Mari El

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Mari El Republic
Республика Марий Эл (Russian)
Марий Эл Республик (Meadow Mari)
Мары Эл Республик (Hill Mari)
—  Republic  —

Flag

Coat of arms
Anthem: National Anthem of the Mari El Republic[1]
Coordinates: 56°42′N 47°52′E / 56.700°N 47.867°E / 56.700; 47.867Coordinates: 56°42′N 47°52′E / 56.700°N 47.867°E / 56.700; 47.867
Political status
Country  Russia
Federal district Volga[2]
Economic region Volga-Vyatka[3]
Established December 5, 1936[4]
Capital Yoshkar-Ola[1]
Government (as of December 2013)
 - Head[6] Leonid Markelov[5]
 - Legislature State Assembly[6]
Statistics
Area (as of the 2002 Census)[7]
 - Total 23,200 km2 (9,000 sq mi)
Area rank 72nd
Population (2010 Census)[8]
 - Total 696,459
 - Rank 65th
 - Density[9] 30.02 /km2 (77.8 /sq mi)
 - Urban 63.1%
 - Rural 36.9%
Population (January 2013 est.)
 - Total 690,300[10]
Time zone(s) MSK (UTC+04:00)[11]
ISO 3166-2 RU-ME
License plates 12
Official languages Russian;[12] Mari (Meadow and Hill variants)[13]
Official website

The Mari El Republic (Russian: Респу́блика Мари́й Эл, Respublika Mariy El; Meadow Mari: Марий Эл Республик; Hill Mari: Мары Эл Республик) is a federal subject of Russia (a republic). Its capital is the city of Yoshkar-Ola. The population of Mari El was 696,459 according to the 2010 Russian Census.[8]

Geography[edit]

The republic is located in the eastern part of the East European Plain of Russia, along the Volga River. The swampy Mari Depression is located in the west of the republic. 57% of the republic's territory is covered by forests.

Rivers[edit]

There are 476 rivers in the republic. Most of them are considered to be minor: 10–50 m wide and 0.5-1.4 m deep. They usually freeze from mid-November till mid-April. Major rivers include:

Lakes[edit]

There are over two hundred lakes in the republic, most of them with an area less than 1 km² and depth of 1–3 m. Many lakes are located among swamps. Swamps cover large areas (10–70 km², up to 100 km²), and usually freeze in December. Average depth of the swamps is .5-1.5 m (up to 3 m), but they are impassable in fall and spring due to flooding.

Major lakes include:

Natural resources[edit]

There are virtually no natural resources of industrial significance in the republic. Other resources include peat, mineral waters, and limestone.

Climate[edit]

Climate is moderately continental. Winters are moderately cold and snowy. Summers are warm and often rainy.

  • Average January temperature: −13 °C (9 °F)
  • Average July temperature: +19 °C (66 °F)
  • Average annual precipitation: 450–500 mm

Administrative divisions[edit]

History[edit]

Map of the Mari El Republic

Ancient Mari tribes were known since the 5th century, though archeologists suspect Mari culture to be much older in its roots. Later their area was a tributary of Volga Bulgaria and the Golden Horde. In the 1440s it was incorporated into the Khanate of Kazan and was occupied by the Tsardom of Russia (governed by Ivan the Terrible) after the fall of Kazan in 1552.

After the Russian Revolution, under Bolshevik regime, Mari Autonomous Oblast was established on November 4, 1920. It was re-organized into Mari ASSR on December 5, 1936, same as the enactment of the 1936 Soviet Constitution, a.k.a. "Stalin Constitution". In its present form the Mari El Republic was formed on December 22, 1990.

Politics[edit]

Building of the Government of Mari El

The head of government in the Mari El Republic is the Head (formerly President). As of 2012, the Head is Leonid Markelov, who was elected in January 2001.

