Siberia

Siberia

Overview
Siberia is an extensive region
Region
Region is most commonly found as a term used in terrestrial and astrophysics sciences also an area, notably among the different sub-disciplines of geography, studied by regional geographers. Regions consist of subregions that contain clusters of like areas that are distinctive by their uniformity...

 constituting almost all of Northern Asia
North Asia
North Asia or Northern Asia is a subregion of Asia, consisting of the Asian portion of Russia.The Phillips Illustrated Atlas of the World 1988 defines it as being most of the former USSR, the part that is to the east of the Ural Mountains...

. Comprising the central and eastern portion of the Russian Federation, it was part of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 (USSR) from its beginning, as its predecessor states, the Tsardom of Russia
Tsardom of Russia
The Tsardom of Russia was the name of the centralized Russian state from Ivan IV's assumption of the title of Tsar in 1547 till Peter the Great's foundation of the Russian Empire in 1721.From 1550 to 1700, Russia grew 35,000 km2 a year...

 and the Russian Empire
Russian Empire
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

, conquered it during the 16th to 19th centuries.

Encompassing much of the Eurasian Steppe
Eurasian Steppe
The Eurasian Steppe is the vast steppe ecoregion of Eurasia in the Temperate grasslands, savannas, and shrublands Biome. It stretches from Hungary to Mongolia...

, the territory of Siberia extends eastward from the Ural Mountains
Ural Mountains
The Ural Mountains , or simply the Urals, are a mountain range that runs approximately from north to south through western Russia, from the coast of the Arctic Ocean to the Ural River and northwestern Kazakhstan. Their eastern side is usually considered the natural boundary between Europe and Asia...

 to the watershed between the Pacific
Pacific Ocean
The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south, bounded by Asia and Australia in the west, and the Americas in the east.At 165.2 million square kilometres in area, this largest division of the World...

 and Arctic
Arctic Ocean
The Arctic Ocean, located in the Northern Hemisphere and mostly in the Arctic north polar region, is the smallest and shallowest of the world's five major oceanic divisions...

 drainage basin
Drainage basin
A drainage basin is an extent or an area of land where surface water from rain and melting snow or ice converges to a single point, usually the exit of the basin, where the waters join another waterbody, such as a river, lake, reservoir, estuary, wetland, sea, or ocean...

s, and southward from the Arctic Ocean
Arctic Ocean
The Arctic Ocean, located in the Northern Hemisphere and mostly in the Arctic north polar region, is the smallest and shallowest of the world's five major oceanic divisions...

 to the hills of north-central Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan , officially the Republic of Kazakhstan, is a transcontinental country in Central Asia and Eastern Europe. Ranked as the ninth largest country in the world, it is also the world's largest landlocked country; its territory of is greater than Western Europe...

 and the national borders of Mongolia
Mongolia
Mongolia is a landlocked country in East and Central Asia. It is bordered by Russia to the north and China to the south, east and west. Although Mongolia does not share a border with Kazakhstan, its western-most point is only from Kazakhstan's eastern tip. Ulan Bator, the capital and largest...

 and China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

.
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Encyclopedia
Siberia is an extensive region
Region
Region is most commonly found as a term used in terrestrial and astrophysics sciences also an area, notably among the different sub-disciplines of geography, studied by regional geographers. Regions consist of subregions that contain clusters of like areas that are distinctive by their uniformity...

 constituting almost all of Northern Asia
North Asia
North Asia or Northern Asia is a subregion of Asia, consisting of the Asian portion of Russia.The Phillips Illustrated Atlas of the World 1988 defines it as being most of the former USSR, the part that is to the east of the Ural Mountains...

. Comprising the central and eastern portion of the Russian Federation, it was part of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 (USSR) from its beginning, as its predecessor states, the Tsardom of Russia
Tsardom of Russia
The Tsardom of Russia was the name of the centralized Russian state from Ivan IV's assumption of the title of Tsar in 1547 till Peter the Great's foundation of the Russian Empire in 1721.From 1550 to 1700, Russia grew 35,000 km2 a year...

 and the Russian Empire
Russian Empire
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

, conquered it during the 16th to 19th centuries.

Encompassing much of the Eurasian Steppe
Eurasian Steppe
The Eurasian Steppe is the vast steppe ecoregion of Eurasia in the Temperate grasslands, savannas, and shrublands Biome. It stretches from Hungary to Mongolia...

, the territory of Siberia extends eastward from the Ural Mountains
Ural Mountains
The Ural Mountains , or simply the Urals, are a mountain range that runs approximately from north to south through western Russia, from the coast of the Arctic Ocean to the Ural River and northwestern Kazakhstan. Their eastern side is usually considered the natural boundary between Europe and Asia...

 to the watershed between the Pacific
Pacific Ocean
The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south, bounded by Asia and Australia in the west, and the Americas in the east.At 165.2 million square kilometres in area, this largest division of the World...

 and Arctic
Arctic Ocean
The Arctic Ocean, located in the Northern Hemisphere and mostly in the Arctic north polar region, is the smallest and shallowest of the world's five major oceanic divisions...

 drainage basin
Drainage basin
A drainage basin is an extent or an area of land where surface water from rain and melting snow or ice converges to a single point, usually the exit of the basin, where the waters join another waterbody, such as a river, lake, reservoir, estuary, wetland, sea, or ocean...

s, and southward from the Arctic Ocean
Arctic Ocean
The Arctic Ocean, located in the Northern Hemisphere and mostly in the Arctic north polar region, is the smallest and shallowest of the world's five major oceanic divisions...

 to the hills of north-central Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan , officially the Republic of Kazakhstan, is a transcontinental country in Central Asia and Eastern Europe. Ranked as the ninth largest country in the world, it is also the world's largest landlocked country; its territory of is greater than Western Europe...

 and the national borders of Mongolia
Mongolia
Mongolia is a landlocked country in East and Central Asia. It is bordered by Russia to the north and China to the south, east and west. Although Mongolia does not share a border with Kazakhstan, its western-most point is only from Kazakhstan's eastern tip. Ulan Bator, the capital and largest...

 and China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

. Siberia makes up about 77% of Russia's territory (13.1 million square kilometres), but has only 28% (40 million people) of Russia's population.

Etymology


Some sources say that the word Siberia originates from the Turkic for "sleeping land". Another version is that this name was the ancient tribal name of the Sabirs, Turkic nomads later assimilated to Siberian Tatars
Siberian Tatars
Siberian Tatars refers to the indigenous Siberian population of the forests and steppes of South Siberia stretching from somewhat east of the Ural Mountains to the Yenisey river...

. The modern usage of the name appeared in the Russian language after the conquest of the Siberian Khanate.

Borders and administrative division




The term "Siberia" has a long history. Its meaning has gradually changed during ages.
Historically, Siberia was defined as the whole part of Russia to the east of Ural Mountains
Ural Mountains
The Ural Mountains , or simply the Urals, are a mountain range that runs approximately from north to south through western Russia, from the coast of the Arctic Ocean to the Ural River and northwestern Kazakhstan. Their eastern side is usually considered the natural boundary between Europe and Asia...

, including the Russian Far East
Russian Far East
Russian Far East is a term that refers to the Russian part of the Far East, i.e., extreme east parts of Russia, between Lake Baikal in Eastern Siberia and the Pacific Ocean...

. According to this definition, Siberia extended eastward from the Ural Mountains
Ural Mountains
The Ural Mountains , or simply the Urals, are a mountain range that runs approximately from north to south through western Russia, from the coast of the Arctic Ocean to the Ural River and northwestern Kazakhstan. Their eastern side is usually considered the natural boundary between Europe and Asia...

 to the Pacific coast, and southward from the Arctic Ocean to the border of Russian Central Asia
Central Asia
Central Asia is a core region of the Asian continent from the Caspian Sea in the west, China in the east, Afghanistan in the south, and Russia in the north...

 and the national borders of both Mongolia and China.

Soviet-era sources (Great Soviet Encyclopedia
Great Soviet Encyclopedia
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia is one of the largest and most comprehensive encyclopedias in Russian and in the world, issued by the Soviet state from 1926 to 1990, and again since 2002 .-Editions:There were three editions...

and others) and modern Russian ones usually define Siberia as a region extending eastward from the Ural Mountains to the watershed between Pacific
Pacific Ocean
The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south, bounded by Asia and Australia in the west, and the Americas in the east.At 165.2 million square kilometres in area, this largest division of the World...

 and Arctic
Arctic Ocean
The Arctic Ocean, located in the Northern Hemisphere and mostly in the Arctic north polar region, is the smallest and shallowest of the world's five major oceanic divisions...

 drainage basins, and southward from the Arctic Ocean to the hills of north-central Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan , officially the Republic of Kazakhstan, is a transcontinental country in Central Asia and Eastern Europe. Ranked as the ninth largest country in the world, it is also the world's largest landlocked country; its territory of is greater than Western Europe...

 and the national borders of both Mongolia
Mongolia
Mongolia is a landlocked country in East and Central Asia. It is bordered by Russia to the north and China to the south, east and west. Although Mongolia does not share a border with Kazakhstan, its western-most point is only from Kazakhstan's eastern tip. Ulan Bator, the capital and largest...

 and China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

. By this definition, Siberia includes the federal subjects
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 the Siberian Federal District
Siberian Federal District
Siberian Federal District is one of the eight federal districts of Russia. Its population was 19,254,300 according to the 2010 Census, living on an area of...

, and some of the Urals Federal District
Urals Federal District
Ural Federal District is one of the eight federal districts of Russia. The district was established on 13 May 2000 by a decree of the President of Russia. The district is mostly located in the geographical region of Ural, but also includes some parts of the Volga Region; its extent is different...

, as well as Sakha (Yakutia) Republic, which is a part of the Far Eastern Federal District
Far Eastern Federal District
The Far Eastern Federal District is the largest of the eight federal districts of Russia, while being also the least populated, with a population of 6,291,900 . The Far Eastern Federal District was established in 2000 by then-President Vladimir Putin and is currently being governed by presidential...

