The Info List - Russian Far East

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The Russian Far East
Far East
(Russian: Дальний Восток России, tr. Dal'niy Vostok Rossii, IPA: [ˈdalʲnʲɪj vɐˈstok rɐˈsʲiɪ]) comprises the Russian part of the Far East
Far East
- the extreme eastern territory of Russia, between Lake Baikal
Lake Baikal
in Eastern Siberia
and the Pacific Ocean. The Far Eastern Federal District, which covers this area, borders with the Siberian Federal District to the west. The Far Eastern Federal District
Far Eastern Federal District
has land borders with the People's Republic of China
People's Republic of China
and with North Korea
North Korea
to the south west and maritime borders with Japan
and with the United States. Although traditionally considered[by whom?] part of Siberia, the Russian Far East
Far East
is categorized separately from Siberia
in Russian regional schemes (and previously during the Soviet era when it was called the Soviet Far East).


1 Terminology

1.1 In Russia

2 Geographic features 3 Fauna

3.1 Order Artiodactyla 3.2 Order Carnivora

3.2.1 Family Felidae 3.2.2 Family Ursidae

4 Flora 5 History

5.1 Russian exploration 5.2 Russo-Japanese War 5.3 Soviet era

5.3.1 Soviet–Japanese conflicts 5.3.2 World War II 5.3.3 Cold War 5.3.4 Russian Homestead Act 5.3.5 Russian-Japanese relations in the 21st century

6 Demographics

6.1 Population 6.2 Cities 6.3 Ukrainian Resettlement Program 6.4 Traditional ethnic groups

7 Transportation 8 See also 9 Footnotes 10 External links

Terminology[edit] In Russia[edit] In Russia, the region is usually referred to as just "Far East" (Дальний Восток). What is known in English as the Far East is usually referred to as "the Asia-Pacific
Region" (Азиатско-тихоокеанский регион, abbreviated to АТР), or "East Asia" (Восточная Азия). Geographic features[edit] Further information: Geography of Russia
§ Northeast Siberia
and Kamchatka

On the Amur in Khabarovsk

volcano in Kamchatka

Beyenchime-Salaatin crater Klyuchevskaya Sopka
Klyuchevskaya Sopka
volcano Kuril–Kamchatka Trench

Fauna[edit] Order Artiodactyla[edit]

Manchurian wapiti[1] Siberian musk deer[2]

Order Carnivora[edit]

is the home to Amur tigers

Family Felidae[edit]

Amur leopard[3] Amur tiger[4]

Family Ursidae[edit]

Asian black bear[5] Brown bear[6] Polar bear


Picea obovata[7] Pinus pumila[8]

History[edit] Russian exploration[edit]

in the early 1900s

Further information: Russian conquest of Siberia Further information: Outer Manchuria Russia
reached the Pacific coast in 1647 with the establishment of Okhotsk, and consolidated its control over the Russian Far East
Far East
in the 19th century. Primorskaya Oblast
Primorskaya Oblast
was established as a separate administrative division of the Russian Empire in 1856, with its administrative center at Khabarovsk. Several entities with the name "Far East" had existed in the first half of the 20th century, all with rather different boundaries:

1920–1922: the Far Eastern Republic, which included Transbaikal, Amur, Primorskaya, and Kamchatka Oblasts and northern Sakhalin; 1922–1926: Far-Eastern Oblast, which the Guberniya
included Amur, Transbaikal, Kamchatka, and 1926–1938: Far-Eastern Krai, which included modern Primorsky and Khabarovsk

Until 2000, the Russian Far East
Far East
lacked officially defined boundaries. A single term " Siberia
and the Far East" (Сибирь и Дальний Восток) was often used to refer to Russia's regions east of the Urals without drawing a clear distinction between "Siberia" and "the Far East".

Annual procession with the Albazin icon of Theotokos, Jewish Autonomous Region.

