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City under republic jurisdiction[1]
Other transcription(s)
 • YakutДьокуускай
Central Yakutsk from the air
Central Yakutsk from the air
Flag of Yakutsk
Coat of arms of Yakutsk
Location of Yakutsk
Yakutsk is located in Russia
Location of Yakutsk
Yakutsk is located in Sakha Republic
Yakutsk (Sakha Republic)
Coordinates: 62°01′48″N 129°43′48″E / 62.03000°N 129.73000°E / 62.03000; 129.73000Coordinates: 62°01′48″N 129°43′48″E / 62.03000°N 129.73000°E / 62.03000; 129.73000
Federal subjectSakha Republic[2]
City status since1643
 • BodyOkrug Council
 • HeadEvgeny Grigoriev
 • Total122 km2 (47 sq mi)
95 m (312 ft)
 • Estimate 
 • Rank68th in 2010
 • Subordinated tocity of republic significance of Yakutsk[1]
 • Capital ofSakha Republic[2]
 • Capital ofcity of republic significance of Yakutsk[1]
 • Urban okrugYakutsk Urban Okrug[4]
 • Capital ofYakutsk Urban Okrug[4]
Time zoneUTC+9 (MSK+6 Edit this on Wikidata[5])
Postal code(s)[6]
Dialing code(s)+7 4112[7]
OKTMO ID98701000001
City DaySecond Sunday of September

Yakutsk (Russian: Якутск; Yakut: Дьокуускай, romanized: Cokuuskay, pronounced [ɟokuːskaj]) is the capital city of the Sakha Republic, Russia, located about 450 km (280 mi) south of the Arctic Circle. Fueled by the mining industry, Yakutsk has become one of Russia's most rapidly growing regional cities, with a population of 355,443 at the 2021 Census.[9]

Yakutsk — where the average annual temperature is −8.0 °C (17.6 °F),[10] winter high temperatures are consistently well below −20 °C (−4 °F), and the record low is −64.4 °C (−83.9 °F),[11] — is the coldest city in the world.[12] Yakutsk is also the largest city located in continuous permafrost; the only other large city is Norilsk, also in Siberia.[13] Yakutsk is located in the Central Yakutian Lowland and is a major port on the Lena River. It is served by the Yakutsk Airport as well as the smaller Magan Airport.


The city was founded in 1632 by the Cossacks and was originally called either the Lensky prison or the Yakutsk prison. The first version of the toponym came from the hydronym "Lena", the second, from "Yakutia", eventually became the main one in use. In 1708 it received city status as Yakutsk.[14]


Kate Marsden leaving Yakutsk in 1891

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.[15] The Russian settlement of Yakutsk was founded in 1632 as an ostrog (fortress) by Pyotr Beketov.

In 1639, it became the center of the Voivode of Yakutsk, who became the most important Russian official in the region and directed expansion to the east and south.[citation needed]


Climate chart (explanation)
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm
Imperial conversion
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation totals in inches

With an intensely continental subarctic climate (Köppen climate classification: Dfc; it was formerly Dfd until global warming caused its coldest-month mean to rise above −38 °C (−36 °F) — the boundary between Dfd/Dwd and Dfc/Dwc), Yakutsk has the coldest winter temperatures for any city its size or larger on Earth. Average monthly temperatures in Yakutsk range from +19.9 °C (67.8 °F) in July to −37.0 °C (−34.6 °F) in December. Yakutsk is the largest city built on continuous permafrost,[16] and many houses there are built on concrete piles.

The lowest temperatures ever recorded on the planet outside Antarctica have occurred in the basin of the Yana River to the northeast of Yakutsk. Although winters are extremely cold and long - Yakutsk has never recorded a temperature above freezing between 10 November and 14 March inclusive – summers are sunny, warm and occasionally hot (though short), with daily maximum temperatures exceeding +30 °C (86 °F), making the seasonal temperature differences for the region the greatest in the world at 102 °C (184 °F).[17] 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 1942. The hottest month in records going back to 1834 has been July 1894, with a mean of +23.2 °C (73.8 °F),[11] and the coldest, January 1900, which averaged −51.4 °C (−60.5 °F).[18] Yakutsk is the largest city in the world with an average winter temperature of below −30 °C (−22 °F).[citation needed]

Yakutsk is an inland location, being almost 1,000 km (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 latitude, with the average being several degrees hotter than more southerly Far East cities such as Vladivostok or Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk. The July daytime temperatures are even hotter than some maritime subtropical areas. The warm summers ensure that Yakutsk, despite its freezing winters, is far south of the tree line. In winter, Yakutsk instead is between 35 °C (63 °F) and 40 °C (72 °F) colder than the mildest cities on similar latitudes in Scandinavia.

The climate is quite dry, with most of the annual precipitation occurring in the summer 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.