. Geographically, this definition includes subdivisions of several other subjects of Urals and Far Eastern federal districts, but they are not included administratively. This definition excludes Sverdlovsk Oblast
Sverdlovsk Oblast
Sverdlovsk Oblast is a federal subject of Russia located in the Urals Federal District. Its administrative center is the city of Yekaterinburg formerly known as Sverdlovsk. Population: -Geography:...

 and Chelyabinsk Oblast
Chelyabinsk Oblast
-External links:*...

, both of which are included in some wider definitions of Siberia.

Other sources may use either a somewhat wider definition that states the Pacific coast, not the watershed, is the eastern boundary (thus including the whole Russian Far East) or a somewhat narrower one that limits Siberia to the Siberian Federal District (thus excluding all subjects of other districts). In Russian, the word for Siberia is never used as a substitute for the name of the federal district.
Federal subjects
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 Siberia (GSE)
subject administrative center
Urals Federal District
Urals Federal District
Ural Federal District is one of the eight federal districts of Russia. The district was established on 13 May 2000 by a decree of the President of Russia. The district is mostly located in the geographical region of Ural, but also includes some parts of the Volga Region; its extent is different...

Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug
Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug
Khanty–Mansi Autonomous Okrug , also known as Yugra, is a federal subject of Russia . Population: The people native to the region are the Khanty and the Mansi, known collectively as Ob Ugric people...

Khanty-Mansiysk
Khanty-Mansiysk
Khanty-Mansiysk experiences a subarctic climate . The climate is extreme, with temperatures as low as -49 C° and as high as 34.5 C°. On average, however, the region is very cold, with an average tempurature of -1.1 C°...

Kurgan Oblast
Kurgan Oblast
Kurgan Oblast is a federal subject of Russia . Its administrative center is the city of Kurgan. Population: -History:The oblast was formed on February 6, 1943, just when the Soviet Army decisively defeated Hitler's forces near Stalingrad...

Kurgan
Tyumen Oblast
Tyumen Oblast
Tyumen Oblast is a federal subject of Russia . Its administrative center is the city of Tyumen. The oblast has administrative jurisdiction over two autonomous okrugs—Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug and Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug. Tyumen is the largest city, with over half a million inhabitants...

Tyumen
Tyumen
Tyumen is the largest city and the administrative center of Tyumen Oblast, Russia, located on the Tura River east of Moscow. Population: Tyumen is the oldest Russian settlement in Siberia. Founded in 16th century to support Russia's eastward expansion, the city has remained one of the most...

Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug
Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug
Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug , is a federal subject of Russia . Its administrative center is the town of Salekhard. Population: -Geography and natural history:...

Salekhard
Salekhard
-International relations:-Twin towns/sister cities:Salekhard is twinned with:*Azov, Rostov Oblast, Russia-External links:*...

Siberian Federal District
Siberian Federal District
Siberian Federal District is one of the eight federal districts of Russia. Its population was 19,254,300 according to the 2010 Census, living on an area of...

Altai Krai
Altai Krai
Altai Krai is a federal subject of Russia . It borders with, clockwise from the south, Kazakhstan, Novosibirsk and Kemerovo Oblasts, and the Altai Republic. The krai's administrative center is the city of Barnaul...

Barnaul
Barnaul
-Russian Empire:Barnaul was one of the earlier cities established in Siberia. Originally chosen for its proximity to the mineral-rich Altai Mountains and its location on a major river, the site was founded by the wealthy Demidov family in the 1730s. In addition to the copper which had originally...

Altai Republic
Altai Republic
Altai Republic is a federal subject of Russia . Its capital is the town of Gorno-Altaysk. The area of the republic is . Population: -Geography:...

Gorno-Altaysk
Gorno-Altaysk
Gorno-Altaysk is the capital town of the Altai Republic, Russia, situated east of Moscow. Population: This only town of the republic lies in a narrow Mayma Valley in the foothills of the Altay Mountains...

Buryat Republic Ulan-Ude
Ulan-Ude
Ulan-Ude is the capital city of the Republic of Buryatia, Russia, located about southeast of Lake Baikal on the Uda River at its confluence with the Selenga...

Chita Oblast
Chita Oblast
Chita Oblast was a federal subject of Russia in southeast Siberia, Russia. Its administrative center was the city of Chita. It had extensive international borders with China and Mongolia and internal borders with Irkutsk and Amur Oblasts, as well as with the Buryat and the Sakha Republics. Its...

Chita
Irkutsk Oblast
Irkutsk Oblast
Irkutsk Oblast is a federal subject of Russia , located in southeastern Siberia in the basins of Angara River, Lena, and Nizhnyaya Tunguska Rivers. The administrative center is the city of Irkutsk. Population: -History:...

Irkutsk
Irkutsk
Irkutsk is a city and the administrative center of Irkutsk Oblast, Russia, one of the largest cities in Siberia. Population: .-History:In 1652, Ivan Pokhabov built a zimovye near the site of Irkutsk for gold trading and for the collection of fur taxes from the Buryats. In 1661, Yakov Pokhabov...

Republic of Khakassia
Khakassia
The Republic of Khakassia or Khakasiya is a federal subject of Russia located in south-central Siberia. Its capital city is Abakan, which is also the largest city in the republic...

Abakan
Abakan
Abakan is the capital city of the Republic of Khakassia, Russia, located in the central part of Minusinsk Depression, at the confluence of the Yenisei and Abakan Rivers. Population: -History:...

Kemerovo Oblast
Kemerovo Oblast
Kemerovo Oblast , also known as Kuzbass after the Kuznetsk Basin, is a federal subject of Russia , located in southwestern Siberia, where the West Siberian Plain meets the South Siberian mountains...

Kemerovo
Kemerovo
Kemerovo is an industrial city in Russia, situated on the Tom River, east-northeast of Novosibirsk. It is the administrative center of Kemerovo Oblast, located in the major coal mining region of the Kuznetsk Basin...

Krasnoyarsk Krai
Krasnoyarsk Krai
Krasnoyarsk Krai is a federal subject of Russia . It is the second largest federal subject after the Sakha Republic, and Russia's largest krai, occupying an area of , which is 13% of the country's total territory. The administrative center of the krai is the city of Krasnoyarsk...

Krasnoyarsk
Krasnoyarsk
Krasnoyarsk is a city and the administrative center of Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia, located on the Yenisei River. It is the third largest city in Siberia, with the population of 973,891. Krasnoyarsk is an important junction of the Trans-Siberian Railway and one of Russia's largest producers of...

Novosibirsk Oblast
Novosibirsk Oblast
Novosibirsk Oblast is a federal subject of Russia located in southwestern Siberia. Its administrative and economic center is the city of Novosibirsk. Population: -Overview:...

Novosibirsk
Novosibirsk
Novosibirsk is the third-largest city in Russia, after Moscow and Saint Petersburg, and the largest city of Siberia, with a population of 1,473,737 . It is the administrative center of Novosibirsk Oblast as well as of the Siberian Federal District...

Omsk Oblast
Omsk Oblast
Omsk Oblast is a federal subject of Russia , located in southwestern Siberia. The oblast has an area of and a population of with the majority, 1.15 million, living in Omsk, the administrative center....

Omsk
Omsk
-History:The wooden fort of Omsk was erected in 1716 to protect the expanding Russian frontier along the Ishim and the Irtysh rivers against the Kyrgyz nomads of the Steppes...

Tomsk Oblast
Tomsk Oblast
Tomsk Oblast is a federal subject of Russia . It lies in the southeastern West Siberian Plain, in the southwest of the Siberian Federal District. Its administrative center is the city of Tomsk. Population:...

Tomsk
Tomsk
Tomsk is a city and the administrative center of Tomsk Oblast, Russia, located on the Tom River. One of the oldest towns in Siberia, Tomsk celebrated its 400th anniversary in 2004...

Tuva Republic
Tuva
The Tyva Republic , or Tuva , is a federal subject of Russia . It lies in the geographical center of Asia, in southern Siberia. The republic borders with the Altai Republic, the Republic of Khakassia, Krasnoyarsk Krai, Irkutsk Oblast, and the Republic of Buryatia in Russia and with Mongolia to the...

Kyzyl
Kyzyl
-External links:*** in Kyzyl, Russia*...

Far Eastern Federal District
Far Eastern Federal District
The Far Eastern Federal District is the largest of the eight federal districts of Russia, while being also the least populated, with a population of 6,291,900 . The Far Eastern Federal District was established in 2000 by then-President Vladimir Putin and is currently being governed by presidential...

Sakha (Yakutia) Republic Yakutsk
Yakutsk
With a subarctic climate , Yakutsk is the coldest city, though not the coldest inhabited place, on Earth. Average monthly temperatures range from in July to in January. The coldest temperatures ever recorded on the planet outside Antarctica occurred in the basin of the Yana River to the northeast...


Federal subjects
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 Siberia (in wide sense)
subject administrative center
Far Eastern Federal District
Far Eastern Federal District
The Far Eastern Federal District is the largest of the eight federal districts of Russia, while being also the least populated, with a population of 6,291,900 . The Far Eastern Federal District was established in 2000 by then-President Vladimir Putin and is currently being governed by presidential...

Amur Oblast
Amur Oblast
Amur Oblast is a federal subject of Russia , situated about east of Moscow on the banks of the Amur and Zeya Rivers. It shares its border with the Sakha Republic in the north, Khabarovsk Krai and the Jewish Autonomous Oblast in the east, People's Republic of China in the south, and Zabaykalsky...

Blagoveshchensk
Blagoveshchensk
Blagoveshchensk is a city and the administrative center of Amur Oblast, Russia. Population: -Early history of the region:The early residents of both sides of the Amur in the region of today's Blagoveshchensk were the Daurs and Duchers...

Chukotka Autonomous Okrug
Chukotka Autonomous Okrug
Chukotka Autonomous Okrug , or Chukotka , is a federal subject of Russia located in the Russian Far East.Chukotka has a population of 53,824 according to the 2002 Census, and a surface area of . The principal town and the administrative center is Anadyr...

