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Republic of Karelia

Republic of Karelia

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Encyclopedia
The Republic of Karelia is a federal subject
Federal subjects of Russia
Russia is a federation which, since March 1, 2008, consists of 83 federal subjects . In 1993, when the Constitution was adopted, there were 89 federal subjects listed...

 of Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 (a republic
Republics of Russia
The Russian Federation is divided into 83 federal subjects , 21 of which are republics. The republics represent areas of non-Russian ethnicity. The indigenous ethnic group of a republic that gives it its name is referred to as the "titular nationality"...

).

Geography


The republic is located in the northwestern part of Russia, taking intervening position between the basins of White
White Sea
The White Sea is a southern inlet of the Barents Sea located on the northwest coast of Russia. It is surrounded by Karelia to the west, the Kola Peninsula to the north, and the Kanin Peninsula to the northeast. The whole of the White Sea is under Russian sovereignty and considered to be part of...

 and Baltic sea
Baltic Sea
The Baltic Sea is a brackish mediterranean sea located in Northern Europe, from 53°N to 66°N latitude and from 20°E to 26°E longitude. It is bounded by the Scandinavian Peninsula, the mainland of Europe, and the Danish islands. It drains into the Kattegat by way of the Øresund, the Great Belt and...

s. The White Sea shore line is 630 kilometres (391.5 mi).
  • Area: 172400 km² (66,564 sq mi)
  • Borders:
    • internal: Murmansk Oblast
      Murmansk Oblast
      Murmansk Oblast is a federal subject of Russia , located in the northwestern part of Russia. Its administrative center is the city of Murmansk.-Geography:...

       (N), Arkhangelsk Oblast
      Arkhangelsk Oblast
      Arkhangelsk Oblast is a federal subject of Russia . It includes the Arctic archipelagos of Franz Josef Land and Novaya Zemlya, as well as the Solovetsky Islands in the White Sea....

       (E/SE), Vologda Oblast
      Vologda Oblast
      Vologda Oblast is a federal subject of Russia . Its administrative center is Vologda. The largest city is Cherepovets.Vologda Oblast is rich in historic monuments, such as the magnificent Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery, Ferapontov Convent , medieval towns of Velikiy Ustyug and Belozersk, baroque...

       (SE/S), Leningrad Oblast
      Leningrad Oblast
      Leningrad Oblast is a federal subject of Russia . It was established on August 1, 1927, although it was not until 1946 that the oblast's borders had been mostly settled in their present position...

       (S/SW)
    • international: Finland
      Finland
      Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

       (SW/W/NW) (border line length: 723 km)
    • water: White Sea (an inlet of the Barents Sea
      Barents Sea
      The Barents Sea is a marginal sea of the Arctic Ocean, located north of Norway and Russia. Known in the Middle Ages as the Murman Sea, the sea takes its current name from the Dutch navigator Willem Barents...

      ) (N/NE/E), Lake Onega
      Lake Onega
      Lake Onega is a lake in the north-west European part of Russia, located on the territory of Republic of Karelia, Leningrad Oblast and Vologda Oblast. It belongs to the basin of Baltic Sea, Atlantic Ocean, and is the second largest lake in Europe after Lake Ladoga...

       (SE), Lake Ladoga
      Lake Ladoga
      Lake Ladoga is a freshwater lake located in the Republic of Karelia and Leningrad Oblast in northwestern Russia, not far from Saint Petersburg. It is the largest lake in Europe, and the 14th largest lake by area in the world.-Geography:...

       (SW)
  • Highest point: 576 m (1,889.8 ft), the Nuorunen peak.

Rivers


There are about 27,000 rivers in Karelia. Major rivers include:
  • Vodla River
    Vodla River
    Vodla is a river in the south-east of Republic of Karelia, Russia. The town of Pudozh is located along Vodla....

