Republics of Russia

According to its constitution, Russia is divided into 85 federal subjects, 22 of which are republics (Russian: республика, romanizedrespublika; plural: республики, respubliki). Republics are administrative divisions originally created as nation states to represent areas of non-Russian ethnicity. The indigenous ethnic group that gives its name to the republic is referred to as the titular nationality. However, due to centuries of Russian migration, each nationality is not necessarily a majority of a republic's population.

Republics of Russia English.png
CategoryFederated state
LocationRussian Federation
PopulationsSmallest: Altai, 206,195
Largest: Bashkortostan, 4,072,102
AreasSmallest: Ingushetia, 3,123 km2 (1,206 sq mi)
Largest: Sakha, 3,083,523 km2 (1,190,555 sq mi)
  • Republican government

Formed in the early 20th century by Vladimir Lenin and the Bolsheviks after the collapse of the Russian Empire in 1917, republics were meant to be nominally independent regions of Soviet Russia with the right to self-determination. Lenin's conciliatory stance towards Russia's minorities made them allies in the Russian civil war and with the creation of the Soviet Union in 1922 the regions became Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republics, a third order of autonomy, subordinate to a union republic. While officially autonomous, ASSRs were in practice hypercentralized and largely under the control of the Soviet Union and its leadership. Throughout their history the ASSRs experienced varying periods of Russification and cultural revival depending on who led the country. The 1980s saw an increase in the demand of autonomy as the Soviet Union began large scale reforms of its centralized system. In 1990 the ASSRs declared their sovereignty and renounced their status as autonomous republics. The Soviet Union collapsed in 1991 and Russia became independent. The current day republics were established with the signing of the Federation Treaty in 1992, which gave them substantial rights and autonomy.

Republics differ from other subjects in that they have more powers devolved to them. Republics have their own constitutions, official languages, and national anthems. Due to this, Russia is an asymmetrical federation as the other subjects do not have these rights. Powers vary between republic and largely depends on their economic power. Through the signing of bilateral treaties with the federal government, republics had extensive authority over their economies, internal policies, and even foreign relations in the 1990s. However, at the turn of the century, Vladimir Putin's centralization reforms steadily eradicated all autonomy the republics had with the exception of Chechnya. The bilateral agreements were abolished and in practice all power rests with the federal government. With the termination of the final bilateral treaty in 2017, some commentators expressed that Russia ceased to be a federation.


The republics were established in early Soviet Russia after the collapse of the Russian Empire. On 15 November 1917, Vladimir Lenin issued the Declaration of the Rights of the Peoples of Russia, giving Russia's minorities the right to self-determination.[2] This declaration, however, was never truly meant to grant minorities the right to independence and was only used to garner support among minority groups for the fledgling Soviet state in the ensuing Russian Civil War.[3] Attempts to create independent states using Lenin's declaration were suppressed throughout the civil war by the Bolsheviks. When the Soviet Union was formally created on 30 December 1922, the minorities of the country were relegated to Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republics (ASSR), which had less power than the union republics and were subordinate to them. In the aftermath of the civil war the Bolsheviks began a process of delimitation in order to draw the borders of the country. Through Joseph Stalin's theory on nationality, borders were drawn to create national homelands for various recognized ethnic groups.[4] Early republics like the Kazakh ASSR and the Turkestan ASSR in Central Asia were dissolved and split up to create new union republics.[5] With delimitation came the policy of indigenization which encouraged the de-Russification of the country and promotion of minority languages and culture.[6] This policy also affected ethnic Russians and was particularly enforced in ASSRs where indigenous people were already a minority in their own homeland, like the Buryat ASSR.[7] Language and culture flourished and ultimately institutionalized ethnicity in the state apparatus of the country.[8] Despite this, the Bolsheviks worked to isolate the country's new republics by surrounding them within Russian territory for fear of them seeking independence. In 1925 the Bashkir ASSR lost its border with the future Kazakh SSR with the creation of the so-called "Orenburg corridor".[9] The Komi-Zyryan Autonomous Oblast lost access to the Barents Sea and became an enclave on 15 July 1929 prior to being upgraded to the Komi ASSR in 1936.[10]

Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet on the incorporation of Tuva into the Soviet Union as an autonomous oblast, 11 October 1944. Tuva would not become an ASSR until 1961.

