Huge land area situated North-East of Russia, Yakutia is the biggest Russian region spanning three time zones (6,7 and 8 hours before Moscow time). More than 40% of its territory extends North of Arctic Circle.
Because of the severe weather conditions transport is not provided all year round on 90% of its territory. Actually, most of its continental part is a land of permanent permafrost where the frozen layer may reach an average depth of 300-400 m. It is the coldest inhabited region in the world and houses are usually heated for 8-9 months. It is part of the Russian Far East.
Its main wealth is given by natural resources including mainly diamonds, gold, uranium, antimony and tin. It is sparsely populated given its expanse, but it hosts a large number of nationalities among which Yakutians are dominant (45%). They speak Russian and, at the same time, their national language belonging to the Turkish group. Its capital is Yakutsk, founded in 1632 by Petr Beketov on the shore of Lena, one of the three large Siberian rivers. The city has modern look and it keeps for few vestiges of the old except for an old district almost entirely reconstructed. This meets the requirement emerged after perestroika consisting in the reevaluation of the heritage and of the old national traditions.