     (Vodlajoki, 149 km)
  • Kem River
    Kem River
    Kem is a river in Republic of Karelia, Russia. It starts from Lake Lower Kuyto and flows through a number of lakes into the White Sea. There is a cascade of 5 hydroelectric power plants. A town of Kem is located in the mouth of the Kem River. Tributaries: Chirka-Kem, Kepa, Shomba....

     (Kemijoki, 191 km)
  • Kovda River
    Kovda River
    Kovda River is a river in the south of the Kola Peninsula in Murmansk Oblast and Republic of Karelia, Russia. It is 233 km in length. The area of its basin is 26,100 km². The Kovda River originates in the Lake Topozero and flows through the lakes Lake Pyaozero and Lake Kovdozero into the...

     (Koutajoki)
  • Shuya River
    Shuya River
    Shuya River may refer to:*Shuya River, Kostroma Oblast, Russia*Shuya River, Karelia, Russia...

     (Suojoki)
  • Suna River
    Suna River
    Suna is a river in Republic of Karelia, Russia. The length of the river is 280 km. The area of its basin is 7,670 km². The Suna originates in Lake Kivi-Yarvi and flows out into the Kondopoga Gulf of Lake Onega....

     (Suunujoki) with Kivach Waterfall (Kivatšun vesiputous)
  • Vyg River
    Vyg River
    The Vyg is a river in Republic of Karelia. Consists of the Upper Vyg, 135 km long, discharging into Lake Vygozero, and the Lower Vyg, 102 km long, flowing from Lake Vygozero and discharging into Onega Bay of the White Sea near Belomorsk. The Upper Vyg flows through several small lakes in...

     (Uikujoki)

Lakes


There are 60,000 lakes in Karelia. Republic's lakes and swamps contain about 2,000 km³ of high-quality fresh water. Lake Ladoga
Lake Ladoga
Lake Ladoga is a freshwater lake located in the Republic of Karelia and Leningrad Oblast in northwestern Russia, not far from Saint Petersburg. It is the largest lake in Europe, and the 14th largest lake by area in the world.-Geography:...

 (Finnish: Laatokka) and Lake Onega
Lake Onega
Lake Onega is a lake in the north-west European part of Russia, located on the territory of Republic of Karelia, Leningrad Oblast and Vologda Oblast. It belongs to the basin of Baltic Sea, Atlantic Ocean, and is the second largest lake in Europe after Lake Ladoga...

 (Ääninen) are the largest lakes in Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

. Other lakes include:
  • Nyukozero (Nuokkijärvi)
  • Pyaozero (Pääjärvi)
  • Segozero (Seesjärvi)
  • Syamozero (Säämäjärvi)
  • Topozero (Tuoppajärvi)
  • Vygozero (Uikujärvi)

National parks

  • Vodlozero National Park
    Vodlozero National Park
    Vodlozersky National Park is the national park in the north of Russia, located in Onezhsky District of Arkhangelsk Oblast and Pudozhsky District in the Republic of Karelia. It was established April 20, 1991. Since 2001, the National Park has the status of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve...

  • Kalevala National Park
  • Paanajärvi National Park
    Paanajärvi National Park
    The Paanajärvi National Park is a national park in North-Western Republic of Karelia, Russia with pristine nature. It was established in 1992 and covers . Right behind the border in Finland is Oulanka National Park....


Natural resources


The most part 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, diamond
Diamond
In mineralogy, diamond is an allotrope of carbon, where the carbon atoms are arranged in a variation of the face-centered cubic crystal structure called a diamond lattice. Diamond is less stable than graphite, but the conversion rate from diamond to graphite is negligible at ambient conditions...

s, vanadium
Vanadium
Vanadium is a chemical element with the symbol V and atomic number 23. It is a hard, silvery gray, ductile and malleable transition metal. The formation of an oxide layer stabilizes the metal against oxidation. The element is found only in chemically combined form in nature...

, molybdenum
Molybdenum
Molybdenum , is a Group 6 chemical element with the symbol Mo and atomic number 42. The name is from Neo-Latin Molybdaenum, from Ancient Greek , meaning lead, itself proposed as a loanword from Anatolian Luvian and Lydian languages, since its ores were confused with lead ores...

