Republics of Russia

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Republics of Russia1.png
Category Federated state
Location Russian Federation
Number 22
Populations 206,195 (Altai Republic) – 4,072,102 (Bashkortostan)
Areas 3,000 km2 (1,200 sq mi) (Ingushetia) – 3,287,590 km2 (1,269,350 sq mi) (Sakha Republic)
Government Republic Government
Subdivisions administrative: districts, cities and towns of republic significance, towns of district significance, urban-type settlements of district significance, selsoviets; municipal: urban okrugs, municipal districts, urban settlements, rural settlements

According to the Constitution, the Russian Federation is divided into 85 federal subjects (constituent units), 22 of which are "republics". Most of the republics represent areas of non-Russian ethnicity, although there are several republics with Russian majority. The indigenous ethnic group of a republic that gives it its name is referred to as the "titular nationality". Due to decades (in some cases centuries) of internal migration inside Russia, each nationality is not necessarily a majority of a republic's population.

Constitutional status[edit]

Ethnicity of chieves of republics of Russia

Republics differ from other federal subjects of Russia in that they have the right to establish their own official language[1] and have their own constitution. Other federal subjects, such as krais (territories) and oblasts (provinces), are not explicitly given this right. The chief executives of many republics used to have the title of president, but in 2010 an amendment to the federal law was adopted that reserves such title exclusively for the head of the Russian state.[2]

The level of actual autonomy granted to such political units varies but is generally quite extensive. The parliamentary assemblies of such republics have often enacted laws which are at odds with the federal constitution. The republics' executives tend to be very powerful. However, this autonomy was lessened considerably under Russian President Vladimir Putin, who sought to impose the supremacy of the federal constitution.[3] Over the course of Putin's presidency, autonomy agreements signed between the federal government and republics after the collapse of the Soviet Union have all gradually expired. On July 24, 2017, Tatarstan became the last republic to lose its special status.[4] The diminishing status of Russia's ethnic republics has been a cause of growing concern among its minorities in the country. In 2017, Vladimir Putin condemned mandatory lessons of minority languages in the republics and on 19 June 2018, the State Duma approved the first reading of a bill regarding the teaching of these languages, which instructed schools to reduce the instruction of minority languages to only two hours a week.[5][6] Many republics subsequently dropped the teaching of minority languages to become optional.[7]

The establishment of eight large "federal districts" above the regions and republics of Russia, with presidentially appointed governors overseeing the republics' activities, has strengthened federal control, and respect for federal supremacy in the republics. In addition, Putin strengthened the position of the republics' legislatures, while weakening their executives' power. In some republics the executive heads are elected by popular votes/for example Bashkortostan, Tatarstan etc./ while in some republics the executive heads of republics are now appointed by the President of Russia himself /for example Chechnya/. The President's nomination must be accepted by the republic's parliament. On May 30, 2014, the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, accepted Khamitov's resignation so that he could participate in the regional elections; On September 14, 2014, most of the votes (82.17%) were given to the acting head of republic by the citizens of the Bashkortostan Republic; On September 25, 2015, the inauguration process took place in the State Council-Kurultay of the Bashkortostan Republic.

There are secessionist movements in most republics, but these are generally not very strong. However, there was considerable support for secession among Tatars, Bashkirs, Yakuts, and Chechens after the breakup of the Soviet Union, resulting in war in the case of Chechnya. The desire for secession in many republics is, however, greatly complicated by the extent to which other ethnic groups reside in their titular republics (Tatarstan, Bashkortostan, and Sakha; due to the First and Second Chechen Wars, very few non-Chechens now reside in Chechnya.) Also, the majority of Tatars, unlike other titular ethnic groups, reside outside Tatarstan.

Status of Crimea[edit]

On March 18, 2014, the Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol after a contested referendum were annexed to the Russian Federation.[8][9] Much of the international community and the Ukrainian government do not recognize Crimea's accession to Russia and consider Crimea an integral part of Ukraine.[10][11]

Former Autonomous Republics and Autonomous Oblasts[edit]

The Russian SFSR of the former Soviet Union included three types of ethnic constituent units, viz., in the order of decreasing "autonomy" level: Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republics (or simply autonomous republics), autonomous oblasts, and autonomous okrugs.

After the dissolution of the USSR, each "autonomous republic" was succeeded by a republic with a similar name (or, in the case of the Chechen-Ingush ASSR, by two republics: Chechnya and Ingushetia). Several "autonomous oblasts" (Adygea, Altai, Karachay–Cherkessia, Khakassia) have become "republics" as well.

The expression "autonomous republic" is still sometimes used for the republics of Russia. Although they are autonomous and republics, the use of this term is not technically correct, since their official names, as per 1993 Russian Constitution and their own constitutions, are simply "republic", rather than "autonomous republic".


