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Geography and climate

The Republic occupies an advantageous geographical position in the set of relationships between the Russian Federation and the countries of the Asia-Pacific region. Transbaikalia can be considered as a "transport gateway" of Russia in the Asia-Pacific region.

In conditions of modern democratization of society, the transition to new market relations, the restructuring of economic and political life in the country, real opportunities open up for the areas of Siberia and the Far East, including Transbaikalia, to enter the international market, primarily with manufacturing products (and not with production of traditional extractive industries). Thus, the peculiarity of the geographical position and climatic conditions open powerful incentives for the development of Buryatia economy.

Geographical location

The Republic of Buryatia is a constituent entity of the Russian Federation and is a part of the Siberian Federal District. The area of the republic is 351.300 km2 (2% of the Russian Federation area).

Buryatia is located in the center of the Eurasian continent, in the southern part of Eastern Siberia, to the south and to the east of Lake Baikal. On the western side of Lake Baikal is Irkutsk region, with which Buryatia borders on the north-west and north, in the far south-west at a relatively short distance there is a border with the Republic of Tuva. In the south of the Republic there is the state border of the Russian Federation with Mongolia. In the east, the Republic borders on the Chita region.

The distance by rail from Ulan-Ude to Moscow is 5519 km, and to the Pacific - 3,500 km.

From west to east its territory extends between 98 40` and 116 55`E. The northernmost point of the republic territory reaches 57 15`N, and the southernmost point lies on the Chikoy River at 49 55`N.

Within the borders of the Republic there are 21 administrative districts, 6 cities, 29 urban settlements and 611 rural settlements. The population is 969,0 thousand people. The capital of the republic - Ulan-Ude (founded in 1666) concentrates about 40% of the total population - 386.9 thousand people.

The landscape of the republic is located in the contact area of the taiga and steppe zones, which determines the development of the natural environment, characterized by a high level of biological diversity and increased sensitivity to external influences.

The unique combination of the most diverse landscapes in the center of Asia from the mountain tundra to the steppes in conjunction with the world's largest and oldest freshwater lake, Baikal, determines the special importance and value of the region in the structure of the biosphere of the planet.

The Republic of Buryatia enters a mountainous country that occupies a significant part of the south of Eastern Siberia and is characterized by powerful mountain ranges and extensive, deep and sometimes almost closed intermountain hollows. Almost the whole territory is dominated by strongly dissected mountains, flat surfaces are found only in tectonic basins and valleys of large rivers. The area of the mountains is more than 4 times larger than the area occupied by the lowlands.

The Republic of Buryatia is characterized by considerable elevation above sea level. The lowest mark of Lake Baikal is 456 meters, according to the Pacific system of heights, and the highest peak glaciered Munchu-Sardyk in the Eastern Sayan Mountains is 3491 meters above sea level.

The southern part of the republic, represented by the Selenga mid-mountain range, covers a significant part of the Selenga river basin, the main waterway of Lake Baikal, including all its major tributaries, and is characterized by the predominance of mountains of medium height 1000-1500 meters above sea level.

Lake Baikal is surrounded by high ridges of the Baikal region with wide intermontane basins separating them. Their belt includes the highland of the Eastern Sayan of this peculiar uplift, extending from northwest to southeast for a distance of about 1000 km with a width within 200-300 km and rising in the central part of the ridges by more than 2500-3000 meters.

Mountain ridges on the territory of the republic have the shape of elongated ranges, mainly from the south-west to north-east, in the direction of the main tectonic faults of the earth's crust. The Baikal region belt continues Khamar-Daban, Ulan-Bourgas, Barguzinsky, Ikat and Baikal ranges. Watersheds of the Barguzin Range are classic Alpine forms of terrain.

The Barguzin River flows between Barguzin and Ikat ranges, through which in autumn and spring the air rushes down the valley, while the wind speed reaches 25-35 meters per second.

Further north of the Baikal region are the ridges of the Stanovoy Range: North and South Muisky, Verkhneangarsky, Delun-Uranus, Kodar.

To the northeast of the Baikal region is the Vitim plateau. The entire northern Baikal region is characterized by a continuous distribution of permafrost, sometimes lying at a depth of 0.5 meters and a capacity of up to 500-600 meters.


The territory of Buryatia is located far from the oceans. Its location in the center of the vast Eurasian continent and the mountain-hollow terrain determined a unique climate.

A specific feature of the climate is its sharp and frequent spatial variability:

mountain ranges of different heights and orientations,

intermontane basins and intermontane valleys,

form and degree of orographic expression

all this strongly affects the local circulation of air masses, dramatically changing the main climatic indicators, creates a picture of the heterogeneity of the climate.

The Republic of Buryatia territory is characterized by a sharply continental climate with large annual and daily fluctuations in air temperature and with uneven distribution of atmospheric precipitation for the seasons of the year.

Cold winter and hot summer are characteristic for the sharply continental climate inherent in this mountain and taiga land in the central part of the Asian continent. Low winter temperatures are easily tolerated because of the dry air. Summer heat is felt only at noon hours, and the morning and evening time of the day are pleasant with its coolness. Autumn is long and quite warm - until Baikal freezes. The air temperature in Buryatia is often higher at this time of year than in the European regions of the country. The Siberian spring begins at the end of March, but the first green grass breaks at the end of April.

A special feature of the Buryatia climate is the development in the cold season of the powerful north-eastern spur of the Siberian anticyclone, which occurs in September-October and disappears in April-May. Therefore, Transbaikalia’s winter is characterized by a large number of sunny days and low air temperatures.

The lowest temperatures occur in river valleys and basins, where stagnation and intensive cooling of air takes place. The average air temperature in January is 20-30 degrees below zero, and its absolute minimum is 45-55 degrees below zero.

Small, windless or calm weather prevails with the minimum amount of precipitation a year. During this period, no significant precipitation falls and therefore the thickness of the snow cover is low.

A severe windless winter gives way to late windy and dry spring with night frosts. For this period of time barometric pressure is declining, and the flow of cold air from the northern regions of Siberia rushes to the territory. This contributes to the return of cold weather and the emergence of long and strong winds.

Summer is short, in the first half arid with separate dry winds, developed on the territory of Mongolia, in the second half (July-August) cyclonic activity gradually increases, as a result of which moist air masses are coming from the Pacific Ocean. The speed of the wind increases and the precipitation falls: in July and August, 60-70% of the annual rate. The average temperature of the warmest month of July is 15-20, and its absolute maximum is 30-38 degrees above zero.

Autumn is short and dry with sharp daily fluctuations in temperature and often with early frosts.

An essential feature of the Buryatia climate is the long duration of sunshine 1900-2200 hours, which sometimes exceeds the duration of sunshine in the southern regions of Russia. So, for example, in the famous mountain resort of Abastumani in the Caucasus there is only 1994 hours, and at the Riga seaside 1839 hours per year.

In general, the climate is formed under the influence of three contrasting components: the dry and cold climate of the northern regions, hot and dry Mongolian deserts and the humid Pacific climate.