The Republic of Karelia is one of 85 constituent entities of the Russian Federation. It is located in the north-west of the country as part of the North-West Federal District. It was founded on June 8, 1920 as the Karelian Labor Commune on the lands of the former Olonets province. On July 25, 1923 it was transformed into the Karelian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic, and on March 31, 1940 it was transformed into the Karelian-Finnish SSR — a union republic within the USSR. On July 16, 1956, the Supreme Soviet of the USSR adopted a law on the transformation of the Karelian-Finnish Soviet Socialist Republic into the Karelian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic and its inclusion in the RSFSR. On August 9, 1990, the Supreme Council of the Republic adopted the Declaration on State Sovereignty of the Karelian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic. On November 13, 1991, the Karelian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic was renamed the Republic of Karelia.
The area of Karelia
The territory of Karelia is 180.5 thousand km, 1.06% of the territory of Russia. 25% of the territory of Karelia is water, there are more than 60,000 lakes and 27,000 rivers, with a total length of 83,000 km. The length of the republic from north to south reaches 660 km, and from west to east — 424 km. In the south, it borders with the Leningrad and Vologda regions, in the east with the Arkhangelsk region, in the north with the Murmansk region. In the northeast, the territory of the republic is washed by the White Sea. The western border of Karelia coincides with the state border of Russia and Finland and has a length of 798.3 km. The distance from the capital of the Republic of Karelia, Petrozavodsk to Moscow is 925 km, to St. Petersburg — 401 km, to the city of Murmansk — 1,050 km, to the Finnish city of Helsinki — 703 km.
The population of the Republic of Karelia
618.1 thousand people live on the territory of the republic (data from 2019), of which 498.8 thousand people are urban. The villagers 119.3 thousand people.
The capital of Karelia is the city of Petrozavodsk. It was founded by Tsar Peter I, in 1703 it is located in the southern part of the republic on the shores of Lake Onega.
Cities of the republic: Petrozavodsk, Suoyarvi, Kostomuksha, Belomorsk, Kem, Kondopoga, Lahdenpohja, Medvezhyegorsk, Olonets, Pitkaranta, Pudozh, Segezha, Sortavala.
Areas of the Republic of Karelia
Olonetsky, Belomorsky, Kalevala, Lahdenpohsky, Kemsky, Kondopoga, Loukhsky, Medvezhyegorsky, Muezersky, Pitkyarantsky, Prionezhsky, Pryazhinsky, Pudozhsky, Segezhsky and Suoyarvsky. Urban-type villages: Vyartsilya, Chupa, Kalevala, Loukhi, Yarn, Muezersky, Nadvoitsy, Pindushi, Povenets, Pyaozersky, Helyulya.
In total, there are 818 settlements in Karelia.
The official language in Karelia is Russian. It is spoken by 86% of the population. Representatives of 92 nationalities live in the republic: Russians 73%, Karelians 10%, Belarusians 7%, Ukrainians 3.6%, Finns 2.3%, Vepsians 0.8%. The rest are not numerous diasporas: Georgians, Tatars, Azerbaijanis, Greeks, Jews, etc. The indigenous population — Karelians and Vepsians — have their own language and script.