Climate data for Yakutsk/Jakutsk weather station (WMO identifier: 24959), 98.3m amsl, 1991−2020 normals, extremes 1829–present
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) −11.5
Average high °C (°F) −34.0
Daily mean °C (°F) −36.9
Average low °C (°F) −39.8
Record low °C (°F) −63.0
Average precipitation mm (inches) 10
Average extreme snow depth cm (inches) 27
Average rainy days 0 0 0.1 3 14 16 15 15 16 4 0.1 0 83
Average snowy days 28 28 17 10 5 0.3 0.03 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 19 97 234 274 303 333 347 273 174 106 59 12 2,231
Source 1: Погода и Климат[19]
Source 2: NOAA (sun, 1961–1990)[20]

Climate data for Jakutsk/Yakutsk Airport (YKS) weather station (ICAO code: UEEE), 100m amsl, between 1985−2015
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average dew point °C (°F) −42
Source: Time and Date[21]


Yakutsk building of a Russo-Asian bank

The primary economic activity stems from mining activities in the region, particularly coal, gold and diamonds, with many mining companies having set up their headquarters in the city.[22]

Major exports of Yakutia are diamonds and coal. The state exported $5.55 billion in 2021, making it the 20th largest out of all 85 Russia's administrative divisions. Major imports are machines and mechanical appliances. Also in 2021, it imported $180 million, making it the 64th largest importer out of 85 other administrative divisions in Russia. Most of its imports and exports come from China.[23]

Yakutia Airlines has its head office in the city.[24]

Tourism plays a smaller role as an economic sector. With the Lena River navigable in the summer, there are boat cruises offered, including upriver to the Lena Pillars, and downriver tours which visit spectacular scenery in the lower reaches and the Lena Delta.[25]


Yakutsk Orthodox cathedral of the Transfiguration of Jesus Christ

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.

Museums include 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.[26]

There is a local punk scene[27] in Yakutsk, with many bands.

The city has an increasingly vibrant film industry that has been gaining international recognition over recent years for its unique style and the way its filmmakers portray the region and its people.[28] The regional film industry has come to be nicknamed "Sakhawood".[29]

People in Yakutsk wear very fluffy and fuzzy clothing, and to cope with extremely cold weather they shelter indoors in warm housing, which is believed to reduce their increase in winter mortality rates compared to winter in milder regions of the world.[30]


Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
1897 6,535—    
1926 10,558+1.67%
1939 52,882+13.19%
1959 74,330+1.72%
1970 107,617+3.42%
1979 152,368+3.94%
1989 186,626+2.05%
2002 210,642+0.94%
2010 269,601+3.13%
2021 355,443+2.54%
Source: Census data

According to the results of the 2021 Census, the population of Yakutsk was 355,443 in the city proper and 372,928 in the city's urban area, which is one third of the total population of Sakha.[9]

In the 2010 Census, the following ethnic groups were listed:

Ethnicity Population Percentage
Yakuts 139,500 50.6%
Russians 105,790 38.4%
Ukrainians 3,758 1.4%
Kyrgyz 2,995 1.1%
Evenks 2,851 1.0%
Others 20,859 7.6%

Administrative and municipal status[edit]

Yakutsk is the capital of the Sakha Republic.[2] As an inhabited locality, Yakutsk is classified as a city under republic jurisdiction.[1] 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.[1] As a municipal division, Yakutsk and the eleven rural localities are incorporated as Yakutsk Urban Okrug.[4] The settlement of Zhatay is not a part of Yakutsk Urban Okrug and is independently incorporated as Zhatay Urban Okrug.[4]

Municipal composition of Yakutsk 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*
Tulagino-Kildemsky Nasleg
4,031 2,050 (50.9%) 1,981 (49.1%)
Khatassky Nasleg
6,610 3,238 (49.0%) 3,372 (51.0%)

Divisional source:[31]
Population source:[8]
*Administrative centers are shown in bold



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. 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. 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. Nizhny Bestyakh is connected with Magadan by the Kolyma Highway.

Construction of a highway bridge over the River Lena to Yakutsk was approved by president Vladimir Putin on 9 November 2019. Based upon a design submitted in 2008, it would be over 3 km (1.9 mi) long and constructed 40 km (25 mi) upriver at Tabaga, where the river narrows and does not create a wide flooded area in spring. The cost of the bridge and its 10.9 km (6.8 mi) of approaches was estimated at 63.7 billion Rubles (83 billion rubles including VAT [НДС]), of which a grant of 54.2 billion Rubles was to be provided, with the remainder to be sourced from investors. The bridge was to be toll-free for cars, with a toll for trucks.[32] As of summer 2022, work has yet to begin on the project.

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.[33]

The 2019 completion of a new rail line to the eastern bank of the Lena permitted the start of passenger rail services between Yakutsk and the rest of Russia.

Yakutsk is also connected to other parts of Russia by Yakutsk Airport.