By the 1930s the mood shifted as the Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin stopped enforcing indigenization and began purging non-Russians from government and intelligentsia. Thus, a period of Russification set in.[6] Russian became mandatory in all areas of non-Russian ethnicity and the Cyrillic script became compulsory for all languages of the Soviet Union.[11] The constitution stated that the ASSRs had power to enforce their own policies within their territory,[12] but in practice the ASSRs and their titular nationalities were some of the most affected by Stalin's purges and were strictly controlled by Moscow.[13] From 1937, the "bourgeois nationalists" became the "enemy of the Russian people" and indigenization was abolished.[11] On 22 June 1941 Germany invaded the Soviet Union, forcing it in to the Second World War, and advanced deep in to Russian territory. In response, Stalin abolished the Volga German ASSR on 7 September 1941 and exiled the Volga Germans to Central Asia and Siberia.[14] When the Soviets gained the upper hand and began recapturing territory in 1943, many minorities of the country began to be seen as German collaborators by Stalin and were accused of treason, particularly in southern Russia.[15] Between 1943 and 1945 ethnic Balkars,[16] Chechens,[17] Crimean Tatars,[18] Ingush,[17] and Kalmyks[19] were deported en masse from the region to remote parts of the country. Immediately after the deportations the Soviet government passed decrees that liquidated the Kalmyk ASSR on 27 December 1943,[19] the Crimean ASSR on 23 February 1944,[20] the Checheno-Ingush ASSR on 7 March 1944,[17] and renamed the Kabardino-Balkar ASSR the Kabardian ASSR on 8 April 1944.[21] After Stalin's death on 5 March 1953 the new government of Nikita Khrushchev sought to undo his controversial legacy. During his Secret speech on 25 February 1956 Khrushchev rehabilitated Russia's minorities.[22] The Kabardino-Balkar ASSR[14] and the Checheno-Ingush ASSR[23] were restored on 9 January 1957 while the Kalmyk ASSR was restored on 29 July 1958.[23] The government, however, refused to restore the Volga German ASSR[24] and the Crimean ASSR, the latter of which was transferred to the Ukrainian SSR on 19 February 1954.[20]

The autonomies of the ASSRs varied greatly throughout the history of the Soviet Union but Russification would nevertheless continue unabated and internal Russian migration to the ASSRs would result in various indigenous people becoming minorities in their own republics. At the same time, the number of ASSRs grew; the Karelian ASSR was formed on 6 July 1956 after being a union republic from 1940[25] while the partially recognized state of Tuva was annexed by the Soviets on 11 October 1944 and became the Tuvan ASSR on 10 October 1961.[26] By the 1980s General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev's introduction of glasnost began a period of revitalization of minority culture in the ASSRs.[27] From 1989 Gorbachev's Soviet Union and the Russian SFSR, led by Boris Yeltsin, were locked in a power struggle. Yeltsin sought support from the ASSRs by promising more devolved powers and to build a federation "from the ground up".[28] On 12 June 1990 the Russian SFSR issued a Declaration of State Sovereignty, proclaiming Russia a sovereign state whose laws take priority over Soviet ones.[29] The following month Yeltsin told the ASSRs to "take as much sovereignty as you can swallow" during a speech in Kazan, Tatar ASSR.[30] These events prompted the ASSRs to assert themselves against a now weakened Soviet Union. Throughout 1990 and 1991 most of the ASSRs followed Russia's lead and issued "declarations of sovereignty", elevating their statuses to that of union republics within a federal Russia.[31] The Dagestan ASSR and Mordovian ASSR were the only republics that did not proclaim sovereignty.[32]

In the final year of the Soviet Union, negotiations were underway for a new treaty to restructure the country in to a loose confederation. Gorbachev invited the ASSRs to be participants in the drafting of the treaty, thereby recognizing them as equal to the union republics.[33] However, a coup attempt in August 1991 derailed the negotiations and the union republics began to declare their independence throughout the year.[33] The Soviet Union collapsed on 26 December 1991 and the position of the ASSRs became uncertain. By law, the ASSRs did not have the right to secede from the Soviet Union like the union republics did[34][35] but the question of independence from Russia nevertheless became a topic of discussion in some of the ASSRs. The declarations of sovereignty adopted by the ASSRs were divided on the topic of secession. Some advocated the integrity of the Russian Federation, others were muted on the subject, while the Komi ASSR,[36] Mari ASSR,[37] and Tuvan ASSR[38] reserved the right to self-determination. Yeltsin was an avid supporter of national sovereignty and recognized the independence of the union republics in what was called a "parade of sovereignties".[34] In regards to the ASSRs, however, Yeltsin did not support secession and tried to prevent them from declaring independence. The Checheno-Ingush ASSR, led by Dzhokhar Dudayev, unilaterally declared independence on 1 November 1991[39] and Yeltsin would attempt to retake it on 11 December 1994, beginning the First Chechen War.[40] When the Tatar ASSR held a referendum on whether to declare independence on 21 March 1992, he had the ballot declared illegal by the Constitutional Court.[41]

