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{{short description|Geographical region in Russia}}{{Redirect|Siberian|the Federal district|Siberian Federal District|other uses|Siberia (disambiguation)|and|Siberian (disambiguation)}}{{Distinguish|Serbia}}{{use dmy dates|date=November 2013}}{{coord|60|0|N|105|0|E|display=title}}

Siberia ({{IPAc-en|s|aɪ|ˈ|b|ɪər|i|É™}}; ) is an extensive geographical region spanning much of Eurasia and North Asia. Siberia has historically been a part of modern Russia since the 17th century.The territory of Siberia extends eastwards from the Ural Mountains to the watershed between the Pacific and Arctic drainage basins. The Yenisei River conditionally divides Siberia into two parts, Western and Eastern. Siberia stretches southwards from the Arctic Ocean to the hills of north-central Kazakhstan and to the national borders of Mongolia and China.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, 12 July 2012, Great Soviet Encyclopedia, Russian, Yandex, 15 May 2010, With an area of {{Convert|13.1|e6km2|mi2}}, Siberia accounts for 77% of Russia's land area, but it is home to approximately 36 million people—27% of the country's population. This is equivalent to an average population density of about {{Convert|3|PD/sqkm}} (approximately equal to that of Australia), making Siberia one of the most sparsely populated regions on Earth. If it were a country by itself, it would still be the largest country in area, but in population it would be the world's 35th-largest and Asia's 14th-largest.Worldwide, Siberia is well known primarily for its long, harsh winters, with a January average of −25 Â°C (−13 Â°F),WEB,weblink Arctic Oscillation and Polar Vortex Analysis and Forecasts, Atmospheric and Environmental Research, Verisk Analytics, 20 May 2018, as well as its extensive history of use by Russian and Soviet governments as a place for prisons, labor camps, and internal exile.


The origin of the name is unknown. Some sources say that "Siberia" originates from the Siberian Tatar word for "sleeping land" (Sib Ir).NEWS,weblink Trans-Siberian for softies, Euan Ferguson, the Guardian, 14 January 2016, 2007-05-19, Another account sees the name as the ancient tribal ethnonym of the {{Interlanguage link multi|Sirtya|ru|3=Сиртя}} (also "Syopyr" (sʲɵpᵻr)), an ethnic group which spoke a Paleosiberian language. The Sirtya people were later assimilated into the Siberian Tatars.{{Citation needed|date=April 2019}}The modern usage of the name was recorded in the Russian language after the Empire's conquest of the Siberian Khanate. A further variant claims that the region was named after the Xibe people.BOOK, Crossley, Pamela Kyle, The Manchus, Peoples of Asia, 14, 2002, Wiley-Blackwell, 978-0-631-23591-0, 213,weblink 3rd, Pamela Kyle Crossley, 28 December 2013, The Polish historian Chyliczkowski has proposed that the name derives from the proto-Slavic word for "north" (север, sever),BOOK, Czaplicka, M.C., Aboriginal Siberia, 1915, same as Severia.Anatole Baikaloff has dismissed this explanation. He said that the neighbouring Chinese, Turks, and Mongolians, who have similar names for the region, would not have known Russian. He suggests that the name might be a combination of two words with Turkic origin, "su" (water) and "bir" (wild land).JOURNAL, Baikaloff, Anatole, Notes on the origin of the name "Siberia", Slavonic and East European Review, Dec 1950, 29, 72, 288,


The region has paleontological significance, as it contains bodies of prehistoric animals from the Pleistocene Epoch, preserved in ice or in permafrost. Specimens of Goldfuss cave lion cubs, Yuka (mammoth) and another woolly mammoth from Oymyakon, a woolly rhinoceros from the Kolyma River, and bison and horses from Yukagir have been found.WEB, Meet this extinct cave lion, at least 10,000 years old – world exclusive,weblink, 2016-01-30, The Siberian Traps were formed by one of the largest-known volcanic events of the last 500 million years of Earth's geological history. Their activity continued for a million years and some scientists consider it a possible cause of the "Great Dying" about 250 million years ago,WEB,weblink Yellowstone's Super Sister, 2010-04-17, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 14 March 2005, dmy-all, [...] the Siberian Traps is the prime suspect in wiping out 90 percent of all living species 251 million years ago – the most severe extinction event in Earth's history., . Discovery Channel. – estimated to have killed 90% of species existing at the time.BOOK, When Life Nearly Died: The Greatest Mass Extinction of All Time, Thames & Hudson, 2005, 978-0-500-28573-2, Benton, M. J., {{qn|date=April 2018}}At least three species of human lived in Southern Siberia around 40,000 years ago: H. sapiens, H. neanderthalensis, and the Denisovans."DNA identifies new ancient human dubbed 'X-woman'," BBC News. 25 March 2010.In 2010 DNA evidence identified the last as a separate species.


