City under republic jurisdiction
Central Yakutsk from the air
|Federal subject||Sakha Republic|
|City status since||1643|
|• Body||Okrug Council|
|• Head||Aysen Nikolayev|
|• Total||122 km2 (47 sq mi)|
|Elevation||95 m (312 ft)|
|• Rank||68th in 2010|
|• Density||2,200/km2 (5,700/sq mi)|
|• Administratively subordinated to||city of republic significance of Yakutsk|
|• Capital of||Sakha Republic|
|• Administrative center of||city of republic significance of Yakutsk|
|• Urban okrug||Yakutsk Urban Okrug|
|• Administrative center of||Yakutsk Urban Okrug|
|Dialing code(s)||+7 4112|
|City Day||Second Sunday of September|
Yakutsk (Russian: Якутск, IPA: [jɪˈkutsk]; Yakut: Дьокуускай, D'okuuskay, pronounced [ɟokuːskaj]) is the capital city of the Sakha Republic, Russia, located about 450 kilometers (280 mi) south of the Arctic Circle.
Yakutsk, with an average temperature of −8.8 °C (16.2 °F), is the second coldest city with more than 100,000 inhabitants in the world after Norilsk, although Yakutsk experiences colder temperatures in the winter. Yakutsk is also the largest city located in continuous permafrost and one of the largest that cannot be reached by road. Yakutsk is a major port on the Lena River. It is served by the Yakutsk Airport as well as the smaller Magan Airport.
The Yakuts, also known as the Sakha people, migrated to the area during the 13th and 14th centuries from other parts of Siberia. When they arrived they mixed with other indigenous Siberians in the area. The Russian settlement of Yakutsk was founded in 1632 as an ostrog (fortress) by Pyotr Beketov. In 1639, it became the center of a voyevodstvo. The Voyevoda of Yakutsk soon became the most important Russian official in the region and directed expansion to the east and south.
Yakutsk did not grow into a city until the discovery of large reserves of gold and other minerals in the 1880s and 1890s. These reserves were developed extensively during industrialization under Stalin. The rapid growth of forced labor camps in Siberia was also a major factor encouraging Yakutsk’s development.
With an extreme subarctic climate (Köppen climate classification: Dfd), Yakutsk has the coldest winter temperatures for any major city on Earth. Average monthly temperatures in Yakutsk range from +19.5 °C (67.1 °F) in July to −38.6 °C (−37.5 °F) in January, and only Norilsk has a lower mean annual temperature than any other settlement of over 100,000. Yakutsk is the largest city built on continuous permafrost, and many houses there are built on concrete piles.
The lowest temperatures ever recorded on the planet outside Antarctica occurred in the basin of the Yana River to the northeast of Yakutsk, making it the coldest major city in the world. Although winters are extremely cold and long – Yakutsk has never recorded a temperature above freezing between 10 November and 14 March inclusive – summers are warm (though rather short), with daily maximum temperatures occasionally exceeding +30 °C (86 °F), making the seasonal temperature differences for the region the greatest in the world at 105 °C (189 °F). The lowest temperature recorded in Yakutsk was −64.4 °C (−83.9 °F) on 5 February 1891 and the highest temperatures +38.4 °C (101.1 °F) on 17 July 2011 and +38.3 °C (100.9 °F) on 15 July 1943. The hottest month in records going back to 1834 has been July 1894, with a mean of +23.2 °C (73.8 °F), and the coldest, January 1900, which averaged −51.2 °C (−60.2 °F).
Yakutsk has a distinct inland location, being almost 1,000 kilometres (620 mi) from the Pacific Ocean, which coupled with the high latitude means exposure to severe winters and also lack of temperature moderation. July temperatures soar to an above-normal average for this parallel, with the average being several degrees hotter than such more southerly Far East cities as Vladivostok or Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk. The July daytime temperatures are even hotter than some marine subtropical areas. The warm summers ensure that Yakutsk, despite its freezing winters, is far south of the tree line.
The climate is quite dry, with most of the annual precipitation occurring in the warmest months, due to the intense Siberian High forming around the very cold continental air during the winter. However, summer precipitation is not heavy since the moist southeasterly winds from the Pacific Ocean lose their moisture over the coastal mountains well before reaching the Lena valley.
