The Republic of
Karelia (Russian: Респу́блика
Каре́лия, tr. Respublika Kareliya,
IPA: [rʲɪˈspublʲɪkə kɐˈrʲelʲɪ(j)ə]; Karelian:
Karjalan tazavalda; Finnish: Karjalan tasavalta; Veps: Karjalan
Tazovaldkund) is a federal subject of
Russia (a republic), located in
the northwest of Russia. Its capital is the city of Petrozavodsk. Its
population in 2010 was 643,548.
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
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 Labor 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 as a part of Russia
after the dissolution of the
Soviet Union in 1991.
1.4 National parks
1.5 Natural resources
2 Administrative divisions
5.1 Vital statistics
5.2 Ethnic groups
7.2 Foreign trade
9 See also
11 External links
The republic is in the northwestern part of Russia, taking an
intervening position 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
Murmansk Oblast (north),
Arkhangelsk Oblast (east/south-east),
Vologda Oblast (south-east/south), and Leningrad Oblast
(south/south-west), and it also borders Finland; 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).
Geological map of Fennoscandia.
Archean rocks of the
Karelia and Kola domains
Proterozoic rocks of the
Karelia and Kola domains
Transscandinavian Igneous Belt
Sveconorwegian Domain inc. the Western Gneiss Region
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
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 about 27,000 rivers in Karelia. Major
Vodla River (Vodlajoki, 149 km)
Kem River (Kemijoki, 191 km)
Kovda River (Koutajoki)
Shuya River (Suojoki)
Suna River (Suunujoki) with
Kivach Falls (Kivatšun vesiputous)
Vyg River (Uikujoki)
Largest cities of the Republic of Karelia.
The Regions of North and
South Karelia lie in
Finland and the Karelian
Republic in Russia. The
Karelian Isthmus is now part of Leningrad
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:
The lakes Ladoga and Onega are located in the south of the republic.
Vodlozero National Park
Kalevala National Park
Paanajärvi National Park
The majority of the republic's territory (148,000 km², 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.
Fifty useful minerals are found in Karelia, located in more than 400
deposits and ore-bearing layers. Natural resources of the republic
include iron ore, diamonds, vanadium, molybdenum, and others.
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.
Main article: Administrative divisions of the Republic of Karelia
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Main article: History of Karelia
Karelia was a region to the northwest of Russia, east of
present-day Finland, controlled by the Novgorod Republic. From the
13th century and onwards, various parts were conquered by Sweden, and
incorporated into Swedish
Karelia until they were lost to
Treaty of Nystad
Treaty of Nystad in 1721.
In 1920, the province became the Karelian Labour Commune. In 1923, the
province became the Karelian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic
From 1940, it was made into the Karelo-Finnish SSR, incorporating the
Finnish Democratic Republic
Finnish Democratic Republic which nominally operated in those parts of
Karelia that were occupied by the
Soviet Union during the
Winter War. Annexed territories were incorporated into Karelo-Finnish
SSR, but after the Continuation War, the
Karelian Isthmus was
incorporated into the Leningrad Oblast. Its status was changed back to
an ASSR in 1956.
Continuation War 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.
Seat of the Legislative Assembly of Karelia.
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
Early 20th-century photo of a bridge across the Shuya River.
Population: 643,548 (2010 Census); 645,205 (2002 Census);
791,317 (1989 Census).
Average population (x 1000)
Crude birth rate (per 1000)
Crude death rate (per 1000)
Natural change (per 1000)
According to the 2010 Census, ethnic
Russians make up 82.2% of the
republic's population, ethnic
Karelians 7.4%. Other groups include
and a host of smaller groups, each accounting for less than 0.5% of
the total population.
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
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.
Religion in Republic of
Karelia as of 2012 (Sreda Arena Atlas)
Spiritual but not religious
Atheism and irreligion
Other and undeclared
Karelians have traditionally been Russian Orthodox. Lutheranism
was brought to the area by the Finnish immigrants during Sweden's
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
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
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
Murmansk Region with St. Petersburg, Moscow, the center of
Russia and with Finland. The railroad crosses Petrozavodsk, Kondopoga.
View of the old town of Kem in 1916, photograph by Sergey
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
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
Helsinki in Finland. A fast fiber-optic cable link connecting
Kuhmo and Karelian
Kostomuksha was built in 2007, providing
The Republic's main export partners in 2001 were
Finland (32% of total
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
Karelia is sometimes called "the songlands" in the Finnish culture, as
Karelian poems constitute most of the Karelo-Finnish epic Kalevala.
Music of Karelia
^ Президент Российской
Федерации. Указ №849 от 13 мая
2000 г. «О полномочном представителе
Президента Российской Федерации в
федеральном округе». Вступил в
силу 13 мая 2000 г. Опубликован:
"Собрание законодательства РФ", №20, ст.
2112, 15 мая 2000 г. (President of the Russian
Federation. Decree #849 of May 13, 2000 On the
Plenipotentiary Representative of the President of the Russian
Federation in a Federal District. Effective as of May 13, 2000.).