, and others.

Climate


The Republic of Karelia is located in the Atlantic continental climate
Continental climate
Continental climate is a climate characterized by important annual variation in temperature due to the lack of significant bodies of water nearby...

 zone. Average temperature in January is -8.0°C, and +16.4°C in July. Average annual precipitation
Precipitation (meteorology)
In meteorology, precipitation In meteorology, precipitation In meteorology, precipitation (also known as one of the classes of hydrometeors, which are atmospheric water phenomena is any product of the condensation of atmospheric water vapor that falls under gravity. The main forms of precipitation...

 is 500–700 mm.

Demographics


2010 Census (preliminary results)
  • Population: 645,205


2002 Census
Russian Census (2002)
Russian Census of 2002 was the first census of the Russian Federation carried out on October 9 through October 16, 2002. It was carried out by the Russian Federal Service of State Statistics .-Resident population:...

  • Population: 716,281 (2002 Census)
    • Urban: 537.395 (75.0%)
    • Rural: 178,886 (25.0%)
    • Male: 331,505 (46.3%)
    • Female: 384,776 (53.7%)
  • Females per 1000 males: 1,161
  • Average age: 37.1 years
    • Urban: 35.9 years
    • Rural: 40.6 years
    • Male: 33.9 years
    • Female: 39.9 years
  • Number of households: 279,915 (with 701,314 people)
    • Urban: 208,041 (with 525,964 people)
    • Rural: 71,874 (with 175,350 people)


Vital statistics
Source: Russian Federal State Statistics Service

Births Deaths Birth rate Death rate
1970 11,346 5,333 15.9 7.5
1975 12,748 6,086 17.6 8.4
1980 12,275 7,374 16.6 10.0
1985 13,201 8,205 17.1 10.7
1990 10,553 8,072 13.3 10.2
1991 8,982 8,305 11.4 10.5
1992 7,969 9,834 10.1 12.5
1993 7,003 11,817 9.0 15.1
1994 6,800 13,325 8.8 17.2
1995 6,729 12,845 8.8 16.7
1996 6,461 11,192 8.5 14.7
1997 6,230 10,306 8.3 13.7
1998 6,382 10,285 8.5 13.8
1999 6,054 11,612 8.2 15.7
2000 6,374 12,083 8.7 16.5
2001 6,833 12,597 9.4 17.4
2002 7,247 13,435 10.1 18.7
2003 7,290 14,141 10.2 19.9
2004 7,320 13,092 10.4 18.5
2005 6,952 12,649 9.9 18.1
2006 6,938 11,716 10.0 16.8
2007 7,319 11,007 10.6 15.9
2008 7,682 11,134 11.1 16.2

  • Ethnic groups

According to the 2002 Census
Russian Census (2002)
Russian Census of 2002 was the first census of the Russian Federation carried out on October 9 through October 16, 2002. It was carried out by the Russian Federal Service of State Statistics .-Resident population:...

, ethnic Russians
Russians
The Russian people are an East Slavic ethnic group native to Russia, speaking the Russian language and primarily living in Russia and neighboring countries....

 make up 76.6% of the republic's population, while the ethnic Karelians
Karelians
The Karelians are a Baltic-Finnic ethnic group living mostly in the Republic of Karelia and in other north-western parts of the Russian Federation. The historic homeland of Karelians includes also parts of present-day Eastern Finland and the formerly Finnish territory of Ladoga Karelia...

 are only 9.2%. Other groups include Belarusians
Belarusians
Belarusians ; are an East Slavic ethnic group who populate the majority of the Republic of Belarus. Introduced to the world as a new state in the early 1990s, the Republic of Belarus brought with it the notion of a re-emerging Belarusian ethnicity, drawn upon the lines of the Old Belarusian...

