Republic of Buryatia

Senators by region

Alexander Varfolomeev Alexander Varfolomeev
First Deputy Chair of the Federation Council Committee on Social Policy
Vyacheslav Nagovitsyn Vyacheslav Nagovitsyn
Deputy Chair of the Federation Council Committee on the Rules of Procedure and Parliamentary Governance

Information

Regional flags and emblems

Republic of Buryatia Republic of Buryatia

PROFILE

Established 30 May 1923 as the Buryat-Mongol ASSR

Since 1958 – the Buryat ASSR,

Since 1991 – the Buryat SSR,

Since 1992 – the Republic of Buryatia

Capital Ulan-Ude

The Republic of Buryatia is part of the Far Eastern Federal District

Area 351,300 sq km

Population 983,300 (2019)

Ethnic groups

(2010 National Census, %)

Russian – 66.05

Buryat – 30.04

Other – 3.91

Administrative divisions (2019)

Municipal districts – 21

Municipalities – 2

Rural towns – 16

Rural districts – 248

Geography and climate

The Republic of Buryatia is located in the south of Eastern Siberia; its territory takes up two thirds of the water area of Lake Baikal. The terrain is predominantly mountainous, with a small number of plains located at an altitude of over 500 m. The territory spreads for 600 km from north to south, and for 420 km from west to east. Major rivers include the Yenisei, Selenga, Barguzin and Vitim rivers. The republic also has a number of lake groups, such as Gusino-Ubukunskaya, Yeravninskaya, Bauntovskaya, Severo-Baikalskaya, Barguzinskaya and other groups.

Buryatia borders on the Republic of Tyva, the Trans-Baikal Territory, and the Irkutsk Region, and has a state border with Mongolia.

Buryatia’s climate is sharply continental. January temperatures average –24.3°C. July temperatures average 17.4°C.

There are four state nature reserves in the republic, two national nature parks, one regional nature park and 13 regional nature sanctuaries. The shore of Lake Baikal serves as a recreational area.

Government

The legislative branch is represented by the People’s Khural of the Republic of Buryatia, which is the unicameral, permanent, supreme and only body of legislative authority in the republic.

The People’s Khural has 66 deputies elected for five years, with 33 of them running in single-mandate constituencies and the other 33 in the single electoral district, where winners are identified in proportion to the number of votes cast for lists of candidates nominated by electoral associations. The current People’s Khural was elected in September 2018. Its term expires in September 2023.

The executive branch is the Government of the Republic of Buryatia, which is the supreme permanent executive authority in the republic.

The Head of the Republic of Buryatia is the republic’s highest-ranking official, who heads the Government of the Republic of Buryatia and is elected for five years. The term of office of the incumbent Head of the republic expires in September 2022.

Economy and natural resources

The Republic of Buryatia is one of several Russian regions characterised by an industrial-agrarian economy. The industrial complex of the republic is represented by machine building, metal processing, power generating, non-ferrous metallurgy, food and fuel industries, forestry, wood processing and pulp-and-paper industries, which account for over 95% of the republic’s gross industrial production.

The fuel and energy sector is one of the priority branches of the republic’s economy, which is closely connected with the development of other branches of industry, agriculture and transport. The republic has two operating wholesale market power stations – the Gusinoozyorsk Hydroelectric Power Station and the Ulan-Ude Thermal Power Station.

The increase in the volume of machine building was largely determined by the implementation of the strategic plans for the development of the largest production facilities in the republic, such as the Ulan-Ude Locomotive and Car Repair Plant – an affiliate of Russian Railways – a repair plant for diesel and electric locomotives, railway cars, cranes, as well as components and traction assemblies for rolling stock; the Ulan-Udestalmost, which is the largest producer of metal structures in Siberia and the Far East; and the Ulan-Ude Instrument-Making Production Association, which is one of the largest machine manufacturing companies in the republic and the only producer of blocks and aviation equipment in Russia, with most of its products manufactured for the defence industry.

The share of defence facilities has always been high in the local machine building sector. The Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant is one of the largest machine building and metal processing enterprises in the republic. The list of products includes the latest generation of the famous Mi-8 helicopter, the Mi-17 medium helicopter, and the Su-25 and Su-39 attack aircraft.

