edit

Introduction

The Sakha (Yakutia) Republic is a federal subject of Russia (a republic). It has a population of about 1 million, consisting mainly of ethnic Yakuts and Russians.

Comprising half of the Far Eastern Federal District, it is the largest subnational governing body by area in the world at 3,083,523 square kilometres and the eighth largest territory in the world, if the federal subjects of Russia were compared with other countries. It is larger than Argentina and just smaller than India which covers an area of 3,287,590 square kilometres. Its capital is the city of Yakutsk. The Sakha Republic is one of the ten autonomous Turkic Republics within the Russian Federation. It is also well known for its extreme and severe climate, with the coldest temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere being recorded in Verkhoyansk and Oymyakon with regular winter averages commonly being below -35 °C in several population centres, including Yakutsk. The hypercontinental tendencies also result in very warm summers for much of the republic.

Top

edit

Geography

Sakha stretches to the Henrietta Island in the far north and is washed by the Laptev and Eastern Siberian Seas of the Arctic Ocean. These waters, the coldest and iciest of all seas in the Northern Hemisphere, are covered by ice for 9-10 months of the year. New Siberian Islands are a part of the republic's territory. After Nunavut was separated from Canada's Northwest Territories, Sakha became the largest subnational entity (statoid) in the world).

Sakha can be divided into three great vegetation belts. About 40% of Sakha lies above the Arctic circle and all of it is covered by permafrost which greatly influences the region's ecology and limits forests in the southern region. Arctic and subarctic tundra define the middle region, where lichen and moss grow as great green carpets and are favorite pastures for reindeer. In the southern part of the tundra belt, scattered stands of dwarf Siberian pine and larch grow along the rivers. Below the tundra is the vast taiga forest region. Larch trees dominate in the north and stands of fir and pine begin to appear in the south. Taiga forests cover about 47% of Sakha and almost 90% of the cover is larch.

The Sakha Republic is the site of Pleistocene Park, a project directed at recreating pleistocene tundra grasslands by stimulating the growth of grass with the introduction of animals which thrived in the region during the late Pleistocene - early Holocene period.

Top

Top

edit

Weather

Sakha is known for its climate extremes, with the Verkhoyansk Range being the coldest area in the Northern Hemisphere. Some of the lowest natural temperatures ever recorded have been here. The Northern Hemisphere's Pole of Cold is at Verkhoyansk, where the temperatures reached as low as -67.8 °C in 1892, and at Oymyakon, where the temperatures reached as low as -71.2 °C in 1926.

  • Average January temperature: -28 °C (coast) to -47 °C (Pole of Cold).
  • Average July temperature: +2 °C (coast) to +19 °C (central parts). However, it has been known to be very hot during the day in Yakutsk in July (record = 38.4 °C).
  • Average annual precipitation: 200 mm (central parts) to 700 mm (mountains of Eastern Sakha).

Top

edit

Getting There

By Plane

There are regular flights by several airlines to Yakutsk, Neryungri and Mirny.

By Train

The train service works to Neryungri, Aldan and Tommot station on Amur-Yakutsk railway. The station for Yakutsk is pending, but the station on the other side of Lena river just opened and is not accepting passenger trains yet.

By Car

The only road connecting Yakutia with other regions of Russia is M56 Never-Yakutsk road. It is macadam covered, sometimes asphalt (near towns and cities). There are many lakes and rivers along the way, and it is very exciting to go along the road. The road has been selected as "the worst in the world" in 2006, it has been renovated, but still after long rains the road becomes a way of mud.

Top

edit

Getting Around

By Plane

Air travel is the main mode of transportation due to the large distances across Yakutia.

By Boat

A popular option during the summer months is to take a river boat along the majestic Lena river, both cruises and regular services are available from Yakutsk. Among the routes offered are a once-weekly hydrofoil service to Lensk (RUB 4,000, 32 hours). The more remote destinations you can reach via ship includes arctic settlement of Tiksi where the Lena river meets the Arctic ocean, there are 5-6 departures during summer and a one-way journey takes five days, prices from RUB 12,000. More information can be obtained from the Yakutsk river port (+7 4112 21-90-13), the seasons schedule is usually published in early May.

Top

Yakutia Travel Helpers

We don't currently have any Travel Helpers for Yakutia

This is version 1. Last edited at 13:41 on Jan 11, 17 by Utrecht. 1 article links to this page.

Creative Commons License
Except where otherwise noted, content of this article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License