With the Lena River navigable in the summer, there are various boat cruises offered, including upriver to the Lena Pillars, and downriver tours which visit spectacular scenery in the lower reaches and the Lena delta.
|Climate data for Yakutsk (1981 to 2010)|
|Record high °C (°F)||−5.8
|Average high °C (°F)||−35.1
|Daily mean °C (°F)||−38.6
|Average low °C (°F)||−41.5
|Record low °C (°F)||−63
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||9
|Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm)||2.1||2.0||1.9||2.9||3.8||7.3||6.5||6.0||5.3||6.1||5.7||4.1||53.7|
|Average snowy days||28||28||17||10||5||0||0||0||4||25||28||27||172|
|Average relative humidity (%)||76||76||70||60||54||57||62||67||72||78||78||76||69|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||18.6||98.0||232.5||273.0||303.8||333.0||347.2||272.8||174.0||105.4||60.0||9.3||2,227.6|
|Source #1: Pogoda.ru.net|
|Source #2: weather.gov.hk.|
There are several theaters in Yakutsk: the State Russian Drama Theater, named after A. S. Pushkin; the Sakha Theater, named after P. A. Oiyunsky; the Suorun Omoloon Young Spectator's Theater; and the State Academic Opera and Ballet Theater, named after D. K. Sivtsev.
There are a number of museums as well: the National Fine Arts Museum of Sakha; the Museum of Local Lore and History, named after E. Yaroslavsky; and the only museums in the world dedicated to the khomus and permafrost.
The annual Ysyakh summer festival takes place the last weekend in June. The traditional Yakut summer solstice festivities include a celebration of the revival and renewal of the nature, fertility and beginning of a new year. It is accompanied by national Yakut rituals and ceremonies, folk dancing, horse racing, Yakut ethnic music and singing, national cuisine, and competitions in traditional Yakut sports.
Administrative and municipal status
Yakutsk is the capital of the Sakha Republic. As an inhabited locality, Yakutsk is classified as a city under republic jurisdiction. Within the framework of administrative divisions, it is, together with the settlement of Zhatay and eleven rural localities, incorporated as the city of republic significance of Yakutsk—an administrative unit with a status equal to that of the districts. As a municipal division, Yakutsk and the eleven rural localities are incorporated as Yakutsk Urban Okrug. The settlement of Zhatay is not a part of Yakutsk Urban Okrug and is independently incorporated as Zhatay Urban Okrug.
|Towns / Cities||Population||Male||Female||Inhabited localities in jurisdiction|
|City of Yakutsk
|285,023||135,085 (47.4%)||149,938 (52.6%)|
|Urban settlements||Population||Male||Female||Inhabited localities in jurisdiction|
|Zhatay Urban Okrug
|9,504||4,624 (48.7%)||4,880 (51.3%)|
|Rural settlements||Population||Male||Female||Rural localities in jurisdiction*|
|4,031||2,050 (50.9%)||1,981 (49.1%)|
|6,610||3,238 (49.0%)||3,372 (51.0%)|
This section needs to be updated.(January 2014)
Yakutsk is a destination of the Lena Highway. The city's connection to that highway is only usable by ferry in the summer, or in the dead of winter, by driving directly over the frozen Lena River, since Yakutsk lies entirely on its western bank, and there is no bridge anywhere in the Sakha Republic that crosses the Lena. The river is impassable for long periods of the year when it contains loose ice, when the ice cover is not thick enough to support traffic, or when the water level is too high and the river is turbulent with spring flooding. The highway ends on the eastern bank of Lena in Nizhny Bestyakh (Нижний Бестях), an urban-type settlement of some four thousand people. Yakutsk is connected with Magadan by the Kolyma Highway.
A highway bridge over the Lena in the Okrug had been scheduled to be built by the year 2020. However, as of 2018, no decision to actually build the bridge has been taken. The bridge had originally been planned to be a dual-use railroad and highway bridge so the Amur Yakutsk Mainline, the North–South railroad being extended from the south, could connect the city with the East–West Baikal Amur Mainline. The railroad reached the settlement of Nizhny Bestyakh, on the opposite bank of the Lena from Yakutsk, in November 2011.
The new river bridge would be over 3 kilometers (1.9 mi) long and would be constructed 40 kilometers (25 mi) upriver at Tabaga, where the river narrows and it does not create a wide flooded area in spring. In the dead of winter, the frozen Lena River makes for a passable highway for ice truckers using its channel to deliver provisions to far-flung outposts. Yakutsk is also connected to other parts of Russia by the Yakutsk Airport.
Education and research
M.K.Ammosov North-Eastern Federal University is situated in the city. There is also a branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, which contains, among other things, the Institute of Cosmophysical Research, which runs the Yakutsk Extensive Air Shower installation (one of the largest cosmic-ray detector arrays in the world), and the Melnikov Permafrost Institute, developed with the aim of solving the serious and costly problems associated with construction of buildings on frozen soil.