The mining industry of the Republic of Buryatia includes gold, coal and non-ferrous metals mining. The Buryatzoloto mining company is the largest taxpayer in Buryatia. The republic has ten brown coal and four hard coal deposits. All coal-mining industries have sufficient supplies of coal to ensure stable operation and planned production capacity for the next 20 to 30 years. Reserves of uranium amount to over 15,000 tons. Geological prospecting ensures an increase in reserves for all mining industries, including gold mining, amounting to 9 to 12 tonnes of gold per year.

Buryatia’s agriculture and related industries account for a major share of Eastern Siberia’s food industry. Local primary resources form the basis of the food industry, which is represented by companies producing meet and meet products, dairy and fish products, flour and cereals, feed stuff, liqueurs and spirits, confectionary and many other products. The total area of agricultural land is 3.154 million ha, including 847,000 ha of arable land. Pastures and hayfields account for the largest share of the republic’s land.

Agriculture and related industries account for about 10% of Buryatia’s regional GDP. Among the major producers are the Vostochno-Sibirsky Pig-Breeding Farm and the Nikolayevsky agricultural holding, which are the largest producers of pork in Siberia. Buryatmyasprom is one of the largest beef-processing companies in Russia, meeting one third of the country’s needs. The republic also has two poultry farms.

The timber, wood processing and pulp-and-paper industries are represented by Selenginsky Pulp and Cardboard Mill, the largest manufacturer of cardboard and corrugated paper in Eastern Siberia; and the Baikal Wood Company, the international Russian-Japanese company and the largest manufacturer and exporter of high-quality timber products in Buryatia.

The republic engages in foreign trade with 40 countries. The list of major partners in exports includes China, Mongolia, Uzbekistan, Slovakia, the UAE, Vietnam, Argentina and Brazil.

Culture and tourism

Buryatia is a wonderful land where East and West and various cultures, religions and views intersect. All of this is reflected in the republic’s culture, thus creating a unique space for new impressions.

Buryatia’s museums offer a great number of unique collections of various kinds. The list of the most unique items includes exhibits on the nomadic Huns, who used to live in Central Asia’s steppes in the late 3rd century AD. The collection of the National Museum of Buryatia includes the Atlas of Tibetan Medicine, the unique compilation of illustrations for the 17th century medical treatise called Chzhud-Shi, which was used for training generations of Tibetan medical doctors.

Apart from the permanent collection, the republic’s Fine Arts Museum is constantly hosting new exhibitions of paintings, sculpture and graphics.

Buryatia’s theatre life is equally vibrant. The Tsydynzhapov Buryatia State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre has become the calling card of the republic.

Those longing for the cosy atmosphere of a traditional theatre and classical Russian theatre school will enjoy spending an evening in the magnificent auditorium of the Bestuzhev Russian Drama Theatre.

Those into bizarre combinations of national, ritual-like theatre traditions and the European drama school can opt for the Namsarayev State Buryat Academic Drama Theatre.

The list of other theatres in the republic that are well-known in many other countries includes the Baikal Buryat State National Theatre of Song and Dance.

Visitors with children will enjoy the performances of the Ulger Puppet Theatre. The performances can take place on any venue imaginable, whether a theatre stage or an open-air museum.

Autumn is the time for theatre festivals in Ulan-Ude. After the Siberian Cat international theatre festival for children and young audiences comes the Altan Serge international festival of national theatres. In November, Buryatia traditionally hosts the Torgon Zam (Silk Road) international Mongolian fashion festival.

Every July, Ulan-Ude hosts the Voice of Nomads–Baikal-Buryatia international music festival.

The Republic of Buryatia has great potential for tourism and recreational activities. The rich historical and cultural resources, the well-developed transport system that connects the republic with other Russian regions and foreign countries, the stable environmental situation, the peaceful coexistence of religions and the growing popularity of Lake Baikal are contributing to the development of tourism.

Lake Baikal has been included on the list of World Heritage Sites.

The Lake Baikal area includes the Baikal Harbor special economic tourist and recreation zone, which is a world-class year-round resort with highly developed infrastructure.