Nenetsiya

   / Nenets Autonomous Okrug
   An administrative district of the Russian Federation. As an autonomous okrug (AOk), Nenetsiya is both a federal subject and part of Archangel Oblast, with which it shares a border. As an administrative unit of Archangel, Nenetsiya is part of the Northwestern Federal District and the Northern Economic Region. Nenetsiya was originally created as an AOk of Soviet Russia in 1929. During the 1990s, local political elites persisted in referring to the region as the “Nenets Republic,” despite the Yeltsin administration’s opposition to raising the region’s status within the federation.
   The district is bordered by Komi to the south and Yamaliya in the east. Nenetsiya is washed by the White, Barents, and Kara seas, and includes the Kolguyev and Vaygach Islands, but not Franz Josef Land or Novaya Zemlya, which lie to its north in the Arctic Ocean. Nenetsiya’s land area is 176,700 square kilometers of swampy plains, tundra, and eroded mountains, much of it covered in permafrost. The region’s major river is the Pechora, which connects the administrative center Naryan-Mar (pop. 18,600) to the Arctic Ocean via the Pechora Gulf and the Barents Sea. With only 41,500 residents, Nenetsiya is the smallest Russian region in terms of population. The titular nationality, Nenets, make up 19 percent of the population, while ethnic Russians form a majority (62 percent); Komi are the other major group at 11 percent of the population. The Nenets language, along with the Russian language, has official status in the district. In 1996, independent candidate and businessman Vladimir Butov became the regional head. He was reelected in 2001 but shortly faced an arrest warrant for abuse of power. The warrant was later cancelled. His successor, Aleksey Barinov, however, was not so lucky. He was charged with extortion and embezzlement and taken into custody in 2006. This was the first time in post-Soviet Russian history that a governor in office was arrested.
   See also Corruption.

Historical Dictionary of the Russian Federation. . 2010.

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