Republics of Russia

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The Russian Federation is divided into 85 federal subjects (constituent units), 22 of which are republics. Most of the republics represent areas of non-Russian ethnicity, although there are several republics with Russian majority. The indigenous ethnic group of a republic that gives it its name is referred to as the "titular nationality". Due to decades (in some cases centuries) of internal migration inside Russia, each nationality is not necessarily a majority of a republic's population.

Constitutional status[edit]

Republics differ from other federal subjects in that they have the right to establish their own official language[1] and have their own constitution. Other federal subjects, such as krais (territories) and oblasts (provinces), are not explicitly given this right. The chief executives of many republics used to have the title of president, but in 2010 an amendment to the federal law was adopted that reserves such title exclusively for the head of the Russian state.[2]

The level of actual autonomy granted to such political units varies but is generally quite extensive. The parliamentary assemblies of such republics have often enacted laws which are at odds with the federal constitution. The republics' executives tend to be very powerful. However, this autonomy was lessened considerably under Russian President Vladimir Putin, who sought to impose the supremacy of the federal constitution.[citation needed]

The establishment of eight large "federal districts" above the regions and republics of Russia, with presidentially appointed governors overseeing the republics' activities, has strengthened federal control, and respect for federal supremacy in the republics. In addition, Putin strengthened the position of the republics' legislatures, while weakening their executives' power. The executive heads of republics are now appointed by the President of Russia himself. The President's nomination must be accepted by the republic's parliament.[3]

There are secessionist movements in most republics, but these are generally not very strong. However, there was considerable support for secession among Tatars, Bashkirs, Yakuts, and Chechens after the breakup of the Soviet Union, resulting in war in the case of Chechnya. The desire for secession in many republics is, however, greatly complicated by the extent to which other ethnic groups reside in their titular republics (Tatarstan, Bashkortostan, and Sakha; due to the First and Second Chechen Wars, very few non-Chechens now reside in Chechnya.) Also, the majority of Tatars, unlike other titular ethnic groups, reside outside of Tatarstan.

2014 developments[edit]

On March 18, 2014, the Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol were joined by treaty to the Russian Federation.[4][5] Much of the international community and the Ukrainian government do not recognize Crimea's accession to Russia and consider Crimea an integral part of Ukraine.[citation needed]

Former Autonomous Republics and Autonomous Oblasts[edit]

The Russian SFSR of the former Soviet Union included three types of ethnic constituent units, viz., in the order of decreasing "autonomy" level: Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republics (or simply autonomous republics), autonomous oblasts, and autonomous okrugs.

After the dissolution of the USSR, each "autonomous republic" was succeeded by a republic with a similar name (or, in the case of the Chechen-Ingush ASSR, by two republics: Chechnya and Ingushetia). Several "autonomous oblasts" (Adygea, Altai, Karachay–Cherkessia, Khakassia) have become "republics" as well.

The expression "autonomous republic" is still sometimes used for the republics of Russia. Although they are autonomous and republics, the use of this term is not technically correct, since their official names, as per 1993 Russian Constitution and their own constitutions, are simply "republic", rather than "autonomous republic".

Demographics[edit]

