The Republic of Tuva is a subject of the Russian Federation. The republic lies in the southern Siberia. Its capital city is Kyzyl. Kyzyl is located near the geographic center of Asia. The Republic of the Tuva borders republic of Buryatia to the east, Irkutsk Oblast to the northeast, Krasnoyarsk Krai to the north, the Republic of Khakassia to the northwest, Atlai republic to the west and Mongolia to the south.
Administratively, Tuva is divided into seventeen districts. The districts are further split into rural, urban and urban-type settlements.
The occupants of Tuva as early as I millennium BC were mainly Indo-European nomads. Starting in the 9th century, Tuva was part of several empires among them the Yenisei Kyrgyz empire, Mongolian Empire, Dzungar Khanate Empire, Manchu Empire, North Yuan and the Khotogoit Khanate. In 1914, Emperor Nicholas II accepted Tuva as a protectorate of the empire of Russia. National sovereignty of Tuva was proclaimed by Tuvan revolutionaries in 1921 forming the independent Tannu-Tuva People’s Republic. It became the Tuvan People’s Republic in 1926. The state was recognized by the USSR in 1924 and by the Mongolian People’s Republic in 1926 but was not recognized by China. In 1991, the Supreme Soviet of the Republic renamed the Tuva ASSR in the Republic of Tuva.
The Republic of Tuva covers approximately 170,427 square kilometers. The length of the territory from east to west is about 630 kilometers while that from north to south is about 420 kilometers. The eastern part of the Republic of Tuva is raised and forested while the western part is arid and a low lying.
Most parts of the republic are mountainous with about 80% of the entire territory covered with mountains. The republic is, therefore, a mountain basin of about 600 meter high. In addition, the Republic of Tuva is encircled by the Tannu-Ola and the Sayan ranges. The highest point of the republic is Mount Mogun Tayga with a height of 3970 meters.
Many lakes in the republic are salt and glacial lakes. Some of the lakes include Todzha, Many-Khol, Kadysh, and Uvs among others. The Republic contains over 8000 rivers including the upper course of the Yenisei River which is the fifth longest river in the world. Major rivers in the republic are Yenisei, Kantegic, and Khemchik.
The population of the Republic of Tuva was estimated to be around 307,930 according to the 2010 census. The indigenous people of the Republic of Tuva are called Tuvans or Tuvinians. Tuvans comprise 80% of the entire population while the remaining 20% is made up of Russians. Tuvans are also present in the neighboring China and Mongolia. The people of the Republic of Tuva practice nomadism. Animals reared include sheep and horses. They also hunt. The religion practiced by the people of the Republic of Tuva is Buddhism. Tuvans are also known for their throat singing, commonly referred to as “Hoomei”. They observe annual festivals such as the New Year celebrations.
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