Republic of Karelia
See also: Karelia
The Republic of Karelia (in; in) of the Fédération of Russia is a federal prone (a republic). The transcription of the name of the republic is Respoublika Karelia .
GeographyThe republic is located in the north-western part of the Federation of Russia, in intermediate position between the basins of the seas Blanche and Baltique. The coast of the White Sea extends on 630 km.
Most of the territory of the republic (148 000 km ² or 85 %) consists of forest reserves of State.
Surface : 172.400 km ².
- Borders :
- internal : Oblast de Mourmansk (NR), Oblast d' Arkhangelsk (E/SE), Oblast de Vologda (SE/S), Oblast of Leningrad (S/SO)
- international : Lapland in Finland (SO/O/NO) (length of the border: 723 km)
- water : White sea (an arm of the Sea of Barents) (N/NE/E), the Baltic (SO)
LakesThere are 60.000 lakes in Karelia. The lakes and marshes of the republic contain approximately 2 000 km ³ of fresh water of very good quality. The Lake Ladoga and the Lac Onega are more the big lakes of Europe.
Natural resourcesOne finds about fifty useful ores in Karelia, located in more than 400 metalliferous layers and layers. The natural resources of the republic include/understand inter alia the iron ore, the Diamant S, the Vanadium and the Molybdène.
DemographyKarelia is mainly populated of Russian S (73,6% of population 548.941) and of Caréliens (Finnish ethnos group) (10%, 65.651). Among the other ethnicities one finds the Belorusse S (7%, 37.681), the Ukrainian S (3,6%, 19.248), the Finnois (2,3%, 14.156).
Population : 716.281 (2002)
- Urbain : 537.395 (75,0%)
- Rural : 178.886 (25,0%)
- Men : 331.505 (46,3%)
- Women : 384.776 (53,7%)
- Women for 1000 men : 1.161
- Middle Age : 37,1 years
- Urbain : 35,9 years
- Rural : 40,6 years
- Men : 33,9 years
- Women : 39,9 years
- Many hearths : 279.915 (701 314 people)
- Urbain : 208.041 (525 964 people)
- Rural : 71.874 (175 350 people)
HistoryHistorically Karelia is an area of the North-West of the Russia, in the east of current the Finland. Its inhabitants of the 10th century are described in a saga like a threat for the Lapps. Since the 13th century, several parts were conquered by the Sweden and were integrated in the Swedish Karelia. They were lost with the profit of Russia, according to the Traité of Åbo in the middle of the 18th century.
October 14th, 1920 is signed a peace treaty between Finland and Russia in Estonia, in Tartu (Dorpat). Finland receives most of Karelia, from which a disputed part is allotted to Russia; in exchange, Finland obtains Petchenga, out of the limits of the old Grand Duchy. It however is stipulated that the Russians will have the right to forward there freely.
The oriental party became the RSSA (autonomous Soviet socialist Republic) carélienne. This area, under Russian control since the Middle Ages, is a strategic corridor of foreground between Saint-Pétersbourg and Mourmansk whose value increases with the boring of a channel.
The Second world war
After having obtained bases in the Baltic States with the autumn 1939 (by the means of treaties of mutual assistance), Russia starts in October of the negotiations with Finland in order to acquire similar advantages more:
- Transfer of the base of Hanko (with the south-western point of Finland, the south of Turku).
- Exchange of territories: Finland yields its islands of the gulf of Finland and the Åland islands, and makes move back the border with seventy kilometers of Leningrad, annexing the Isthme of Karelia, whereas it was then on the level of Kronstadt, to 35 kilometers of Leningrad. The Soviet concern was to protect the city: “as one cannot move Leningrad, it is necessary to move the border”, declared Molotov. The new border moreover would be demilitarized, whereas it was strengthened by the Mannerheim line. In exchange, Finland would receive territories in Karelia.
Finland categorically refuses to subject itself to the Soviet requirements and the USSR starts the war on October 30th, 1939 (in accordance with the secret protocol of the pact germano-Soviet). By the treaty of Moscow of March 12th, 1940, according to the armistice, Finland yields to Russia the Isthme of Karelia (Vyborg or Viipuri, being at the time the second Finnish city) and, with lease for thirty years, the peninsula of Hanko.
At the time of the Operation Barbarossa, Finland, without contracting alliance with Germany, starts the “war of continuation” in order to recover the territories lost in 1940. It takes part neither in the blockade of Leningrad, nor with the bombardments of the railway of Mourmansk. On the other hand, it occupies a broad strip of land in front of its borders, in particular all Karelia to the lake Onéga.
Then, in front of the reversal of the military situation, Finland signs an armistice on September 19th, 1944: Russia recovers the territories which Finland had yielded to him by the treaty of March 12th, 1940; moreover, Finland must immediately pay 300 million dollars in the USSR in kind (metallurgical wood and derivative products, naval constructions, manufacture and mechanics).
Between on April 1st 1940 and the July 16th 1956, the carélo-Finnish Soviet socialist République is a Soviet socialist republic constitutive of the the USSR. It is then the 16th federate republic of the USSR. In 1956, it is reinstated in RSFSR as an autonomous republic.
The autonomous République of Karelia under its current form was formed the November 13rd 1991.
PolicyThe chief of the government of the Republic of Karelia is the president. In 2004 the president is Sergueï Katanandov, elected in May 2002.
CultureThe language Carélien is not close to the Finnois. In spite of the strong attachment of Caréliens to their fennic culture (Karelia is the cradle of the Kalevala), the Carélien does not profit from the statute of official language. On the other hand, the Finnois is, behind the Russian , the second national language. There does not exist much any more of Caréliens speaking carélien (approximately 10% of the population).
- official site of the Republic of Karelia
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