Udmurt Republic (Удму́ртская Pеспу́блика)Udmurtia (Удму́ртия), Udmurtskaya Respublika, Udmurtiya
Cities and towns of the Republic of Udmurtia
Population statistics from 2002 census.
About the Udmurt Republic.
Udmurtia is a Russian republic located in European Russia about 1300km east of Moscow and west of the Ural mountains. There are around 1.6 million people living in Udmurtia. The republic was created in the area natively inhabited by th Udmurt people. Today the predominate ethnic group is Russian but there are still almost 500,000 Udmurts living in the republic. The largest city and the capital of the Udmurt Republic is Izhevsk.
Throughout Russia’s soviet history Udmurtia has been organised under a number of different self governing structures, it’s present form has existed since 1990. Udmurtia has it’s own president and parliament and elections take place every five years.
During World War II a large number of industries were moved to Udmutia. Today Udmurtia is very industrialised republic. Predominate industries include weapons manufacture, oil and gas industries. The infamous AK-47 rifle was designed in Izhevsk and most Kalashnikov weapons are still developed here. There are quite a number of other weapons production facilities in the republic. Udmurtia has a number of oil fields from which most of the oil is exported from the Republic.
The Udmurt People.
The Udmurt people are the native people of the Udmurtia region. Perhaps best known abroad for their red hair. Early researchers claimed that Udmurts were the most red haired people in the world. It one of the few places outside the United Kingdom where red hair is of common origin.
The Udmurt people have also been known as Votyaks, Chud Otyatskaya, Otyaks. Their lands have been ruled by many nations through history including the Golden Horde, but has been part of Russia since 1489. The Udmurts along with other local tribes staged numerous uprising against the Russian empire for the next couple of centuries. Udmurts traditionally live in small agricultural based communities. They have a number of their own traditions including dress.
The Udmurt people speak the Udmurt language, although Russian is certainly the most predominate language in the republic. Both languages are official languages of the Udmurt Republic. Russian is mostly used in cities and schools however Udmurt is in common use within Udmurt communities. The language is of Finno-Ugric origin so fits into the same language groups as Finish and Hungarian. However the Udmurt has borrowed quite a number of loan words from the neighbouring languages of Russian and Tartar.
The religion of the Udmurts is traditionally pagan. It is based around folklore and mythology similar to that of the Finno-Ugric people. Remnants of these religious practices are still strongly present but the people have been significantly influenced by Russian Orthodoxy.
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