Altai Republic

The Altai Republic (Russian: Респу́блика Алта́й; Altay: Алтай Республика) is a federal subject of the Russian Federation (a republic). The direct transliteration of the republic's name is Respublika Altay.

Altai Republic is the territory of highlands with a picturesque landscape, a kind of "Russian Tibet" in the center of Eurasia at the junction of several states, natural zones and cultural worlds. The capital of the Republic is Gorno-Altaysk, located around 100 km south of Biysk on the Trans-Siberian railway. Template:Federal subject of Russia



The republic is situated in the very center of Asia at the junction of Siberian taiga, steppes of Kazakhstan and semi-deserts of Mongolia. Forests cover about 25% of the republic's territory.

Time zone

The Altai Republic is located in the Novosibirsk Time Zone (NOVT/NOVST). UTC offset is +0600 (NOVT)/+0700 (NOVST).


Hydrographic network of the Republic counts more than 20,000 water courses stretching for more than 60,000 km. The largest rivers are the Katun and the Biya, which junction forms one of the largest Siberian rivers — the Ob River.


Hydrographic network of the Republic counts about 7,000 lakes with the total area of more than 700 km². The largest lake is Lake Teletskoye, 80 km long and 5 km wide with the area of 230.8 km² and maximum depth 325 m. Mountain lakes of Altai contain enormous freshwater reserves of the highest quality. The Lake Teletskoye alone contains more than 40 km³ of the purest water. Potential use of underground water storage is evaluated at 22 million m³ per day, while the present use constitutes only about 44,000 m³ per day.

Shavlo Lake in Northern Chuysky Range
Shavlo Lake in Northern Chuysky Range


Mountainous relief of landscape is the prevalent one. The Republic is situated within the Russian part of the mountain system of Altai (Gorny Altai), which means the relief of the Republic is characterized by high mountain ridges separated by narrow and deep river valleys. The highest peak — Mount Belukha (4,506 m) — is the highest point in Siberia.

Natural Resources

Water resources are among the most important natural resources of the republic. There are mineral springs in Altai Mountains that considered medicinal. Altai glaciers contain great amount of fresh water. The general volume of ice of the registered Altai glaciers comes up to 57 km³, which constitutes 52 km³ of water. The whole water stock of glaciers exceeds an average annual effluent of Altai rivers for many years being equal to 43 km³ per year. The largest glaciers are: Bolshoy Taldurinsky (35 km²), Mensu (21 km²), Sofiysky (17 km²), and Bolshoy Maashey (16 km²).

Mineral resources include gold, silver, iron ores, lithium, and more.


The republic has temperate continental climate with relatively short and hot summers (June-August) and long, cold and at some places very frosty winters (November-March).

In general, the climate of the southeastern areas of the republic (Ulagansky and Kosh-Agachsky Districts) is harsher that the climate of the northern and northeastern areas.

  • Average annual temperature: +1°C to -6.7°C.
  • January temperature range: -9.2°C to -31°C.
  • July temperature range: +11°C to +19°C.
  • Average annual precipitation: 100-1000 mm.

Administrative division

Main article: Administrative division of the Altai Republic


As per the 2002 census, ethnic Russians at 116,510 make up 57% of the republic's population, while the ethnic Altay population at 62,192 is only 30.6%. Other groups include Kazakhs (12,108 or 5.97%), Telengits (2,386 or 1.18%), Tubalars (1,533 or 0.76%), Ukrainians (1,437 or 0.71%) and a host of smaller groups.

  • Population: 202,947 (2002)
    • Urban: 53,538 (26.4%)
    • Rural: 149,409 (73.6%)
    • Male: 96,572 (47.6%)
    • Female: 106,375 (52.4%)
  • Females per 1000 males: 1,102
  • Average age: 30.5 years
    • Urban: 29.4 years
    • Rural: 30.9 years
    • Male: 29.0 years
    • Female: 32.0 years
  • Number of households: 69,004 (with 200,100 people)
    • Urban: 19,864 (with 55,578 people)
    • Rural: 49,140 (with 147,522 people)


The national autonomy for the Altai people was created on June 1, 1922 as Oyrot Autonomous Oblast (Ойро́тская автоно́мная о́бласть). On January 7, 1948 it was renamed Gorno-Altai Autonomous Oblast (Го́рно-Алта́йская автоно́мная о́бласть). In 1991 it was reorganized into the Gorno-Altai Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (ASSR). In 1992 it was renamed as the Altai Republic.


The head of government in Altai Republic is the Chairman of the government, popularly elected for a four-year term. As of 2005, the Chairman is Mikhail Ivanovich Lapshin, who was elected on January 19, 2001, succeeding Semyon Ivanovich Zubakin in this post. The supreme legislative body of the republic is the State Assembly (El Kurultay), with 41 deputies popularly elected every four years.

The Republic's Constitution was adopted on June 7, 1997.


Altai Republic is more agricultural than industrial, with the most developed industries being foodstuffs, non-ferrous metallurgy, chemicals, gold mining, footwear, dairying and timber.


Due to geographical peculiarities of the Republic, two means of transport — motor transport (over 90% of all kinds of traffics) and air transport (passenger traffic and transport of mail) — were developed. Motor transport is the prevailing one. The extent of automobile roads is more than 3,500 km, 572 km of which is the main motor highway, the route of Federal importance Novosibirsk-Biysk-Tashanta (Chuysky Highway).


There is one university (Gorno-Altaysk State University), 12 colleges, and 205 secondary schools in the republic.

Related articles

External links

Template:Russian federal subjectsde:Republik Altai et:Altai Vabariik eo:Respubliko Altaj fi:Altain tasavalta nl:Altai ja:アルタイ共和国 pl:Republika Ałtaj ru:Республика Алтай


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