In 2000, Russia's federal subjects were grouped into larger federal districts, and the Far Eastern Federal District
Far Eastern Federal District
was created, comprising Amur Oblast, Chukotka Autonomous Okrug, Jewish Autonomous Oblast, Kamchatka Oblast
Kamchatka Oblast
with Koryak Autonomous Okrug, Khabarovsk Krai, Magadan
Oblast, Primorsky Krai, the Sakha (Yakutia) Republic, and Sakhalin
Oblast. Since 2000, the term "Far East" has been increasingly used in Russia
to refer to the federal district, though it is often also used more loosely. Defined by the boundaries of the federal district, the Far East
Far East
has an area of 6.2 million square kilometers—over one-third of Russia's total area. Russo-Japanese War[edit] Further information: Russo-Japanese War Russia
in the early 1900s persistently sought a warm water port on the Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean
for the navy as well as to facilitate maritime trade. The recently established Pacific seaport of Vladivostok
was operational only during the summer season, but Port Arthur in Manchuria
was operational all year. After the First Sino-Japanese War and the failure of the 1903 negotiations between Japan
and the Tsars's government, Japan
chose war to protect its domination of Korea
and adjacent territories. Russia, meanwhile, saw war as a means of distracting its populace from government repression and of rallying patriotism in the aftermath of several general strikes. Japan
issued a declaration of war on 8 February 1904. However, three hours before Japan's declaration of war was received by the Russian Government, the Imperial Japanese Navy
Imperial Japanese Navy
attacked the Russian Far East Fleet at Port Arthur. Eight days later Russia
declared war on Japan. The war ended in September 1905 with a Japanese victory following the fall of Port Arthur and the failed Russian invasion of Japan
through the Korean Peninsula
Korean Peninsula
and Northeast China; also, Japan
had threatened to invade Primorsky Krai
Primorsky Krai
via Korea. The Treaty of Portsmouth
Treaty of Portsmouth
was later signed and both Japan
and Russia
agreed to evacuate Manchuria
and return its sovereignty to China, but Japan
was allowed to lease the Liaodong Peninsula
Liaodong Peninsula
(containing Port Arthur and Talien), and the Russian rail system in southern Manchuria
with its access to strategic resources. Japan
also received the southern half of the Island of Sakhalin
from Russia. Russia
was also forced to confiscate land from Korean settlers who formed the majority of Primorsky Krai's population due to a fear of an invasion of Korea
and ousting of Japanese troops by Korean guerrillas. Soviet era[edit]

Number and share of Ukrainians
in the population of the regions of the RSFSR
(1926 census)

Between 1937 and 1939, the Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin deported over 200,000 Koreans to Uzbekistan
and Kazakhstan, fearing that the Koreans might act as spies for Japan. Many Koreans died on the way in cattle trains due to starvation, illness, or freezing conditions. Many community leaders were purged and executed, Koryo-saram
were not allowed to travel outside of Central Asia
for the next 15 years. Koreans were also not allowed to use the Korean language and its use began to become lost with the involvement of Koryo-mar and the use of Russian. Development of numerous remote locations relied on GULAG
labour camps during Stalin's rule, especially in the region's northern half. After that, the large-scale use of forced labour waned and was superseded by volunteer employees attracted by relatively high wages. Soviet–Japanese conflicts[edit] Main article: Soviet–Japanese border conflicts During the Japanese invasion of Manchuria
in 1931, the Soviets occupied Bolshoy Ussuriysky Island, Yinlong Island, and several adjacent islets to separate the city of Khabarovsk
from the territory controlled by a possibly hostile power.[9] Indeed, Japan
turned its military interests to Soviet territories. Conflicts between the Japanese and the Soviets frequently happened on the border of Manchuria
between 1938 and 1945. The first confrontation occurred in Primorsky Krai, the Battle of Lake Khasan
Battle of Lake Khasan
was an attempted military incursion of Manchukuo (Japanese) into the territory claimed by the Soviet Union. This incursion was founded in the beliefs of the Japanese side that the Soviet Union misinterpreted the demarcation of the boundary based on the Treaty of Peking between Imperial Russia
and Manchu China. Primorsky Krai
Primorsky Krai
was always threatened by a Japanese invasion despite the fact that most of the remaining clashes occurred in Manchukuo. The clashes ended shortly before the conclusion of the World War II when a weakened Japan
found its territories of Manchukuo, Mengjiang, Korea, and South Sakhalin
invaded by Soviet and Mongolian troops. World War II[edit] Main articles: Pacific War
Pacific War
and Soviet–Japanese War Primorsky Krai
Primorsky Krai
was a strategic location in World War II for both the Soviet Union and Japan
and clashes over the territory were common as the Soviets and the Allies considered it a key location to invade Japan
through Korea, and Japan
viewed it as a key location to begin a mass invasion of Eastern Russia. Primorsky Krai
Primorsky Krai
also served as the Soviet Union's Pacific headquarters in the war to plan an invasion for allied troops of Korea
in order to reach Japan. After the Soviet invasion, Manchukuo and Mengjiang
were returned to China and Korea
became liberated. The Soviet Union also occupied and annexed Kuril Islands
Kuril Islands
and southern Sakhalin. Soviet invasion of Japan proper never happened. Cold War[edit] During the Korean War, Primorsky Krai
Primorsky Krai
became the site of extreme security concern for the Soviet Union. Vladivostok
was the site of the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks
Strategic Arms Limitation Talks
in 1974. At the time, the Soviet Union and the United States
United States
decided quantitative limits on various nuclear weapons systems and banned the construction of new land-based ICBM launchers. Vladivostok
and other cities in Primorsky Krai
Primorsky Krai
soon became closed cities because of the base of the Soviet Pacific Fleet. Incursions of American reconnaissance aircraft from nearby Alaska sometimes happened. These concerns of the Soviet military caused the infamous Korean Air Lines Flight 007
Korean Air Lines Flight 007
incident in 1983. Russian Homestead Act[edit] In 2016, President Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Putin
proposed the Russian Homestead Act to populate the Russian Far East. Russian-Japanese relations in the 21st century[edit] Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on December 21, 2017: Russia
is ready for a visa-free regime with Japan. Russia
is already ready to conclude an agreement on a visa-free regime with Japan. The goal of Russia
is to expand the circle of those countries with which we have such agreements. With the Japanese, we are ready to make such an agreement. Even now, Japanese citizens can visit Russian Vladivostok
under a simplified visa regime. A simplified electronic visa to Primorsky Krai in 2016 brought 1338 citizens of Japan. Demographics[edit] Population[edit]

