The Russian Far East (Russian: Дальний Восток России, tr. Dal'niy Vostok Rossii, IPA: [ˈdalʲnʲɪj vɐˈstok rɐˈsʲiɪ], literally "The distant East of Russia") comprises the Russian part of the Far East - the extreme eastern territory of Russia, between 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 has land borders with the People's Republic of China, Mongolia and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to the south west. It has maritime borders with Japan and with the United States. Although traditionally considered part of Siberia, the Russian 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).
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).
Russia reached the Pacific coast in 1647 with the establishment of Okhotsk, and consolidated its control over the Russian Far East in the 19th century, after the annexation of part of Chinese Manchuria. 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:
Until 2000, the Russian 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".
In 2000, Russia's federal subjects were grouped into larger federal districts, and the Far Eastern Federal District was created, comprising Amur Oblast, Chukotka Autonomous Okrug, Jewish Autonomous Oblast, Kamchatka Oblast with Koryak Autonomous Okrug, Khabarovsk Krai, Magadan Oblast, Primorsky Krai, the Sakha (Yakutia) Republic, and Sakhalin Oblast. In November 2018, Zabaykalsky Krai and the Republic of Buryatia were added, formerly being considered part of the Siberian Federal District. 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 has an area of 6.2 million square kilometres (2,400,000 sq mi)—over one-third of Russia's total area.
Russia in the early 1900s persistently sought a warm water port on the 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 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 and Northeast China; also, Japan had threatened to invade Primorsky Krai via Korea. The 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 (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.
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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 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 and southern Sakhalin. Soviet invasion of Japan proper never happened.
During the Korean War, Primorsky Krai became the site of extreme security concern for the Soviet Union.
Vladivostok was the site of the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks in 1974. At the time, the Soviet Union and the 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 soon became closed cities because of the base of the Soviet Pacific Fleet.
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.
According to the 2010 Census, 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 one of the most sparsely populated areas in the world. The population of the Russian 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.
75% of the population is urban. The largest cities are:
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.
The original population groups of the Russian Far East include (grouped by language group):
The region was not connected with the rest of Russia via domestic highways, until M58 highway was completed in 2010.
Railways were better developed. The Trans-Siberian Railway and 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 as of 2013.
Like in nearby Siberia, for many remote localities, aviation is the main mode of transportation to/from civilisation, but the infrastructure is often poor.
Maritime transport is also important for delivering supplies to localities at (or near) the Pacific and Arctic coasts.
Amur Oblast (Russian: Аму́рская о́бласть, tr. Amurskaya oblast, IPA: [ɐˈmurskəjə ˈobləsʲtʲ]) is a federal subject of Russia (an oblast), located on the banks of the Amur and Zeya Rivers in the Russian Far East. The administrative center of the oblast, the city of Blagoveshchensk, is one of the oldest settlements in the Russian Far East, founded in 1856. It is a traditional center of trade and gold mining. The territory is accessed by two railways: the Trans-Siberian Railway and the Baikal–Amur Mainline. As of the 2010 Census, the oblast's population was 830,103.Amur Krai (Аму́рский край) or Priamurye (Приаму́рье) were unofficial names for the Russian territories by the Amur River used in the late Russian Empire that approximately correspond to modern Amur Oblast.Amurian Plate
The Amurian Plate (or Amur Plate; also occasionally referred to as the China Plate) is a minor tectonic plate in the northern and eastern hemispheres. It covers Manchuria, the Korean Peninsula, the Yellow Sea, and Primorsky Krai. Once thought to be a part of the Eurasian Plate, the Amur Plate is now generally considered to be a separate plate moving southeast with respect to the Eurasian Plate.
The Amurian Plate is named after the Amur River, that forms the border between the Russian Far East and Northeastern China.
