|Coordinates: 60°0′N 105°0′E / 60.000°N 105.000°E|
|• Total||13,100,000 km2 (5,100,000 sq mi)|
|• Total||36.8 million|
|• Density||2.8/km2 (7/sq mi)|
Siberia (/saɪˈbɪəriə/ sy-BEER-ee-ə; Russian: Сибирь, romanized: Sibir', IPA: [sʲɪˈbʲirʲ] (listen)) is an extensive geographical region comprising all of North Asia, from the Ural Mountains in the west to the Pacific Ocean in the east. It has formed part of the sovereign territory of Russia and its various predecessor states since the centuries-long conquest of Siberia, which began with the fall of the Khanate of Sibir in the late 16th century and concluded with the annexation of Chukotka in 1778. Siberia is vast and sparsely populated, covering an area of over 13.1 million square kilometres (5,100,000 sq mi), but home to only one-fifth of Russia's population. Novosibirsk, Omsk, and Chelyabinsk are the largest cities in the area.
Because Siberia is a geographic and historic concept and not a political entity, there is no single precise definition of its territorial borders. Traditionally, Siberia spans the entire expanse of land from the Ural Mountains to the Pacific Ocean, with the
Siberia is known worldwide for its long, harsh winters, with a January average of −25 °C (−13 °F).
The origin of the name is unknown. Some sources say that "Siberia" originates from the
The region has
At least three species of human lived in Southern Siberia around 40,000 years ago:
Late Paleolithic southern Siberians appear to be related to paleolithic Europeans and the paleolithic
During past millennia different groups of
With the breakup of the Golden Horde, the autonomous Khanate of Sibir formed in the late-15th century. Turkic-speaking Yakut migrated north from the Lake Baikal region under pressure from the Mongol tribes during the 13th to 15th century. Siberia remained a sparsely populated area. Historian John F. Richards wrote: "... it is doubtful that the total early modern Siberian population exceeded 300,000 persons".
The growing power of
By the mid-17th century, Russia had established areas of control that extended to the Pacific Ocean. Some 230,000 Russians had settled in Siberia by 1709. Siberia became one of the destinations for sending internal exiles. Exile was the main Russian punitive practice with more than 800,000 people exiled during the nineteenth century.
The first great modern change in Siberia was the Trans-Siberian Railway, constructed during 1891–1916. It linked Siberia more closely to the rapidly industrialising Russia of Nicholas II (r. 1894–1917). Around seven million Russians moved to Siberia from Europe between 1801 and 1914. Between 1859 and 1917 more than half a million people migrated to the Russian Far East. Siberia has extensive natural resources: during the 20th century, large-scale exploitation of these took place, and industrial towns cropped up throughout the region.
At 7:15 a.m. on 30 June 1908 the
In the early decades of the
Half a million (516,841) prisoners died in camps from 1941 to 1943 during World War II. At other periods, mortality was comparatively lower. The size, scope, and scale of the Gulag slave-labour camps remain subjects of much research and debate. Many Gulag camps operated in extremely remote areas of northeastern Siberia. The best-known clusters included Sevvostlag (the North-East Camps) along the Kolyma and Norillag near Norilsk, where 69,000 prisoners lived in 1952. Major industrial cities of Northern Siberia, such as Norilsk and Magadan, developed from camps built by prisoners and run by former prisoners.
|Physical map of Northern Asia (the map also contains parts of Central and East Asia).|
Siberia spans an area of 13.1 million square kilometres (5,100,000 sq mi), covering the vast majority of Russia's total territory, and almost 9% of Earth's land surface (148,940,000 km2, 57,510,000 sq mi). It geographically falls in Asia, but is culturally and politically considered European, since it is a part of Russia. Major geographical zones within Siberia include the West Siberian Plain and the Central Siberian Plateau.
Eastern and central
The highest point in Siberia is the active volcano Klyuchevskaya Sopka, on the Kamchatka Peninsula. Its peak reaches 4,750 metres (15,580 ft).
- Altai Mountains
- Anadyr Highlands
- Baikal Mountains
- Chersky Range
- Chukotka Mountains
- Dzhugdzhur Mountains
- Kolyma Mountains
- Koryak Mountains
- Sayan Mountains
- Tannu-Ola Mountains
- Ural Mountains
- Verkhoyansk Mountains
- Yablonoi Mountains
Lakes and rivers
- Ukok Plateau—part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site
The West Siberian Plain, consisting mostly of
The Central Siberian Plateau is an ancient
The Lena-Tunguska petroleum province includes the Central Siberian platform (some authors refer to it as the "Eastern Siberian platform"), bounded on the northeast and east by the
temperate forestzone in the south.