The ethnic Mari people are under heavy Russification and Leonid Markelov has ordered many Mari language newspapers to close.[citation needed] Many ethnic Mari activists live under fear of violence. The Mari activist and chief editor Vladimir Kozlov was badly beaten after he published criticism toward Leonid Markelov's politics. Other Mari leaders have been the subjects of violence, legal persecution and intimidation.[15]

The Marla faith of the Mari people has encountered hostility as well. Vitaly Tanakov was charged with inciting religious, national, social and linguistic hatred after publishing the book The Priest Speaks.[16]

International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights (IHF) and Moscow Helsinki Group (MHG) in an exhaustive 2006 report "Russian Federation: The Human Rights Situation of the Mari Minority of the Republic of Mari El," found widespread evidence of political and cultural persecution of Mari people, and of "a broader trend of repression of dissidents in the republic." They note that because of the relative obscurity of the Mari people and culture in the global context, no major NGOs have yet taken up the cause of protecting their rights.[17]

Demographics[edit]

Population: 696,459 (2010 Census);[8] 727,979 (2002 Census);[18] 749,386 (1989 Census).[19]

Vital statistics[edit]

Source: Russian Federal State Statistics Service
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
1970 686 10,505 6,364 4,141 15.3 9.3 6.0
1975 695 11,816 7,190 4,626 17.0 10.3 6.7
1980 710 13,169 8,091 5,078 18.5 11.4 7.2
1985 728 14,198 8,529 5,669 19.5 11.7 7.8
1990 755 11,953 7,775 4,178 15.8 10.3 5.5 2,16
1991 756 10,578 7,786 2,792 14.0 10.3 3.7 1,97
1992 758 9,227 8,330 897 12.2 11.0 1.2 1,76
1993 758 8,019 9,622 - 1,603 10.6 12.7 - 2.1 1,56
1994 758 7,851 10,788 - 2,937 10.4 14.2 - 3.9 1,53
1995 757 7,337 9,999 - 2,662 9.7 13.2 - 3.5 1,43
1996 755 6,952 9,495 - 2,543 9.2 12.6 - 3.4 1,35
1997 752 6,782 9,625 - 2,843 9.0 12.8 - 3.8 1,32
1998 749 6,657 9,623 - 2,966 8.9 12.8 - 4.0 1,29
1999 746 6,597 10,674 - 4,077 8.8 14.3 - 5.5 1,28
2000 741 6,784 11,040 - 4,256 9.1 14.9 - 5.7 1,30
2001 736 6,832 11,434 - 4,602 9.3 15.5 - 6.3 1,30
2002 729 7,300 12,105 - 4,805 10.0 16.6 - 6.6 1,38
2003 723 7,515 11,861 - 4,346 10.4 16.4 - 6.0 1,40
2004 718 7,715 12,098 - 4,383 10.7 16.9 - 6.1 1,40
2005 713 7,475 12,256 - 4,781 10.5 17.2 - 6.7 1,34
2006 708 7,550 11,286 - 3,736 10.7 15.9 - 5.3 1,32
2007 704 8,306 10,745 - 2,439 11.8 15.3 - 3.5 1,45
2008 701 8,620 10,699 - 2,079 12.3 15.3 - 3.0 1,50
2009 699 8,896 10,435 - 1,539 12.7 14.9 - 2.2 1,60
2010 696 8,857 10,572 - 1,715 12.7 15.2 - 2.5 1,59
2011 694 9,066 9,816 - 750 13.0 14.1 - 1.1 1,66
2012 691 9,841 9,444 397 14.2 13.6 0.6 1,83
2013 689 10,100 9,485 615 14.6 13.7 0.9 1,91(e)


Note: Total fertility rate source.[20]

Ethnic groups[edit]

Main article: Mari people

Though the Mari people have lived in the area for millennia, they did not have a designated territory before the Russian Revolution of 1917. According to the 2002 Census only 51.7% of the Mari within Russia live in the Mari El Republic, while 17.5% live in the Republic of Bashkortostan. During the last Soviet Census (1989), 4% of the Mari of the Soviet Union lived outside of Russia.

Since World War II, more ethnic Russians and Tatars have moved into the area. According to the 2010 Census,[8] Russians make up 47.4% of the republic's population, while the ethnic Mari make up 43.9%. Other groups include Tatars (5.8%), Chuvash (0.9%), Ukrainians (0.6%), and a host of smaller groups, each accounting for less than 0.5% of the total population.