File:Choris, Tschuktschen.jpg|thumb|right|Chukchi, one of many indigenous peoples of Siberia. Representation of a Chukchi family by Louis ChorisLouis ChorisDuring past millennia different groups of nomads – such as the Enets, the Nenets, the Huns, the Xiongnu, the Scythians and the Uyghurs inhabited various parts of Siberia. The proto-Mongol Khitan people also occupied parts of the region. In 630 the Khan of Sibir in the vicinity of modern Tobolsk was known as a prominent figure{{cn|date=June 2019}} who endorsed Kubrat as Khagan of Old Great Bulgaria. In the 13th century, during the period of the Mongol Empire, the Mongols conquered a large part of this area.BOOK
, Naumov
, Igor V.
, Collins
, David Norman
, The Mongols in Siberia
, Collins
, David Norman
, The History of Siberia
, Routledge Studies in the History of Russia and Eastern Europe
, London
, Routledge
, 2006
, 44
, 9781134207039
, 11 June 2019
, In 1207 Chinggis Khan sent his troops north under the command of his elder son Jochi to subjugate the 'forest peoples'. Jochi was able to do so in the space of three years. The only exception was the remote northern tribes. Most of Siberia became part of the Mongol Empire.
, File:Map Siberian route.svg|thumb|upright=1.75| Map of the Siberian RouteSiberian RouteWith 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.PAKENDORF > FIRST1 = B. FIRST2 = I. N. FIRST3 = V. L. FIRST4 = A. B. P. FIRST5 = A. P. FIRST6 = M., 10.1007/s00439-006-0213-2, Investigating the effects of prehistoric migrations in Siberia: Genetic variation and the origins of Yakuts, Human Genetics, 120, 3, 334–353, 2006, 16845541, {{PD-notice}} 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".Richards, 2003 p. 538.The growing power of Russia in the West began to undermine the Siberian Khanate in the 16th century. First, groups of traders and Cossacks began to enter the area. The Russian Army was directed to establish forts farther and farther east to protect new settlers who migrated from European Russia. Towns such as Mangazeya, Tara, Yeniseysk and Tobolsk developed, the last becoming the de facto capital of Siberia from 1590. At this time, Sibir was the name of a fortress at Qashlik, near Tobolsk. Gerardus Mercator, in a map published in 1595, marks Sibier both as the name of a settlement and of the surrounding territory along a left tributary of the Ob.(:File:CEM-15-Asia-Mercator-1595-Russia-2533.jpg|Asia ex magna Orbis terrae descriptione Gerardi Mercatoris desumpta, studio & industria G.M. Iunioris) Other sources{{which|date= September 2017}} contend that the Xibe, an indigenous Tungusic people, offered fierce resistance to Russian expansion beyond the Urals. Some suggest that the term "Siberia" is a Russification of their ethnonym.{{cn|date=June 2019}}By the mid-17th century Russia had established areas of control that extended to the Pacific. Some 230,000 Russians had settled in Siberia by 1709.WEB, Sean C. Goodlett,weblink Russia's Expansionist Policies I. The Conquest of Siberia,, 15 May 2010, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 11 May 2011, dmy-all, Siberia became one of the destinations for sending internal exiles.For example: Prison without a roofweblink{{qn|date=June 2019}}BOOK
, Barker
, Adele Marie
, Barker
, Adele Marie
, Grant
, Bruce
, The World Readers
, The Russia Reader: History, Culture, Politics
, Durham, North Carolina
, Duke University Press
, 2010
, 441
, 9780822346487
, 11 June 2019
, Throughout Russian history there is a long-standing tradition of imprisoning and sentencing to internal exile (within the country proper) political and religious dissidents. [...] Among those sentenced to internal exile were [...] the Decembrists [...]. Several were executed; others were exiled to Siberia, the Far East, and Kazakhstan.
, 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 ({{reign | 1894 | 1917}}). Around seven million people moved to Siberia from European Russia between 1801 and 1914.JOURNAL, Review: The Great Siberian Migration: Government and Peasant in Resettlement from Emancipation to the First World War, The American Historical Review, 63, 4, 989–990, 1848991, Fisher, Raymond H., Treadgold, Donald W., 1958, 10.2307/1848991, Between 1859 and 1917 more than half a million people migrated to the Russian Far East.The Russian Far East: A History. John J. Stephan (1996). Stanford University Press. p.62.{{ISBN|0-8047-2701-5}} Siberia has extensive natural resources: during the 20th century, large-scale exploitation of these took place, and industrial towns cropped up throughout the region.Fiona Hill, Russia â€” Coming In From the Cold? {{webarchive|url=weblink" title="">weblink |date= 24 April 2013 }}, The Globalist, 23 February 2004.At 7:15 a.m. on 30 June 1908 the Tunguska Event felled millions of trees near the Podkamennaya Tunguska (Stony Tunguska) River in central Siberia. Most scientists believe this resulted from the air burst of a meteor or a comet. Even though no crater has ever been found, the landscape in the (sparsely inhabited) area still bears the scars of this event.Farinella, Paolo; Foschini, L.; Froeschlé, Christiane; Gonczi, R.; Jopek, T. J.; Longo, G.; Michel, Patrick (2001). "Probable asteroidal origin of the Tunguska Cosmic Body" (PDF). Astronomy & Astrophysics. 377(3): 1081–1097. Bibcode:2001A&A...377.1081F. {{doi|10.1051/0004-6361:20011054}}.File:Novosibirsk-Karimov.jpg|thumb|left|Siberian Cossack family in NovosibirskNovosibirskIn the early decades of the Soviet Union (especially in the 1930s and 1940s), the government used the Gulag state agency to administer a system of penal labour camps, replacing the previous katorga system.The Unknown Gulag: The Lost World of Stalin's Special Settlements. Lynne Viola (2007). Oxford University Press US. p.3. {{ISBN|0-19-518769-5}} According to semi-official Soviet estimates, which did not become public until after the fall of the Soviet government in 1991, from 1929 to 1953 more than 14 million people passed through these camps and prisons, many of them in Siberia. Another seven to eight million people were internally deported to remote areas of the Soviet Union (including entire nationalities or ethnicities in several cases).Robert Conquest in "Victims of Stalinism: A Comment," Europe-Asia Studies, Vol. 49, No. 7 (Nov. 1997), pp. 1317–1319 states: "We are all inclined to accept the Zemskov totals (even if not as complete) with their 14 million intake to Gulag 'camps' alone, to which must be added four to five million going to Gulag 'colonies', to say nothing of the 3.5 million already in, or sent to, 'labour settlements'. However taken, these are surely 'high' figures."Half a million (516,841) prisoners died in camps from 1941 to 1943Zemskov, "Gulag," Sociologičeskije issledovanija, 1991, No. 6, pp. 14–15. due to food shortages caused by World War II.{{cn|date=June 2019}} At other periods, mortality was comparatively lower.Stéphane Courtois, Mark Kramer. Livre noir du Communisme: crimes, terreur, répression. Harvard University Press, 1999. p. 206. {{ISBN|0-674-07608-7}} – "300,000 known deaths in the camps from 1934 to 1940." 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 River and Norillag near Norilsk, where 69,000 prisoners lived in 1952.Courtois and Kramer (1999), Livre noir du Communisme, p.239. Major industrial cities of Northern Siberia, such as Norilsk and Magadan, developed from camps built by prisoners and run by former prisoners.WEB
, Dark side of the moon
, Chamberlain
, Lesley
, 2003-04-27
,, 11 June 2019
, Today's major industrial cities of Noril'sk, Vorkuta, Kolyma and Magadan, were camps originally built by prisoners and run by ex-prisoners.