Students in Vladivostok
celebrating St. Tatyana's Day, or Russian Students Day

Graph depicting population change in the Russian Far East

According to the 2010 Census, Far Eastern Federal District
Far Eastern Federal District
had a population of 6,293,129. Most of it is concentrated in the southern parts. Given the vast territory of the Russian Far East, 6.3 million people translates to slightly less than one person per square kilometer, making the Russian Far East
Far East
one of the most sparsely populated areas in the world. The population of the Russian Far East
Far East
has been rapidly declining since the dissolution of the Soviet Union (even more so than for Russia
in general), dropping by 14% in the last fifteen years. The Russian government has been discussing a range of re-population programs to avoid the forecast drop to 4.5 million people by 2015, hoping to attract in particular the remaining Russian population of the near abroad but eventually agreeing on a program to resettle Ukrainian Illegal immigrants. Ethnic Russians
and Ukrainians
make up the majority of the population. Cities[edit] 75% of the population is urban. The largest cities are:


Vladivostok Khabarovsk Komsomolsk-on-Amur Blagoveshchensk Yakutsk Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk Nakhodka Ussuriysk

Ukrainian Resettlement Program[edit] In 2016 an ambitious program was approved which hoped to resettle at least 500,000 Ukrainians
in the Far East. This included giving free land to attract voluntary immigrants from Ukraine and the settlement of refugees from East Ukraine.[10] Traditional ethnic groups[edit] The original population groups of the Russian Far East
Far East
include (grouped by language group):

Turkic: Sakha Eskimo–Aleut: Aleuts, Siberian Yupiks (Yuits) Chukotko-Kamchatkan: Chukchi, Koryaks, Alutors, Kereks, Itelmens Tungusic: Evenks, Evens, Nanais, Orochs, Ul'ch, Udegey, Orok Isolate: Yukaghirs, Nivkhs, Ainus


Transportation on the Lena River

The region was not connected with the rest of Russia
via domestic highways, until M58 highway was completed in 2010. Uniquely for Russia, most cars have Right Hand Drive
Right Hand Drive
(73% of all cars in the region),[11] though traffic still flows on the right-hand side of the road. Railways were developed better. The Trans-Siberian Railway
Trans-Siberian Railway
and Baikal–Amur Mainline
Baikal–Amur Mainline
(since 1984) provide connection with Siberia (and the rest of the country). Amur– Yakutsk
Mainline is aimed to link the city of Yakutsk
to the Russian railway network. Passenger trains reach Nizhny Bestyakh
Nizhny Bestyakh
as of 2013. Like in nearby Siberia, for many remote localities aviation is the main mode of transportation to/from the civilization, but the infrastructure is often poor. Maritime transport is also important for delivering supplies to localities at (or near) Pacific and Arctic
coasts. See also[edit]

portal Geography portal

Extreme North
Extreme North
(Russia) Far Eastern Republic Kolyma North Asia Outer Manchuria List of Russian explorers Bering Strait