Flag Republic Continent Capital Titular nationality1 Titular nationality in Republic's population (2010) Titular nationality: Language group Titular nationality: Main religion Ethnic Russians in Republic's population (2010) Population (2010)4
Flag of Adygea.svg Adygea (Адыгея, Адыгэ) Europe Maykop Adyghe 25.2% Caucasian Orthodox Christianity, Sunni Islam 63.6% 440,388
Flag of Altai Republic.svg Altai (Алтай) Asia Gorno-Altaysk Altai 34.5% Turkic Burkhanism, Tibetan Buddhism, Shamanism, Orthodox Christianity 56.6% 206,195
Flag of Bashkortostan.svg Bashkortostan (Башкортостан, Башкирия, Башҡортостан) Europe Ufa Bashkir 29.5% Turkic Sunni Islam 36.1% 4,072,102
Flag of Buryatia.svg Buryatia (Бурятия, Буряад) Asia Ulan-Ude Buryat 30.0% Mongolic Tibetan Buddhism, Shamanism; tiny Russian Orthodox minority known as Onghols, often considered separate ethnic group 66.1% 972,658
Flag of the Chechen Republic.svg Chechnya (Чеченская Республика, Нохчийчоь) Europe Grozny Chechen2 95.3% Caucasian Sunni Islam, Sufi-oriented Sunni Islam 1.9% 1,103,686
Flag of Chuvashia.svg Chuvashia (Чувашская Республика, Чăваш Республики) Europe Cheboksary Chuvash 67.7% Turkic Russian Orthodox, Islam, shamanism 26.9% 1,251,599
Flag of Crimea.svg Crimea (Крым) Europe Simferopol Crimean Tatar 10.6%7 Turkic Orthodox Christianity, Islam 67.9%7 2,284,769
Flag of Dagestan.svg Dagestan (Дагестан) Europe Makhachkala 10 indigenous nationalities3 88.0% Caucasian, Turkic5 Sunni Islam, Judaism (if Mountain Jews and Jewish Tats are considered) 3.6% 2,576,531
Flag of Ingushetia.svg Ingushetia (Ингушетия, ГӀалгӀай Мохк) Europe Magas Ingush2 94.1% Caucasian Sunni Islam, Sufi-oriented Sunni Islam 0.8% 467,294
Flag of Kabardino-Balkaria.svg Kabardino-Balkaria (Кабардино-Балкарская Республика, Къэбэрдей-Балъкъэр, Къабарты-Малкъар) Europe Nalchik Kabardin, Balkar 69.9% (Kabardin 57.2%, Balkar 12.7%) Caucasian (Kabardin), Turkic (Balkar) Sunni Islam, Russian Orthodox6 22.5% 859,802
Flag of Kalmykia.svg Kalmykia (Калмыкия, Хальмг Таңһч) Europe Elista Kalmyk 57.4% Mongolic Tibetan Buddhism 30.2% 289,464
Flag of Karachay-Cherkessia.svg Karachay-Cherkessia (Карачаево-Черкесская Республика) Europe Cherkessk Karachay, Cherkess 52.9% (Karachay 41.0%, Cherkess 11.9%) Turkic (Karachay), Caucasian (Cherkess) Sunni Islam 31.6% 478,517
Flag of Karelia.svg Karelia (Карелия, Karjala) Europe Petrozavodsk Karelian 7.4% Uralic Russian Orthodox 82.2% 643,548
Flag of Khakassia.svg Khakassia (Хакасия) Asia Abakan Khakas 12.1% Turkic Shamanism, Russian Orthodox 81.7% 532,403
Flag of Komi.svg Komi (Коми) Europe Syktyvkar Komi 23.7% Uralic Russian Orthodox, shamanism 65.1% 901,189
Flag of Mari El.svg Mari El (Марий Эл) Europe Yoshkar-Ola Mari 43.9% Uralic Russian Orthodox, indigenous pagan faith, Marla faith 47.4% 696,357
Flag of Mordovia.svg Mordovia (Мордовия) Europe Saransk Mordvin 40.0% Uralic Russian Orthodox 53.4% 834,819
Flag of North Ossetia.svg North Ossetia-Alania (Северная Осетия-Алания, Цӕгат Ирыстоны Аланийы) Europe Vladikavkaz Ossetian 65.1% Iranian Eastern Orthodox, Sunni minority 20.8% 712,877
Flag of Sakha.svg Sakha (Yakutia) (Саха (Якутия)) Asia Yakutsk Yakut 49.9% Turkic Russian Orthodox, Shamanism 37.8% 958,291
Flag of Tatarstan.svg Tatarstan (Татарстан, Tatar: Cyrillic Татарстан, Latin Tatarstan) Europe Kazan Tatar 53.2% Turkic Sunni Islam, Russian Orthodox 39.7% 3,786,358
Flag of Tuva.svg Tuva (Тыва, Тува) Asia Kyzyl Tuvan 82.0% Turkic Tibetan Buddhism, Shamanism, tiny Russian Orthodox minority 16.3% 307,930
Flag of Udmurtia.svg Udmurtia (Удмуртская Республика, Удмурт Элькун) Europe Izhevsk Udmurt 28.0% Uralic Russian Orthodox 62.2% 1,522,761
  1. Kabardino-Balkaria, Karachay–Cherkessia, and Dagestan have more than one titular nationality.
  2. The former Chechen-Ingush Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic had two titular nationalities until it was divided into the two Republics of Chechnya and Ingushetia in April 1992.
  3. The ten largest indigenous ethnic groups of Dagestan are: Aguls, Avars, Dargins, Kumyks, Laks, Lezgins, Nogais, Rutuls, Tabasarans, and Tsakhurs.
  4. All population numbers in this table are to three significant figures.
  5. Balkars, Karachai, Kumyks, Azerbaijanis and Nogais are Turkic peoples and Aguls, Avars, Cherkess, Dargins, Laks, Lezgins, Rutuls, Tabasarans, and Tsakhurs are Caucasian
  6. Kabardin and a majority of Balkars are Muslims, but some Balkars are Russian Orthodox
  7. Crimea has no titular nationality; other than Russian it recognizes Crimean Tatar and Ukrainian as its official languages. Figures for the population of Crimea are from the 2014 Crimean Federal District census. The Republic of Crimea is coterminous with the Ukrainian-claimed Autonomous Republic of Crimea and recognized as part of Ukraine by most of the international community.

