|Республика Алтай (Russian)
Алтай Республика (Altay)
|— Republic —|
|Anthem: National Anthem of the Altai Republic|
|Economic region||West Siberian|
|Established||July 1, 1922|
|Government (as of September 2010)|
|- Head||Alexander Berdnikov|
|- Legislature||State Assembly—El Kurultai|
|Area (as of the 2002 Census)|
|- Total||92,600 km2 (35,753.1 sq mi)|
|Population (2010 Census)|
|- Density||2.23 /km2 (5.8 /sq mi)|
|Time zone(s)||OMST (UTC+07:00)|
|Official languages||Russian; Altay|
Altai Republic (Russian: Респу́блика Алта́й, Respublika Altay; Altay: Алтай Республика, Altay Respublika) is a federal subject of Russia (a republic). Its capital is the town of Gorno-Altaysk. The area of the republic is 92,600 square kilometers (35,800 sq mi). Population: 206,168 (2010 Census).
The national autonomy for the Altai people was created on June 1, 1922 as Oyrot Autonomous Oblast (Ойро́тская автоно́мная о́бласть), part of Altai Krai. The original name for this region was Bazla. On January 7, 1948 it was renamed Gorno-Altai Autonomous Oblast (Го́рно-Алта́йская автоно́мная о́бласть). In 1991 it was reorganized into the Gorno-Altai Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (ASSR). In 1992 it was renamed as the Altai Republic.
- Area: 92,600 km2 (35,800 sq mi)
- Highest point: Mount Belukha (4,506 m)
- Maximum N->S distance: 360 km
- Maximum E->W distance: 380 km
Rivers and lakes 
More than 20,000 tributaries sprawl throughout the mountainous Republic, making for a total of more than 60,000 kilometers (37,000 mi) worth of waterways. The republic's largest rivers are the Katun and the Biya, both of which originate in the mountains and flow northwards. The junction of the two rivers eventually forms the Ob River, one of the longest rivers in Siberia, which flows northward to the Arctic Ocean.
The source of the black Biya River is Lake Teletskoye, the region's largest lake located in an isolated area far south in the mountains. The emerald-colored Katun River has its source at the Gebler glacier, which is situated on the Republic's highest point, Mount Belukha. The Katun River in particular holds a religious significance for native Altaians, as well as for many Russians who live in the area, as Mount Belukha is known in Altai folklore to be the gateway to the mystical kingdom of Shambhala. 
The hydrographic network of the Republic also includes approximately 7,000 lakes, adding up to a total area of more than 700 km2 (270 sq mi). The largest lake is Lake Teletskoye, which is 80 km (50 mi) long and 5 kilometers (3.1 mi) wide, has an area of 230.8 square kilometers (89.1 sq mi), and has a maximum depth of 325 meters (1,066 ft). The mountain lakes of Altai contain enormous freshwater reserves of a very pure quality as a result of their distance from most human activity.  Lake Teletskoye alone contains more than 40 cubic kilometers (9.6 cu mi) of highly pure water.
Potential ground water storage is evaluated at 22 million m³ per day, while the present use constitutes about 44,000 m³ per day.
The most striking geographical aspect of the Republic of Altai is its mountainous terrain. The Republic is situated within the Russian part of the Altai Mountains system, which covers a large part of the Republic and continues into neighboring Kazakhstan, Mongolia and China. The region continues to experience periodic notable seismic activity, which is visually made apparent through the mountains' characteristically high and rugged mountain ridges, separated by narrow and deep river valleys. The Republic's highest peak, Mount Belukha (4,506 m), is the highest point in Siberia.
Natural resources 
Various bodies of water are among the most important natural resources of the Republic. Mineral and hot springs are popular destinations for tourists and locals, sought for their therapeutic effects. Additionally, Altai glaciers contain a great amount of fresh water. The general volume of ice for registered Altai glaciers comes to a total of 57 km³, 52 km³ of which is water. The total water stock of the glaciers exceeds the average annual effluence of all Altai rivers, which are equal to 43 km³ per year. The largest glaciers are: Bolshoy Taldurinsky (35 km²), Mensu (21 km²), Sofiysky (17 km²), and Bolshoy Maashey (16 km²).