Russian President Boris Yeltsin and Tatarstan President Mintimer Shaimiev shaking hands after signing an agreement to grant Tatarstan devolved powers, 15 February 1994.

On 31 March 1992, every subject of Russia except the Tatar ASSR and the de facto state of Chechnya signed the Treaty of Federation with the government of Russia, solidifying its federal structure and Boris Yeltsin became the country's first president.[42] The ASSRs were dissolved and became the modern day republics. The number of republics increased dramatically as the autonomous oblasts of Adygea, Gorno-Altai, Khakassia, and Karachay-Cherkessia were elevated to full republics,[43] while the Ingush portion of the Checheno-Ingush ASSR refused to be part of the breakaway state and rejoined Russia as the Republic of Ingushetia on 4 June 1992.[44] The Republic of Tatarstan demanded its own agreement to preserve its autonomy within the Russian Federation and on 15 February 1994, Moscow and Kazan signed a power-sharing deal, in which the latter was granted a high degree of autonomy.[45] 45 other regions, including the other republics, would go on to sign autonomy agreements with the federal center.[46] By the mid 1990s, the overly complex structure of the various bilateral agreements between regional governments and Moscow sparked a call for reform.[46] The constitution of Russia was the supreme law of the country, but in practice, the power-sharing agreements superseded it while the poor oversight of regional affairs left the republics to be governed by authoritarian leaders who ruled for personal benefit.[47] Meanwhile, the war in Chechnya entered a stalemate as Russian forces were unable to wrest control of the republic despite capturing the capital Grozny on 8 February 1995 and killing Dudayev months later in an airstrike.[48] Faced with a demoralized army and universal public opposition to the war, Yeltsin was forced to sign the Khasavyurt Accord with Chechnya on 30 August 1996 and eventually withdrew troops.[49] A year later Chechnya and Russia signed the Moscow Peace Treaty, ending Russia's attempts to retake the republic.[50] As the decade drew to a close, the fallout from the failed Chechen war and the subsequent financial crisis in 1998 resulted in Yeltsin resigning on 31 December 1999.[51]

Yeltsin declared Vladimir Putin as interim president and his successor. Despite maintaining de facto independence following the war, Chechnya under Aslan Maskhadov proved incapable of fixing the republic's devastated economy and maintaining order as the territory became increasingly lawless and a breeding ground for Islamic fundamentalism.[52] Using this lawlessness extremists invaded neighboring Dagestan and bombed various apartment blocks in Russia, resulted in Putin sending troops into Chechnya again on 1 October 1999.[53] Chechen resistance quickly fell apart as federal troops captured Grozny on 6 February 2000 and pushed rebels in to the mountains.[54] Moscow reimposed direct rule on Chechnya on 9 June 2000[55] and the territory was officially reintegrated in to the Russian Federation as the Chechen Republic on 24 March 2003.[56] Putin would participate in the 26 March 2000 election on the promise of completely restructuring the federal system and restoring the authority of the central government.[57] The power-sharing agreements began to gradually expire or be terminated and after 2003 only Tatarstan and Bashkortostan continued to negotiate on their treaties' extensions.[46] Bashkortostan's power-sharing treaty expired on 7 July 2005,[58] leaving Tatarstan as the sole republic to maintain its autonomy, which was renewed on 11 July 2007.[59] After an attack by Chechen separatists at a school in Beslan, North Ossetia, Putin abolished direct elections for governors and assumed the power to personally appoint and dismiss them.[60] Throughout the decade, influential regional leaders like Mintimer Shaimiev of Tatarstan[61] and Murtaza Rakhimov of Bashkortostan,[62] who were adamant on extending their bilateral agreements with Moscow, were dismissed, removing the last vestiges of regional autonomy from the 1990s. On 24 July 2017, Tatarstan's power-sharing agreement with Moscow expired, making it the last republic to lose its special status. After the agreement's termination, some commentators expressed the view that Russia ceased to be a federation.[63][45]