{{further|Geography of Russia|North Asia#Geography}}{{Physical map of Siberia|width=150}}File:Волшебное Кучерлинское озеро.jpg|thumb|Altai, Lake Kutsherla in the Altai MountainsAltai MountainsFile:Республика Бурятия, Баргузинский залив.jpg|thumb|The peninsula of Svyatoy Nos, Lake BaikalLake BaikalFile:Vasyugan.jpg|thumb|Vasyugan River in the southern West Siberian PlainWest Siberian PlainFile:Kuysumy mountains and Torgashinsky range. View from viewing platform on Kashtakovskaya path (Stolby reserve, Krasnoyarsk city) 4Y1A8757 (28363120875).jpg|thumb|Siberian taigataigaFile:Kamchatka Volcano Koryaksky (24231533812).jpg|thumb|Koryaksky volcano towering over Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky on the Kamchatka PeninsulaKamchatka PeninsulaWith an area of {{Convert|13.1|e6km2|mi2}}, Siberia makes up roughly 77% of Russia's total territory and almost 9% of Earth's land surface ({{Convert|148940000|km2|abbr=on|disp=comma}}). While Siberia falls entirely within Asia, many authorities such as the UN geoscheme will not subdivide countries and will place all of Russia as part of Europe and/or Eastern Europe. Major geographical zones include the West Siberian Plain and the Central Siberian Plateau.Eastern and central Sakha comprises numerous north-south mountain ranges of various ages. These mountains extend up to almost {{convert|3000|m|ft}}, but above a few hundred metres they are almost completely devoid of vegetation. The Verkhoyansk Range was extensively glaciated in the Pleistocene, but the climate was too dry for glaciation to extend to low elevations. At these low elevations are numerous valleys, many of them deep and covered with larch forest, except in the extreme north where the tundra dominates. Soils are mainly turbels (a type of gelisol). The active layer tends to be less than one metre deep, except near rivers.The highest point in Siberia is the active volcano Klyuchevskaya Sopka, on the Kamchatka Peninsula. Its peak is at {{convert|4750|m}}.

Mountain ranges

{{div col|colwidth=30em}} {{div col end}}

Lakes and rivers

{{div col|colwidth=30em}} {{div col end}}


ARCHIVEDATE=22 MARCH 2007,weblinkpublisher=, 30 November 2006,


The West Siberian Plain consists mostly of Cenozoic alluvial deposits and is somewhat flat. Many deposits on this plain result from ice dams which produced a large glacial lake. This mid- to late-Pleistocene lake blocked the northward flow of the Ob and Yenisei rivers, resulting in a redirection southwest into the Caspian and Aral seas via the Turgai Valley.Lioubimtseva E.U., Gorshkov S.P. & Adams J.M.; A Giant Siberian Lake During the Last Glacial: Evidence and Implications; Oak Ridge National laboratory {{webarchive|url= |date=13 December 2006 }} The area is very swampy, and soils are mostly peaty histosols and, in the treeless northern part, histels. In the south of the plain, where permafrost is largely absent, rich grasslands that are an extension of the Kazakh Steppe formed the original vegetation, most of which is no longer visible.{{why?|date=April 2015}}The Central Siberian Plateau is an ancient craton (sometimes named Angaraland) that formed an independent continent before the Permian (see the Siberian continent). It is exceptionally rich in minerals, containing large deposits of gold, diamonds, and ores of manganese, lead, zinc, nickel, cobalt and molybdenum. Much of the area includes the Siberian Traps—a large igneous province. This massive eruptive period was approximately coincident with the Permian–Triassic extinction event. The volcanic event is said to be the largest known volcanic eruption in Earth's history. Only the extreme northwest was glaciated during the Quaternary, but almost all is under exceptionally deep permafrost, and the only tree that can thrive, despite the warm summers, is the deciduous Siberian Larch (Larix sibirica) with its very shallow roots. Outside the extreme northwest, the taiga is dominant, covering a significant fraction of the entirety of Siberia.C. Michael Hogan. 2011. Taiga. eds. M.McGinley & C.Cleveland. Encyclopedia of Earth. National Council for Science and the Environment. Washington DC Soils here are mainly turbels, giving way to spodosols where the active layer becomes thicker and the ice content lower.File:2006-07 altaj belucha.jpg|thumb|Belukha MountainBelukha MountainFile:Yakutia - DSC 6164.jpg|thumb|Verkhoyansk RangeVerkhoyansk RangeThe 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 Late Carboniferous through Jurassic Verkhoyansk foldbelt, on the northwest by the Paleozoic Taymr foldbelt, and on the southeast, south and southwest by the Middle Silurian to Middle Devonian Baykalian foldbelt.Meyerhof, A. A., 1980, "Geology and Petroleum Fields in Proterozoic and Lower Cambrian Strata, Lena-Tunguska Petroleum Province, Eastern Siberia, USSR", in Giant Oil and Gas Fields of the Decade: 1968–1978, AAPG Memoir 30, Halbouty, M. T., editor, Tulsa: American Association of Petroleum Geologists, {{ISBN|0891813063}}{{rp|228}} A regional geologic reconnaissance study begun in 1932, followed by surface and subsurface mapping, revealed the Markova-Angara Arch (anticline). This led to the discovery of the Markovo Oil Field in 1962 with the Markovo 1 well, which produced from the Early Cambrian Osa Horizon bar-sandstone at a depth of {{convert|2156|m|ft}}.{{rp|243}} The Sredne-Botuobin Gas Field was discovered in 1970, producing from the Osa and the Proterozoic Parfenovo Horizon.{{rp|244}} The Yaraktin Oil Field was discovered in 1971, producing from the Vendian Yaraktin Horizon at depths of up to {{convert|1750|m|ft}}, which lies below Permian to Lower Jurassic basalt traps.{{rp|244}}