Mineral resources in the region primarily include gold, silver, iron ores, and lithium, in addition to other smaller amounts of minerals. The large city of Barnaul in neighboring Altai Krai was originally founded as a processing center for minerals from the Altai region, although the mineral extraction industry today is much smaller than in the past.
The republic has a temperate continental climate with relatively short and hot summers (June–August); and long, cold, and often quite frosty winters (November–March).
- Average annual temperature: +1°C to -6.7°C.
- January temperature range: -9.2°C to -31°C.
- July temperature range: +11°C to +19°C.
- Average annual precipitation: 100–1000 mm.
Administrative divisions 
Vital statistics 
|Average population (x 1000)||Live births||Deaths||Natural change||Crude birth rate (per 1000)||Crude death rate (per 1000)||Natural change (per 1000)||Fertility rates|
Note: Data for Total fertility rate (2012) is estimate based on age and sex structure of Altai Republic at the beginning of 2012, number of births in 2012 and fertility structure in previous years.
Ethnic groups 
As per the 2010 Census, ethnic Russians make up 56.6% of the republic's population, with the ethnic Altai people numbering only 34.5%. Other groups include Kazakhs (6.2%), Germans (700 or 0.3%) and a host of smaller groups, each accounting for less than 0.5% of the total population.
|1926 Census||1939 Census||1959 Census||1970 Census||1979 Census||1989 Census||2002 Census||2010 Census4|
- including 3414 Telengits, 1384 Kumandins and 344 Teleuts
- including 2368 Telengits, 1533 Tubalars, 931 Kumandins, 830 Chelkans, 141 Shors and 32 Teleuts
- including 3648 Telengits, 1891 Tubalars, 1062 Kumandins, 1113 Chelkans and 87 Shors
- 3,432 people were registered from administrative databases, and could not declare an ethnicity. It is estimated that the proportion of ethnicities in this group is the same as that of the declared group.
The head of government in Altai Republic is the Head of the Republic, popularly elected for a four-year term. As of 2006, the Head of the Republic is Alexander Vasilyevich Berdnikov, who succeeded Mikhail Lapshin in this post. The supreme legislative body of the republic is the State Assembly—El Kurultai, with 41 deputies popularly elected every four years. Igor Yaimov is the current Chairman of the State Assembly-El Kurultai from January 2002.
The Republic's Constitution was adopted on June 7, 1997.
The Altai Republic is a highly agricultural region. However, it does have some industry which includes foodstuffs, non-ferrous metallurgy, chemicals, gold mining, footwear, dairying and timber. Tourism has also begun to make its mark on the economy, and a large number of new hotels and resorts catering towards "New Russians" have begun to appear.
Altai Republic may be the only Russian political division without rail access. The main paved road is the Chuysky Tract, which spans the republic from the capital Gorno-Altaisk in the north to the Mongolian border in the south. A system of taxis and buses transports people between settlements. Within the settlements, people generally walk or ride horses.
Helicopters are used for emergency transportation, to supply remote government outposts, and by wealthy tourists. The airport near the capital of Gorno-Altaisk was recently revamped, but as of 2011, scheduled airplane service was not available. People generally fly through Barnaul in Altai Krai, or Novosibirsk.
With the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the Altai Republic's tourism industry has greatly expanded. Although wealthy Russians from neighboring Russian republics are the most common sort of tourist in Altai, foreign interest has also grown in the area, especially due to the area's spiritual significance to New Age believers and others.
Popular tourist destinations tend to be concentrated in the north, where the roads are more accessible. They are also almost entirely located along the Chuiskiy highway, which is the main road from the north into the mountains (although it is currently only two lanes wide). The north is also significantly warmer than the elevated southern areas, which tend to be chilly even in the summer.
Some of the more well-known tourist spots in the Altai region include Lake Aiya (a popular bathing spot), and the picturesque Chemal region. More adventurous travelers may wish to visit the more remote Lake Teletskoye or Mount Belukha in the south.
There is one university (Gorno-Altaisk State University), twelve colleges, and 205 secondary schools in the republic.
