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Yakutsk ( ; , Ďokuuskay ) is a city in the Russian Far East, located about 4° (450 kilometres) below the Arctic Circle. It is the capital of the Sakha Republic (formerly the Yakut Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic), Russiamarker and a major port on the Lena Rivermarker. It is served by Yakutsk Airportmarker as well as the smaller Magan Airportmarker. The city has a population of


Yakutsk was founded in 1632 as an Ostrog (fort). In 1639 it became the center of a Voyevodstvo. The Voyevoda of Yakutsk quickly became the most important Russian official in eastern Siberia and directed expansion to the east and south. Yakutsk did not grow into a city until the discovery of large reserves of gold and other minerals in the 1880s and 1890s. These reserves were developed extensively during the industrialization under Stalin. The rapid growth of forced labor camps in Siberia also encouraged Yakutsk's development.


Yakutsk is a destination of the Lena Highway. The city's connection to the Highway is only accessible by ferry in the summer, or in the dead of winter, directly over the frozen Lena Rivermarker, as Yakutsk lies entirely on its western bank, and there is no bridge anywhere in the Sakha Republic that crosses the Lena. The river is impassable for long periods of the year when it is full of loose ice, or when the ice cover is not sufficiently thick to support traffic, or when the water level is high and the river turbulent with spring flooding. The highway ends on the eastern bank of Lena in Nizhny Bestyakhmarker (Нижний Бестях), an urban-type settlement of some four thousand people. Yakutsk is connected with Magadanmarker in the Russian Far East by the Kolyma Highway.

A dual-use railroad and roadway bridge over the Lena is scheduled to be built by 2013, when the Amur Yakutsk Mainline, the North-South railroad being extended from the South, will finally connect the city with the East-West Baikal Amur Mainline (the railway has reached a point some 260 km south of Yakutsk).

The bridge will be over 3 kilometers long and constructed 40 km upriver at Tabaga, where the river narrows and does not create a wide flooded area in spring. In the dead of winter, the frozen Lena makes for a passable highway for ice truckers using its channel to deliver provisions to far-flung outposts.Yakutsk is also connected to other parts of Russiamarker by Yakutsk Airportmarker.


Yakutsk State University is situated in the city. There is also a branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, which contains, among other things, the Institute of Cosmophysical Research, which runs the Yakutsk Extensive Air Shower installation (one of the largest cosmic-ray detector arrays in the world), and the Permafrost Research Institute developed with the aim of solving the serious and costly problems associated with construction of buildings on frozen soil.

At the primary and secondary levels, the city has a number of UNESCO Associated Schools, including the Sakha-Turkish College, Sakha-Korean Schoolmarker, and School #16.

Yakutsk is also home of some theaters and museums such as Sakha theater and the Museum of Mammoth.


The city has offices of many mining companies, including ALROSA, whose diamond mines in Yakutia account for about 20% of the world's rough diamond output.


File:Jakutsk theater.jpg|
Oyuunsky Square.
New building of the Sakha Theater is on the left.
File:Lena River near Yakutsk (synchroswimr).jpg|
River Lena in Yakutsk
The tower of ostrog, or fort, in Yakutsk was constructed in 1683
Kulakovsky Street at night.
On the left, Sciences Building of the university


Yakutsk is one of the coldest cities on Earth, with January temperatures averaging . The coldest temperatures ever recorded outside Antarcticamarker occur in the basin of the Yana River to the northeast. However, July temperatures can often exceed , making the seasonal temperature differences for the region among the greatest in the world. Yakutsk is the biggest city built on continuous permafrost. Most houses are built on concrete piles. The climate is semi-arid, with maximum precipitation occurring in the summer months.

With the Lena River navigable in the summer, there are various boat cruises offered, including upriver to the Lena Pillarsmarker, and downriver tours which visit spectacular scenery in the lower reaches and the Lena deltamarker.

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Yakutsk is twinned with:


External links

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