Constitutional statusEdit

Rustam Minnikhanov, the President of Tatarstan. Until 2010, the leaders of the republics were allowed to have the title of President. Tatarstan is the only republic to maintain that title.[64]

Republics differ from other federal subjects in that they have the right to establish their own official language,[65] have their own constitution, and have a national anthem. Other federal subjects, such as krais and oblasts, are not explicitly given this right. During Boris Yeltsin's presidency, the republics were the first subjects to be granted extensive power from the federal government, and were often given preferential treatment over other subjects, which has led to Russia being characterized as an "asymmetrical federation ".[66][67] The Treaty of Federation signed on 31 March 1992 stipulated that the republics were "sovereign states" that had expanded rights over natural resources, external trade, and internal budgets.[68] The signing of bilateral treaties with the republics would grant them additional powers, however, the amount of autonomy given differed by republic and was mainly based on their economic wealth rather than ethnic composition.[69] Sakha, for example, was granted more control over its resources, being able to keep most of its revenue and sell and receive its profits independently due to its vast diamond deposits.[70] North Ossetia on the other hand, a poorer republic, was mainly granted more control over defense and internal security due to its location in the restive North Caucasus.[71] Tatarstan and Bashkortostan had the authority to establish their own foreign relations and conduct agreements with foreign governments.[72] This has led to criticism from oblasts and krais. After the 1993 Russian constitutional crisis, the current constitution was adopted but the republics were no longer classified as "sovereign states" and all subjects of the federation were declared equal, though maintaining the validity of the bilateral agreements.[73]

In theory, the constitution of Russia was the ultimate authority over the republics, but the power-sharing treaties held greater weight in practice. Republics often created their own laws which contradicted the constitution.[72] Yeltsin, however, made little effort to rein in renegade laws, preferring to turn a blind eye to violations in exchange for political loyalty.[74] Vladimir Putin's election on 26 March 2000 began a period of extensive reforms to centralize authority with the federal government and bring all laws in line with the constitution.[75] His first act as president was the creation of federal districts on 18 May 2000, which were tasked with exerting federal control over the country's subjects.[76] Putin later established the so-called "Kozak Commission" in June 2001 to examine the division of powers between the government and regions.[77] The Commission's recommendations focused mainly on minimizing the basis of regional autonomy and transferring lucrative powers meant for the republics to the federal government.[78] Centralization of power would continue as the republics gradually lost more and more autonomy to the federal government, leading the European Parliament to conclude that Russia functions as a unitary state despite officially being a federation.[79] On 21 December 2010, the State Duma voted to overturn previous laws allowing the leaders of the republics to hold the title of President[citation needed] while a bill was passed on 19 June 2018 that elevated the status of the Russian language at the expense of other official languages in the republics.[80] The bill authorized the abolition of mandatory minority language classes in schools and for voluntary teaching to be reduced to two hours a week.[81]

Chechnya is the sole exception to Putin's centralization efforts. With the republic's reentry into Russia after the Second Chechen War, Chechnya was given broad autonomy in exchange for remaining within the country. At the end of the war, Putin bought the loyalty of local elites and granted Chechnya the right to manage its own affairs in dealing with separatists and governing itself outside of Russian control in a process called "Chechenization".[82] With the appointment of Ramzan Kadyrov by Putin to lead the republic in 2007, the independence of Chechnya has grown significantly. The Russian government gives Chechnya generous subsidies in exchange for loyalty and maintaining security in the region.[83] Observers have noted Putin's reluctance or inability to exert control over Kadyrov's rule for fear it could trigger another conflict.[84] Chechnya under Kadyrov operates outside of Russian law,[85] has its own independent security force,[86] and conducts its own de facto foreign policy.[87] This has led to Chechnya being characterized as a "state within a state".[88]

There are secessionist movements in most republics, but these are generally not very strong. The constitution makes no mention on whether a republic can legally secede from the Russian Federation. However, the Constitutional Court of Russia ruled after the unilateral secession of Chechnya in 1991 that the republics do not have the right to secede and are inalienable parts of the country.[89] Despite this, some republican constitutions in the 1990s had articles giving them the right to become independent. This included Tuva, whose constitution had an article explicitly giving it the right to secede.[72] However, following Putin's centralization reforms in the early 2000s, these articles were subsequently dropped. The Kabardino-Balkar Republic, for example, adopted a new constitution in 2001 which prevents the republic from existing independently of the Russian Federation.[90] After Russia's annexation of Crimea, the State Duma adopted a law making it illegal to advocate for the secession of any region on 5 July 2014.[91]