 (5.3%), Ukrainians
Ukrainians
Ukrainians are an East Slavic ethnic group native to Ukraine, which is the sixth-largest nation in Europe. The Constitution of Ukraine applies the term 'Ukrainians' to all its citizens...

 (2.7%), Finns (2.0%), Vepsians (0.7%), and a host of smaller groups, each accounting for less than 0.5% of the total population. 4,886 people (0.7%) did not indicate their nationality during the Census.
census 1926 census 1939 census 1959 census 1970 census 1979 census 1989 census 2002
Russians
Russians
The Russian people are an East Slavic ethnic group native to Russia, speaking the Russian language and primarily living in Russia and neighboring countries....

153,967 (57.2%) 296,529 (63.2%) 412,773 (62.7%) 486,198 (68.1%) 522,230 (71.3%) 581,571 (73.6%) 548,941 (76.6%)
Karelians
Karelians
The Karelians are a Baltic-Finnic ethnic group living mostly in the Republic of Karelia and in other north-western parts of the Russian Federation. The historic homeland of Karelians includes also parts of present-day Eastern Finland and the formerly Finnish territory of Ladoga Karelia...

100,781 (37.4%) 108,571 (23.2%) 85,473 (13.0%) 84,180 (11.8%) 81,274 (11.1%) 78,928 (10.0%) 65,651 (9.2%)
Belarusians
Belarusians
Belarusians ; are an East Slavic ethnic group who populate the majority of the Republic of Belarus. Introduced to the world as a new state in the early 1990s, the Republic of Belarus brought with it the notion of a re-emerging Belarusian ethnicity, drawn upon the lines of the Old Belarusian...

555 (0.2%) 4,263 (0.9%) 71,900 (10.9%) 66,410 (9.3%) 59,394 (8.1%) 55,530 (7.0%) 37,681 (5.3%)
Ukrainians
Ukrainians
Ukrainians are an East Slavic ethnic group native to Ukraine, which is the sixth-largest nation in Europe. The Constitution of Ukraine applies the term 'Ukrainians' to all its citizens...

708 (0.3%) 21,112 (4.5%) 23,569 (3.6%) 27,440 (3.8%) 23,765 (3.2%) 28,242 (3.6%) 19,248 (2.7%)
Finns 2,544 (0.9%) 8,322 (1.8%) 27,829 (4.2%) 22,174 (3.1%) 20,099 (2.7%) 18,420 (2.3%) 14,156 (2.0%)
Vepsians 8,587 (3.2%) 9,392 (2.0%) 7,179 (1.1%) 6,323 (0.9%) 5,864 (0.8%) 5,954 (0.8%) 4,870 (0.7%)
Others 2,194 (0.8%) 20,709 (4.4%) 29,869 (4.5%) 20,726 (2.9%) 19,565 (2.7%) 21,505 (2.7%) 25,734 (3.6%)


The Karelian language
Karelian language
Karelian language is a Finnic language spoken mainly in the Russian Republic of Karelia. Linguistically Karelian is closely related to the Finnish dialects spoken in eastern Finland and some Finnish linguists even classified Karelian as a dialect of Finnish...

 is close to Finnish, and in recent years, it has been considered by some authorities as a dialect
Dialect
The term dialect is used in two distinct ways, even by linguists. One usage refers to a variety of a language that is a characteristic of a particular group of the language's speakers. The term is applied most often to regional speech patterns, but a dialect may also be defined by other factors,...

 of Finnish. Nevertheless, Eastern Karelian is not completely mutually intelligible with Finnish and could be considered a separate language. Finnish was the second official language
Official language
An official language is a language that is given a special legal status in a particular country, state, or other jurisdiction. Typically a nation's official language will be the one used in that nation's courts, parliament and administration. However, official status can also be used to give a...

 of Karelia from the Winter War
Winter War
The Winter War was a military conflict between the Soviet Union and Finland. It began with a Soviet offensive on 30 November 1939 – three months after the start of World War II and the Soviet invasion of Poland – and ended on 13 March 1940 with the Moscow Peace Treaty...