The climate of Siberia varies dramatically, but it typically has short summers and long, brutally cold winters. On the north coast, north of the Arctic Circle, there is a very short (about one month long) summer.
Almost all the population lives in the south, along the route of the Trans-Siberian Railway. The climate in this southernmost part is humid continental climate (Köppen Dfb) with cold winters but fairly warm summers lasting at least four months. The annual average temperature is about 0.5 °C (32.9 °F). January averages about −20 °C (−4 °F) and July about +19 °C (66 °F), while daytime temperatures in summer typically exceed 20 °C (68 °F). With a reliable growing season, an abundance of sunshine and exceedingly fertile chernozem soils, southern Siberia is good enough for profitable agriculture, as was demonstrated in the early 20th century.
By far the most commonly occurring climate in Siberia is continental
Southwesterly winds bring warm air from Central Asia and the Middle East. The climate in West Siberia (Omsk, or Novosibirsk) is several degrees warmer than in the East (Irkutsk, or Chita) where in the north an extreme winter subarctic climate (Köppen Dfd or Dwd) prevails. But summer temperatures in other regions can reach +38 °C (100 °F). In general,
|Climate data for Novosibirsk, Siberia's largest city|
|Average high °C (°F)||−12.2
|Daily mean °C (°F)||−16.2
|Average low °C (°F)||−20.1
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||19
Researchers, including Sergei Kirpotin at
Since 1988, experimentation at Pleistocene Park has proposed to restore the grasslands of prehistoric times by conducting research on the effects of large herbivores on permafrost, suggesting that animals, rather than climate, maintained the past ecosystem. The nature reserve park also conducts climatic research on the changes expected from the reintroduction of grazing animals or large herbivores, hypothesizing that a transition from tundra to grassland would lead to a net change in energy emission to absorption ratios.
According to Vasily Kryuchkov, approximately 31,000 square kilometers of the Russian Arctic has subjected to severe environmental disturbance.
- Hazel grouse
- Siberian grouse
- Black grouse
- Black-billed capercaillie
- Western capercaillie
- Willow ptarmigan
- Rock ptarmigan
- Bactrian camel
- Wisent (European bison)
- Red deer
- Wild boar
- Siberian roe deer
- Manchurian wapiti
- Siberian musk deer
- Least weasel
- Mountain weasel
- Siberian weasel
- Steppe polecat
- Eurasian river otter
- Asian badger
Notable sovereign states in Siberia
- Xianbei state (1st–3rd century CE)
- First Turkic Khaganate (6th–7th century)
- Eastern Turkic Khaganate (7th century)
- Second Turkic Khaganate (7th–8th century)
- Mongol Empire (13th–14th century)
- Khanate of Sibir (1468–1598)
- Tsardom of Russia (1598–1721)
- Russian Empire (1721–1917)
- Russian Republic (1917–1918)
- Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic (1918–1922)
- Far Eastern Republic (1920–1922)
- Tuvan People's Republic (1921–1944)
- Soviet Union (1922–1991)
- Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (1922–1991)
- Russian Federation(1991–present)
Borders and administrative division
The term "Siberia" has both a long history and wide significance, and association. The understanding, and association of "Siberia" have gradually changed during the ages. Historically, Siberia was defined as the whole part of Russia and North Kazakhstan to the east of Ural Mountains, including the Russian Far East. According to this definition, Siberia extended eastward from the Ural Mountains to the Pacific coast, and southward from the Arctic Ocean to the border of Central Asia and the national borders of both Mongolia and China.
Soviet-era sources (
Other sources may use either a somewhat wider definition that states the Pacific coast, not the watershed, is the eastern boundary (thus including the whole Russian Far East), as well as all Northern Kazakhstan is its subregion in the south-west or a somewhat narrower one that limits Siberia to the Siberian Federal District (thus excluding all subjects of other districts). In Russian, 'Siberia' is commonly used as a substitute for the name of the federal district by those who live in the district itself, but less commonly used to denote the federal district by people residing outside of it. Due to the different interpretations of Siberia, starting from Tyumen, to Chita, the territory generally defined as 'Siberia', some people will define themselves as 'Siberian', while others not.
A number of factors in recent years, including the fomenting of 'Siberian separatism' have made the definition of the territory of Siberia a potentially controversial subject.
|Ural Federal District|
|Khanty–Mansi Autonomous Okrug||Khanty-Mansiysk|
|Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug||Salekhard|
|Siberian Federal District|
|Far Eastern Federal District|