Status of CrimeaEdit

On 18 March 2014, Russia annexed the Autonomous Republic of Crimea of Ukraine after an unrecognized referendum.[92] The peninsula subsequently became the Republic of Crimea, the 22nd republic of Russia. However, Ukraine and most of the international community do not recognize Crimea's annexation[93] and the United Nations General Assembly declared the vote to be illegitimate.[94]


Flag Map Name
Domestic common and formal names
Titular Nationality
Population (2010)[95]

Republic of Adygea
Russian: Адыгея — Республика Адыгея (Adygeya — Respublika Adygeya)

Adyghe: Адыгэ — Адыгэ Республик (Adıgə — Adıgə Respublik)

Russian: Майкоп (Maykop)

Adyghe: Мыекъуапэ (Mıequapə)
Adyghe 439,996 7,792 km2 (3,009 sq mi) 1991-07-03[96]

Altai Republic
Russian: Алтай — Республика Алтай (Altay — Respublika Altay)

Altay: Алтай — Алтай Республика (Altay — Altay Respublika)

Kazakh: Алтай – Алтай Республикасы (Altai — Altai Respublikasy)


Russian: Горно-Алтайск (Gorno-Altaysk)

Altay: Улалу (Ulalu)

Kazakh: Горно-Алтайск (Gorno-Altaisk)
Altai 206,168 92,903 km2 (35,870 sq mi) 1991-07-03[96]

Republic of Bashkortostan
Russian: Башкортостан — Республика Башкортостан (Bashkortostan — Respublika Bashkortostan)

Bashkir: Башҡортостан — Башҡортостан Республикаһы (Başqortostan — Başqortostan Respublikahı)

Russian: Уфа (Ufa)

Bashkir: Өфө (Öfö)
Bashkirs 4,072,292 142,947 km2 (55,192 sq mi) 1919-03-23[97]

Republic of Buryatia
Russian: Бурятия — Республика Бурятия (Buryatiya — Respublika Buryatiya)

Buryat: Буряадия — Буряад Улас (Buryaadiya — Buryaad Ulas)

Russian: Улан-Удэ (Ulan-Ude)

Buryat: Улаан Үдэ (Ulaan Üde)
Buryats 972,021 351,334 km2 (135,651 sq mi) 1923-05-30[98]

Chechen Republic
Russian: Чечня — Чеченская Республика (Chechnya — Chechenskaya Respublika)

Chechen: Нохчийчоь — Нохчийн Республика (Noxçiyçö — Noxçiyn Respublika)

Russian: Грозный (Grozny)

Chechen: Соьлжа-ГӀала (Sölƶa-Ġala)
Chechens 1,268,989 16,165 km2 (6,241 sq mi) 1993-01-10[b]

Chuvash Republic
Russian: Чувашия — Чувашская Республика (Chuvashiya — Chuvashskaya Respublika)

Chuvash: Чӑваш Ен — Чӑваш Республики (Čăvaš Jen — Čăvaš Respubliki)

Russian: Чебоксары (Cheboksary)

Chuvash: Шупашкар (Šupaškar)
Chuvash 1,251,619 18,343 km2 (7,082 sq mi) 1925-04-21[99]

Republic of Crimea
Russian: Крым — Республика Крым (Krym — Respublika Krym)

Ukrainian: Крим — Республіка Крим (Krym — Respublika Krym)

Crimean Tatar: Къырым — Къырым Джумхуриети (Qırım — Qırım Cumhuriyeti)

Russian: Симферополь (Simferopol)

Ukrainian: Сiмферополь (Simferopol)

Crimean Tatar: Акъмесджит (Aqmescit)
[c] 1,913,731 26,081 km2 (10,070 sq mi) 2014-03-18[92]