 1940 up until the 1980s, when perestroika
Perestroika
Perestroika was a political movement within the Communist Party of the Soviet Union during 1980s, widely associated with the Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev...

 began. Currently Russian is the only official language
Official language
An official language is a language that is given a special legal status in a particular country, state, or other jurisdiction. Typically a nation's official language will be the one used in that nation's courts, parliament and administration. However, official status can also be used to give a...

 of the republic, but there is a motion in the republic's government to make Karelian official as well. Finnish has also again been proposed as a second official language for the republic, but the proposal has never been implemented, although Karelian, Veps and Finnish are recognized as "national languages" of the republic.

Economy


Karelia's Gross regional product
Gross Regional Product
A metropolitan area's gross regional product, i.e. GMP or GRP, is one of several measures of the size of its economy. Similar to GDP, GRP is defined as the market value of all final goods and services produced within a metropolitan area in a given period of time.-See also:*List of European...

 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.

Industry


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
OAO Kondopoga
OAO Kondopoga is a Russian cellulose and paper production company located in the Republic of Karelia.-Overview:OAO Kondopoga's main product is newsprint, which constitutes 94.8% of the company's overall production...

 (sales of $209.4 mln in 2001), Segezha Pulp and Paper Mill
Segezha Pulp and Paper Mill
Segezha Pulp and Paper Mill is a Russian pulp and paper company and the country's largest producer of kraft paper and paper sacks.-Overview:The company 270,000 tonnes of sack kraft per year, as well as 100,000 tonnes of kraftliner and 520,000 tonnes of unbleached kraft pulp.In 2008, Ministry of...

 ($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 OAO Karelian Pellet, which is the 5h 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 overal 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 electicity, natural gas and water made up 13.6% of the region's output.

Transport


Karelia has a relatively well developed network of transport infrastructure. Water communications connect Karelia with the Barents
Barents Sea
The Barents Sea is a marginal sea of the Arctic Ocean, located north of Norway and Russia. Known in the Middle Ages as the Murman Sea, the sea takes its current name from the Dutch navigator Willem Barents...

, Baltic
Baltic Sea
The Baltic Sea is a brackish mediterranean sea located in Northern Europe, from 53°N to 66°N latitude and from 20°E to 26°E longitude. It is bounded by the Scandinavian Peninsula, the mainland of Europe, and the Danish islands. It drains into the Kattegat by way of the Øresund, the Great Belt and...

, Black
Black Sea
The Black Sea is bounded by Europe, Anatolia and the Caucasus and is ultimately connected to the Atlantic Ocean via the Mediterranean and the Aegean seas and various straits. The Bosphorus strait connects it to the Sea of Marmara, and the strait of the Dardanelles connects that sea to the Aegean...

 and Caspian Sea
Caspian Sea
The Caspian Sea is the largest enclosed body of water on Earth by area, variously classed as the world's largest lake or a full-fledged sea. The sea has a surface area of and a volume of...

s through the system of rivers, lakes and canals. Federal railway (see Murmansk Railway
Murmansk Railway
Murman Railway is a broad gauge Russian railway network that links the Murman Coast and Murmansk city and Saint Petersburg...

) and automobile highways cross Karelia and connect Murmansk
Murmansk
Murmansk is a city and the administrative center of Murmansk Oblast, Russia. It serves as a seaport and is located in the extreme northwest part of Russia, on the Kola Bay, from the Barents Sea on the northern shore of the Kola Peninsula, not far from Russia's borders with Norway and Finland...