It is bounded on the north, west, and southwest by the Eurasian Plate, on the east by the Okhotsk Plate, to the southeast by the Philippine Sea Plate along the Suruga Trough and the Nankai Trough, and the Okinawa Plate, and the Yangtze Plate.The Baikal Rift Zone is considered a boundary between the Amurian Plate and the Eurasian Plate. GPS measurements indicate that the plate is slowly rotating counterclockwise.
The Amurian Plate may have been involved in the 1976 Tangshan earthquake in China.Caloptilia leucothoes
Caloptilia leucothoes is a moth of the family Gracillariidae. It is known from the islands of Hokkaidō, Honshū and Kyūshū in Japan, from the Russian Far East and from Korea.The wingspan is 8.2–11 mm.
The larvae feed on Leucothoe grayana, Menziesia pentandra and Rhododendron species, including Rhododendron albrechti, Rhododendron dauricum, Rhododendron dilatatum and Rhododendron reticulatum. They mine the leaves of their host plant.Far Eastern Federal District
The Far Eastern Federal District (Russian: Дальневосто́чный федера́льный о́круг, Dalnevostochny federalny okrug) is the largest of the eight federal districts of Russia but the least populated, with a population of 8,371,257 (??% urban) according to the 2010 Census. The entire federal district lies within the easternmost part of Asia and covers the territory of the Russian Far East. In November 2018, Buryatia and Zabaykalsky Krai were added to the federal district. The seat of the Far Eastern Federal District was moved from Khabarovsk to Vladivostok in December 2018.Far North (Russia)
The Extreme North or Far North (Russian: Крайний Север, Дальний Север) is a large part of Russia located mainly north of the Arctic Circle and boasting enormous mineral and natural resources. Its total area is about 5,500,000 square kilometres (2,100,000 sq mi), comprising about one-third of Russia's total area. Formally, the regions of the Extreme North comprise the whole of Yakutia, Magadan Oblast, Chukotka Autonomous Okrug, Kamchatka Krai and Murmansk Oblast, as well as certain parts and cities of Arkhangelsk Oblast, Komi Republic, Tyumen Oblast, Krasnoyarsk Krai, Irkutsk Oblast, Sakhalin Oblast, Khabarovsk Krai, as well as all islands of the Arctic Ocean, its seas, the Bering Sea, and the Sea of Okhotsk.
Due to the harsh conditions of the area, people who work there have traditionally been entitled by the Russian government to higher wages than workers of other regions. As a result of the climate and environment, the indigenous peoples of the area have developed certain genetic differences that allow them to better cope with the region's environment, as do their cultures.Indigenous peoples of Siberia
Including the Russian Far East, the population of Siberia numbers just above 40 million people.
As a result of the 17th to 19th century Russian conquest of Siberia and the subsequent population movements during the Soviet era, the demographics of Siberia today is dominated by native speakers of Russian. There remain a considerable number of indigenous groups, between them accounting for below 10% of total Siberian population (About 4,500,000), which are also genetically related to indigenous peoples of the Americas.Kolyma
Kolyma (Russian: Колыма́, IPA: [kəɫɨˈma]) is a region located in the Russian Far East. It is bounded by the East Siberian Sea and the Arctic Ocean in the north and the Sea of Okhotsk to the south. The region gets its name from the Kolyma River and mountain range, parts of which were not discovered until 1926. Today the region consists roughly of the Chukotka Autonomous Okrug and the Magadan Oblast.
