Friday, May 04, 2007
Chukotka Autonomous Okrug
Chukotka Autonomous Okrug (Russian: Чуко́тский автоно́мный о́круг, tr.: Chukotsky avtonomny okrug; Chukchi: Чукоткакэн автономныкэн округ), or Chukotka (Чуко́тка), is a federal subject of Russia (an autonomous okrug) located in the Far Eastern Federal District. It is the farthest northeast region of Russia, and since the sale of Alaska to the United States is the only region of Russia lying partially in the western geographical hemisphere. It is washed by the Bering Sea and the East Siberian Sea. Chukotka has an area of 737,700 km² and population of 53,824 (according to 2002 Census), and just over 55,000 in 2004. The principal town and administrative center is Anadyr.
Chukotka was formerly an autonomous okrug subsumed within Magadan Oblast, but it declared its separation in 1991; a move that was confirmed by the Russian Constitutional Court in 1993.
Elgygytgyn Lake, an important site for scientific research on climate change, is located in Chukotka.
Traditionally the home of the native Chukchi people, Siberian Yupiks, Koryaks, Chuvans, Evens/Lamuts, Yukagirs, and Russian Old Settlers, the region was subject to collectivisation and forced settlement during the Soviet era.
Chukotka has large reserves of oil, natural gas, coal, gold, and tungsten, which are slowly being exploited, but much of the rural population exists on subsistence reindeer herding, hunting, and fishing. The urban population is employed in mining, administration, construction, cultural work, education, medicine, and other occupations.