Different religions are present in Altay. According to a 2012 official survey 27.6% of the population adheres to the Russian Orthodox Church. The second most popular religions are ethnic and nature religions, namely Rodnovery, Tengrism and Burkhanism, constituting altogether 13% of the population. 6% of the population follows Islam, 2% Hinduism (including Slavic Vedic, Krishnaite and Tantric movements), 1% are Old Believers and 1% Protestants. 25% of the population is "spiritual but not religious", 14% is atheist and 7.4% follows other religions or did not answer to the question.
The traditional religion of the native Altaians is Tengrist shamanism, revived by modern Tengrist movements and Burkhanism. Ethnic Russians primarily practice Orthodox Christianity and Rodnovery (Slavic Neopaganism), but also Hinduism, while Kazakhs are traditionally Muslims. Tibetan Buddhism has also recently begun making some inroads by way of neighboring Mongolia and Tuva.
From 1904 until the 1930s, a new religious movement called Burkhanism (or Ak Jang, the "white faith") was popularized among native Altaians. The religion originated in Altai, and emphasized the "white" aspect of shamanistic practice. Burkhanism remains an important component of Altaian national consciousness, and is currently being revived in several forms along with indigenous Altai culture in general.
Russian Pagan and Hindu followers often go on pilgrimages to Mount Belukha, which is considered to be the location of Shambhala both by some Pagans and locals of Altai. One can often find manifestations of shamanistic spirituality in the region; for example, at points along the Katun River, local believers in shamanic religions are known to tie white ribbons to nearby trees and leave offerings of coins or food to the spirits. Although shamanism is much less widely practiced today, it is regaining popularity as a result of new religious freedom following the collapse of the Soviet Union.
The indigenous Altai culture holds the lands of Altai to be sacred. The indigenous (Turkic) languages are focused on the stewardship of the lands. The Altai oral history is transmitted by throat-singers. The Altai culture was repressed during Soviet times, and has been rebounding since then. The clans of all ten regions gather in the village of Yelo for a biennial cultural celebration.
There is also a large contingent of "Old Believers," who fled to Altai when they split from the Russian Orthodox Church about 200 years ago. They were taken in by the Altai people, and are now integrated into the fabric of Altai culture.
The UNESCO World Heritage Site "Golden Mountains" protects the Ukok Plateau, on which there are many standing stones and kurgans. Although archeologists consider kurgans to be burial sites, the indigenous people believe that they are highly refined magnetic instruments for directing the flow of cosmic energy into the Earth. Thus, there is great local indignation about the excavation and removal of the Siberian Ice Maiden, an extraordinary 2,500-year-old mummy that had been preserved in permafrost.
Notable people 
- Alexander Berdnikov (born April 8, 1953 ), Chairman of the Government of the Altai Republic, and the head of the republic from January 20, 2006.
- Grigory Gurkin (January 24, 1870 – October 11, 1937), landscape painter.
- Mikhail Lapshin (September 1, 1934 – June 17, 2006), President of the Altai Republic from January 19, 2002 to January 19, 2006.
- Sergey Mikayelyan (born April 27, 1992), cross-country skier.
- Semyon Zubakin (born May 4, 1952), Head of the Altai Republic in Russia from January 13, 1998 to January 19, 2002.
See also 
- Президент Российской Федерации. Указ №849 от 13 мая 2000 г. «О полномочном представителе Президента Российской Федерации в федеральном округе». Вступил в силу 13 мая 2000 г. Опубликован: "Собрание законодательства РФ", №20, ст. 2112, 15 мая 2000 г. (President of the Russian Federation. Decree #849 of May 13, 2000 On the Plenipotentiary Representative of the President of the Russian Federation in a Federal District. Effective as of May 13, 2000.).
- Госстандарт Российской Федерации. №ОК 024-95 27 декабря 1995 г. «Общероссийский классификатор экономических регионов. 2. Экономические районы», в ред. Изменения №5/2001 ОКЭР. (Gosstandart of the Russian Federation. #OK 024-95 December 27, 1995 Russian Classification of Economic Regions. 2. Economic Regions, as amended by the Amendment #5/2001 OKER. ).