Republic Continent Titular Nationality1 Titular Nationality in Republic's Population (2010) Titular Nationality: Language Group Titular Nationality: Main Religion Ethnic Russians in Republic's Population (2010) Population (2010)4
Adygea (Адыгея, Адыгэ) Europe Adyghe 25.2% Caucasian Orthodox Christianity, Sunni Islam 63.6% 440,388
Altai (Алтай) Asia Altay 34.5% Turkic Burkhanism, Tibetan Buddhism, Shamanism, Orthodox Christianity 56.6% 206,195
Bashkortostan (Башкортостан, Башкирия, Башҡортостан) Europe Bashkir 29.5% Turkic Sunni Islam 36.1% 4,072,102
Buryatia (Бурятия, Буряад) Asia Buryat 30.0% Mongolic Tibetan Buddhism, Shamanism; tiny Russian Orthodox minority known as Onghols, often considered separate ethnic group 66.1% 972,658
Chechnya (Чеченская Республика, Нохчийчоь) Europe Chechen2 95.3% Caucasian Sunni Islam, Sufi Islam 1.9% 1,103,686
Chuvashia (Чувашская Республика, Чăваш Республики) Europe Chuvash 67.7% Turkic Russian Orthodoxy, Islam, shamanism 26.9% 1,251,599
Crimea (Крым) Europe Crimean Tatar 12.1%7 Turkic Orthodox Christianity, Islam 58.5%7 2,033,700
Dagestan (Дагестан) Europe 10 indigenous nationalities3 88.0% Caucasian, Turkic5 Sunni Islam, Judaism (if Mountain Jews and Jewish Tats are considered) 3.6% 2,576,531
Ingushetia (Ингушетия, ГӀалгӀай Мохк) Europe Ingush2 94.1% Caucasian Sunni Islam, Sufi Islam 0.8% 467,294
Kabardino-Balkaria (Кабардино-Балкарская Республика, Къэбэрдей-Балъкъэр, Къабарты-Малкъар) Europe Kabard, Balkar 69.9% (Kabardin 57.2%, Balkars 12.7%) Caucasian, Turkic Sunni Islam, Russian Orthodoxy6 22.5% 859,802
Kalmykia (Калмыкия, Хальмг Таңһч) Europe Kalmyk 57.4% Mongolic Tibetan Buddhism 30.2% 289,464
Karachay–Cherkessia (Карачаево-Черкесская Республика) Europe Karachai, Cherkess 52.9% (Karachai 41.0%, Cherkess 11.9%) Turkic, Caucasian Sunni Islam 31.6% 478,517
Karelia (Карелия, Karjala) Europe Karelian 7.4% Uralic Russian Orthodoxy 82.2% 643,548
Khakassia (Хакасия) Asia Khakas 12.1% Turkic shamanism, Russian Orthodoxy 81.7% 532,403
Komi (Коми) Europe Komi 23.7% Uralic Russian Orthodoxy, shamanism 65.1% 901,189
Mari El (Марий Эл) Europe Mari 43.9% Uralic Russian Orthodoxy, indigenous pagan faith, Marla faith 47.4% 696,357
Mordovia (Мордовия) Europe Mordvin 40.0% Uralic Russian Orthodoxy 53.4% 834,819
North Ossetia–Alania (Северная Осетия-Алания, Цӕгат Ирыстоны Аланийы) Europe Ossetian 65.1% Iranian Eastern Orthodoxy, Sunni minority 20.8% 712,877
Sakha (Yakutia) (Саха (Якутия)) Asia Yakut 49.9% Turkic Russian Orthodoxy, Shamanism 37.8% 958,291
Tatarstan (Татарстан, Tatar Cyrillic: Татарстан, Latin: Tatarstan) Europe Tatar 53.2% Turkic Sunni Islam, Russian Orthodoxy 39.7% 3,786,358
Tuva (Тыва, Тува) Asia Tuvan 82.0% Turkic Tibetan Buddhism, Shamanism, tiny Russian Orthodox minority 16.3% 307,930
Udmurtia (Удмуртская Республика, Удмурт Элькун) Europe Udmurts 28.0% Uralic Russian Orthodoxy 62.2% 1,522,761
Notes:
  1. Kabardino-Balkaria, Karachay–Cherkessia, and Dagestan have more than one titular nationality.
  2. The former Chechen-Ingush Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic had two titular nationalities until it was divided into the two Republics of Chechnya and Ingushetia in April 1992.
  3. The ten largest indigenous ethnic groups of Dagestan are: Aguls, Avars, Dargins, Kumyks, Laks, Lezgins, Nogais, Rutuls, Tabasarans, and Tsakhurs.
  4. All population numbers in this table are to three significant figures.
  5. Balkars, Karachai, Kumyks and Nogais are Turkic peoples and Aguls, Avars, Cherkess, Dargins, Laks, Lezgins, Rutuls, Tabasarans, and Tsakhurs are Caucasian
  6. Kabardin and a majority of Balkars are Muslims, but some Balkars are Russian Orthodox
  7. Figures for the population of Crimea are from the 2001 Ukrainian Census. The Republic of Crimea is coterminous with the Ukrainian-claimed Autonomous Republic of Crimea and internationally recognised as part of Ukraine.

