The Russian Far East is the Russian territory between Lake Baikal in Siberia and the Pacific Ocean. It is known as the Far Eastern Federal District. The region borders Mongolia, China, North Korea, and a maritime border with Japan and the United States. Although it is part of Siberia, it is a separate district from the Siberian Federal District. The population of the region is about 6 million, with a majority residing in the southern parts.
Given the size of the territory, the population density translates to one person per square mile, making it one of the most sparsely populated regions in the country. The population of the Far East has declined since the Soviet Union dissolution.
The Biggest Cities in Russia’s Far East
Vladivostok - 605,000
Vladivostok is the largest city and the capital of the Far Eastern Federal District with a population of about 605,000. The city lies around the Golden Palm Bay close to the border with North Korea and China. Vladivostok is the largest Russian port along the Pacific and base of the Russian Pacific Fleet.
Khabarovsk is the second largest city in the Russian Far East with a population of about 578,000. It is the administrative headquarters of Khabarovsk Krai. The city is located 30 miles from the border with China. It served as the capital of the Russian Far East until December 2018 when Vladivostok replaced it.
Ulan-Ude is the capital of the Republic of Buryatia and the third largest city in the Russian Far East with a population of about 404,000. The city is 62 miles southeast of Lake Baikal at the confluence of Selenga and Uda Rivers. It was known as Udinsk (until 1783) and Verkhneudinsk (until 1934).
Chita is the capital of Zabaykalsky Krai. The city of 325,000 people is at the confluence of the Ingoda and Chita Rivers along the Trans-Siberian Railway. It was known as Chitinsky until 1851 when the settlement received the town status and renamed to Chita. In 1900, the railway line was constructed, and the town became an industrial center and a transportation juncture of Zabaikalye region.
The population in Russia's Far East dropped by 14% between 2000 and 2015 as people migrated to developed cities in search of opportunities.