- An ethnic republic of the Russian Federation. Situated in the Upper Kama Highlands, Udmurtiya is the ethnic homeland of the Udmurts, a Finnic people formerly known as the Votyaks. Originally created by the Soviets as the Votsk Autonomous Oblast (AO) in 1920, the region was renamed the Udmurt AO in 1932 before being elevated to the status of an Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (ASSR) within the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic in 1934. The Udmurt Republic declared sovereignty on 21 September 1990.Udmurtiya covers 42,100 square kilometers of territory, of which approximately half is forested. The Kama River is the main waterway in the region; other rivers include the Cheptsa, Izh, Kilmez, and Siva. The republic is bordered by Bashkortostan, Tatarstan, Kirov, and Perm. The population of the republic is 1.5 million; Udmurts are a titular minority, comprising approximately 30 percent of the population. Ethnic Russians are a majority at 60 percent; more than 100,000 Tatars also reside in the region.The capital of the republic is Izhevsk (pop. 632,000), home to Mikhail Kalashnikov, inventor of the popular AK-47 assault rifle, which was originally manufactured in the city’s armory. Reflecting its long history of weapons production, Udmurtiya remains an important manufacturer of arms within Russia (accounting for 80 percent of hunting and target firearms). Safety issues associated with the disposal of chemical weapons at the Kambarka facility have lately emerged as a controversial issue.Major industrial sectors include oil extraction, machine building (including nearly half of all Russian motorcycles), metalworking, glassmaking, forestry, and woodworking. Agriculture accounts for about a quarter of the regional economy; Udmurts enjoy a reputation as the preeminent farmers of the Volga basin as well as fine brewers. Livestock breeding and dairy farming are also part of the local economy. Udmurtiya has a well-developed banking sector, and also enjoys a moderate level of foreign investment. The republic’s foreign trade turnover in 2007 was in excess of $1 billion; Udmurtiya’s commercial relations with Germany and India are particularly well developed. Udmurtiya also sells weapons to Iran and Venezuela. Exports—particularly due to arms sales—dramatically outstrip imports. Overall, Udmurtiya’s economy is well developed and the republic is a dependable donor region within the Russian Federation. Unlike most ethnic republics, Udmurtiya has seen little popular support for separatism. A republican constitution and new flag were promulgated in 1993; however, republican authorities did not see fit to demand the same level of sovereignty that other republics gleaned from Boris Yeltsin’s administration. In 2000, a referendum passed creating the office of president, and Aleksandr Volkov was elected to the post the same year on an anti-corruption platform. He also promised to maintain ethnic stability and avoid challenges to federal authority. Volkov had served as chair of the republican legislature, the highest political position, for the five years previous to his appointment to the presidency. He was reelected in 2004 to a second five-year term with the backing of Vladimir Putin. In early 2009, more than 1,000 protested in the capital demanding Volkov’s dismissal due to rising energy costs and economic mismanagement of the republic. Volkov has also been criticized at home and abroad for his hamhanded domination of Udmurt media outlets.See also Weapons of Mass Destruction.
Historical Dictionary of the Russian Federation. Robert A. Saunders and Vlad Strukov. 2010.
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Udmurtiya — ▪ republic, Russia republic in west central Russia. It lies partly in the basin of the middle Kama River, which flows along part of its southeastern boundary. The larger part of Udmurtiya lies in the drainage area of the Cheptsa and Kilmez… … Universalium
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Udmurtiya — Admin ASC 1 Code Orig. name Udmurtiya Country and Admin Code RU.80 RU … World countries Adminstrative division ASC I-II
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Udmurts — Ethnic group. Udmurts (Meadow People), formerly known as Votyaks, developed into an identifiable ethnicity in the 6th century. After violently resisting Slavic colonization and Islamicization under the Khanate of Kazan, the Udmurts began… … Historical Dictionary of the Russian Federation
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