Ethnic
group
1926 Census 1939 Census 1959 Census 1970 Census 1979 Census 1989 Census 2002 Census 2010 Census1
Number  % Number  % Number  % Number  % Number  % Number  % Number  % Number  %
Mari 247,979 51.4% 273,332 47.2% 279,450 43.1% 299,179 43.7% 306,627 43.5% 324,349 43.3% 312,178 42.9% 290,863 43.9%
Russians 210,016 43.6% 266,951 46.1% 309,514 47.8% 320,825 46.9% 334,561 47.5% 355,973 47.5% 345,513 47.5% 313,947 47.4%
Tatars 20,219 4.2% 27,149 4.7% 38,821 6.0% 40,279 5.9% 40,917 5.8% 43,850 5.9% 43,377 6.0% 38,357 5.8%
Chuvash 2,184 0.5% 5,504 0.9% 9,065 1.4% 9,032 1.3% 8,087 1.1% 8,993 1.2% 7,418 1.0% 6,025 0.9%
Others 1,703 0.4% 6,674 1.2% 10,830 1.7% 15,433 2.3% 14,015 2.0% 16,167 2.2% 19,943 2.7% 13,138 2.0%
1 34,129 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.[21]

Religion[edit]

Circle frame.svg

Religion in Mari El (2012)[22][23]

  Russian Orthodox (47.8%)
  Muslim (6%)
  Unaffiliated Christian (4%)
  Old Believers (1%)
  Other Orthodox (1%)
  Spiritual but not religious (25%)
  Atheist and non-religious (6%)
  Other and undeclared (4.2%)

The most common religions in the republic include Russian Orthodoxy, the Mari Traditional Religion, the Old Believers, and Islam. The traditional Mari religion - Chimari Yula is still practiced to by many Mari people and is the main religion of the Mari of Bashkordistan, also practiced is a syncretism of Paganism and Christianity. The Czars took drastic measures to force Christianity on the Mari, going so far as blowing up a holy mountain, and the persecution of the religion went on under the Soviet Union. In the 1990s the religion was officially recognised by the State and began to revive. Mari gather at around 520 holy groves where they offer animal and vegetable sacrifices, there are about 20 festivals yearly. Even though traditional religion is one of Mari El's three officially recognised religions (along with Orthodoxy and Islam) Mari religious practices have come under increasing pressure, according to human rights groups.[24]

According to a 2012 official survey[22] 47.8% of the population of Mari El adheres to the Russian Orthodox Church, 6% adheres to the Mari Traditional Religion, 6% adheres to Islam, 4% are unaffiliated generic Christians, 1% are Old Believers and 1% followers of other Orthodox Churches. In addition, 25% of the population is "spiritual but not religious", 6% is atheist and 4.2% follows other religions or did not answer to the question.[22]

Economy[edit]

The most developed industries are machine construction, metal working, timber, woodworking, and food industries. Most of the industrial enterprises are located in the capital Yoshkar-Ola, as well as in the towns of Kozmodemyansk, Volzhsk, and Zvenigovo

Transportation[edit]

Traveling cheaply and quickly to various towns and villages within the republic is made possible through a network of fifteen train stations, fifty-three bus stations, and numerous marshrutkas. The republic is connected to different regions throughout Russia by daily trains to and from Moscow and Kazan, an airport located near Yoshkar-Ola, and a port on the Volga River in Kozmodemyansk. There are also four other minor river ports in the republic. Regional automobile code is 12.

Communication[edit]

Telephony, Internet service, and cable television are provided by VolgaTelecom.

Culture[edit]

There are many museums located throughout the territory of the republic. The largest ones include the National Museum, the Museum of History, and the Museum of Fine Arts in Yoshkar-Ola; the Museum of Arts and History, the Ethnographic Open-Air Museum, and the Merchant Life Museum in Kozmodemyansk; and the Sheremetevo Castle Museum-reserve in Yurino. There are also museums dedicated to the poet Nikolay Mukhin and the composer Ivan Klyuchnikov-Palantay in Yoshkar-Ola and the house-museum of writer Sergei Chavayn in Chavaynur.

Five theaters are located in Yoshkar-Ola with performances in both the Russian and Mari languages, though it should be noted that the Mari National Theater, a major ethnic institution, was closed by the government. The International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights (IHF) and Moscow Helsinki Group (MHG) in their 2006 report "Russian Federation: The Human Rights Situation of the Mari Minority of the Republic of Mari El", reported "The closure of the Mari National Theater, which had been a key element of Mari cultural life ever since its foundation in 1919, was perceived as a direct attack on Mari culture."

