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Russian Far East

Introduction

Russian Far East, formerly Soviet Far East, federal district (1989 est. pop. 7,941,000), c.2,400,000 sq mi (6,216,000 sq km), encompassing the entire northeast coast of Asia and including the Sakha Republic, Maritime Territory (Primorsky Kray), Khabarovsk Territory, Kamchatka Territory, the Amur, Magadan, and Sakhalin regions, the Jewish Autonomous Region, and the Chukotka autonomous area. Although commonly considered a part of Siberia, the Russian Far East has been treated separately in Soviet and Russian regional schemes. In 2000 the area was made one of seven Russian administrative federal districts; Khabarovsk is the district administrative center.

The Russian Far East is bounded on the NW by Krasnoyarsk Territory, on the N by the East Siberian Sea, on the NE by the Bering Sea, on the SE by the Sea of Japan, on the S by China (Manchuria), and on the SW by the Chita and Irkutsk regions and the Yablonovy Mts. Other ranges in this mountainous area include the Stanovoy, Dzhugdzhur, and Kolyma. Arctic tundra covers the far north of the region, and forest taiga occupies the central section. In the south are the fertile Amur and Ussuri river valleys.

More than 25 ethnic groups inhabit the Russian Far East, among them Russians, Jews, Koryaks, Tungus, Chukchi, Yakuts, and Kamchatkans. Important urban centers include Yakutsk, Vladivostok, Komsomolsk, Khabarovsk, Ussuriysk, and Nikolayevsk.

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The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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