General information on the Tatarstan Republic


* Location

The Tatarstan Republic is located on the eastern frontier of Europe at the confluence of the Volga and the Kama rivers. The most outlying points of the Republic are at 56 deg 39' North, 53 deg 58' South, 45 deg 15' West, and 54 deg 18' East. The distance from Moscow is 797 km.

* Territory

The Republic of Tatarstan covers an area of 68,000 sq. km which is roughly the size of such countries as Ireland, Lithuania, and Sri Lanka. The Republic stretches for 290 km from North to South and for 460 km from West to East. In the North it borders the Kirov region (oblast), in the North-East the Republic of Udmurtia, in the North-West the Republic of Mari-El, in the West - Chuvashia, in the East - the Republic of Bashkortostan, and in the South - the Samara Region (oblast), Orenburg region, and Ulyanovsk region.

* Climate

The climate in the Republic of Tatarstan is moderate-continental with warm, sometimes hot, summers and moderately cold winters. The average temperature of the coldest month (January) is -14 centigrades (7 degrees Fahrenheit), of the warmest (July) +19 centigrades (66 degrees Fahrenheit), the annual average temperature is +2.5 centigrades (36.5 degrees Fahrenheit). The annual average amount of precipitation comes to 500 mm, of which 2/3 fall in summer and autumn and 1/3 - in winter and spring. Moderate climate favours development of all kinds of agriculture.

* History

The first settlements on the territory of the Republic of Tatarstan date back to the Paleolithic period (100,000 years ago). The first state - Volga-Kama Bulgaria - was set up at the end of the 9th - beginning of the l0th century. For a long time it was the only developed state on the eastern border of Europe. In 1236 Volga-Kama Bulgaria was invaded by Mongol-Tatars and became part of the Turkic state Zolotaya Orda (Golden Horde). The collapse of the Golden Horde resulted in formation of a number of new states including the Kazan Khanate. It inherited ethnic, language, religious, cultural, and trade-economic traditions of Volga-Kama Bulgaria and the Golden Horde. After numerous wars and the seizure of Kazan in 1552, the Kazan Khanate was annexed by the Russian state. However, Kazan remained the religious and cultural centre for Moslems of the middle-Volga region. After the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 the Tatar Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic was founded (1920). On the 30th of August, 1990, the Supreme Council of the Republic adopted the Declaration on State Sovereignty of Tatarstan, confirmed by the referendum of March, 1992. According to the Constitution adopted on the 6th of November, 1992, the Republic of Tatarstan is a sovereign state, subject to international law, associated with the Russian Federation on the basis of the Treaty on mutually delegated powers. In relationship between citizen and the State the Constitution established priority of human rights as the highest of the social values. All citizens are guaranteed equal rights in all spheres of political, economic, social and cultural activities. Since the end of the 7th century the predominant nation on the territory of Tatarstan is Turkic-speaking people, and, later, their descendants-the Tatars. Multicultural contacts with the Russian state influenced both the Tatars and the Russians in cultural, language and other spheres. The Tatars assimilated from the Russians agricultural methods, specific construction methods, certain crafts and many social institutions; the Russians took from the Tatars such cultural achievements as the post service and general census of population. Some Russian noble families trace back to Tatar origins. By the present time more than 5000 specimens of history and culture have been discovered.

*Population

The population of the Republic of Tatarstan numbers some 3.7 million, including 2.7 million urban dwellers and 1.0 million rural dwellers. In Tatarstan there are 19 cities and towns, 22 urban settlements and 848 rural settlements. Density of population is 55 people/sq.km. The dynamics of population growth in 1995 per 1000 was as follows: Birth rate - 10.4, Death-rate - 12.93, and Migration growth - 4.0.

The following are the largest cities:

* Economy

Tatarstan is one of the most economically developed republics of the former USSR. It has powerful industrial potential and a stable agricultural sector. Three industrial regions are distinguished in the territory of Tatarstan. The northwest region is an old industrial region the base of which is the Kazan-Zelenodolsk agglomeration. Major industries of the region are engineering, and chemical and light industry. In the new industrial Northeast region with its core in the Naberezhnye Cheiny-Nizhnekamsk agglomeration, major industries are automobile construction, chemical industry, and power engineering. The Southeast region has oil production with engineering under development. The North, Central, South, and Southwest parts of the Republic are rural regions.

* More information on Tatarstan