^ Valerius Geist (January 1998). Deer of the World: Their Evolution, Behaviour, and Ecology. Stackpole Books. p. 211. ISBN 978-0-8117-0496-0. Retrieved 30 January 2016.  ^ Nyambayar, B.; Mix, H. & Tsytsulina, K. (2008). "Moschus moschiferus". IUCN Red List
IUCN Red List
of Threatened Species. Version 2008. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 30 January 2016.  Database entry includes a brief justification of why this species is of vulnerable. ^ Uphyrkina, O.; Miquelle, D.; Quigley, H.; Driscoll, C.; O’Brien, S. J. (2002). "Conservation Genetics of the Far Eastern Leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis)" (PDF). Journal of Heredity. 93 (5): 303–11. doi:10.1093/jhered/93.5.303. PMID 12547918. Retrieved 30 January 2016.  ^ Miquelle, D.; Darman, Y.; Seryodkin, I. (2011). "Panthera tigris ssp. altaica". IUCN Red List
IUCN Red List
of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 30 January 2016.  ^ Garshelis, D. L.; Steinmetz, R. & IUCN
SSC Bear Specialist Group (2008). "Ursus thibetanus". IUCN Red List
IUCN Red List
of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 30 January 2016.  ^ McLellan, B.N.; Servheen, C. & Huber, D. (2008). "Ursus arctos". IUCN Red List
IUCN Red List
of Threatened Species. Version 2008. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 30 January 2016.  ^ Farjon, A. (2013). "Pinus pumila". The IUCN Red List
IUCN Red List
of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2013: e.T42405A2977712. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2013-1.RLTS.T42405A2977712.en. Retrieved 12 January 2018.  ^ A. Farjon (2013). "Picea obovata". The IUCN Red List
IUCN Red List
of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2013: e.T42331A2973177. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2013-1.RLTS.T42331A2973177.en. Retrieved 12 January 2018.  ^ Russian possession of the eastern half of these lands was recognized by People's Republic of China
People's Republic of China
in the treaty of 2004, whereas the western half was then returned to China. ^ "Go East! Government supports Siberian resettlement of Ukraine refugees". 16 February 2016. Retrieved 12 March 2016.  ^ "В России посчитали всех "праворуких"". auto.vesti.ru. Retrieved 24 April 2017. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Russian Far East.

Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Russian Far East.

Meeting of Frontiers: Siberia, Alaska, and the American West (includes materials on Russian Far East) Дальневосточный федеральный округ at WGEO

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Russian Far East


Cities and towns Far Eastern Federal District Far Eastern economic region Far Eastern Republic Indigenous peoples of Siberia Eastern Military District

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Largest cities

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Australia Capital Country Eastern Australia Lake Eyre basin Murray–Darling basin Northern Australia Nullarbor Plain Outback Southern Australia


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Islands Region

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Regions of South America


Amazon basin Atlantic Forest Caatinga Cerrado


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Amazon rainforest

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Tropical Andes Wet Andes Dry Andes Pariacaca mountain range

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Peninsula East Antarctica West Antarctica Eklund Islands Ecozone Extreme points Islands


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Earth's oceans and seas


Amundsen Gulf Barents Sea Beaufort Sea Chukchi Sea East Siberian Sea Greenland
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Atlantic Ocean

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Pacific Ocean

Arafura Sea Banda Sea Bering Sea Bismarck Sea Bohai Sea Bohol Sea Camotes Sea Celebes Sea Ceram Sea Chilean Sea Coral Sea East China Sea Gulf of Alaska Gulf of Anadyr Gulf of California Gulf of Carpentaria Gulf of Fonseca Gulf of Panama Gulf of Thailand Gulf of Tonkin Halmahera Sea Koro Sea Mar de Grau Molucca Sea Moro Gulf Philippine Sea Salish Sea Savu Sea Sea of Japan Sea of Okhotsk Seto Inland Sea Shantar Sea Sibuyan Sea Solomon Sea South China Sea Sulu Sea Tasman Sea Visayan Sea Yellow Sea

Southern Ocean

Amundsen Sea Bellingshausen Sea Cooperation Sea Cosmonauts Sea Davis Sea D'Urville Sea King Haakon VII Sea Lazarev Sea Mawson Sea Riiser-Larsen Sea Ross Sea Scotia Sea Somov Sea Weddell Sea

Landlocked seas

Aral Sea Caspian Sea Dead Sea Salton Sea