Republic of Dagestan
Russian: Дагестан — Республика Дагестан (Dagestan — Respublika Dagestan)
13 other official names
  • Aghul: Дагъустан — Республика Дагъустан (Daġustan — Respublika Daġustan)
    Avar: Дагъистаналъул — Дагъистаналъул Жумгьурият (Daġistanałul — Daġistanałul Jumhuriyat)
    Azerbaijani: Дағыстан — Дағыстан Республикасы (Dağıstan — Dağıstan Respublikası)
    Chechen: Дегӏестан — Дегӏестан Республика (Deġestan — Deġestan Respublika)
    Dargwa: Дагъистан — Дагъистан Республика (Daġistan — Daġistan Respublika)
    Kumyk: Дагъыстан — Дагъыстан Жумгьурият (Dağıstan — Dağıstan Cumhuriyat)
    Lak: Дагъусттаннал — Дагъусттаннал Республика (Daġusttannal — Daġusttannal Respublika)
    Lezgian: Дагъустан — Республика Дагъустан (Daġustan — Respublika Daġustan)
    Nogai: Дагыстан — Дагыстан Республикасы (Dağıstan — Dağıstan Respublikası)
    Rutul: Дагъустан — Республика Дагъустан (Daġustan — Respublika Daġustan)
    Tabassaran: Дагъустан — Дагъустан Республика (Daġustan — Daġustan Respublika)
    Tat: Догъисту — Республикей Догъисту (Doġistu — Respublikei Doġistu)
    Tsakhur: Дагъустан — Республика Дагъустан (Daġustan — Respublika Daġustan)

Russian: Махачкала (Makhachkala)
Thirteen indigenous nationalities[d] 2,910,249 50,270 km2 (19,409 sq mi) 1921-01-20[101]

Republic of Ingushetia
Russian: Ингушетия — Республика Ингушетия (Ingushetiya — Respublika Ingushetiya)

Ingush: ГӀалгIайче — ГIалгIай Мохк (Ghalghajche — Ghalghaj Moxk)

Russian: Магас (Magas)

Ingush: Магас (Magas)
Ingush 412,529 3,123 km2 (1,206 sq mi) 1992-06-04[44]

Kabardino-Balkar Republic
Russian: Кабардино-Балкария — Кабардино-Балкарская Республика (Kabardino-Balkariya — Kabardino-Balkarskaya Respublika)

Kabardian: Къэбэрдей-Балъкъэрия — Къэбэрдей-Балъкъэр Республикэ (Qəbərdey-Batlqəriya — Qəbərdey-Batlqər Respublikə)

Karachay-Balkar: Къабарты-Малкъария — Къабарты-Малкъар Республика (Qabartı-Malqariya — Qabartı-Malqar Respublika)

Russian: Нальчик (Nalchik)

Kabardian: Налщӏэч (Nalş’əç)

Karachay-Balkar: Нальчик (Nalchik)
Kabardians, Balkars 859,939 12,470 km2 (4,815 sq mi) 1936-12-05[102]

Republic of Kalmykia
Russian: Калмыкия — Республика Калмыкия (Kalmykiya — Respublika Kalmykiya)

Kalmyk: Хальмг — Хальмг Таңһч (Haľmg — Haľmg Tañğç)

Russian: Элиста (Elista)

Kalmyk: Элст (Elst)
Kalmyks 289,481 74,731 km2 (28,854 sq mi) 1935-10-22[101]

Karachay-Cherkess Republic
Russian: Карачаево-Черкесия — Карачаево-Черкесская Республика (Karachayevo-Cherkesiya — Karachayevo-Cherkesskaya Respublika)

Karachay-Balkar: Къарачай-Черкесия — Къарачай-Черкес Республика (Qaraçay-Çerkesiya — Qaraçay-Çerkes Respublika)

Kabardian: Къэрэшей-Шэрджэсия — Къэрэшей-Шэрджэс Республикэ (Qərəṩey-Ṩərcəsiya — Qərəṩey-Ṩərcəs Respublikə)

Russian: Черкесск (Čerkessk)

Karachay-Balkar: Черкесск (Çerkessk)

Kabardian: Шэрджэс къалэ (Ṩərcəs qalə)
Karachays, Kabardians 477,859 14,277 km2 (5,512 sq mi) 1991-07-03[96]

Republic of Karelia
Russian: Карелия — Республика Карелия (Kareliya — Respublika Kareliya)

Karelian: Karjala — Karjalan tazavaldu[e]

Russian: Петрозаводск (Petrozavodsk)

Karelian: Petroskoi
Karelians 643,548 180,520 km2 (69,699 sq mi) 1923-06-27

Republic of Khakassia
Russian: Хакасия — Республика Хакасия (Khakasiya — Respublika Khakasiya)

Khakas: Хакасия — Хакас Республиказы (Khakasiya — Khakas Respublikazy)

Russian: Абакан (Abakan)