The area, part of which is within the Arctic Circle, has a subarctic climate with very cold winters lasting up to six months of the year. Permafrost and tundra cover a large part of the region. Average winter temperatures range from −19 °C to −38 °C (even lower in the interior), and average summer temperatures, from +3 °C to +16 °C. There are rich reserves of gold, silver, tin, tungsten, mercury, copper, antimony, coal, oil, and peat. Twenty-nine zones of possible oil and gas accumulation have been identified in the Sea of Okhotsk shelf. Total reserves are estimated at 3.5 billion tons of equivalent fuel, including 1.2 billion tons of oil and 1.5 billion m3 of gas.The principal town Magadan has nearly 100,000 inhabitants and is the largest port in north-eastern Russia. It has a large fishing fleet and remains open year-round thanks to icebreakers. Magadan is served by the nearby Sokol Airport. There are many public and private farming enterprises. Gold mines, pasta and sausage factories, fishing companies, and a distillery form the city's industrial base.List of solar eclipses visible from Russia
This incomplete list of solar eclipses visible from Russia enumerates the solar eclipses that have been seen and will be seen in Russia.Ministry for Development of the Russian Far East
Ministry for Development of the Russian Far East (In Russian: Министерство Российской Федерации по развитию Дальнего Востока) is a federal ministry in Dmitry Medvedev's government which was established in May 21, 2012.The ministry is responsible for the economic and social development of the Russian Far East.Northeast Asia
Terms such as Northeast Asia, North East Asia, or Northeastern Asia refer to a subregion of Asia: the northeastern landmass and islands, bordering the Pacific Ocean. It includes the core countries of East Asia.
The term Northeast Asia was popularized during the 1930s by the American historian and political scientist Robert Kerner. Under Kerner's definition, "Northeast Asia" included the Mongolian Plateau, the Manchurian Plain, the Korean Peninsula, and the mountainous regions of the Russian Far East, stretching from Lena River in the west to the Pacific Ocean in the east.Pacific Fleet (Russia)
The Pacific Fleet (Russian: Тихоокеанский флот, translit: Tikhookeanskiy flot) is the Russian Navy fleet in the Pacific Ocean.
Established in 1731 as part of the Imperial Russian Navy, the fleet was known as the Okhotsk Military Flotilla (1731-1856) and Siberian Military Flotilla (1856-1918), formed to defend Russian interests in the Russian Far East region along the Pacific coast. In 1918 the fleet was inherited by the Russian SFSR then the Soviet Union in 1922 as part of the Soviet Navy, being reformed several times before being disbanded in 1926. In 1932 it was re-established as the Pacific Fleet, and was known as the Red Banner Pacific Fleet (Краснознамённый Тихоокеанский флот) after World War II as it had earned the Order of the Red Banner. In the Soviet years, the fleet was also responsible for the Soviet Navy's operations in the Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Red Banner Pacific Fleet was inherited by the Russian Federation as part of the Russian Navy and its current name was adopted.
The Pacific Fleet's headquarters is located in Vladivostok, with numerous facilities within the Peter the Great Gulf in Primorsky Krai, and Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky and Vilyuchinsk in Avacha Bay on the Kamchatka Peninsula in Kamchatka Krai. Following the APEC Russia 2012 summit, it was announced that the main naval base of the Pacific Fleet in the Russian Far East will be moved to the town of Fokino, Primorsky Krai. The current commander is Admiral Sergei Avakyants, who has held the position since May 2012.Pacific Plate
The Pacific Plate is an oceanic tectonic plate that lies beneath the Pacific Ocean. At 103 million square kilometres (40,000,000 sq mi), it is the largest tectonic plate.The Pacific Plate contains an interior hot spot forming the Hawaiian Islands.Hillis and Müller are reported to consider the Bird's Head Plate to be moving in unison with the Pacific Plate. Bird considers them to be unconnected.Primorsky Krai
Primorsky Krai (Russian: Примо́рский край, tr. Primorsky kray, IPA: [prʲɪˈmorskʲɪj kraj] is a federal subject (a krai) of Russia, located in the Far East region of the country and is a part of the Far Eastern Federal District. The city of Vladivostok is the administrative center of the krai, as well as the largest city in the Russian Far East. The krai has the largest economy among the federal subjects in the Russian Far East, and a population of 1,956,497 as of the 2010 Census.The name of the krai is derived from the Russian words "приморский" (primorsky), meaning "maritime", and "край (kray), meaning "edge" or "frontier". It is informally known as Primorye (Примо́рье, IPA: [prʲɪˈmorʲjɪ]) in Russian, and is occasionally translated as Maritime Territory in English. The krai shares Russia's only border with North Korea, along the Tumen River in Khasansky District in the southwestern corner of the krai. Peter the Great Gulf, the largest gulf in the Sea of Japan, is located along the south coast.