Twin towns and sister cities
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Yakutsk is twinned with:
- Registry of the Administrative-Territorial Divisions of the Sakha Republic
- Constitution of the Sakha Republic
- Russian Federal State Statistics Service (2011). "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.
- Law #174-Z #355-III
- Почта России. Информационно-вычислительный центр ОАСУ РПО. (Russian Post). Поиск объектов почтовой связи (Postal Objects Search) (in Russian)
- "Телефонные коды городов / Большая Телефонная книга" (in Russian). Retrieved November 10, 2010.
- Jessa Gamble. "What's the world's coldest city?". the Guardian.
- "Вечная мерзлота и современный климат (geo.web.ru)". geo.web.ru (in Russian). Retrieved 2018-12-09.
- Погода в Якутске. Температура воздуха и осадки. Июль 2001 г. (in Russian)
- Погода в Якутске. Температура воздуха и осадки. Январь 2001 г.
- "Pogoda.ru.net-Climate Data for Yakutsk 1981–2010" (in Russian). Retrieved February 15, 2017.
- "Climatological Normals of Jakutsk". weather.gov.hk.
- "About Us Archived October 4, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.." Yakutia Airlines. Retrieved on July 18, 2010. "JSC "Air Company Yakutia" Address: 9, Bykovsky st., Yakutsk, Russia, 677014." Russian address: "Contact Us Archived October 4, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.." "ОАО «Авиакомпания «Якутия» Адрес: Республика Саха (Якутия), 677014, г. Якутск, ул. Быковского, 9"
- "Celebrate Ysyakh festival in Yakutsk…". Air Russia.
- City of Republic Significance Yakutsk Official website of the Sakha Republic
- "Lena River Bridge to Provide Hope and Fruit" Link accessed March 15, 2014. (in English)
- Russia Basel's wins tender to build Yakutia railroad Reuters, Thu Nov 6, 2008
- "Якутия не исполнила решение Совбеза РФ: мост через Лену повис в воздухе" [Yakutia has not implemented the decision of the Security Council of the Russian Federation; the Lena bridge is hanging in the air] (in Russian). REGNUM News Agency. 4 June 2018. Retrieved 21 September 2018.
- Russian Berkakit-Tommot-Nizhny Bestyakh line completed
- Nikolaev, Michael E. (January 7, 2007). "The Most Valuable Possession of a Society is Education". Yakutia Today. Retrieved August 4, 2009.
- Верховный Совет Республики Саха (Якутия). 4 апреля 1992 г. «Конституция (основной закон) Республики Саха (Якутия)», в ред. Конституционного закона №1077-З №1035-IV от 8 июня 2012 г. «О внесении изменений и дополнений в Конституцию (основной закон) Республики Саха (Якутия)». Опубликован: "Якутские ведомости", №7, 26 апреля 1992 г. (Supreme Council of the Sakha (Yakutia) Republic. April 4, 1992 Constitution (Basic Law) of the Sakha (Yakutia) Republic, as amended by the Constitutional Law #1077-Z No. 1035-IV of June 8, 2012 On Amending and Supplementing the Constitution (Basic Law) of the Sakha (Yakutia) Republic. ).
- Государственное Собрание (Ил Тумэн) Республики Саха (Якутия). Закон №174-З №355-III от 30 ноября 2004 г. «Об установлении границ территорий и о наделении статусом городского округа муниципальных образований Республики Саха (Якутия)», в ред. Закона №641-З №177-IV от 29 декабря 2008 г «О внесении изменений в Закон Республики Саха (Якутия) "Об установлении границ территорий и о наделении статусом городского округа муниципальных образований Республики Саха (Якутия)"». Вступил в силу со дня официального опубликования. Опубликован: "Якутия", №243, 29 декабря 2004 г. (State Assembly (Il Tumen) of the Sakha (Yakutia) Republic. Law #174-Z No. 355-III of November 30, 2004 On Establishing the Borders of the Territories and on Granting the Urban Okrug Status to the Municipal Formations of the Sakha (Yakutia) Republic, as amended by the Law #641-Z No. 177-IV of December 29, 2008 On Amending the Law of the Sakha (Yakutia) Republic "On Establishing the Borders of the Territories and on Granting the Urban Okrug Status to the Municipal Formations of the Sakha (Yakutia) Republic". Effective as of the day of the official publication.).
Yakutsk travel guide from Wikivoyage
- Official website of Yakutsk (in Russian)
- Sakha Life Information Agency (in Russian)
- Lena Pillars at Natural Heritage Protection Fund
- Flickr photos tagged Yakutsk
- The State Yakutia United Museum of History and Culture of the People of the North at Google Cultural Institute