 Region and Murmansk sea port with St. Petersburg, Moscow
Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

, the center of Russia and with Finland. Regular airline service connects Petrozavodsk
Petrozavodsk
Petrozavodsk is the capital city of the Republic of Karelia, Russia. It stretches along the western shore of the Lake Onega for some . The city is served by Petrozavodsk Airport. Municipally, it is incorporated as Petrozavodsky Urban Okrug . Population:...

 with Joensuu
Joensuu
Joensuu is a city and municipality in North Karelia in eastern Finland. It is located in the province of Eastern Finland and is part of North Karelia region. It was founded in 1848...

 and Helsinki
Helsinki
Helsinki is the capital and largest city in Finland. It is in the region of Uusimaa, located in southern Finland, on the shore of the Gulf of Finland, an arm of the Baltic Sea. The population of the city of Helsinki is , making it by far the most populous municipality in Finland. Helsinki is...

 in Finland. A fast fibre-optic cable link connecting Finnish Kuhmo
Kuhmo
Kuhmo is a town and a municipality in Finland and is part of the Kainuu region. The municipality has a population of and covers an area of of which is water. The population density is . It has a borderline of with Russia....

 and Karelian Kostomuksha
Kostomuksha
Kostomuksha is a town located in the northwestern part of the Republic of Karelia, Russia, from the border with Finland and on the shore of lake Kontoki. Population:...

 was built in 2007, providing fast telecommunications.

Foreign trade


The Republic's main export partners in 2001 were Finland (32% of total exports), Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 (7%), Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

 (7%) and the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 (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.

History



Historically, Karelia was a region to the northwest of Russia, east of present-day Finland
Finland
Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

, controlled by the Novgorod Republic
Novgorod Republic
The Novgorod Republic was a large medieval Russian state which stretched from the Baltic Sea to the Ural Mountains between the 12th and 15th centuries, centred on the city of Novgorod...

. From the 13th century and onwards, various parts were conquered by Sweden
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

, and incorporated into Swedish Karelia
Karelia
Karelia , the land of the Karelian peoples, is an area in Northern Europe of historical significance for Finland, Russia, and Sweden...

 until they were lost to Russia by the Treaty of Nystad
Treaty of Nystad
The Treaty of Nystad was the last peace treaty of the Great Northern War. It was concluded between the Tsardom of Russia and Swedish Empire on 30 August / 10 September 1721 in the then Swedish town of Nystad , after Sweden had settled with the other parties in Stockholm and Frederiksborg.During...

 in 1721.

In 1920, the province became the Karelian Labour Сommune. In 1923, the province became the Karelian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (Karelian ASSR). From 1940 it was made into the Karelo-Finnish SSR
Karelo-Finnish SSR
The Karelo-Finnish Soviet Socialist Republic was a short-lived republic that was a part of the former Soviet Union. The republic existed from 1940 until it was merged back into the Russian SFSR in 1956 ....

, incorporating the Finnish Democratic Republic
Finnish Democratic Republic
The Finnish Democratic Republic was a short-lived government dependent on and recognised only by the Soviet Union. It nominally operated in those parts of Finnish Karelia that were occupied by the Soviet Union during the Winter War....

 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 Continuation War
Continuation War
The Continuation War was the second of two wars fought between Finland and the Soviet Union during World War II.At the time of the war, the Finnish side used the name to make clear its perceived relationship to the preceding Winter War...

 the Karelian Isthmus was incorporated into the Leningrad Oblast
Leningrad Oblast
Leningrad Oblast is a federal subject of Russia . It was established on August 1, 1927, although it was not until 1946 that the oblast's borders had been mostly settled in their present position...

. Its status was changed back to an ASSR in 1956. During the Continuation War in 1941 Finland
Finland
Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

 occupied large parts of the area
Finnish military administration in Eastern Karelia, 1941–1944
Finnish military administration in Eastern Karelia was an interim administrative system established in those areas of the Karelo-Finnish Soviet Socialist Republic of the Soviet Union which were occupied by the Finnish army during the Continuation War. The military administration was set up on July...

 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"
Karelian question in Finnish politics
The Karelian question or Karelian issue is a dispute of Finnish politics over whether or not to try to regain sovereignty over the Finnish Karelia and other territories ceded to the Soviet Union in the Winter War and the Continuation War...

 is still a topic present in Finnish politics.