Anadyr
Anadyr (town)
Anadyr is a port town and the administrative centre of Chukotka Autonomous Okrug, the extreme north-eastern region of Russia. It is at the mouth of the Anadyr River, on the tip of the southern promontory that sticks out into Anadyrskiy Liman...

Jewish Autonomous Oblast
Jewish Autonomous Oblast
The Jewish Autonomous Oblast is a federal subject of Russia situated in the Russian Far East, bordering Khabarovsk Krai and Amur Oblast of Russia and Heilongjiang province of China. Its administrative center is the town of Birobidzhan....

Birobidzhan
Birobidzhan
Birobidzhan is a town and the administrative center of the Jewish Autonomous Oblast, Russia. It is located on the Trans-Siberian railway, close to the border with the People's Republic of China....

Kamchatka Krai Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky
Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky
Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky is the main city and the administrative, industrial, scientific, and cultural center of Kamchatka Krai, Russia. Population: .-History:It was founded by Danish navigator Vitus Bering, in the service of the Russian Navy...

Khabarovsk Krai
Khabarovsk Krai
Khabarovsk Krai is a federal subject of Russia , located in the Russian Far East. It lies mostly in the basin of the lower Amur River, but also occupies a vast mountainous area along the coastline of the Sea of Okhotsk, an arm of the Pacific Ocean. The administrative center of the krai is the...

Khabarovsk
Khabarovsk
Khabarovsk is the largest city and the administrative center of Khabarovsk Krai, Russia. It is located some from the Chinese border. It is the second largest city in the Russian Far East, after Vladivostok. The city became the administrative center of the Far Eastern Federal District of Russia...

Magadan Oblast
Magadan Oblast
Magadan Oblast is a federal subject of Russia in the Far Eastern Federal District. Its administrative center is the city of Magadan....

Magadan
Magadan
Magadan is a port town on the Sea of Okhotsk and gateway to the Kolyma region. It is the administrative center of Magadan Oblast , in the Russian Far East. Founded in 1929 on the site of an earlier settlement from the 1920s, it was granted the status of town in 1939...

Primorsky Krai
Primorsky Krai
Primorsky Krai , informally known as Primorye , is a federal subject of Russia . Primorsky means "maritime" in Russian, hence the region is sometimes referred to as Maritime Province or Maritime Territory. Its administrative center is in the city of Vladivostok...

Vladivostok
Vladivostok
The city is located in the southern extremity of Muravyov-Amursky Peninsula, which is about 30 km long and approximately 12 km wide.The highest point is Mount Kholodilnik, the height of which is 257 m...

Sakhalin Oblast
Sakhalin Oblast
Sakhalin Oblast is a federal subject of Russia comprising the island of Sakhalin and the Kuril Islands.The oblast has an area of 87,100 km² and a population of 546,695...

Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk
Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk
-Demographics:Most residents are ethnic Russians, but there also exists a sizable population of Koreans. Of the 43,000 Sakhalin Koreans, half are estimated to live in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, comprising roughly 12% of the city's population...

Urals Federal District
Urals Federal District
Ural Federal District is one of the eight federal districts of Russia. The district was established on 13 May 2000 by a decree of the President of Russia. The district is mostly located in the geographical region of Ural, but also includes some parts of the Volga Region; its extent is different...

Chelyabinsk Oblast
Chelyabinsk Oblast
-External links:*...

Chelyabinsk
Chelyabinsk
Chelyabinsk is a city and the administrative center of Chelyabinsk Oblast, Russia, located in the northwestern side of the oblast, south of Yekaterinburg, just to the east of the Ural Mountains, on the Miass River. Population: -History:...

Sverdlovsk Oblast
Sverdlovsk Oblast
Sverdlovsk Oblast is a federal subject of Russia located in the Urals Federal District. Its administrative center is the city of Yekaterinburg formerly known as Sverdlovsk. Population: -Geography:...

Yekaterinburg
Yekaterinburg
Yekaterinburg is a major city in the central part of Russia, the administrative center of Sverdlovsk Oblast. Situated on the eastern side of the Ural mountain range, it is the main industrial and cultural center of the Urals Federal District with a population of 1,350,136 , making it Russia's...


Major cities


Major cities include:
  • Barnaul
    Barnaul
    -Russian Empire:Barnaul was one of the earlier cities established in Siberia. Originally chosen for its proximity to the mineral-rich Altai Mountains and its location on a major river, the site was founded by the wealthy Demidov family in the 1730s. In addition to the copper which had originally...

  • Irkutsk
    Irkutsk
    Irkutsk is a city and the administrative center of Irkutsk Oblast, Russia, one of the largest cities in Siberia. Population: .-History:In 1652, Ivan Pokhabov built a zimovye near the site of Irkutsk for gold trading and for the collection of fur taxes from the Buryats. In 1661, Yakov Pokhabov...


  • Kemerovo
    Kemerovo
    Kemerovo is an industrial city in Russia, situated on the Tom River, east-northeast of Novosibirsk. It is the administrative center of Kemerovo Oblast, located in the major coal mining region of the Kuznetsk Basin...

  • Krasnoyarsk
    Krasnoyarsk
    Krasnoyarsk is a city and the administrative center of Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia, located on the Yenisei River. It is the third largest city in Siberia, with the population of 973,891. Krasnoyarsk is an important junction of the Trans-Siberian Railway and one of Russia's largest producers of...


  • Novokuznetsk
    Novokuznetsk
    Novokuznetsk is a city in Kemerovo Oblast, Russia. It serves as the administrative center of Novokuznetsky District, but it is not administratively a part of it...

  • Novosibirsk
    Novosibirsk
    Novosibirsk is the third-largest city in Russia, after Moscow and Saint Petersburg, and the largest city of Siberia, with a population of 1,473,737 . It is the administrative center of Novosibirsk Oblast as well as of the Siberian Federal District...


  • Omsk
    Omsk
    -History:The wooden fort of Omsk was erected in 1716 to protect the expanding Russian frontier along the Ishim and the Irtysh rivers against the Kyrgyz nomads of the Steppes...

  • Tomsk
    Tomsk
    Tomsk is a city and the administrative center of Tomsk Oblast, Russia, located on the Tom River. One of the oldest towns in Siberia, Tomsk celebrated its 400th anniversary in 2004...


  • Tyumen
    Tyumen
    Tyumen is the largest city and the administrative center of Tyumen Oblast, Russia, located on the Tura River east of Moscow. Population: Tyumen is the oldest Russian settlement in Siberia. Founded in 16th century to support Russia's eastward expansion, the city has remained one of the most...



History


The Siberian Traps
Siberian Traps
The Siberian Traps form a large region of volcanic rock, known as a large igneous province, in the Russian region of Siberia. The massive eruptive event which formed the traps, one of the largest known volcanic events of the last 500 million years of Earth's geological history, continued for...

 was formed by one of the largest known volcanic events of the last 500 million years of Earth's geological history. The event continued for a million years and is considered the likely cause of the "Great Dying" about 250 million years ago, which is estimated to have killed 90% of species existing at the time.

At least three species of humans lived in southern Siberia around 40,000 years ago: H. sapiens, H. neanderthalensis, and an unknown type of hominin, nicknamed "Woman X
Denisova hominin
Denisova hominins , or Denisovans, are Paleolithic-Era members of the genus Homo that may belong to a previously unknown species. In , scientists announced the discovery of a finger bone fragment of a juvenile female that lived about 41,000 years ago, found in Denisova Cave in Altai Krai, Russia, a...

" for the time being.

Siberia was occupied by differing groups of nomads such as the Yenets, the Nenets
Nenets people
The Nenets are an indigenous people in Russia. According to the latest census in 2002, there are 41,302 Nenets in the Russian Federation, most of them living in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug and Nenets Autonomous Okrug...

, the Huns
Huns
The Huns were a group of nomadic people who, appearing from east of the Volga River, migrated into Europe c. AD 370 and established the vast Hunnic Empire there. Since de Guignes linked them with the Xiongnu, who had been northern neighbours of China 300 years prior to the emergence of the Huns,...

, the Iranian
Iranian peoples
The Iranian peoples are an Indo-European ethnic-linguistic group, consisting of the speakers of Iranian languages, a major branch of the Indo-European language family, as such forming a branch of Indo-European-speaking peoples...

 Scythians, and the Turkic Uyghurs
Uyghur people
The Uyghur are a Turkic ethnic group living in Eastern and Central Asia. Today, Uyghurs live primarily in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in the People's Republic of China...

. The Khan of Sibir in the vicinity of modern Tobolsk
Tobolsk
Tobolsk is a town in Tyumen Oblast, Russia, located at the confluence of the Tobol and Irtysh Rivers. It is a historic capital of Siberia. Population: -History:...

 was known as a prominent figure who endorsed Kubrat
Kubrat
Kubrat or Kurt was a Bulgar ruler credited with establishing the confederation of Old Great Bulgaria in 632. He is said to have achieved this by conquering the Avars and uniting all the Bulgar tribes under one rule....

 as Khagan in Avar
Eurasian Avars
The Eurasian Avars or Ancient Avars were a highly organized nomadic confederacy of mixed origins. They were ruled by a khagan, who was surrounded by a tight-knit entourage of nomad warriors, an organization characteristic of Turko-Mongol groups...

ia in 630. The Mongols conquered a large part of this area early in the 13th century. With the breakup of the Golden Horde
Golden Horde
The Golden Horde was a Mongol and later Turkicized khanate that formed the north-western sector of the Mongol Empire...

, the autonomous Siberia Khanate
Siberia Khanate
The Khanate of Sibir were the patrilineal descendants of Shayban , the fifth son of Jochi and grandson of Genghis Khan. The Khanate had an ethnically diverse population of Siberian Tatars, Khanty, Mansi, Nenets and Selkup people. Along with the Khanate of Kazan it was the northernmost Muslim state....

 was established in late 14th century. The Yakuts
Yakuts
Yakuts , are a Turkic people associated with the Sakha Republic.The Yakut or Sakha language belongs to the Northern branch of the Turkic family of languages....

 migrated north from their original area of settlement in the vicinity of Lake Baikal
Lake Baikal
Lake Baikal is the world's oldest at 30 million years old and deepest lake with an average depth of 744.4 metres.Located in the south of the Russian region of Siberia, between Irkutsk Oblast to the northwest and the Buryat Republic to the southeast, it is the most voluminous freshwater lake in the...

 under the pressure of the Mongol expansion during the 13th to 15th century.