Historically part of Manchuria, Primorsky Krai was ceded to the Russian Empire by Qing China in 1860 as part of a region known as Outer Manchuria, forming most of the territory of Primorskaya Oblast. During the Russian Civil War it became part of the Far Eastern Republic before joining the Soviet Union, going through numerous changes until reaching its current form in 1938. Primorsky Krai is home to the Russian Navy's Russian Pacific Fleet.Sakhalin Island Arc
Sakhalin Island Arc is an ancient volcanic arc dating from the Early Miocene. The arc was a result of the Okhotsk Plate subducting beneath the Eurasian Plate in the convergence zone. The arc runs from mainland Asia through Sakhalin Island into central Hokkaido and the collision zone around the Daisetsuzan Volcanic Group, where the Kuril Island Arc and the Northeastern Japan Arc meet.Sea Lion Rock
Sea Lion Rock (Russian: Сивучий Камень, Sivuchiy Kamen), is a rock islet in the Commander Islands archipelago, in the Bering Sea, the Russian Far East.
It is located near the Kamchatka Peninsula, in Kamchatka Krai, Russia.Sea Otter Rocks
Sea Otter Rocks (Russian: Камни Бобровые, Kamni Bobrovyye) are rock islets of the Commander Islands archipelago in the Bering Sea, Russia.
They are within Kamchatka Krai, in the Russian Far East.Shantar Sea
The Shantar Sea (Russian: Шантарское море) is a small coastal sea in the northwestern Sea of Okhotsk.
It is bounded to the north by Bolshoy Shantar Island, to the east by Malyy Shantar Island, and to the south by Tugur Bay.Siberian tiger
The Siberian tiger (Panthera tigris tigris) is a tiger population in the Far East, particularly the Russian Far East and Northeast China. This population inhabits mainly the Sikhote Alin mountain region in southwest Primorye Province in the Russian Far East. The Siberian tiger once ranged throughout Korea, north China, Russian Far East, and eastern Mongolia. In 2005, there were 331–393 adult and subadult Siberian tigers in this region, with a breeding adult population of about 250 individuals. The population had been stable for more than a decade due to intensive conservation efforts, but partial surveys conducted after 2005 indicate that the Russian tiger population was declining. An initial census held in 2015 indicated that the Siberian tiger population had increased to 480–540 individuals in the Russian Far East, including 100 cubs. This was followed up by a more detailed census which revealed there was a total population of 562 wild Siberian tigers in Russia.Results of a phylogeographic study comparing mitochondrial DNA from Caspian tigers and living tiger subspecies indicate that the common ancestor of the Siberian and Caspian tigers colonized Central Asia from eastern China, via the Gansu−Silk Road corridor, and then subsequently traversed Siberia eastward to establish the Siberian tiger population in the Russian Far East. The Caspian and Siberian tiger populations were the northernmost in mainland Asia.The Siberian tiger was also called Amur tiger, Manchurian tiger, Korean tiger, and Ussurian tiger, depending on the region where individuals were observed.Zabaykalsky Krai
Zabaykalsky Krai (Russian: Забайкальский край, tr. Zabajkaljskij kraj, IPA: [zəbɐjˈkalʲskʲɪj kraj], lit. "(The) Transbaikal krai") is a federal subject of Russia (a krai) that was created on March 1, 2008 as a result of a merger of Chita Oblast and Agin-Buryat Autonomous Okrug, after a referendum held on the issue on March 11, 2007. Formerly part of the Siberian Federal District, the Krai is now part of the Russian Far East as of November 2018 in accordance with a decree issued by Russian President Vladimir Putin. The administrative center of the krai is located in the city of Chita. As of the 2010 Census, the population was 1,107,107.