 kilometers from north to south and 2,000 kilometers from west to east. In terms of area, it is bigger than a number of countries, including Argentina, Kazakhstan and all European countries. However, it is not very easy to cross this land as more than half is covered by mountains: the Central Siberian Plateau and Verkhoyansk Range. The highest peak is Pobeda Mountain (3,000 m). It only just beats Mus-Khaya Mountain.

Yakutia is shackled by centuries-old permafrost. Frost dominates Yakutia for most of the year. The village of Oymyakon in Oymyakonsky District is the coldest inhabited place on earth. In winter, the temperature can reach -70°C. Oymyakon is not called the Pole of Cold for nothing. Despite such cold, the village is inhabited by warm and hospitable people.

Deer, polar bears, eared seal, musk ox and snow sheep range across Yakutia's open spaces. Yakutia is partly covered in stunted forests. Here you can find Siberian dwarf pine, fir, birch and aspen.

Traditional culture lives alongside modern culture that has successfully developed in the Sakha Republic. To get into the minds of the Yakuts and to understand their culture, you must first of all read the Olonkho, a Yakut epic tale. The tale tries to explain the world, to describe it and to gain an insight into the essence of life. The Yakuts treat their traditions with great respect.

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