The growing power 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...

 to the west began to undermine the Siberian Khanate in the 16th century. First, groups of traders and Cossack
Cossack
Cossacks are a group of predominantly East Slavic people who originally were members of democratic, semi-military communities in what is today Ukraine and Southern Russia inhabiting sparsely populated areas and islands in the lower Dnieper and Don basins and who played an important role in the...

s began to enter the area, and then the Russian army began to set up forts further and further east. Towns like Mangazeya
Mangazeya
Mangazeya was a Northwest Siberian trans-Ural trade colony and later city in the 16-17th centuries. Founded in 1600, it was situated on the Taz River, between the lower courses of the Ob and Yenisei Rivers flowing into the Arctic Ocean....

, Tara
Tara, Russia
Tara is a town in Omsk Oblast, Russia, located about north of Omsk, at the confluence of the Tara and Irtysh Rivers at a point where the forested country merges into the steppe. It serves as the administrative center of Tarsky District, although it is not administratively a part of it...

, Yeniseysk
Yeniseysk
Yeniseysk is a town in Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia, located on the Yenisei River. Population: 20,000 .Yeniseysk was founded in 1619 as a stockaded town—the first town on the Yenisei River. It played an important role in Russian colonization of East Siberia in the 17th–18th centuries...

, and Tobolsk
Tobolsk
Tobolsk is a town in Tyumen Oblast, Russia, located at the confluence of the Tobol and Irtysh Rivers. It is a historic capital of Siberia. Population: -History:...

 sprang up, the latter being declared the capital of Siberia. At this time, Sibir was the name of a fortress at Qashlik, near Tobolsk. Gerardus Mercator
Gerardus Mercator
thumb|right|200px|Gerardus MercatorGerardus Mercator was a cartographer, born in Rupelmonde in the Hapsburg County of Flanders, part of the Holy Roman Empire. He is remembered for the Mercator projection world map, which is named after him...

 in a map published in 1595 marks Sibier both as the name of a settlement and of the surrounding territory along a left tributary of the Ob.

By the mid-17th century, the Russian-controlled areas had been extended to the Pacific. The total Russian
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....

 population of Siberia in 1709 was 230,000.

Siberia remained a mostly undocumented and sparsely populated area. During the following few centuries, only a few exploratory missions and traders entered Siberia. The other group that was sent to Siberia consisted of prisoners exiled from western Russia or Russian-held territories like Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

 (see katorga
Katorga
Katorga was a system of penal servitude of the prison farm type in Tsarist Russia...

). In the 19th century, around 1.2 million prisoners had been sent to Siberia.

The first great modern change to Siberia was the Trans-Siberian railway
Trans-Siberian Railway
The Trans-Siberian Railway is a network of railways connecting Moscow with the Russian Far East and the Sea of Japan. It is the longest railway in the world...

, constructed in 1891–1916. It linked Siberia more closely to the rapidly-industrializing Russia of Nicholas II
Nicholas II of Russia
Nicholas II was the last Emperor of Russia, Grand Prince of Finland, and titular King of Poland. His official short title was Nicholas II, Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russias and he is known as Saint Nicholas the Passion-Bearer by the Russian Orthodox Church.Nicholas II ruled from 1894 until...

. From 1801 to 1914, an estimated 7 million settlers moved from European Russia
European Russia
European Russia refers to the western areas of Russia that lie within Europe, comprising roughly 3,960,000 square kilometres , larger in area than India, and spanning across 40% of Europe. Its eastern border is defined by the Ural Mountains and in the south it is defined by the border with...

 to Siberia, 85% during the quarter-century before World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

. From 1859 to 1917, over half a million people moved to the Russian Far East
Russian Far East
Russian Far East is a term that refers to the Russian part of the Far East, i.e., extreme east parts of Russia, between Lake Baikal in Eastern Siberia and the Pacific Ocean...

. Siberia is filled with natural resources and during the 20th century large scale exploitation of these was developed, and industrial towns cropped up throughout the region.

In the times of the Soviet Union, the earlier katorga
Katorga
Katorga was a system of penal servitude of the prison farm type in Tsarist Russia...

 system of penal labor camps was replaced by the new one, administered by the GULAG
Gulag
The Gulag was the government agency that administered the main Soviet forced labor camp systems. While the camps housed a wide range of convicts, from petty criminals to political prisoners, large numbers were convicted by simplified procedures, such as NKVD troikas and other instruments of...

 state agency. According to official Soviet estimates, more than 14 million people passed through the Gulag from 1929 to 1953, with a further 7 to 8 million being deported and exiled to remote areas of the Soviet Union (including entire nationalities in several cases). 516,841 prisoners died in camps from 1941 to 1943 due to food shortages caused by World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. At other periods, mortality was comparatively lower.The size, scope, and scale of the GULAG slave labor camp system remains a subject of much research and debate; for example, Australian professor Stephen Wheatcroft argues that these penal camps were neither as large nor as deadly as is often claimed. Many Gulag camps were positioned in extremely remote areas of north-eastern Siberia. The best known clusters are Sevvostlag
Sevvostlag
Sevvostlag was a system of forced labor camps set up to satisfy the workforce requirements of the Dalstroy construction trust in the Kolyma region in April 1932. Organizationally being part of Dalstroy and under the management of the Labor and Defence Council of Sovnarkom, these camps were...

(The North-East Camps) along Kolyma
Kolyma
The Kolyma region is located in the far north-eastern area of Russia in what is commonly known as Siberia but is actually part of the Russian Far East. It is bounded by the East Siberian Sea and the Arctic Ocean in the north and the Sea of Okhotsk to the south...

 river and Norillag
Norillag
Norillag, Norilsk Corrective Labor Camp was a gulag labor camp set by Norilsk, Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia and headquartered there. It existed from June 25, 1935 to August 22, 1956....

near Norilsk
Norilsk
Norilsk is an industrial city in Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia, located between the Yenisei River and the Taymyr Peninsula. Population: It was granted city status in 1953. It is the northernmost city in Siberia and the world's second largest city north of the Arctic Circle...

, where 69,000 prisoners were kept in 1952. Major industrial cities of the Northern Siberia, such as Norilsk
Norilsk
Norilsk is an industrial city in Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia, located between the Yenisei River and the Taymyr Peninsula. Population: It was granted city status in 1953. It is the northernmost city in Siberia and the world's second largest city north of the Arctic Circle...

 and Magadan
Magadan
Magadan is a port town on the Sea of Okhotsk and gateway to the Kolyma region. It is the administrative center of Magadan Oblast , in the Russian Far East. Founded in 1929 on the site of an earlier settlement from the 1920s, it was granted the status of town in 1939...

, were originally camps built by prisoners and run by ex-prisoners.

Geography






With an area of 13.1 million km² (5.1 million square miles), Siberia makes up roughly 77% of the total area of Russia. Major geographical zones include the West Siberian Plain
West Siberian Plain
The West Siberian Plain is a large plain that occupies the western portion of Siberia, between the Ural Mountains in the west and the Yenisei River in the east, and by the Altay Mountains on the South-East. Much of the plain is poorly drained and consists of some of the world's largest swamps and...

 and the Central Siberian Plateau
Central Siberian Plateau
The Central Siberian Plateau is made up of sharply demarcated surfaces of varying altitudes occupying most of Siberia between the Yenisei and Lena rivers. It extends over an area of 3.5 million km². The highest point is the Putoran Mountains rising to 1701 m. To the north of the plateau are...

. Siberia covers almost 10% of Earth's land surface (14,894,000 km²).

Eastern and central Sakha comprise numerous north-south mountain ranges of various ages. These mountains extend up to almost three thousand metres in elevation, but above a few hundred metres they are almost completely devoid of vegetation. The Verkhoyansk Range
Verkhoyansk Range
thumb|right|The Verkhoyansk Range is the L-shaped area east of the LenaThe Verkhoyansk Range is a mountain range of eastern Siberia, spanning ca. 1000 km , across the Sakha Republic. It forms a vast arc between the Lena and Aldan rivers to the west and the Yana River to the east. It rises to ca....

 was extensively glaciated in the Pleistocene, but the climate was too dry for glaciation to extend to low elevations. At these low elevations are numerous valleys, many of them deep, and covered with larch forest except in the extreme north, where tundra
Tundra
In physical geography, tundra is a biome where the tree growth is hindered by low temperatures and short growing seasons. The term tundra comes through Russian тундра from the Kildin Sami word tūndâr "uplands," "treeless mountain tract." There are three types of tundra: Arctic tundra, alpine...

 dominates. Soils are mainly Turbels and the active layer tends to be less than one metre deep except near rivers.

The highest point in Siberia is the active volcano
Volcano
2. Bedrock3. Conduit 4. Base5. Sill6. Dike7. Layers of ash emitted by the volcano8. Flank| 9. Layers of lava emitted by the volcano10. Throat11. Parasitic cone12. Lava flow13. Vent14. Crater15...

 Klyuchevskaya Sopka
Klyuchevskaya Sopka
Klyuchevskaya Sopka is a stratovolcano which is the highest mountain on the Kamchatka Peninsula of Russia and the highest active volcano of Eurasia. Its steep, symmetrical cone towers about from the Bering Sea...

, in the Kamchatka peninsula. Its peak is at 4649 metres (15,252.6 ft).

Mountain ranges


  • Altai Mountains
  • Anadyr Range
  • Baikal Mountains
    Baikal Mountains
    thumb|right|300px|The mountains and lake in the summer, as seen from [[Bolshiye Koty]] on the southwest shoreThe Baikal Mountains or Baikal Range rise steeply over the northwestern shore of Lake Baikal in southern Siberia, Russia...