Demographics trend[edit]

Ethnic group Titular (%) Russians (%) other (%)[12]
Republic 1979 1989 2002 2010[13] 1979 1989 2002 2010 1979 1989 2002 2010
Adygea 21,3 Increase 22,1 Increase 24,1 Increase 25,2 70,8 Decrease 68,0 Decrease 64,4 Decrease 63,6
Altai Increase29,1 Increase 31,0 Increase 33,4 Increase 33,9 Increase63,3 Decrease 60,4 Decrease 57,4 Decrease 56,6 5,6 Increase 5,9 (Kazakhs) Increase 6,2
Bashkortostan 24,3 Decrease 21,9 Increase 29,7 Decrease 29,5 40,3 Decrease 39,2 Decrease 36,3 Decrease 36,1 24,5 Increase 28,4 Decrease 24,1 (Tatars) Increase 25,4
Buryatia Increase23,0 Increase 24,0 Increase 27,8 Increase 30 Decrease72,1 Decrease 69,9 Decrease 67,8 Decrease 66,1
Dagestan 86,0 11,0 Decrease 9,2 Decrease 4,6 Decrease 3,6
Ingushetia Decrease11,7 Increase 12,9 Increase 77,2 Increase 94,1 Decrease31,7 Decrease 23,1 Decrease 1,1 Decrease 0,8
Kabardino-Balkaria 45,6 Increase 52,2 Increase 55,3 Increase 57,2 35,1 Decrease 31,9 Decrease 25,1 Decrease 22,5 9,0 Increase 9,4 Increase 11,6 Increase 12,7
Kalmykia Increase41,4 Increase 45,3 Increase 53,3 Increase 57,4 Decrease42,7 Decrease 37,6 Decrease 33,5 Decrease 30,2
Karachay–Cherkessia 29,7 Increase 31,2 Increase 38,5 Increase 41 45,0 Decrease 42,4 Decrease 33,6 Decrease 31,6 9,3 Increase 9,7 Increase 11,2 Increase 11,9
Karelia Decrease11,1 Decrease 10,0 Decrease 9,2 Decrease 7,4 Increase71,3 Increase 73,6 Increase 76,6 Increase 82,2
Komi Decrease25,3 Decrease 23,3 Increase 25,1 Decrease 23,7 Increase56,7 Increase 57,7 Increase 59,5 Increase 65,1
Mari El Decrease43,6 Decrease 43,3 Decrease 42,8 Increase 43,9 Decrease47,6 Decrease 47,4 Steady47,4 Steady47,4
Mordovia Decrease34,2 Decrease 32,5 Decrease 31,9 Increase 40 Increase59,7 Increase 60,8 Steady60,8 Decrease 53,4
Sakha (Yakutia) Increase36,9 Decrease 33,4 Increase 45,5 Increase 49,9 Increase50,5 Decrease 50,3 Decrease 41,1 Decrease 37,8
North Ossetia–Alania Increase50,5 Increase 52,9 Increase 62,7 Increase 65,1 Decrease34,0 Decrease 29,9 Decrease 23,1 Decrease 20,8
Tatarstan Decrease47,7 Increase 48,4 Increase 52,9 Increase 53,2 Increase44,0 Decrease 43,2 Decrease 39,4 Increase 39,7
Tuva Increase60,4 Increase 64,3 Increase 77,0 Increase 82 Decrease36,2 Decrease 32,0 Decrease 20,1 Decrease 16,3
Udmurtia Decrease32,2 Decrease 30,9 Decrease 29,3 Decrease 28 Increase58,3 Increase 58,9 Increase 60,1 Increase 62,2
Khakassia Decrease11,4 Decrease 11,1 Increase 11,9 Increase 12,1 Increase79,5 Decrease 79,4 Increase 80,2 Increase 81,7
Chechnya 52,9 Increase 57,8 Increase 93,4 Increase 95,3 31,7 Decrease 23,1 Decrease 3,6 Decrease 1,9
Chuvashia Decrease68,4 Decrease 67,7 Decrease 67,6 Increase 67,7 Increase26,0 Decrease 26,6 Decrease 26,5 Increase 26,9