{| style="width: 800px;"| (File:Russia vegetation.png)|{{legend0|#c0c0c0|polar desert}}{{legend0|#9fd6c9|tundra}}{{legend0|#a7bddb|alpine tundra}}{{legend0|#006d64|taiga}}{{legend0|#3c9798|montane forest}}{{legend0|#a4e05d|temperate broadleaf forest}}{{legend0|#f7ec6f|temperate steppe}}{{legend0|#9b8447|dry steppe}}Biome>Vegetation in Siberia is mostly taiga, with a tundra belt on the northern fringe, and a temperate forest zone 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 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 is about {{convert|0.5|C|F|1}}. January averages about {{convert|−20|C}} and July about {{convert|+19|C}} while daytime temperatures in summer typically are above {{Convert|20|C}}.WEB,weblink Novosibirsk climate,, 4 February 2007, 15 May 2010, WEB,weblink Omsk climate,, 4 February 2007, 15 May 2010, With a reliable growing season, an abundance of sunshine and exceedingly fertile chernozem soils, southern Siberia is good enough for profitable agriculture, as was proven in the early 20th century.By far the most commonly occurring climate in Siberia is continental subarctic (Koppen Dfc or Dwc), with the annual average temperature about {{convert|−5|°C|°F}} and an average for January of {{convert|−25|C}} and an average for July of {{convert|+17|C}},WEB,weblink Kazachengoye climate,, 4 February 2007, 15 May 2010, although this varies considerably, with a July average about {{Convert|10|C}} in the taiga–tundra ecotone. The Business oriented website and blog Business Insider lists Verkhoyansk and Oymyakon, in Siberia's Sakha Republic, as being in competition for the title of the Northern Hemisphere's Pole of Cold. Oymyakon is a village which recorded a temperature of {{convert|−67.7|°C|F}} on 6 February 1933. Verkhoyansk, a town further north and further inland, recorded a temperature of {{convert|−69.8|°C|F}} for three consecutive nights: 5, 6 and 7 February 1933. Each town is alternately considered the Northern Hemisphere's Pole of Cold, meaning the coldest inhabited point in the Northern hemisphere. Each town also frequently reaches {{convert|86|F}} in the summer, giving them, and much of the rest of Russian Siberia, the world's greatest temperature variation between summer's highs and winter's lows, often being well over {{Convert|170|-|180|F-change|disp=preunit|6=+}} between the seasons.Business Insider, February 2014,weblink{{failed verification|date=December 2016}}Southwesterly winds bring warm air from Central Asia and the Middle East. The climate in West Siberia (Omsk, Novosibirsk) is several degrees warmer than in the East (Irkutsk, Chita) where in the north an extreme winter subarctic climate (Köppen Dfd or Dwd) prevails. But summer temperatures in other regions can reach {{convert|+38|C}}. In general, Sakha is the coldest Siberian region, and the basin of the Yana River has the lowest temperatures of all, with permafrost reaching {{convert|1493|m|ft}}. Nevertheless, as far as Imperial Russian plans of settlement were concerned, cold was never viewed as an impediment. In the winter, southern Siberia sits near the center of the semi-permanent Siberian High, so winds are usually light in the winter.Precipitation in Siberia is generally low, exceeding {{convert|500|mm}} only in Kamchatka where moist winds flow from the Sea of Okhotsk onto high mountains â€“ producing the region's only major glaciers, though volcanic eruptions and low summer temperatures allow limited forests to grow. Precipitation is high also in most of Primorye in the extreme south where monsoonal influences can produce quite heavy summer rainfall.{{Weather box| location=Novosibirsk, Siberia's largest city| metric first=yes| single line=yes| Jan high C = −12.2| Feb high C = −10.3| Mar high C = −2.6| Apr high C = 8.1| May high C = 17.5| Jun high C = 24.0| Jul high C = 25.7| Aug high C = 22.2| Sep high C = 16.6| Oct high C = 6.8| Nov high C = −2.9| Dec high C = −8.9| year high C = 7.0| Jan mean C = −16.2| Feb mean C = −14.7| Mar mean C = −7.2| Apr mean C = 3.2| May mean C = 11.6| Jun mean C = 18.2| Jul mean C = 20.2| Aug mean C = 17.0| Sep mean C = 11.5| Oct mean C = 3.4| Nov mean C = −6.0| Dec mean C = −12.7| year mean C = 2.4| Jan low C = −20.1| Feb low C = −19.1| Mar low C = −11.8| Apr low C = −1.7| May low C = 5.6| Jun low C = 12.3| Jul low C = 14.7| Aug low C = 11.7| Sep low C = 6.4| Oct low C = 0.0| Nov low C = −9.1| Dec low C = −16.4| year low C = −2.3| precipitation colour=green| Jan precipitation mm = 19| Feb precipitation mm = 14| Mar precipitation mm = 15| Apr precipitation mm = 24| May precipitation mm = 36| Jun precipitation mm = 58| Jul precipitation mm = 72| Aug precipitation mm = 66| Sep precipitation mm = 44| Oct precipitation mm = 38| Nov precipitation mm = 32| Dec precipitation mm = 24| year precipitation mm = 442ACCESSDATE=8 JANUARY 2009 ARCHIVEURL=HTTPS://WEB.ARCHIVE.ORG/WEB/20080627063054/HTTP://METEOINFO.RU/NOVOSIBIRSKCLIMAT URL-STATUS=DEAD, dmy-all, | date=August 2010}}Researchers, including Sergei Kirpotin at Tomsk State University and Judith Marquand at Oxford University, warn that Western Siberia has begun to thaw as a result of global warming. The frozen peat bogs in this region may hold billions of tons of methane gas, which may be released into the atmosphere. Methane is a greenhouse gas 22 times more powerful than carbon dioxide.Ian Sample, "Warming hits 'tipping point'". The Guardian, 11 August 2005 In 2008, a research expedition for the American Geophysical Union detected levels of methane up to 100 times above normal in the atmosphere above the Siberian Arctic, likely the result of methane clathrates being released through holes in a frozen 'lid' of seabed permafrost, around the outfall of the Lena River and the area between the Laptev Sea and East Siberian Sea.NEWS,weblink Exclusive: The methane time bomb, Connor, Steve, 23 September 2008, The Independent, 3 October 2008, N. Shakhova, I. Semiletov, A. Salyuk, D. Kosmach, and N. Bel'cheva (2007), Methane release on the Arctic East Siberian shelf, Geophysical Research Abstracts, 9, 01071