  • Chamar-Daban
    Chamar-Daban
    Khamar-Daban is a mountain range near Baikal Mountains in Siberia, Russia at the Lake Baikal. The highest peak is the Utulinskaya podkova at 2396 metres....

  • Chersky Range
    Chersky Range
    The Chersky Range is a chain of mountains in northeastern Siberia between the Yana River and the Indigirka River. It generally runs from northwest to southeast through the Sakha Republic and Magadan Oblast. The tallest mountain in the range is Peak Pobeda, which is 3,003 meters tall. The range...

  • Dzhugdzhur Mountains
    Dzhugdzhur Mountains
    The Dzhugdzhur Mountains are a mountain range in the far east of Siberia that run along the entire northwest coast of the Sea of Okhotsk. In the east, mountains emerge from the Stanovoy Range and run northeast for some 1500 kilometers before splitting three ways into the Chersky Range, Verkhoyansk...

  • Gydan Mountains
  • Koryak Mountains
    Koryak Mountains
    The Koryak Mountains are a mountain range in Far-Eastern Siberia, Russia, located south of the Anadyr River, and northeast of the Kamchatka Peninsula. Rivers Main and Velikaya have their sources in the Koryak Range. They are the second largest mountain range in all of Siberia....

  • Sayan Mountains
    Sayan Mountains
    The Sayan Mountains are a mountain range between northwestern Mongolia and southern Siberia, Russia.The Eastern Sayan extends from the Yenisei River at 92° E to the southwest end of Lake Baikal at 106° E...

  • Tannu-Ola Mountains
    Tannu-Ola Mountains
    The Tannu-Ola mountains is a mountain range in southern Siberia, in the Tuva Republic of Russia. It extends in an east-west direction and curves along the Mongolian border...

  • Ural Mountains
    Ural Mountains
    The Ural Mountains , or simply the Urals, are a mountain range that runs approximately from north to south through western Russia, from the coast of the Arctic Ocean to the Ural River and northwestern Kazakhstan. Their eastern side is usually considered the natural boundary between Europe and Asia...

  • Verkhoyansk Mountains
  • Yablonoi Mountains
    Yablonoi Mountains
    The Yablonoi Mountains or Yablonovy Mountains is a mountain range in Siberia. It is in Transbaikal in Russia....



Lakes and rivers


  • Anabar River
    Anabar River
    The Anabar River is a river in Sakha, Russia, located just west of the Lena River. Its catchment extends into the Putoran Mountains that form the highest part of the Central Siberian Plateau....

  • Angara River
    Angara River
    The Angara River is a long river in Irkutsk Oblast and Krasnoyarsk Krai, south-east Siberia, Russia. It is the only river flowing out of Lake Baikal, and is the headwater tributary of the Yenisei River....

  • Indigirka River
    Indigirka River
    The Indigirka River is a river in the Sakha Republic in Russia between the Yana River and the Kolyma River. It is in length. The area of its basin is 360,000 km²...

  • Irtysh River
  • Kolyma River
    Kolyma River
    The Kolyma River is a river in northeastern Siberia, whose basin covers parts of the Sakha Republic, Chukotka Autonomous Okrug, and Magadan Oblast of Russia. Itrises in the mountains north of Okhotsk and Magadan, in the area of and...

  • Lake Baikal
    Lake Baikal
    Lake Baikal is the world's oldest at 30 million years old and deepest lake with an average depth of 744.4 metres.Located in the south of the Russian region of Siberia, between Irkutsk Oblast to the northwest and the Buryat Republic to the southeast, it is the most voluminous freshwater lake in the...

  • Lena River
    Lena River
    The Lena is the easternmost of the three great Siberian rivers that flow into the Arctic Ocean . It is the 11th longest river in the world and has the 9th largest watershed...

  • Lower Tunguska River
  • Novosibirsk Reservoir
    Novosibirsk Reservoir
    Novosibirsk Reservoir or Novosibirskoye Reservoir , informally called the Ob Sea , is the largest artificial lake in Novosibirsk Oblast and Altai Krai created by a dam on the Ob River near Novosibirsk. The dam, built in 1956, is for generating hydroelectric power. The reservoir is 160 km long...

  • Ob River
    Ob River
    The Ob River , also Obi, is a major river in western Siberia, Russia and is the world's seventh longest river. It is the westernmost of the three great Siberian rivers that flow into the Arctic Ocean .The Gulf of Ob is the world's longest estuary.-Names:The Ob is known to the Khanty people as the...

  • Popigay River
  • Stony Tunguska River
  • Upper Angara River
  • Uvs Nuur
    Uvs Nuur
    Uvs Lake is a highly saline lake in an endorheic basin - Uvs Nuur Basin in Mongolia with a small part in Russia. It is the largest lake in Mongolia by surface area, covering 3,350 km² at 759 m above sea level....

  • Yana River
    Yana River
    The Yana River , is a river in Sakha in Russia, located between the Lena to the west and the Indigirka to the east.It is 872 km in length. The area of its basin is 238,000 km², whilst its annual discharge totals approximately . Most of this discharge occurs in May and June as the ice on the...

  • Yenisei River
    Yenisei River
    Yenisei , also written as Yenisey, is the largest river system flowing to the Arctic Ocean. It is the central of the three great Siberian rivers that flow into the Arctic Ocean...



Geology


The West Siberian Plain consists mostly of Cenozoic
Cenozoic
The Cenozoic era is the current and most recent of the three Phanerozoic geological eras and covers the period from 65.5 mya to the present. The era began in the wake of the Cretaceous–Tertiary extinction event at the end of the Cretaceous that saw the demise of the last non-avian dinosaurs and...

 alluvial deposits and is somewhat low-lying. Many of the deposits on this plain result from ice dam
Ice dam
An ice dam occurs when water builds up behind a blockage of ice. Ice dams can occur in various ways.-Caused by a glacier:Sometimes a glacier flows down a valley to a confluence where the other branch carries an unfrozen river...

s; having reversed the flow of the Ob and Yenisei Rivers, so redirecting them into the 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...

 (perhaps the Aral
Aral Sea
The Aral Sea was a lake that lay between Kazakhstan in the north and Karakalpakstan, an autonomous region of Uzbekistan, in the south...

 as well). It is very swampy and soils are mostly peaty Histosols and, in the treeless northern part, Histels. In the south of the plain, where permafrost
Permafrost
In geology, permafrost, cryotic soil or permafrost soil is soil at or below the freezing point of water for two or more years. Ice is not always present, as may be in the case of nonporous bedrock, but it frequently occurs and it may be in amounts exceeding the potential hydraulic saturation of...

 is largely absent, rich grasslands that are an extension of the Kazakh Steppe
Kazakh Steppe
The Kazakh Steppe or Kirghiz Steppe ecoregion, of the Palearctic Temperate grasslands, savannas, and shrublands Biome, is a vast region of open grassland in northern Kazakhstan and adjacent portions of Russia, extending to the east of the Pontic steppe and to the west of the Emin Valley steppe,...

 formed the original vegetation (almost all cleared now).

The Central Siberian Plateau is an extremely ancient craton
Craton
A craton is an old and stable part of the continental lithosphere. Having often survived cycles of merging and rifting of continents, cratons are generally found in the interiors of tectonic plates. They are characteristically composed of ancient crystalline basement rock, which may be covered by...

 (sometimes named Angaraland) that formed an independent continent
Continent
A continent is one of several very large landmasses on Earth. They are generally identified by convention rather than any strict criteria, with seven regions commonly regarded as continents—they are : Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Antarctica, Europe, and Australia.Plate tectonics is...

 before the Permian
Permian
The PermianThe term "Permian" was introduced into geology in 1841 by Sir Sir R. I. Murchison, president of the Geological Society of London, who identified typical strata in extensive Russian explorations undertaken with Edouard de Verneuil; Murchison asserted in 1841 that he named his "Permian...

 (see Siberia (continent)
Siberia (continent)
Siberia is the craton located in the heart of the region of Siberia. Siberia or "Angaraland" is today the Central Siberian Plateau...

). It is exceptionally rich in minerals, containing large deposits of gold
Gold
Gold is a chemical element with the symbol Au and an atomic number of 79. Gold is a dense, soft, shiny, malleable and ductile metal. Pure gold has a bright yellow color and luster traditionally considered attractive, which it maintains without oxidizing in air or water. Chemically, gold is a...

, 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, and ores of manganese
Manganese
Manganese is a chemical element, designated by the symbol Mn. It has the atomic number 25. It is found as a free element in nature , and in many minerals...

, lead
Lead
Lead is a main-group element in the carbon group with the symbol Pb and atomic number 82. Lead is a soft, malleable poor metal. It is also counted as one of the heavy metals. Metallic lead has a bluish-white color after being freshly cut, but it soon tarnishes to a dull grayish color when exposed...

, zinc
Zinc
Zinc , or spelter , is a metallic chemical element; it has the symbol Zn and atomic number 30. It is the first element in group 12 of the periodic table. Zinc is, in some respects, chemically similar to magnesium, because its ion is of similar size and its only common oxidation state is +2...

, nickel
Nickel
Nickel is a chemical element with the chemical symbol Ni and atomic number 28. It is a silvery-white lustrous metal with a slight golden tinge. Nickel belongs to the transition metals and is hard and ductile...

, cobalt
Cobalt
Cobalt is a chemical element with symbol Co and atomic number 27. It is found naturally only in chemically combined form. The free element, produced by reductive smelting, is a hard, lustrous, silver-gray metal....

 and 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...

. Much of the area includes the Siberian Traps
Siberian Traps
The Siberian Traps form a large region of volcanic rock, known as a large igneous province, in the Russian region of Siberia. The massive eruptive event which formed the traps, one of the largest known volcanic events of the last 500 million years of Earth's geological history, continued for...

 which is a large igneous province
Large igneous province
A Large Igneous Province is an extremely large accumulation of igneous rocks—intrusive, extrusive, or both—in the earth's crust...

. The massive eruptive period was approximately coincident with the Permian–Triassic extinction event. The volcanic event is said to be the largest known volcanic eruption in Earth
Earth
Earth is the third planet from the Sun, and the densest and fifth-largest of the eight planets in the Solar System. It is also the largest of the Solar System's four terrestrial planets...