Khakas: Абахан (Abakhan)
Khakas 532,403 61,569 km2 (23,772 sq mi) 1991-07-03[96]

Komi Republic
Russian: Коми — Республика Коми (Komi — Respublika Komi)

Komi: Коми — Коми Республика (Komi — Komi Respublika)

Russian: Сыктывкар (Syktyvkar)

Komi: Сыктывкар (Syktyvkar)
Komi 901,189 416,774 km2 (160,917 sq mi) 1936-12-05[101]
Mari El

Mari El Republic
Russian: Марий Эл — Республика Марий Эл (Mariy El — Respublika Mariy El)

Hill Mari: Мары Эл — Мары Эл Республик (Mary El — Mary El Republik)

Meadow Mari: Марий Эл — Марий Эл Республик (Mariy El — Mariy El Republik)

Russian: Йошкар-Ола (Yoshkar-Ola)

Hill Mari: Йошкар-Ола (Yoshkar-Ola)

Meadow Mari: Йошкар-Ола (Yoshkar-Ola)
Mari 696,459 23,375 km2 (9,025 sq mi) 1936-12-05[101]

Republic of Mordovia
Russian: Мордовия — Республика Мордовия (Mordoviya — Respublika Mordoviya)

Moksha: Мордовия — Мордовия Pеспубликась (Mordovija — Mordovija Respublikas)

Erzya: Мордовия — Мордовия Республикась (Mordovija — Mordovija Respublikas)

Russian: Саранск (Saransk)

Moksha: Саранош (Saranosh)

Erzya: Саран ош (Saran osh)
Mordvins 834,755 26,128 km2 (10,088 sq mi) 1934-12-20[104]
North Ossetia–Alania

Republic of North Ossetia–Alania
Russian: Северная Осетия–Алания — Республика Северная Осетия–Алания (Severnaya Osetiya–Alaniya — Respublika Severnaya Osetiya–Alaniya)

Ossetian: Цӕгат Ирыстон–Алани — Республикӕ Цӕгат Ирыстон–Алани (Cægat Iryston–Alani — Respublikæ Cægat Iryston–Alani)

Russian: Владикавказ (Vladikavkaz)

Ossetian: Дзæуджыхъæу (Dzæudžyqæu)
Ossetians 712,980 7,987 km2 (3,084 sq mi) 1936-12-05[102]

Sakha Republic
Russian: Саха — Республика Саха (Sakha — Respublika Sakha)

Yakut: Caxa Сирэ — Саха Өрөспүүбүлүкэтэ (Sakha Sire — Sakha Öröspüübülükete)

Russian: Якутск (Yakutsk)

Yakut: Дьокуускай (Dokuuskay)
Yakuts 958,528 3,083,523 km2 (1,190,555 sq mi) 1922-04-27

Republic of Tatarstan
Russian: Татарстан — Республика Татарстан (Tatarstan — Respublika Tatarstan)

Tatar: Татарстан — Татарстан Республикасы (Tatarstan — Tatarstan Respublikası)

Russian: Казань (Kazan)

Tatar: Казан (Kazan)
Tatars 3,786,488 67,847 km2 (26,196 sq mi) 1920-06-25[97]

Tuva Republic
Russian: Тува — Республика Тува (Tuva — Respublika Tuva)

Tuvan: Тыва — Тыва Республика (Tyva — Tyva Respublika)

Russian: Кызыл (Kyzyl)

Tuvan: Кызыл (Kızıl)
Tuvans 307,930 168,604 km2 (65,098 sq mi) 1961-10-10[26]

Udmurt Republic
Russian: Удмуртия — Удмуртская Республика (Udmurtiya — Udmurtskaya Respublika)

Udmurt: Удмуртия — Удмурт Элькун (Udmurtiya — Udmurt Elkun)

Russian: Ижевск (Izhevsk)