File:Panthera tigris altaica 13 - Buffalo Zoo.jpg|thumb|A Siberian tigress and cub.]]

Order Artiodactyla

  • Manchurian wapitiBOOK, Valerius Geist, Deer of the World: Their Evolution, Behaviour, and Ecology,weblink January 1998, Stackpole Books, 978-0-8117-0496-0, 211, 30 January 2016,
  • Siberian musk deer{{IUCN2008|assessor=Nyambayar, B.|assessor2=Mix, H.|assessor3=Tsytsulina, K.|last-assessor-amp=yes|year=2008|id=13897|title=Moschus moschiferus|accessdate=30 January 2016}} Database entry includes a brief justification of why this species is of vulnerable.

Order Carnivora

Family Felidae

  • Amur leopardJOURNAL, Uphyrkina, O., Miquelle, D., Quigley, H., Driscoll, C., O’Brien, S. J., Conservation Genetics of the Far Eastern Leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis),weblink 10.1093/jhered/93.5.303, 2002, Journal of Heredity, 93, 5, 303–11, 12547918, 30 January 2016,weblink" title="">weblink 4 February 2016, dead, dmy-all,
  • Amur tiger{{IUCN |assessor=Miquelle, D. |assessor2=Darman, Y. |assessor3=Seryodkin, I. |year=2011 |id=15956 |taxon=Panthera tigris ssp. altaica |version=2014.2|accessdate=30 January 2016}}

Family Ursidae

  • Asian black bear{{IUCN |assessor=Garshelis, D. L. |assessor2=Steinmetz, R. |assessor3=IUCN SSC Bear Specialist Group |last-assessor-amp=yes|year=2008|id=22824|title=Ursus thibetanus|version= 2015.2|accessdate=30 January 2016}}
  • Brown bear{{IUCN2008|assessor=McLellan, B.N.|assessor2=Servheen, C.|assessor3=Huber, D.|last-assessor-amp=yes|year=2008|id=41688|title=Ursus arctos|accessdate=30 January 2016}}
  • Polar bear