's history. Only the extreme northwest was glaciated during the Quaternary
Quaternary
The Quaternary Period is the most recent of the three periods of the Cenozoic Era in the geologic time scale of the ICS. It follows the Neogene Period, spanning 2.588 ± 0.005 million years ago to the present...

, but almost all is under exceptionally deep permafrost
Permafrost
In geology, permafrost, cryotic soil or permafrost soil is soil at or below the freezing point of water for two or more years. Ice is not always present, as may be in the case of nonporous bedrock, but it frequently occurs and it may be in amounts exceeding the potential hydraulic saturation of...

 and the only tree
Tree
A tree is a perennial woody plant. It is most often defined as a woody plant that has many secondary branches supported clear of the ground on a single main stem or trunk with clear apical dominance. A minimum height specification at maturity is cited by some authors, varying from 3 m to...

 that can thrive, despite the warm summers, is the deciduous Siberian Larch
Siberian Larch
The Siberian Larch or Russian Larch is a frost-hardy tree native to western Russia, from close to the Finnish border east to the Yenisei valley in central Siberia, where it hybridises with the Dahurian Larch L...

 (Larix sibirica) with its very shallow roots. Outside the extreme northwest, the taiga
Taiga
Taiga , also known as the boreal forest, is a biome characterized by coniferous forests.Taiga is the world's largest terrestrial biome. In North America it covers most of inland Canada and Alaska as well as parts of the extreme northern continental United States and is known as the Northwoods...

 is dominant; in fact, taiga covers a significant fraction of the entirety of Siberia. Soils here are mainly Turbels
Gelisols
Gelisols are an order in USDA soil taxonomy. They are soils of very cold climates which are defined as containing permafrost within two meters of the soil surface...

, giving way to Spodosols where the active layer becomes thicker and the ice content lower.

Climate




Vegetation
Biome
Biomes are climatically and geographically defined as similar climatic conditions on the Earth, such as communities of plants, animals, and soil organisms, and are often referred to as ecosystems. Some parts of the earth have more or less the same kind of abiotic and biotic factors spread over a...

 in Siberia is mostly taiga
Taiga
Taiga , also known as the boreal forest, is a biome characterized by coniferous forests.Taiga is the world's largest terrestrial biome. In North America it covers most of inland Canada and Alaska as well as parts of the extreme northern continental United States and is known as the Northwoods...

, with a tundra
Tundra
In physical geography, tundra is a biome where the tree growth is hindered by low temperatures and short growing seasons. The term tundra comes through Russian тундра from the Kildin Sami word tūndâr "uplands," "treeless mountain tract." There are three types of tundra: Arctic tundra, alpine...

 belt on the northern fringe, and a temperate forest
Temperate broadleaf and mixed forests
Mixed forests are a temperate and humid biome. The typical structure of these forests includes four layers. The uppermost layer is the canopy composed of tall mature trees ranging from 33 to 66 m high. Below the canopy is the three-layered, shade-tolerant understory that is roughly 9 to...

 zone in the south.
The climate of Siberia varies dramatically. On the north coast, north of the Arctic Circle
Arctic Circle
The Arctic Circle is one of the five major circles of latitude that mark maps of the Earth. For Epoch 2011, it is the parallel of latitude that runs north of the Equator....

, there is a very short (about one-month-long) summer.
Almost all the population lives in the south, along the Trans-Siberian Railway
Trans-Siberian Railway
The Trans-Siberian Railway is a network of railways connecting Moscow with the Russian Far East and the Sea of Japan. It is the longest railway in the world...

. The climate in this southernmost part is Humid continental climate
Humid continental climate
A humid continental climate is a climatic region typified by large seasonal temperature differences, with warm to hot summers and cold winters....

 (Koppen Dfb) with cold winters but fairly warm summers lasting at least 4 months. Annual average is about 0.5 °C (32.9 °F), January averages about-15 °C and July about 19 °C (66.2 °F), while daytime temperatures in summer typically are above 20 °C. With a reliable growing season, an abundance of sunshine and exceedingly fertile chernozem
Chernozem
Chernozem , also known as "black land" or "black earth", is a black-coloured soil containing a high percentage of humus 7% to 15%, and high percentages of phosphoric acids, phosphorus and ammonia...

 soils, Southern Siberia is good enough for profitable agriculture
Agriculture
Agriculture is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi and other life forms for food, fiber, and other products used to sustain life. Agriculture was the key implement in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that nurtured the...

, as was proven in the early twentieth century.

The by far most common climate in Siberia is continental subarctic
Subarctic climate
The subarctic climate is a climate characterized by long, usually very cold winters, and short, cool to mild summers. It is found on large landmasses, away from the moderating effects of an ocean, generally at latitudes from 50° to 70°N poleward of the humid continental climates...

 (Koppen Dfc or Dwc), with the annual average temperature about -5 °C and roughly -25 °C average in January and 17 °C (62.6 °F) in July, although this varies considerably, with July average about 10 °C at the taiga - tundra ecotone
Ecotone
An ecotone is a transition area between two biomes but different patches of the landscape, such as forest and grassland. It may be narrow or wide, and it may be local or regional...

.

Southwesterly winds bring warm air from Central Asia and the Middle East. The climate in West Siberia (Omsk, Novosibirsk) is several degrees warmer than in the East (Irkutsk, Chita), where in the north an extreme winter subarctic climate (Köppen Dfd or Dwd) prevails. With a lowest record temperature of -71.2 °C, Oymyakon
Oymyakon
Oymyakon is a village in Oymyakonsky Ulus of the Sakha Republic, Russia, located along the Indigirka River, 30 kilometres northwest of Tomtor on the Kolyma Highway.-Geography:...

 (Sakha Republic) has the distinction of being the coldest town on Earth
Earth
Earth is the third planet from the Sun, and the densest and fifth-largest of the eight planets in the Solar System. It is also the largest of the Solar System's four terrestrial planets...

. But summer temperatures in other regions reach 38 °C (100 °F). In general, Sakha is the coldest Siberian region, and the basin of the Yana River
Yana River
The Yana River , is a river in Sakha in Russia, located between the Lena to the west and the Indigirka to the east.It is 872 km in length. The area of its basin is 238,000 km², whilst its annual discharge totals approximately . Most of this discharge occurs in May and June as the ice on the...

 has the lowest temperatures of all, with permafrost reaching 1493 metres (4,898.3 ft). Nevertheless, as far as Imperial Russian plans of settlement were concerned, cold was never viewed as an issue. In the winter, southern Siberia sits near the center of the semi-permanent Siberian High
Siberian High
The Siberian High is a massive collection of cold or very cold dry air that accumulates on the Eurasian terrain for much of the year. It reaches its greatest size and strength in the winter, when the air temperature near the center of the high-pressure cell or anticyclone is often lower than...

, so winds are usually light in the winter.

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...

 in Siberia is generally low, exceeding 500 millimetres (19.7 in) only in Kamchatka where moist winds flow from the Sea of Okhotsk
Sea of Okhotsk
The Sea of Okhotsk is a marginal sea of the western Pacific Ocean, lying between the Kamchatka Peninsula on the east, the Kuril Islands on the southeast, the island of Hokkaidō to the far south, the island of Sakhalin along the west, and a long stretch of eastern Siberian coast along the west and...

 onto high mountains – producing the region's only major glacier
Glacier
A glacier is a large persistent body of ice that forms where the accumulation of snow exceeds its ablation over many years, often centuries. At least 0.1 km² in area and 50 m thick, but often much larger, a glacier slowly deforms and flows due to stresses induced by its weight...

s, though the volcanic eruptions, and low summer temperatures allow limited forests to grow. Precipitation is high also in most of Primorye
Primorsky Krai
Primorsky Krai , informally known as Primorye , is a federal subject of Russia . Primorsky means "maritime" in Russian, hence the region is sometimes referred to as Maritime Province or Maritime Territory. Its administrative center is in the city of Vladivostok...

 in the extreme south where monsoonal influences can produce quite heavy summer rainfall. Despite the region's notorious cold winters, snowfall is generally quite light, especially in the eastern interior of the region.
Researchers, including Sergei Kirpotin at Tomsk State University
Tomsk State University
Tomsk State University , formerly Imperial Tomsk University, is the first university in Siberia—it was founded in 1878 in Tomsk, Russia. TSU opened in 1888 with only one department, the medical school...

 and Judith Marquand at Oxford University, warn that Western Siberia
West Siberian Plain
The West Siberian Plain is a large plain that occupies the western portion of Siberia, between the Ural Mountains in the west and the Yenisei River in the east, and by the Altay Mountains on the South-East. Much of the plain is poorly drained and consists of some of the world's largest swamps and...

 has begun to thaw as a result of global warming
Global warming
Global warming refers to the rising average temperature of Earth's atmosphere and oceans and its projected continuation. In the last 100 years, Earth's average surface temperature increased by about with about two thirds of the increase occurring over just the last three decades...

. The frozen peat bogs in this region may hold billions of tons of methane gas, which may be released into the atmosphere. Methane is a greenhouse gas
Greenhouse gas
A greenhouse gas is a gas in an atmosphere that absorbs and emits radiation within the thermal infrared range. This process is the fundamental cause of the greenhouse effect. The primary greenhouse gases in the Earth's atmosphere are water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and ozone...

 22 times more powerful than carbon dioxide
Carbon dioxide
Carbon dioxide is a naturally occurring chemical compound composed of two oxygen atoms covalently bonded to a single carbon atom...

. In 2008, a research expedition for the American Geophysical Union
American Geophysical Union
The American Geophysical Union is a nonprofit organization of geophysicists, consisting of over 50,000 members from over 135 countries. AGU's activities are focused on the organization and dissemination of scientific information in the interdisciplinary and international field of geophysics...

 detected levels of methane up to 100 times above normal in the Siberian Arctic, likely being released by methane clathrate
Methane clathrate
Methane clathrate, also called methane hydrate, hydromethane, methane ice, "fire ice", natural gas hydrate or just gas hydrate, is a solid clathrate compound in which a large amount of methane is trapped within a crystal structure of water, forming a solid similar to ice...

s being released by holes in a frozen 'lid' of seabed permafrost
Permafrost
In geology, permafrost, cryotic soil or permafrost soil is soil at or below the freezing point of water for two or more years. Ice is not always present, as may be in the case of nonporous bedrock, but it frequently occurs and it may be in amounts exceeding the potential hydraulic saturation of...