Udmurt: Ижкар (Ižkar)
Udmurts 1,521,420 42,061 km2 (16,240 sq mi) 1934-12-28

Demographics trendEdit

Ethnic group Titular (%) Russians (%) other (%)
Republic 1979 1989 2002 2010[95] 1979 1989 2002 2010 1979 1989 2002 2010
Adygea 21,3   22,1   24,1   25,2 70,8   68,0   64,4   63,6
Altai  29,1   31,0   33,4   33,9  63,3   60,4   57,4   56,6 5,6   5,9 (Kazakhs)   6,2
Bashkortostan 24,3   21,9   29,7   29,5 40,3   39,2   36,3   36,1 24,5   28,4   24,1 (Tatars)   25,4
Buryatia  23,0   24,0   27,8   30  72,1   69,9   67,8   66,1
Chechnya 52,9   57,8   93,4   95,3 31,7   23,1   3,6   1,9
Chuvashia  68,4   67,7   67,6   67,7  26,0   26,6   26,5   26,9
Dagestan 86,0 11,0   9,2   4,6   3,6
Ingushetia  11,7[f]   12,9[f]   77,2   94,1  31,7   23,1   1,1   0,8
Kabardino-Balkaria 45,6   52,2   55,3   57,2 35,1   31,9   25,1   22,5 9,0   9,4   11,6   12,7
Kalmykia  41,4   45,3   53,3   57,4  42,7   37,6   33,5   30,2
Karachay-Cherkessia 29,7   31,2   38,5   41 45,0   42,4   33,6   31,6 9,3   9,7   11,2   11,9
Karelia  11,1   10,0   9,2   7,4  71,3   73,6   76,6   82,2
Komi  25,3   23,3   25,1   23,7  56,7   57,7   59,5   65,1
Khakassia  11,4   11,1   11,9   12,1  79,5   79,4   80,2   81,7
Mari El  43,6   43,3   42,8   43,9  47,6   47,4  47,4  47,4
Mordovia  34,2   32,5   31,9   40  59,7   60,8  60,8   53,4
North Ossetia–Alania  50,5   52,9   62,7   65,1  34,0   29,9   23,1   20,8
Yakutia  36,9   33,4   45,5   49,9  50,5   50,3   41,1   37,8
Tatarstan  47,7   48,4   52,9   53,2  44,0   43,2   39,4   39,7
Tuva  60,4   64,3   77,0   82  36,2   32,0   20,1   16,3
Udmurtia  32,2   30,9   29,3   28  58,3   58,9   60,1   62,2

Attempted republicsEdit

In response to the apparent federal inequality, in which the republics were given special privileges during the early years of Yeltsin's tenure at the expense of other subjects, Eduard Rossel, then governor of Sverdlovsk Oblast and advocate of equal rights for all subjects, attempted to transform his oblast in to the Ural Republic on 1 July 1993 in order to receive the same benefits.[105] Initially supportive, Yeltsin later dissolved the republic and fired Rossel on 9 November 1993.[106] The only other attempt to formally create a republic occurred in Vologda Oblast when authorities declared their wish to create a "Vologda Republic" on 14 May 1993. This declaration, however, was ignored by Moscow and eventually faded from public consciousness.[107] Other attempts to unilaterally create a republic never materialized. These included a "Pomor Republic" in Arkhangelsk Oblast,[107] a "Southern Urals Republic" in Chelyabinsk Oblast,[108] a "Chukotka Republic" in Chukotka Autonomous Okrug,[109] a "Yenisei Republic" in Irkutsk Oblast,[108] a "Leningrad Republic" in Leningrad Oblast,[107] a "Nenets Republic" in the Nenets Autonomous Okrug,[110] a "Siberian Republic" in Novosibirsk Oblast,[107] a "Primorsky Republic" in Primorsky Krai,[108] a "Neva Republic" in the city of Saint Petersburg,[108] and a republic consisting of eleven regions in western Russia centered around Oryol Oblast.[107]

Other attempts to create republics came in the form of splitting up already existing territories. After the Soviet Union's collapse, a proposal was put forth to split the Karachay-Cherkess Republic in to multiple smaller republics. The idea was rejected by referendum on 28 March 1992.[111] A similar proposal occurred in the Republic of Mordovia to divide it to separate Erzyan and Mokshan homelands. The proposal was rejected in 1995.[112]

Entities outside RussiaEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Annexed by Russia in 2014; recognized as a part of Ukraine by most of the international community.[1]
  2. ^ De facto independent state from 1991 to 2000 but was still recognized as a Russian republic.
  3. ^ The republic was not formed with a titular nationality in mind.[100]
  4. ^ Aghuls, Avars, Azerbaijanis, Chechens, Dargins, Kumyks, Laks, Lezgins, Nogais, Rutuls, Tabasarans, Tats, Tsakhurs.
  5. ^ The Karelian language has no official status in the republic but is nevertheless recognized as a "regional language" alongside Finnish and Veps.[103]
  6. ^ a b Of the total population of the Checheno-Ingush ASSR.


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External linksEdit

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