Borders and administrative division

(File:Siberian Cities Map.svg|upright=1.8|thumb|[// Map of the most populated area of Siberia] with clickable city names (SVG))(File:Siberian Cities Graph.svg|thumb|upright=1.8|[// Comparison of the nine biggest Siberian cities' growth in the 20th century)]The term "Siberia" has a long history. Its meaning has gradually changed during ages. Historically, Siberia was defined as the whole part of Russia 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 Russian Central Asia and the national borders of both Mongolia and China.weblink" title="">Малый энциклопедический словарь Брокгауза и Ефрона (The Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopedic Dictionary, in Russian)Soviet-era sources (Great Soviet Encyclopedia and others)weblink" title="">Сибирь—Большая советская энциклопедия (The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, in Russian) and modern Russian onesСибирь- Словарь современных географических названий{{dead link|date=May 2018 |bot=InternetArchiveBot |fix-attempted=yes }} (in Russian) usually define Siberia as a region extending eastward from the Ural Mountains to the watershed between Pacific and Arctic drainage basins, and southward from the Arctic Ocean to the hills of north-central Kazakhstan and the national borders of both Mongolia and China. By this definition, Siberia includes the federal subjects of the Siberian Federal District, and some of the Ural Federal District, as well as Sakha (Yakutia) Republic, which is a part of the Far Eastern Federal District. Geographically, this definition includes subdivisions of several other subjects of Urals and Far Eastern federal districts, but they are not included administratively. This definition excludes Sverdlovsk Oblast and Chelyabinsk Oblast, both of which are included in some wider definitions of Siberia.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)ENCYCLOPEDIA, Encyclopædia Britannica,weblink Siberia-Britannica online encyclopedia,, 15 May 2010, or a somewhat narrower one that limits Siberia to the Siberian Federal District (thus excluding all subjects of other districts).WEB,weblink Siberia, 2008-06-04, bot: unknown,weblink" title="">weblink 24 August 2000, dmy-all, , The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition In Russian, the word for Siberia is used as a substitute for the name of the federal district by those who live in the district itself and less commonly used to denote the federal district by people residing outside of it.File:Октябрьский район (Улан-Удэ).jpg|thumb|Ulan-UdeUlan-UdeFile:Оперный театр4.jpg|thumb|NovosibirskNovosibirsk{| class="wikitable"Federal Subjects of Russia>Federal subjects of Siberia (GSE)! Subject! Administrative centerUral Federal District| Khanty–Mansi Autonomous Okrug| Khanty-Mansiysk| Kurgan OblastKurgan, Kurgan Oblast>Kurgan| Tyumen Oblast| Tyumen| Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug| SalekhardSiberian Federal District| Altai Krai| Barnaul| Altai Republic| Gorno-Altaysk| Irkutsk Oblast| IrkutskKhakassia>Republic of Khakassia| Abakan| Kemerovo Oblast| Kemerovo| Krasnoyarsk Krai| Krasnoyarsk| Novosibirsk Oblast| Novosibirsk| Omsk Oblast| Omsk| Tomsk Oblast| TomskTuva>Tuva Republic| Kyzyl Far Eastern Federal DistrictRepublic of Buryatia>Buryat Republic| Ulan-UdeSakha Republic>Sakha (Yakutia) Republic| Yakutsk| Zabaykalsky KraiChita, Zabaykalsky Krai>ChitaFile:Хабаровск, летом на набережной Амура.JPG|thumb|Amur waterfront in KhabarovskKhabarovskFile:VladivostokGoldenHorn.jpg|thumb|VladivostokVladivostokFile:Якутск. Вид на центральную часть города (2).JPG|thumb|Yakutsk is the capital of the Sakha RepublicSakha Republic{| class="wikitable"Federal subjects of Russia>Federal subjects of Siberia (in wide sense)! Subject! Administrative center Far Eastern Federal District| Amur Oblast| Blagoveshchensk| Chukotka Autonomous OkrugAnadyr (town)>Anadyr| Jewish Autonomous Oblast| Birobidzhan| Kamchatka Krai| Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky| Khabarovsk Krai| Khabarovsk| Magadan Oblast| Magadan| Primorsky Krai| Vladivostok| Sakhalin Oblast| Yuzhno-SakhalinskUral Federal District| Chelyabinsk Oblast| Chelyabinsk| Sverdlovsk Oblast| Yekaterinburg

Major cities

The most populous city of Siberia, as well as the third most populous city of Russia, is the city of Novosibirsk. Other major cities include: Wider definitions of Siberia also include:


File:RF NG pipestoEU.gif|thumb|Russia is a key oil and gas supplier to much of Europe. ]]Siberia is extraordinarily rich in minerals, containing ores of almost all economically valuable metals. It has some of the world's largest deposits of nickel, gold, lead, coal, molybdenum, gypsum, diamonds, diopside, silver and zinc, as well as extensive unexploited resources of oil and natural gas.Statistics on the Development of Gas Fields in Western Siberia, Daily Questions on Energy and Economy Around 70% of Russia's developed oil fields are in the Khanty-Mansiysk region.NEWS, Simone, Schlindwein,weblink The City Built on Oil: EU-Russia Summit Visits Siberia's Boomtown, Spiegel, August 26, 2008, 8 August 2014, Spiegel Online, Russia contains about 40% of the world's known resources of nickel at the Norilsk deposit in Siberia. Norilsk Nickel is the world's biggest nickel and palladium producer.NEWS,weblink Norilsk raises 2010 nickel output forecast, Reuters, 29 January 2010, 8 August 2014, Siberian agriculture is severely restricted by the short growing season of most of the region. However, in the southwest where soils are exceedingly fertile black earths and the climate is a little more moderate, there is extensive cropping of wheat, barley, rye and potatoes, along with the grazing of large numbers of sheep and cattle. Elsewhere food production, owing to the poor fertility of the podzolic soils and the extremely short growing seasons, is restricted to the herding of reindeer in the tundra—which has been practiced by natives for over 10,000 years.{{citation needed|date=January 2018}} Siberia has the world's largest forests. Timber remains an important source of revenue, even though many forests in the east have been logged much more rapidly than they are able to recover. The Sea of Okhotsk is one of the two or three richest fisheries in the world owing to its cold currents and very large tidal ranges, and thus Siberia produces over 10% of the world's annual fish catch, although fishing has declined somewhat since the collapse of the USSR.WEB,weblink FAO  National Aquaculture Sector Overview (NASO), 16 January 2005, 14 January 2016, While the development of renewable energy in Russia is held back by the lack of a conducive government policy framework,BOOK,weblink Russian renewable energy: The potential for international cooperation, Overland, Indra, Kjaernet, Heidi, Ashgate, 2009, Siberia still offers special opportunities for off-grid renewable energy developments. Remote parts of Siberia are too costly to connect to central electricity and gas grids, and have therefore historically been supplied with costly diesel, sometimes flown in by helicopter. In such cases renewable energy is often cheaper.JOURNAL, Overland, Indra, 2011, The Siberian Curse: A Blessing in Disguise for Renewable Energy?,weblink Sibirica, 9, 2, 1–20, ResearchGate, 10.3167/sib.2010.090201,


