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Karelia (republic)

This article is about a republic of Russia. For other meanings, see Karelia (disambiguation)

The Republic of Karelia is an autonomous republic in the Northwestern Russia federal district of Russia. The capital is Petrozavodsk.

It borders the Leningrad Oblast and Vologda Oblast of Russia, Finland, the Murmansk Oblast (Kola peninsula), the White Sea, and the Arkhangelsk Oblast. Karelia is called Karjala in Finnish.


Historically Karelia was a region to the northwest of Russia, east of present-day Finland. In the 16th century south-eastern Karelia was annexed to Sweden, and then lost again during the first half of the 18th century.

In 1923 the province became the Karelian ASSR. From 1940 it was made into the Karelo-Finnish SSR but was changed back to a ASSR in 1956. During the Continuation War in 1941 Finland occupied parts of the area but was forced to withdraw in 1944.

The Republic of Karelia was formed on November 13, 1991.


Present-day Karelia is situated between Lake Ladoga in the southwest and the White Sea in the northeast.


See also: Saami music.

The Karelian language is close to Finnish, and has in recent years become considered a dialect of Finnish. Finnish and Russian are the official languages of the republic.


Karelia is populated by Karelians (karjalaiset) and Russians. There are about 780,000 inhabitants in the Republic of Karelia, of whom 73% are registered as Russians, 11% as Karelians, and 3% as ethnic Finns.

List of cities and towns

Petrozavodsk Medvezhegorsk Kondopoga Segezha Unitsa

List of other sites


External links