, around the outfall of the Lena River
Lena River
The Lena is the easternmost of the three great Siberian rivers that flow into the Arctic Ocean . It is the 11th longest river in the world and has the 9th largest watershed...

 and the area between the Laptev Sea
Laptev Sea
The Laptev Sea is a marginal sea of the Arctic Ocean. It is located between the northern coast of Siberia, the Taimyr Peninsula, Severnaya Zemlya and the New Siberian Islands. Its northern boundary passes from the Arctic Cape to a point with co-ordinates of 79°N and 139°E, and ends at the Anisiy...

 and East Siberian Sea
East Siberian Sea
The East Siberian Sea is a marginal sea in the Arctic Ocean. It is located between the Arctic Cape to the north, the coast of Siberia to the south, the New Siberian Islands to the west and Cape Billings, close to Chukotka, and Wrangel Island to the east...

.

Economy



Siberia is extraordinarily rich in mineral
Mineral
A mineral is a naturally occurring solid chemical substance formed through biogeochemical processes, having characteristic chemical composition, highly ordered atomic structure, and specific physical properties. By comparison, a rock is an aggregate of minerals and/or mineraloids and does not...

s, containing ores of almost all economically valuable metal
Metal
A metal , is an element, compound, or alloy that is a good conductor of both electricity and heat. Metals are usually malleable and shiny, that is they reflect most of incident light...

s—largely because of the absence of Quaternary glaciation outside highland areas. It has some of the world's largest deposits of nickel, gold
Gold
Gold is a chemical element with the symbol Au and an atomic number of 79. Gold is a dense, soft, shiny, malleable and ductile metal. Pure gold has a bright yellow color and luster traditionally considered attractive, which it maintains without oxidizing in air or water. Chemically, gold is a...

, lead
Lead
Lead is a main-group element in the carbon group with the symbol Pb and atomic number 82. Lead is a soft, malleable poor metal. It is also counted as one of the heavy metals. Metallic lead has a bluish-white color after being freshly cut, but it soon tarnishes to a dull grayish color when exposed...

, coal
Coal
Coal is a combustible black or brownish-black sedimentary rock usually occurring in rock strata in layers or veins called coal beds or coal seams. The harder forms, such as anthracite coal, can be regarded as metamorphic rock because of later exposure to elevated temperature and pressure...

, 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...

, gypsum
Gypsum
Gypsum is a very soft sulfate mineral composed of calcium sulfate dihydrate, with the chemical formula CaSO4·2H2O. It is found in alabaster, a decorative stone used in Ancient Egypt. It is the second softest mineral on the Mohs Hardness Scale...

, 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, diopside
Diopside
Diopside is a monoclinic pyroxene mineral with composition MgCaSi2O6. It forms complete solid solution series with hedenbergite and augite, and partial solid solutions with orthopyroxene and pigeonite. It forms variably colored, but typically dull green crystals in the monoclinic prismatic class...

, silver
Silver
Silver is a metallic chemical element with the chemical symbol Ag and atomic number 47. A soft, white, lustrous transition metal, it has the highest electrical conductivity of any element and the highest thermal conductivity of any metal...

 and zinc
Zinc
Zinc , or spelter , is a metallic chemical element; it has the symbol Zn and atomic number 30. It is the first element in group 12 of the periodic table. Zinc is, in some respects, chemically similar to magnesium, because its ion is of similar size and its only common oxidation state is +2...

, as well as extensive unexploited resources of oil
Oil
An oil is any substance that is liquid at ambient temperatures and does not mix with water but may mix with other oils and organic solvents. This general definition includes vegetable oils, volatile essential oils, petrochemical oils, and synthetic oils....

 and natural gas
Natural gas
Natural gas is a naturally occurring gas mixture consisting primarily of methane, typically with 0–20% higher hydrocarbons . It is found associated with other hydrocarbon fuel, in coal beds, as methane clathrates, and is an important fuel source and a major feedstock for fertilizers.Most natural...

. The Khanty-Mansiysk
Khanty-Mansiysk
Khanty-Mansiysk experiences a subarctic climate . The climate is extreme, with temperatures as low as -49 C° and as high as 34.5 C°. On average, however, the region is very cold, with an average tempurature of -1.1 C°...

 region is home to 70% of Russia's developed oil fields. Russia contains about 40% of the world's known resources of nickel
Nickel
Nickel is a chemical element with the chemical symbol Ni and atomic number 28. It is a silvery-white lustrous metal with a slight golden tinge. Nickel belongs to the transition metals and is hard and ductile...

 at the Norilsk
Norilsk
Norilsk is an industrial city in Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia, located between the Yenisei River and the Taymyr Peninsula. Population: It was granted city status in 1953. It is the northernmost city in Siberia and the world's second largest city north of the Arctic Circle...

 deposit in Siberia. Norilsk Nickel is the world's biggest nickel and palladium
Palladium
Palladium is a chemical element with the chemical symbol Pd and an atomic number of 46. It is a rare and lustrous silvery-white metal discovered in 1803 by William Hyde Wollaston. He named it after the asteroid Pallas, which was itself named after the epithet of the Greek goddess Athena, acquired...

 producer.

Agriculture is severely restricted by the short growing season of most of the region. However, in the southwest where soils are exceedingly fertile black earths and the climate is a little more moderate, there is extensive cropping of wheat
Wheat
Wheat is a cereal grain, originally from the Levant region of the Near East, but now cultivated worldwide. In 2007 world production of wheat was 607 million tons, making it the third most-produced cereal after maize and rice...

, barley
Barley
Barley is a major cereal grain, a member of the grass family. It serves as a major animal fodder, as a base malt for beer and certain distilled beverages, and as a component of various health foods...

, rye
Rye
Rye is a grass grown extensively as a grain and as a forage crop. It is a member of the wheat tribe and is closely related to barley and wheat. Rye grain is used for flour, rye bread, rye beer, some whiskeys, some vodkas, and animal fodder...

 and potato
Potato
The potato is a starchy, tuberous crop from the perennial Solanum tuberosum of the Solanaceae family . The word potato may refer to the plant itself as well as the edible tuber. In the region of the Andes, there are some other closely related cultivated potato species...

es, along with the grazing of large numbers of sheep and cattle
Cattle
Cattle are the most common type of large domesticated ungulates. They are a prominent modern member of the subfamily Bovinae, are the most widespread species of the genus Bos, and are most commonly classified collectively as Bos primigenius...

. Elsewhere food production, owing to the poor fertility of the podzolic soils and the extremely short growing seasons, is restricted to the herding of reindeer
Reindeer
The reindeer , also known as the caribou in North America, is a deer from the Arctic and Subarctic, including both resident and migratory populations. While overall widespread and numerous, some of its subspecies are rare and one has already gone extinct.Reindeer vary considerably in color and size...

 in the tundra — which has been practiced by natives for over 10,000 years. Siberia has the world's largest forest
Forest
A forest, also referred to as a wood or the woods, is an area with a high density of trees. As with cities, depending where you are in the world, what is considered a forest may vary significantly in size and have various classification according to how and what of the forest is composed...

s. Timber remains an important source of revenue, even though many forests in the east have been logged much more rapidly than they are able to recover. The Sea of Okhotsk
Sea of Okhotsk
The Sea of Okhotsk is a marginal sea of the western Pacific Ocean, lying between the Kamchatka Peninsula on the east, the Kuril Islands on the southeast, the island of Hokkaidō to the far south, the island of Sakhalin along the west, and a long stretch of eastern Siberian coast along the west and...

 is one of the two or three richest fisheries in the world owing to its cold currents and very large tidal ranges
Tide
Tides are the rise and fall of sea levels caused by the combined effects of the gravitational forces exerted by the moon and the sun and the rotation of the Earth....

, and thus Siberia produces over 10% of the world's annual fish catch, although fishing has declined somewhat since the collapse of the USSR.

Demographics




Siberia is home to approximately 38 million people. It has a population density of about three people per square kilometer. Most Siberians are 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....

 and Russified Ukrainians
Ukrainians in Russia
The Ukrainians in Russia make up the largest single Ukrainian diaspora of the Ukrainian people. Officially there are 2,942,961 Ukrainians living in Russia or just over 2% of the total population making them the third largest ethnic group after ethnic Russians and Tatars in the Russian...

. There are approximately 400,000 Russified ethnic Germans living in Siberia. Such Mongol and Turkic
Turkic peoples
The Turkic peoples are peoples residing in northern, central and western Asia, southern Siberia and northwestern China and parts of eastern Europe. They speak languages belonging to the Turkic language family. They share, to varying degrees, certain cultural traits and historical backgrounds...

 groups as Buryats
Buryats
The Buryats or Buriyads , numbering approximately 436,000, are the largest ethnic minority group in Siberia and are mainly concentrated in their homeland, the Buryat Republic, a federal subject of Russia...

, Tuvinians, Yakuts
Yakuts
Yakuts , are a Turkic people associated with the Sakha Republic.The Yakut or Sakha language belongs to the Northern branch of the Turkic family of languages....

, and Siberian Tatars
Siberian Tatars
Siberian Tatars refers to the indigenous Siberian population of the forests and steppes of South Siberia stretching from somewhat east of the Ural Mountains to the Yenisey river...

 lived in Siberia originally, and descendants of these peoples still live there. The Buryats
Buryats
The Buryats or Buriyads , numbering approximately 436,000, are the largest ethnic minority group in Siberia and are mainly concentrated in their homeland, the Buryat Republic, a federal subject of Russia...

 number 445,175, which makes them the largest ethnic minority group in Siberia. According to the 2002 census there are 443,852 Yakuts
Yakuts
Yakuts , are a Turkic people associated with the Sakha Republic.The Yakut or Sakha language belongs to the Northern branch of the Turkic family of languages....