- Constitution, Article 8
- Official website of the Altai Republic. Biography of Alexander Vasilyevich Berdnikov
- Федеральная служба государственной статистики (Federal State Statistics Service) (2004-05-21). "Территория, число районов, населённых пунктов и сельских администраций по субъектам Российской Федерации (Territory, Number of Districts, Inhabited Localities, and Rural Administration by Federal Subjects of the Russian Federation)". Всероссийская перепись населения 2002 года (All-Russia Population Census of 2002) (in Russian). Federal State Statistics Service. Retrieved 2011-11-01.
- "Всероссийская перепись населения 2010 года. Том 1" [2010 All-Russian Population Census, vol. 1]. Всероссийская перепись населения 2010 года (2010 All-Russia Population Census) (in Russian). Federal State Statistics Service. 2011. Retrieved June 29, 2012.
- The density value was calculated by dividing the population reported by the 2010 Census by the area shown in the "Area" field. Please note that this value may not be accurate as the area specified in the infobox is not necessarily reported for the same year as the population.
- Правительство Российской Федерации. Постановление №725 от 31 августа 2011 г. «О составе территорий, образующих каждую часовую зону, и порядке исчисления времени в часовых зонах, а также о признании утратившими силу отдельных Постановлений Правительства Российской Федерации». Вступил в силу по истечении 7 дней после дня официального опубликования. Опубликован: "Российская Газета", №197, 6 сентября 2011 г. (Government of the Russian Federation. Resolution #725 of August 31, 2011 On the Composition of the Territories Included into Each Time Zone and on the Procedures of Timekeeping in the Time Zones, as Well as on Abrogation of Several Resolutions of the Government of the Russian Federation. Effective as of after 7 days following the day of the official publication.).
- Official the whole territory of Russia according to Article 68.1 of the Constitution of Russia.
- Constitution, Article 13
- Name used in internal passports according to law ПОСТАНОВЛЕНИЕ Правительства Республики Алтай от 17.07.2001 N 208 "О ТИПОВОМ ОБРАЗЦЕ БЛАНКА-ВКЛАДЫША РЕСПУБЛИКИ АЛТАЙ К БЛАНКУ ПАСПОРТА ГРАЖДАНИНА РОССИЙСКОЙ ФЕДЕРАЦИИ"
- "Численность населения России, субъектов Российской Федерации в составе федеральных округов, районов, городских поселений, сельских населённых пунктов – районных центров и сельских населённых пунктов с населением 3 тысячи и более человек" [Population of Russia, its federal districts, federal subjects, districts, urban localities, rural localities—administrative centers, and rural localities with population of over 3,000]. Всероссийская перепись населения 2002 года (All-Russia Population Census of 2002) (in Russian). Federal State Statistics Service. May 21, 2004. Retrieved February 9, 2012.
- Demoscope Weekly (1989). "Всесоюзная перепись населения 1989 г. Численность наличного населения союзных и автономных республик, автономных областей и округов, краёв, областей, районов, городских поселений и сёл-райцентров." [All Union Population Census of 1989. Present population of union and autonomous republics, autonomous oblasts and okrugs, krais, oblasts, districts, urban settlements, and villages serving as district administrative centers]. Всесоюзная перепись населения 1989 года (All-Union Population Census of 1989) (in Russian). Institute of Demographics of the State University—Higher School of Economics. Retrieved February 9, 2012.
- Arena - Atlas of Religions and Nationalities in Russia. Sreda.org
- 2012 Survey Maps. "Ogonek", № 34 (5243), 27/08/2012. Retrieved 24-09-2012.
- 7 июня 1997 г. «Конституция Республики Алтай (Основной Закон)», в ред. Конституционного закона №5-КРЗ от 27 ноября 2007 г. (June 7, 1997 Constitution of the Altai Republic (Basic Law), as amended by the Constitutional Law #5-KRZ of November 27, 2007. ).
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Altai Republic|
- Official website of the Altai Republic
- (Russian) Official website of the Altai Republic
- National anthem of the Altai Republic (mp3)
- (Russian) (English) Gorno-Altaisk State University
- (German) Altai-Portal
- United Nations University digital video (2009) "Rediscovering Altai's human-nature relationships - Russia": a Telengit community leader and shaman from the Russian Altai’s high altitude Kosh Agach Raion traversing Altai’s sacred lands Accessed 1 December 2009
- (Russian) Photos of Mountain Altai - Altai-Photo
- Altai. Guide blog