Education[edit]

The most important facilities of higher education are Mari State Technical University and Mari State University,[25] both located in Yoshkar-Ola. There are also more than 900 primary and secondary schools located throughout the republic.

For the past few years, the Mari El Republic has been participating in the national project "Education" ("Oбразование"), which is designed to improve education throughout Russia by bringing new technology into the classroom, improving material conditions in schools, and providing financial awards to extraordinary students and teachers.

Despite the fact that Mari language is officially a state language, Mari educators and administrators have been forced from their positions in recent years and Mari-language education has been defunded, according to the U.S. State Department,[26] the European Union and others.[27]

Tourism[edit]

The territory of the republic is one of the more ecologically pure areas of the European part of Russia with numerous lakes, rivers, and forests. As a result, it is a popular destination for tourists looking to enjoy nature. One of the most popular destinations is Marii Chodra national park in the Ilet valley, where visitors can enjoy various activities such as boating, horseback riding, fishing, and mushrooming. Another is the Bolshaya Kokshaga National Reserve, where visitors can walk through virgin forests and observe local wildlife.

Mari El is also the site of several mineral springs, many of which are located in the Ilet valley. Many small resorts and children's camps are also located on the various lakes throughout the republic.

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Constitution of the Mari El Republic, Article 16
  2. ^ 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.).
  3. ^ 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. ).
  4. ^ Official website of the Mari El Republic. Ethnic and Historical Reference (Russian)
  5. ^ Official website of the Mari El Republic. Leonid Igorevich Markelov (Russian)
  6. ^ a b Constitution, Article 6.2
  7. ^ 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. 
  8. ^ a b c d "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. 
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ Mari El Republic Territorial Branch of the Federal State Statistics Service. Численность населения по Республике Марий Эл (Russian)
  11. ^ 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.).
  12. ^ Official on the whole territory of Russia according to Article 68.1 of the Constitution of Russia.
  13. ^ Constitution of the Mari El Republic, Article 15
  14. ^ Сайт "Спортивный туризм в Татарстане". По просторам Марий Эл. Справка о местности. (Russian)
  15. ^ United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. "Refworld | World Directory of Minorities and Indigenous Peoples - Russian Federation : Mari". Unhcr.org. Retrieved 2014-07-28. 
  16. ^ Russia Moves to Ban Religious Rites of Indigenous Finno-Ugric People Mari[dead link]
  17. ^ http://www.mhg.ru/files/engl/mariengl.pdf
  18. ^ "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. 
  19. ^ 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. 
  20. ^ "Каталог публикаций::Федеральная служба государственной статистики". Gks.ru. 2010-05-08. Retrieved 2014-07-28. 
  21. ^ "ВПН-2010". Perepis-2010.ru. Retrieved 2014-07-28. 
  22. ^ a b c Arena - Atlas of Religions and Nationalities in Russia. Sreda.org
  23. ^ 2012 Survey Maps. "Ogonek", № 34 (5243), 27/08/2012. Retrieved 24-09-2012.
  24. ^ 20 May 2009 (2009-05-20). "Amnesty International | Russian Federation: Amnesty International launches annual report and second Memorandum to President Medvedev". Amnesty.org. Retrieved 2014-07-28. 
  25. ^ "marsu.ru". marsu.ru. Retrieved 2014-07-28. 
  26. ^ "Human Rights Reports". State.gov. 2009-01-20. Retrieved 2014-07-28. 
  27. ^ Fuller, Liz. "Russia: Marii El Begins To Look Like Belarus On The Volga". Rferl.org. Retrieved 2014-07-28. 

Sources[edit]

  • 24 июня 1995 г. «Конституция Республики Марий Эл», в ред. Закона №49-З от 27 августа 2012 г. «О поправках к Конституции Республики Марий Эл». Вступил в силу 7 июля 1995 г. (за исключением отдельных положений). Опубликован: "Марийская правда", 7 июля 1995 г. (June 24, 1995 Constitution of the Mari El Republic, as amended by the Law #49-Z of August 27, 2012 On Amending the Constitution of the Mari El Republic. Effective as of July 7, 1995 (with the exception of several clauses).).

External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Daniel Kalder. Lost Cosmonaut: Observations of an Anti-tourist