File:Pujacs and Safronov 2011-12-04 Amur-Sibir KHL-game.jpeg|thumb|KHL game HC Sibir Novosibirsk vs Amur KhabarovskAmur KhabarovskFile:Открытие XXIX Всемирной зимней универсиады в Красноярске 05.jpg|thumb|Opening Ceremony of the 2019 Winter Universiade2019 Winter UniversiadeProfessional football teams include FC Tom Tomsk, FC Sibir Novosibirsk and FK Yenisey Krasnoyarsk.The Yenisey Krasnoyarsk basketball team has played in the VTB United League since 2011–12.Russia's third most popular sport, bandy,WEB,weblink Google Translate, 14 April 2016, is important in Siberia. In the 2015–16 Russian Bandy Super League season Yenisey from Krasnoyarsk became champions for the third year in a row by beating Baykal-Energiya from Irkutsk in the final.WEB,weblink Google Translate, 14 April 2016,weblink Two or three more teams (depending on the definition of Siberia) play in the Super League, the 2016–17 champions SKA-Neftyanik from Khabarovsk as well as Kuzbass from Kemerovo and Sibselmash from Novosibirsk. In 2007 Kemerovo got Russia's first indoor arena specifically built for bandy.WEB,weblink Информация о стадионе "КЛМ стадиона "Химик", Кемерово – Реестр – Федерация хоккея с мячом России,, 14 April 2016, Now Khabarovsk has the world's largest indoor arena specifically built for bandy, Arena Yerofey.WEB,weblink Информация о стадионе "Арена "Ерофей", Хабаровск – Реестр – Федерация хоккея с мячом России,, 14 April 2016, It was venue for Division A of the 2018 World Championship. In time for the 2020 World Championship, an indoor arena will be ready for use in Irkutsk. That one will also have a speed skating oval.WEB,weblink Google Translate, The 2019 Winter Universiade was hosted by Krasnoyarsk.


{{See also|Siberian Bukharans|Ukrainians in Siberia}}File:Street Scene in Tomsk - Russia.JPG|thumb|TomskTomskAccording to the Russian Census of 2010, the Siberian and Far Eastern Federal Districts, located entirely east of the Ural Mountains, together have a population of about 25.6 million. Tyumen and Kurgan Oblasts, which are geographically in Siberia but administratively part of the Urals Federal District, together have a population of about 4.3 million. Thus, the whole region of Asian Russia (or Siberia in the broadest usage of the term) is home to approximately 30 million people."Census 2010 official results (Russian) {{webarchive|url= |date=28 February 2013 }}" It has a population density of about three people per square kilometre.All Siberians are Russian citizens, and of these Russian citizens of Siberia, most are Slavic-origin Russians and russified Ukrainians."Ukrainians in Russia's Far East try to maintain community life". The Ukrainian Weekly. May 4, 2003. The remaining Russian citizens of Siberia consists of other groups of non-indigenous ethnic origins and those of indigenous Siberian origin.Among the largest non-Slavic group of Russian citizens of Siberia are the approximately 400,000 ethnic Volga Germans,WEB,weblink Siberian Germans,, 15 May 2010, Russified Romanians with ancestral origins from Bessarabia (present-day Moldova) also live in Siberia. The original indigenous groups of Siberia, including Mongol and Turkic groups such as Buryats, Tuvinians, Yakuts, and Siberian Tatars still mostly reside in Siberia, though they are minorities outnumbered by all other non-indigenous Siberians. Indeed, Slavic-origin Russians by themselves outnumber all of the indigenous peoples combined, both in Siberia as a whole and its cities, except in the Republic of Tuva.Slavic-origin Russians make up the majority in the Buryat, Sakha, and Altai Republics, outnumbering the indigenous Buryats, Sakha, and Altai. The Buryat make up only 25% of their own republic, and the Sakha and Altai each are only one-third, and the Chukchi, Evenk, Khanti, Mansi, and Nenets are outnumbered by non-indigenous peoples by 90% of the population.Batalden 1997, p. 37.According to the 2002 census there are 500,000 Tatars in Siberia, but of these, 300,000 are Volga Tatars who also settled in Siberia during periods of colonization and are thus also non-indigenous Siberians, in contrast to the 200,000 Siberian Tatars which are indigenous to Siberia.WEB,weblink Archived copy, 2003-02-21, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 27 February 2002, dmy-all, Of the indigenous Siberians, the Buryats, numbering approximately 500,000, are the most numerous group in Siberia, and they are mainly concentrated in their homeland, the Buryat Republic.World Directory of Minorities and Indigenous Peoples – Russian Federation: Buryats. According to the 2002 census there were 443,852 indigenous Yakuts.World Directory of Minorities and Indigenous Peoples – Russian Federation: Yakuts. Other ethnic groups indigenous to Siberia include Kets, Evenks, Chukchis, Koryaks, Yupiks, and Yukaghirs.About seventy percent of Siberia's people live in cities, mainly in apartments. Many people also live in rural areas, in simple, spacious, log houses. Novosibirsk is the largest city in Siberia, with a population of about 1.5 million. Tobolsk, Tomsk, Tyumen, Krasnoyarsk, Irkutsk, and Omsk are the older, historical centers.