Education and research[edit]

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, founded in 1960 with the aim of solving the serious and costly problems associated with construction of buildings on frozen soil. In 2020, with global heating thawing the ground, the institute is measuring the rate at which the permafrost is thawing, which affects the city as well as the climate.[34]

At the primary and secondary levels, the city has a number of UNESCO Associated Schools, including the Sakha-Turkish College, Sakha-French School, Sakha-Korean School, and School #16.[35]

Twin towns – sister cities[edit]

Yakutsk is twinned with:[36][37]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Registry of the Administrative-Territorial Divisions of the Sakha Republic
  2. ^ a b c Constitution of the Sakha Republic
  3. ^ http://sakha.gks.ru/wps/wcm/connect/rosstat_ts/sakha/resources/a69a3d00450e021f9af8bede4cdebdf4/d2_042017.xls.
  4. ^ a b c d Law #174-Z #355-III
  5. ^ "Об исчислении времени". Официальный интернет-портал правовой информации (in Russian). June 3, 2011. Retrieved January 19, 2019.
  6. ^ Почта России. Информационно-вычислительный центр ОАСУ РПО. (Russian Post). Поиск объектов почтовой связи (Postal Objects Search) (in Russian)
  7. ^ Телефонные коды городов Большая Телефонная книга (in Russian). Retrieved November 10, 2010.
  8. ^ a b The population density of the Russian Federation by constituent entities of the Russian Federation as of January 1, 2010. Gks.ru. Accessed March 29, 2020.
  9. ^ a b "Оценка численности постоянного населения по субъектам Российской Федерации". Federal State Statistics Service. Retrieved September 1, 2022.
  10. ^ "Climate Yakutsk". Retrieved April 13, 2022.
  11. ^ a b Погода в Якутске. Температура воздуха и осадки. Июль 2001 г. (in Russian)
  12. ^ Joe Phelan. "What is the coldest city in the world?". Live Science. Retrieved April 13, 2022.
  13. ^ Joshua Yaffa (January 20, 2022). "The Great Siberian Thaw". The New Yorker. Retrieved January 20, 2022.
  14. ^ Поспелов Е. М. Географические названия мира. Топонимический словарь ISBN 5-17-001389-2
  15. ^ "Download Limit Exceeded". citeseerx.ist.psu.edu.
  16. ^ "Вечная мерзлота и современный климат (geo.web.ru)". geo.web.ru (in Russian). Retrieved December 9, 2018.
  17. ^ "Greatest temperature range on Earth". Guinness World Records.
  18. ^ "Погода в Якутске - климатический монитор за январь 2001 года". www.pogodaiklimat.ru.
  19. ^ "Climate Jakutsk". Pogoda.ru.net. Retrieved November 8, 2021.
  20. ^ "JAKUTSK 1961–1990". NOAA. Retrieved November 3, 2021.
  21. ^ "Climate & Weather Averages at Jakutsk weather station". Time and Date. Retrieved February 7, 2022.
  22. ^ "Investor's Guide to the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia)" (PDF). PwC. 2015.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  23. ^ "REPUBLIC OF SAKHA (YAKUTIA) | OEC". OEC - The Observatory of Economic Complexity. Retrieved May 25, 2022.
  24. ^ "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"
  25. ^ "Yakutsk, Siberia: How to celebrate summer in the world's coldest city". Travel. June 25, 2019. Retrieved August 27, 2021.
  26. ^ "Celebrate Ysyakh festival in Yakutsk…". Air Russia.
  27. ^ Sanna, Jacopo (January 11, 2019). "The Punk Scene in Yakutsk, Russia Turns Isolation Into Inspiration". Bandcamp Daily. Retrieved February 12, 2019.
  28. ^ "Why the Film Industry Is Thriving in the Russian Wilderness". Time. Retrieved August 27, 2021.
  29. ^ "Deep In Siberia, 'Sakhawood' Is Putting The Global Film Industry On Alert". RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty. Retrieved August 27, 2021.
  30. ^ Donaldson, G C; Ermakov, S P; Komarov, Y M; McDonald, C P; Keatinge, W R (October 10, 1998). "Cold related mortalities and protection against cold in Yakutsk, eastern Siberia: observation and interview study". BMJ: British Medical Journal. 317 (7164): 978–982. doi:10.1136/bmj.317.7164.978. ISSN 0959-8138. PMC 28681. PMID 9765165.
  31. ^ City of Republic Significance Yakutsk Official website of the Sakha Republic
  32. ^ "По ленинским мостам - Инфраструктурный проект для Якутска одобрен президентом", Коммерсантъ (in Russian) (211), November 18, 2019
  33. ^ "Russian Berkakit-Tommot-Nizhny Bestyakh line completed".
  34. ^ Will Vernon (September 18, 2020). "Siberia's bizarre bumps (video)". BBC News.
  35. ^ Nikolaev, Michael E. (January 7, 2007). "The Most Valuable Possession of a Society is Education". Yakutia Today. Retrieved August 4, 2009.
  36. ^ "Города-побратимы". moiyakutsk.ru (in Russian). Moi Yakutsk. Retrieved June 26, 2020.
  37. ^ "Осмата по големина страна в света – на гости във Велинград". velingrad-bg.com (in Bulgarian). Velingrad. May 1, 2018. Retrieved June 26, 2020.


  • 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.).

External links[edit]