Buryat Republic

The republic was founded in May 30, 1923. In 1991, the Republic of Buryatiya was proclaimed as a constituent member of the Russian Federation. Its capital is Ulan-Ude (394.4 thou), founded in 1666.
The distance between Moscow and Ulan-Ude is 5,532 km.

Geographical location. The republic of Buryatiya is located in Transbaikalia, the south of Eastern Siberia. The territory extends 600 km from north to south, and 420 km from west to east. It borders on the People’s Republic of Mongolia in the south, the Republic of Tyva in the west, the Irkutsk region in the north and northwest, the Chita region in the east. The highway Moscow - Vladovostok (the Transsiberian highway) passes through the republic. The main roads are Ulan-Ude – Kyakhta - Zakamensk, Ulan-Ude – Khorinsk - Bogdarin, Ulan-Ude – Gremyachinsk – Barguzin - Ulyun Khan. Water transportation is significant on the rivers Selenga and Chikoi, Lake Baikal.

Natural conditions. The republic of Buryatiya has a mountainous territory with very few flat areas; all of them located 500-700 m above sea level. The territory of the republic has the larger part of the water area around the world's biggest mountain lake Baikal. Its major rivers are the Selenga, the Barguzin that belong to the lake Baikal basin. The soils are podsolic. Marshes and marshlands figure prominently in large intermountain troughs. About four fifths of the republic’s territory is covered with woods. Steppes and forest-steppes are predominant in its southern part. The forests are cedar and fir. Its varied and rich fauna includes sable, squirrel, mountain hare, glutton, lynx, bear, lamb, Manchurian deer, wild boar, mountain goat, roedeer. The climate in Buryatiya is sharply continental with long, severe windless winters with little snow. Summers are short and warm. The temperature normally ranges from +14 up to +22 in the summer, from -18 up to -28 in the winter. The republic boasts of the Barguzin reserve, which includes the northeast coast of Lake Baikal and some part of its water area. The total acreage is 248 thou sq. km. It was created in 1916 to protect and increase the number of the famous Barguzin sable.

Population. More than 40 % of the population in Buryatiya is rural. Since 1994 the mortality has exceeded the birth rate, with a resultant negative natality and migratory balance. The total number of the populace in the republic is on the decrease. The majority of the population in the republic is Russians (2/3). The Buryats who are the indigenous population of the republic constitute a mere 29 %. The formation of the Buryat nationality was not over until the 17th-18th centuries. Buryat believers include Orthodox Christians, Lamaists and Shamanists. The leading Buddhist religious organization in Buryatiya is the Central Spiritual Board of Buddhists in Russia.

State system. Buryatiya is a presidential republic. The president is elected for a term of five years and must speak two languages - Russian and Buryat. The highest body of state power is the People’s Khural, a unicameral parliament that is elected for a four-year period on a majority basis and consists of 55 deputies. The executive power is vested in the Council of Ministers headed by its chairman who is elected by the Supreme Khural. In August 1995, the republic of Buryatiya signed the Treaty on the delineation of powers and jurisdictions with the Federal executive power.

The republic’s subsurface is rich in mineral resources: tungsten, molybdenum, gold, polymetals, stone and brown coal, iron ore, nephelinic syenite, bauxite, apatite, asbestos, graphite, chemically pure limestone. The Udokan deposit, one of the world’s largest copper deposits, has been explored in the northeast of the republic. Potential hydroresources make up about 15 million kW at mid-annual capacity. The forest yield totals 2 bln cu. m.

Buryatiya boasts of balneological resorts and medicinal areas; holiday-makers and tourists especially like the shores of Lake Baikal, the ridges of Khamar-Daban and Barguzin, the East Sayan mountains. Lake Baikal is the republic’s main natural attraction. Located at 456 m above sea level, the lake is the world’s biggest reservoir of fresh water with a maximal depth of more than 1,600 m.

Speciality. Buryatiya is an industrial and agrarian republic. It is a major mining, logging and mechanical engineering area. It has unique reserves of rare and nonferrous metals, gold mining, advanced fur hunting.

Main agricultural industry is dairy husbandry and in the northern parts - deer-breeding.

Main industries: power engineering (based on local coal providing a series of thermal power stations), mining (tungsten and molybdenum extraction and concentration, gold-mining on the river Vitim). Quite significant is timber industry. Logging is carried out mainly on the river Uda basin and along the eastern bank of the Baikal.

Official website: http://egov-buryatia.ru/

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