File:Хабаровск, собор.jpg|thumb|upright|Transfiguration Cathedral, KhabarovskTransfiguration Cathedral, Khabarovsk{{See also|Shamanism in Siberia|Religion in Russia}}There are a variety of beliefs throughout Siberia, including Orthodox Christianity, other denominations of Christianity, Tibetan Buddhism and Islam.BOOK, Arnold, Thomas Walker, Thomas Walker Arnold, The Preaching of Islam: A History of the Propagation of the Muslim Faith,weblink Westminster, Archibald Constable and Company, 1896, 206–207, 2015-10-11, Of the spread of Islam among the Tatars of Siberia, we have a few particulars. It was not until the latter half of the sixteenth century that it gained a footing in this country, but even before this period Muhammadan missionaries had from time to time made their way into Siberia with the hope of winning the heathen population over to the acceptance of their faith, but the majority of them met with a martyr's death. When Siberia came under Muhammadan rule, in the reign of Kuchum Khan, the graves of seven of these missionaries were discovered [...]. [...] Kuchum Khan [...] made every effort for the conversion of his subjects, and sent to Bukhara asking for missionaries to assist him in this pious undertaking., 1896, The Siberian Federal District alone has an estimation of 250,000 Muslims.An estimated 70,000 Jews live in Siberia,WEB,weblink Planting Jewish roots in Siberia,, 24 May 2004, 15 May 2010, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 27 August 2009, dmy-all, some in the Jewish Autonomous Region."Why some Jews would rather live in Siberia than Israel", The Christian Science Monitor. 7 June 2010 The predominant religious group is the Russian Orthodox Church.Tradition regards Siberia the archetypal home of shamanism, and polytheism is popular.Hoppál 2005:13 These native sacred practices are considered by the tribes to be very ancient. There are records of Siberian tribal healing practices dating back to the 13th century.WEB,weblink Secrets of Siberian Shamanism {{!, New Dawn : The World's Most Unusual Magazine||access-date=2017-01-09|date=2013-05-16}} The vast territory of Siberia has many different local traditions of gods. These include: Ak Ana, Anapel, Bugady Musun, Kara Khan, Khaltesh-Anki, Kini'je, Ku'urkil, Nga, Nu'tenut, Numi-Torem, Numi-Turum, Pon, Pugu, Todote, Toko'yoto, Tomam, Xaya Iccita, Zonget. Places with sacred areas include Olkhon, an island in Lake Baikal.


Many cities in northern Siberia, such as Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, cannot be reached by road, as there are virtually none connecting from other major cities in Russia or Asia. The best way to tour Siberia is through the Trans-Siberian Railway. The Trans-Siberian Railway operates from Moscow in the west to Vladivostok in the east. Cities that are located far from the railway are best reached by air or by the separate Baikal–Amur Railway (BAM).



Stroganina is a raw fish dish of the indigenous people of northern Arctic Siberia made from raw, thin, long-sliced frozen fish.BOOK, Rasputin, V., Winchell, M., Mikkelson, G., Siberia, Siberia, Northwestern University Press, 1997, 978-0-8101-1575-0,weblink 322–323, It is a popular dish with native Siberians.BOOK, Motarjemi, Yasmine, Gerald, Moy, E. C. D., Todd, Amsterdam, Encyclopedia of Food Safety, Elsevier Science, Academic Press, 2013, 978-0-12-378613-5,weblink 176,

See also




  • BOOK, The Newly Independent States of Eurasia: Handbook of Former Soviet Republics, Stephen K., Batalden, Contributor Sandra L. Batalden, revised, 1997, Greenwood Publishing Group,weblink 978-0897749404, 24 April 2014, harv,
  • BOOK, White Terror: Cossack Warlords of the Trans-Siberian, Jamie, Bisher, 2006, Routledge,weblink 978-1135765958, 24 April 2014, harv,
  • BOOK, White Terror: Cossack Warlords of the Trans-Siberian, Jamie, Bisher, 2006, Routledge,weblink 978-1135765965, 24 April 2014, harv,
  • BOOK, War and the World: Military Power and the Fate of Continents, 1450–2000, Jeremy, Black, 2008, Yale University Press,weblink 978-0300147698, 24 April 2014, harv,
  • Nicholas B. Breyfogle, Abby Schrader and Willard Sunderland (eds), Peopling the Russian Periphery: Borderland Colonization in Eurasian history (London, Routledge, 2007).
  • BOOK, Internal Colonization: Russia's Imperial Experience, Alexander, Etkind, 2013, John Wiley & Sons,weblink 978-0745673547, 24 April 2014, harv,
  • BOOK, A History of the Peoples of Siberia: Russia's North Asian Colony 1581–1990, James, Forsyth, illustrated, reprint, revised, 1994, Cambridge University Press,weblink 978-0521477710, 24 April 2014, harv,
  • James Forsyth, A History of the Peoples of Siberia: Russia's North Asian Colony, 1581–1990 (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1994).
  • BOOK, Inside the Ropes: Sportswriters Get Their Game On, Zachary Michael, Jack, 2008, U of Nebraska Press,weblink 978-0803219076, 24 April 2014, harv,
  • Steven G. Marks, Road to Power: The Trans-Siberian Railroad and the Colonization of Asian Russia, 1850–1917 (London, I.B. Tauris, 1991).
  • BOOK, Siberia: Worlds Apart, Westview series on the post-Soviet republics, Victor L., Mote, illustrated, 1998, Westview Press,weblink 978-0813312989, 24 April 2014, harv,
  • Igor V. Naumov, The History of Siberia. Edited by David Collins (London, Routledge, 2009) (Routledge Studies in the History of Russia and Eastern Europe).
  • BOOK, The Russian Far East: A History, John J., Stephan, illustrated, reprint, 1996, Stanford University Press,weblink 978-0804727013, 24 April 2014, harv,
  • BOOK, Siberian frontier: the territory of fear, V., Pesterev, 2015, Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), London,weblink harv,
  • BOOK, Russia's Frozen Frontier: A History of Siberia and the Russian Far East 1581 – 1991, Alan, Wood, illustrated, 2011, A&C Black,weblink 978-0340971246, 24 April 2014, harv,
  • Alan Wood (ed.), The History of Siberia: From Russian Conquest to Revolution (London, Routledge, 1991).
  • BOOK, Condé Nast's Traveler, Volume 36, 2001, Condé Nast Publications,weblink 24 April 2014, harv,
  • BOOK, Yearbook, Contributor International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs, 1992, International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs,weblink 24 April 2014, harv,
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