The autonomous Republic of Karelia in its present form was formed on November 13, 1991.

Politics


The highest executive authority in the Republic of Karelia is the Head of the Republic. As of 2010, the Head of the Republic is Andrey Vitalyevich Nelidov
Andrey Nelidov
Andrey Vitalyevich Nelidov , is the President of the Republic of Karelia in Russia. He came into power after Sergey Katanandov left office in 2010 for personal reasons.- Biography :...

, who was elected in June 2010.

The parliament
Parliament
A parliament is a legislature, especially in those countries whose system of government is based on the Westminster system modeled after that of the United Kingdom. The name is derived from the French , the action of parler : a parlement is a discussion. The term came to mean a meeting at which...

 of the Republic of Karelia is the Legislative Assembly
Legislative Assembly of the Republic of Karelia
The Legislative Assembly is the legislative body of the Republic of Karelia, Russia. It comprises fifty deputies. Chairman of the Assembly is Alexander Pereplesnin...

 comprising fifty deputies elected for a four year term.

The Constitution of the Republic of Karelia was adopted on February 12, 2001.

Culture


Karelia is sometimes called "the songlands" in the Finnish culture, as Karelian poems constitute most of the Karelo-Finnish epic Kalevala
Kalevala
The Kalevala is a 19th century work of epic poetry compiled by Elias Lönnrot from Finnish and Karelian oral folklore and mythology.It is regarded as the national epic of Finland and is one of the most significant works of Finnish literature...

.

Religion


The Karelians have been traditionally Russian Orthodox, known in Finland for their small chapels called tsasouna (variant spelling of Russian "часовня" "chasovnya", chapel) associated with villages or graveyards. However, first Catholicism
Catholicism
Catholicism is a broad term for the body of the Catholic faith, its theologies and doctrines, its liturgical, ethical, spiritual, and behavioral characteristics, as well as a religious people as a whole....

 and then Lutheranism
Lutheranism
Lutheranism is a major branch of Western Christianity that identifies with the theology of Martin Luther, a German reformer. Luther's efforts to reform the theology and practice of the church launched the Protestant Reformation...

 was brought to the area by the Finnish immigrants during Sweden's conquest of Karelia
Ingrian War
The Ingrian War between Sweden and Russia, which lasted between 1610 and 1617 and can be seen as part of Russia's Time of Troubles, is mainly remembered for the attempt to put a Swedish duke on the Russian throne...

 and some Lutheran parishes remain in Karelia.

See also


  • Music of Karelia
    Music of Karelia
    The swift and energetic traditional music of Karelia is regarded as the purest expression of Finnish music, less influenced by Germanic and other outside elements. Like Finland, Karelia is a home for rune singing; unlike Finland and like the neighboring Ingrian music of Russia, however, Karelia is...

  • Sami music
    Sami music
    In traditional Sami music songs and joiks are important musical expressions. The Sami also use a variety of musical instruments, some unique to the Lapp, some traditional Scandinavian, and some modern introductions....

  • Pegrema
    Pegrema
    Pegrema is an abandoned village in Medvezhyegorsky District of the Republic of Karelia, Russia, situated on a bank of the Onego Lake, about 10 km from Unitsa in the Unitsa Gulf.Pegrema is a beautiful example of the wooden architecture of Zaonezhye...

  • Karelian Isthmus
    Karelian Isthmus
    The Karelian Isthmus is the approximately 45–110 km wide stretch of land, situated between the Gulf of Finland and Lake Ladoga in northwestern Russia, to the north of the River Neva . Its northwestern boundary is the relatively narrow area between the Bay of Vyborg and Lake Ladoga...


External links



Official website of the Republic of Karelia Karelia.ru web server Heninen.net - various information about Karelia Information about Karelians Tracing Finland's eastern border-thisisFINLAND Saimaa Canal links two Karelias-thisisFINLAND ProKarelia (also available in other languages)