Demographics trend[edit]

Ethnic group Titular (%) Russians (%) other (%)[6]
Republic 1979 1989 2002 2010[7] 1979 1989 2002 2010 1979 1989 2002 2010
Adygea 21,3 Increase 22,1 Increase 24,1 Increase 25,2 70,8 Decrease 68,0 Decrease 64,4 Decrease 63,6
Altai Increase29,1 Increase 31,0 Increase 33,4 Increase 33,9 Increase63,3 Decrease 60,4 Decrease 57,4 Decrease 56,6 5,6 Increase 5,9 (Kazakhs) Increase 6,2
Bashkortostan 24,3 Decrease 21,9 Increase 29,7 Decrease 29,5 40,3 Decrease 39,2 Decrease 36,3 Decrease 36,1 24,5 Increase 28,4 Decrease 24,1 (Tatars) Increase 25,4
Buryatia Increase23,0 Increase 24,0 Increase 27,8 Increase 30 Decrease72,1 Decrease 69,9 Decrease 67,8 Decrease 66,1
Dagestan 86,0 11,0 Decrease 9,2 Decrease 4,6 Decrease 3,6
Ingushetia Decrease11,7 Increase 12,9 Increase 77,2 Increase 94,1 Decrease31,7 Decrease 23,1 Decrease 1,1 Decrease 0,8
Kabardino-Balkaria 45,6 Increase 52,2 Increase 55,3 Increase 57,2 35,1 Decrease 31,9 Decrease 25,1 Decrease 22,5 9,0 Increase 9,4 Increase 11,6 Increase 12,7
Kalmykia Increase41,4 Increase 45,3 Increase 53,3 Increase 57,4 Decrease42,7 Decrease 37,6 Decrease 33,5 Decrease 30,2
Karachay–Cherkessia 29,7 Increase 31,2 Increase 38,5 Increase 41 45,0 Decrease 42,4 Decrease 33,6 Decrease 31,6 9,3 Increase 9,7 Increase 11,2 Increase 11,9
Karelia Decrease11,1 Decrease 10,0 Decrease 9,2 Decrease 7,4 Increase71,3 Increase 73,6 Increase 76,6 Increase 82,2
Komi Decrease25,3 Decrease 23,3 Increase 25,1 Decrease 23,7 Increase56,7 Increase 57,7 Increase 59,5 Increase 65,1
Mari El Decrease43,6 Decrease 43,3 Decrease 42,8 Increase 43,9 Decrease47,6 Decrease 47,4 Steady47,4 Steady47,4
Mordovia Decrease34,2 Decrease 32,5 Decrease 31,9 Increase 40 Increase59,7 Increase 60,8 Steady60,8 Decrease 53,4
Sakha (Yakutia) Increase36,9 Decrease 33,4 Increase 45,5 Increase 49,9 Increase50,5 Decrease 50,3 Decrease 41,1 Decrease 37,8
North Ossetia–Alania Increase50,5 Increase 52,9 Increase 62,7 Increase 65,1 Decrease34,0 Decrease 29,9 Decrease 23,1 Decrease 20,8
Tatarstan Decrease47,7 Increase 48,4 Increase 52,9 Increase 53,2 Increase44,0 Decrease 43,2 Decrease 39,4 Increase 39,7
Tuva Increase60,4 Increase 64,3 Increase 77,0 Increase 82 Decrease36,2 Decrease 32,0 Decrease 20,1 Decrease 16,3
Udmurtia Decrease32,2 Decrease 30,9 Decrease 29,3 Decrease 28 Increase58,3 Increase 58,9 Increase 60,1 Increase 62,2
Khakassia Decrease11,4 Decrease 11,1 Increase 11,9 Increase 12,1 Increase79,5 Decrease 79,4 Increase 80,2 Increase 81,7
Chechnya 52,9 Increase 57,8 Increase 93,4 Increase 95,3 31,7 Decrease 23,1 Decrease 3,6 Decrease 1,9
Chuvashia Decrease68,4 Decrease 67,7 Decrease 67,6 Increase 67,7 Increase26,0 Decrease 26,6 Decrease 26,5 Increase 26,9

Attempted republics[edit]

There were several attempts to establish republics within Russia since 1991:

See also[edit]

References[edit]