On the map of the Russian regions, the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) attracts the eye immediately: it occupies nearly one fifth of the country's territory. The size of Yakutia staggers the imagination. Its area is 3083.5 thousand km ², which is slightly less than India. Among the states, Yakutia would occupy the 8th place in the world, and among the regions of all countries it has no equal in area.

Less than 1 million people live throughout this area, that is, the average population density is less than 3 people per km², despite the fact that two thirds of the population of Yakutia falls to cities.

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The reason for this is the extreme severity of nature: 40% of the territory of Yakutia lies beyond the Arctic Circle, and two places immediately argue for the right to be called the cold pole of the Northern Hemisphere: the lowest temperature on Earth outside Antarctica (-67.8 ° C) was recorded in 1933 in Verkhoyansk, and in the notes of Sergey Obruchev there is information about the temperature -71.2 ° C in Oymyakon.

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Winter in Yakutia lasts from 6.5 months in the south to 9 months in the north, under the earth is the most powerful in the world layer of permafrost. However, the most impressive in the Yakut sharply continental climate is not even cold, but annual temperature drops: in the central regions of the republic they can reach 100 ° C - the short summer is very hot here.

The population of Yakutia is an amazing mosaic of peoples: most of it is made up of Yakuts, who live mainly in the Lena basin, and about 30% are Russians, which predominate in industrial cities. But vast territories inhabit small nations - in the west they are Evenks (about half of their total number lives in Yakutia) and, closer to Taimyr, Dolgans who emerged in the 19th century when Yakuts, Evenks and Russian old-timers mixed. From the Magadan region live the Evens, the “relatives” of the Evenks, but with a noticeable influence of the Yakuts and the Chukchi-Kamchatka peoples. Yukagirs and Chukchi live in the far northeast.

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If, under the Cossacks, Yakutia was considered a fabulously rich region of furs, then under the Soviets, it became clear that this region was fabulously rich and rich in minerals. The most famous of them are, of course, diamonds (they are mined mainly in the west of the republic), but under the permafrost there is literally “the entire periodic table”, from the ores of precious metals to oil and coal.

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