^ Госстандарт Российской
Федерации. №ОК 024-95 27 декабря 1995
г. «Общероссийский классификатор
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. ).
^ "Карельский государственный архив
новейшей истории. Путеводитель".
устройство Республики Карелия". 2003.
^ Official website of the Republic of Karelia. Artur Olegovich
^ Constitution, Article 46.
^ Constitution, Article 32
^ 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)".
Всероссийская перепись населения 2002
Russia Population Census of 2002) (in Russian). Federal
State Statistics Service. Retrieved 2011-11-01.
^ a b c d
Russian Federal State Statistics Service (2011).
"Всероссийская перепись населения 2010
года. Том 1" [2010 All-Russian Population Census,
vol. 1]. Всероссийская перепись
населения 2010 года (2010 All-
Census) (in Russian). Federal State Statistics Service. Retrieved June
^ The density value was calculated by dividing the population reported
by the 2010 Census by the area shown in the "Area" field. Please note
that this value may not be accurate as the area specified in the
infobox is not necessarily reported for the same year as the
^ Правительство Российской
закон №107-ФЗ от 3 июня 2011 г. «Об
исчислении времени», в ред.
Федерального закона №271-ФЗ от 03
июля 2016 г. «О внесении изменений в
Федеральный закон "Об исчислении
времени"». Вступил в силу по
истечении шестидесяти дней после дня
официального опубликования (6 августа
2011 г.). Опубликован: "Российская
газета", №120, 6 июня 2011 г. (Government of the Russian
Federation. Federal Law #107-FZ of June 31,
2011 On Calculating Time, as amended by the Federal Law #271-FZ
of July 03, 2016 On Amending Federal Law "On Calculating
Time". Effective as of after sixty days following the day of the
^ Official throughout the Russian Federation according to
Article 68.1 of the Constitution of Russia.
^ Romanenko, F.A.; Shilova, O.S. (2011). "The Postglacial Uplift of
the Karelian Coast of the
White Sea according to Radiocarbon and
Diatom Analyses of LacustrineBoggy Deposits of Kindo Peninsula".
Doklady Earth Sciences. 442 (2): 544–548.
doi:10.1134/S1028334X12020079. access-date= requires url=
^ a b c d e "Republic of Karelia". Russia: All Regions Trade &
Investment Guide. CTEC Publishing LLC. 2003.
Russian Federal State Statistics Service (May 21, 2004).
"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] (XLS). Всероссийская
перепись населения 2002 года [All-Russia
Population Census of 2002] (in Russian). Retrieved August 9,
^ Demoscope Weekly (1989). "Всесоюзная перепись
населения 1989 г. Численность
наличного населения союзных и
автономных республик, автономных
областей и округов, краёв, областей,
районов, городских поселений и
сёл-райцентров" [All Union Population Census of 1989:
Present Population of Union and Autonomous Republics, Autonomous
Oblasts and Okrugs, Krais, Oblasts, Districts, Urban Settlements, and
Villages Serving as District Administrative Centers].
Всесоюзная перепись населения
1989 года [All-Union Population Census of 1989] (in Russian).
Институт демографии Национального
Высшая школа экономики [Institute of Demography at
the National Research University: Higher School of Economics].
Retrieved August 9, 2014.
^ "ВПН-2010". www.perepis-2010.ru.
^ a b Karelian, Vepps, and Finnish languages have got the state
support in the Republic of
Karelia The Official Web
Portal of the
^ "HS in English – HS.fi – Helsingin Sanomat". Helsingin
^ a b c "Arena: Atlas of Religions and Nationalities in Russia".
^ 2012 Arena Atlas Religion Maps. "Ogonek", № 34 (5243), 27/08/2012.
Retrieved 21/04/2017. Archived.
^ a b c d "The Republic of
Karelia in 2007".
Helsinki School of
^ Валовой региональный продукт на душу
населения Федеральная служба
^ "Regional characteristics. Republic of Karelia".
Helsinki School of
^ "Mining industry of the republic has summed up its work in the first
six months of the year". Republic of Karelia. Retrieved
^ "The Republic of Karelia".
Верховный Совет Карельской
АССР. №473-ЗРК 30 мая 1978 г.
«Конституция Республики Карелия», в
ред. Закона №1314-ЗРК от 16 июля 2009
г «О внесении изменений в
Конституцию Республики Карелия».
Опубликован: отдельной брошюрой. (Supreme
Soviet of the Karelian ASSR. #473-ZRK May 30, 1978
Constitution of the Republic of Karelia, as amended by the
Law #1314-ZRK of July 16, 2009 On Amending the Constitution
of the Republic of Karelia. ).
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Karelia.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Republic of Karelia.
(in English) (in Russian) (in Finnish) Official website of the
Republic of Karelia
(in English) (in Russian) (in Finnish) Karelia.ru web server
(in English) (in Russian) (in Finnish) Heninen.net – various
information about Karelia
(in English) Information about Karelians
(in English) Tracing Finland's eastern border-thisisFINLAND
(in English) Saimaa Canal links two Karelias-thisisFINLAND
(in English) Pro
Karelia (also available in other languages)
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