Attempted republics[edit]

There were several attempts to establish republics within Russia since 1991:

Entities outside Russia[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Article 68 of the Constitution of Russia
  2. ^ "Regional presidents to choose new job titles". RT International. Retrieved May 7, 2016.
  3. ^ Sharafutdinova, Gulnaz (2013). "Gestalt Switch in Russian Federalism: The Decline in Regional Power under Putin". Comparative Politics. 45 (3): 357–376. JSTOR 43664325.
  4. ^ Smirnova, Lena (2017-07-24). "Tatarstan, the Last Region to Lose Its Special Status Under Putin". The Moscow Times. Retrieved 2017-08-07.
  5. ^ Hauer, Neil (2018-08-01). "Putin's Plan to Russify the Caucasus". Foreign Affairs. Retrieved 2018-08-26.
  6. ^ "Russian Duma OKs 'Native Languages' Bill In First Reading". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. 2018-06-20. Retrieved 2018-06-21.
  7. ^ Coalson, Robert; Lyubimov, Dmitry; Alpaut, Ramazan (2018-06-20). "A Common Language: Russia's 'Ethnic' Republics See Language Bill As Existential Threat". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Retrieved 2018-06-21.
  8. ^ Договор между Российской Федерацией и Республикой Крым о принятии в Российскую Федерацию Республики Крым и образовании в составе Российской Федерации новых субъектов (Treaty Between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Crimea on Ascension to the Russian Federation of the Republic of Crimea and on Establishment of New Subjects Within the Russian Federation) (in Russian)
  9. ^ Steve Gutterman and Pavel Polityuk (March 18, 2014). "Putin signs Crimea treaty as Ukraine serviceman dies in attack". Reuters. Retrieved May 7, 2016.
  10. ^ U.N. General Assembly declares Crimea secession vote invalid. Reuters. March 27, 2014.
  11. ^ "PACE: News". Retrieved 2014-05-18.
  12. ^ Indigenous peoples that are second in number in republics with two prevalent ethnicities.
  13. ^ "Информационные материалы об окончательных итогах Всероссийской переписи населения 2010 года". Retrieved May 7, 2016.
  14. ^ "D.Kurier/Russlanddeutsche Allgemeine – Offene Tribüne/Открытая трибуна – Журналистские рас-следования / BNS-Ermittlungen". Archived from the original on June 4, 2016. Retrieved May 7, 2016.
  15. ^ "Сибирь больше не хочет кормить Москву". The Kiev Times. August 3, 2014. Retrieved May 7, 2016.
  16. ^ ""Няръяна вындер" 191–192 (18736-18737)". Retrieved May 7, 2016.
  17. ^ "Ъ-Газета – Создается Приморская республика". Retrieved May 7, 2016.
  18. ^ Южная Осетия хочет войти в состав России // НТВ.Ru
  19. ^ "ВЕДОМОСТИ – Приднестровье как Крым". Retrieved May 7, 2016.
  20. ^ "ВЗГЛЯД / СМИ: Приднестровье хочет войти в состав России вслед за Крымом". Retrieved May 7, 2016.
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^ a b Kenan Aliev. "Мои новости". Retrieved May 7, 2016.
  24. ^ "Гагаузская автономия в Молдавии может объявить о своей независимости". April 1, 2014. Retrieved May 7, 2016.
  25. ^ "Тулбуре: Гагаузия может провести референдум и попроситься в состав России " – Информационный портал Гагаузии №1". Retrieved May 7, 2016.
  26. ^ "Гагаузы с удовольствием войдут в состав России, считает депутат Госдумы". Retrieved May 7, 2016.

External links[edit]

Media related to Republics of Russia at Wikimedia Commons