. Other ethnic group
Ethnic group
An ethnic group is a group of people whose members identify with each other, through a common heritage, often consisting of a common language, a common culture and/or an ideology that stresses common ancestry or endogamy...

s include Kets
Ket people
Kets are a Siberian people who speak the Ket language. In Imperial Russia they were called Ostyaks, without differentiating them from several other Siberian peoples. Later they became known as Yenisey ostyaks, because they lived in the middle and lower basin of the Yenisei River in the Krasnoyarsk...

, Evenks
Evenks
The Evenks are a Tungusic people of Northern Asia. In Russia, the Evenks are recognized as one of the Indigenous peoples of the Russian North, with a population of 35,527...

, Chukchis, Koryaks
Koryaks
Koryaks are an indigenous people of Kamchatka Krai in the Russian Far East, who inhabit the coastlands of the Bering Sea to the south of the Anadyr basin and the country to the immediate north of the Kamchatka Peninsula, the southernmost limit of their range being Tigilsk. They are akin to the...

, and Yukaghirs. See the Northern indigenous peoples of Russia article for more. Officially, 40,000 Chinese live in the Russian Far East
Russian Far East
Russian Far East is a term that refers to the Russian part of the Far East, i.e., extreme east parts of Russia, between Lake Baikal in Eastern Siberia and the Pacific Ocean...

, but the actual figure is believed to be much higher.

About 70% of Siberia's people live in cities. Most city people live in apartments. Many people in rural areas live in simple, but more spacious, log houses. Novosibirsk
Novosibirsk
Novosibirsk is the third-largest city in Russia, after Moscow and Saint Petersburg, and the largest city of Siberia, with a population of 1,473,737 . It is the administrative center of Novosibirsk Oblast as well as of the Siberian Federal District...

 is the largest city in Siberia, with a population of about 1.5 million. Tobolsk
Tobolsk
Tobolsk is a town in Tyumen Oblast, Russia, located at the confluence of the Tobol and Irtysh Rivers. It is a historic capital of Siberia. Population: -History:...

, Tomsk
Tomsk
Tomsk is a city and the administrative center of Tomsk Oblast, Russia, located on the Tom River. One of the oldest towns in Siberia, Tomsk celebrated its 400th anniversary in 2004...

, Tyumen
Tyumen
Tyumen is the largest city and the administrative center of Tyumen Oblast, Russia, located on the Tura River east of Moscow. Population: Tyumen is the oldest Russian settlement in Siberia. Founded in 16th century to support Russia's eastward expansion, the city has remained one of the most...

, Krasnoyarsk
Krasnoyarsk
Krasnoyarsk is a city and the administrative center of Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia, located on the Yenisei River. It is the third largest city in Siberia, with the population of 973,891. Krasnoyarsk is an important junction of the Trans-Siberian Railway and one of Russia's largest producers of...

, Irkutsk
Irkutsk
Irkutsk is a city and the administrative center of Irkutsk Oblast, Russia, one of the largest cities in Siberia. Population: .-History:In 1652, Ivan Pokhabov built a zimovye near the site of Irkutsk for gold trading and for the collection of fur taxes from the Buryats. In 1661, Yakov Pokhabov...

 and Omsk
Omsk
-History:The wooden fort of Omsk was erected in 1716 to protect the expanding Russian frontier along the Ishim and the Irtysh rivers against the Kyrgyz nomads of the Steppes...

 are the older, historical centers.

Religion



There are a variety of beliefs throughout Siberia, including Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

, Orthodox Christianity
Eastern Orthodox Church
The Orthodox Church, officially called the Orthodox Catholic Church and commonly referred to as the Eastern Orthodox Church, is the second largest Christian denomination in the world, with an estimated 300 million adherents mainly in the countries of Belarus, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Georgia, Greece,...

, Tibetan Buddhism
Tibetan Buddhism
Tibetan Buddhism is the body of Buddhist religious doctrine and institutions characteristic of Tibet and certain regions of the Himalayas, including northern Nepal, Bhutan, and India . It is the state religion of Bhutan...

, and other denominations of Christianity. An estimated 70,000 Jews
History of the Jews in Russia and the Soviet Union
The vast territories of the Russian Empire at one time hosted the largest populations of Jews in the diaspora. Within these territories the Jewish community flourished and developed many of modern Judaism's most distinctive theological and cultural traditions, while also facing periods of...

 live in Siberia. The predominant group is the Russian Orthodox Church
Russian Orthodox Church
The Russian Orthodox Church or, alternatively, the Moscow Patriarchate The ROC is often said to be the largest of the Eastern Orthodox churches in the world; including all the autocephalous churches under its umbrella, its adherents number over 150 million worldwide—about half of the 300 million...

.

Siberia is regarded as the locus classicus of shamanism
Shamanism
Shamanism is an anthropological term referencing a range of beliefs and practices regarding communication with the spiritual world. To quote Eliade: "A first definition of this complex phenomenon, and perhaps the least hazardous, will be: shamanism = technique of ecstasy." Shamanism encompasses the...

 and polytheism is popular. These native religions date back hundreds of years. The vast terrority of Siberia has many different local traditions of gods. These include: Ak Ana
Ak Ana
Ak Ana-Selene, the "White Mother", is the primordial creator-goddess of the Khanty and Mansi peoples of Siberia. She is also known as the goddess of the moon in Greek Mythology, merged in Artemis and Hecate. She was the consort of Kara Khan....

, Anapel
Anapel
Anapel is the goddess of reincarnation and birth worshipped by the Koryak people of Siberia. Her name means "Little Grandmother" in the Koryak language. She was worshipped at ceremonies following the birth of a new child.-Sources:**...

, Bugady Musun
Bugady Musun
A goddess revered by many Siberian peoples. Bugady Musun was the patron of wildlife and the guardian of animals....

, Kara Khan
Kara-Khitan Khanate
The Kara-Khitan Khanate, or Western Liao was a Khitan empire in Central Asia. The dynasty was founded by Yelü Dashi, who led the remnants of the Liao Dynasty to Central Asia after fleeing from the Jurchen conquest of their homeland in North and Northeast of modern day China...

, Khaltesh-Anki
Khaltesh-Anki
Khaltesh-Anki is the Ob Ugrian Khanty/Mansi goddess of the earth.-External links:* * *...

, Kini'je
Kini'je
Kini'je is a Yukaghir deity responsible for the flow of time....

, Ku'urkil
Ku'urkil
The Chukchi creator-deity, roughly analogous to Bai-Ulgan of the Turkic pantheon. The Koryak refer to him as Quikinna'qu and in Kamchadal mythology he is called Kutkhu....

, Nga
Nga (god)
Among the Nenets people of Siberia, Nga was the god of death, as well as one of two demiurges, or supreme gods.According to one story, the world threatened to collapse on itself. To try and halt this cataclysm a shaman sought the advice of the other demiurge, Num. The shaman was advised to travel...

, Nu'tenut
Nu'tenut
The chief god of the Chukchi peoples. In Chukchi religious lore, Nu'tenut lived in a house built of iron. His retinue of attendants included the spirits of the earth, of light and darkness, of the sea, the sun, the moon and the sky....

, Numi-Torem, Numi-Turum, Pon
Yukaghir
The Yukaghir, or Yukagirs , деткиль ) are a people in East Siberia, living in the basin of the Kolyma River.-Region:The Tundra Yukaghirs live in the Lower Kolyma region in the Sakha Republic; the Taiga Yukaghirs in the Upper Kolyma region in the Sakha Republic and in Srednekansky District of...

, Pugu
Pugu
The Yukaghir god of the sun and of justice. He is revered as the defender of the oppressed and the punisher of evil deeds. He kills evil demons with his sun-flail in hopes of bringing peace to his land. This section of text was devised from the sacred book hura....

, Todote
Todote
Todote is the Samoyed god of evil and death, identified with the Turkic god Erlik....

, Toko'yoto
Toko'yoto
Toko'yoto or "Crab" was the Chukchi god of the sea. Specifically, he was the creator and ruler of the Pacific Ocean. Some tribes refer to him as Anky-Kele and attribute to him the power over life and death....

, Tomam
Tomam
Among the Ket people of Siberia, Tomam was the goddess of migratory birds. She is associated with the south, with warmth, and with the northern migration of birds that accompanies the warmer months. In the autumn southward migrating birds are considered to be returning to "Mother Tomam"....

, Xaya Iccita, Zonget. Places with sacred areas include Olkhon
Olkhon
Olkhon is the third-largest lake-bound island in the world. It is by far the largest island in Lake Baikal in eastern Siberia, with an area of . Structurally, it acts as the southwestern margin of Academician Ridge....

, an island in Lake Baikal
Lake Baikal
Lake Baikal is the world's oldest at 30 million years old and deepest lake with an average depth of 744.4 metres.Located in the south of the Russian region of Siberia, between Irkutsk Oblast to the northwest and the Buryat Republic to the southeast, it is the most voluminous freshwater lake in the...

.

Transport


Many cities in Siberia, such as Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky
Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky
Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky is the main city and the administrative, industrial, scientific, and cultural center of Kamchatka Krai, Russia. Population: .-History:It was founded by Danish navigator Vitus Bering, in the service of the Russian Navy...

, cannot be reached by road, as there is virtually none connecting from other major cities in Russia or Asia. The best way to tour Siberia is through the Trans-Siberian Railway
Trans-Siberian Railway
The Trans-Siberian Railway is a network of railways connecting Moscow with the Russian Far East and the Sea of Japan. It is the longest railway in the world...

. The Trans-Siberian Railway operates from Moscow in the West to Vladivostok
Vladivostok
The city is located in the southern extremity of Muravyov-Amursky Peninsula, which is about 30 km long and approximately 12 km wide.The highest point is Mount Kholodilnik, the height of which is 257 m...

 in the East. Cities not nearby the Railway are best reached by air or the separate Baikal-Amur-Railway (BAM).

External links