Mordovia Republic overview
Mordovia Republic (also spelled Mordvinia, Mordoviya) is located in the central part of European Russia (Volga Federal District) in the Volga River basin at the cross point of the most important routes from Central to Ural regions, Siberia, Volga region, Kazakhstan and Middle Asia. The capital city of the region is Saransk.
Mordovia Republic population is about 819,000 (2012) on the land area of 26,128 sq. km.
Mordovia Republic territory
Mordovia Republic is located in the middle of European part of the Russian Federation between the rivers Oka and Sura. The relief of the region is comparatively simple being high-hilled in the south-eastern part and flat and low mostly in the valley of the Moksha River and its tributary streams in the west and north-west.
The republic is divided into 22 administrative districts. There are 7 towns within its territory, among them Saransk, Ruzaevka, Kovylkino are under republican subordination and Ardatov, Insar, Krasnoslobodsk, Temnikov are under district subordination.
Mordovia is among densely populated and well assimilated regions of Russia with the moderate climate of middle area. Important railway and automobile ways cross the territory of the republic, they connect the European part of Russia with the Urals, the north with the Volga region.
Mordovia Republic views
Mordovia Republic history
Political situation in western part of the mid-Volga in the 11th - the early 13th centuries was characterized by fights between Russia and Volzhskaya Bulgaria, both sides wanted to subdue the Mordvinian lands. In 1221, Nizhny Novgorod was founded where the Oka flows into the Volga.
This city became an important advanced post in Russian principalities’ fight with Volzhskaya Bulgaria. At the same time, Mordovian lands surrounding the city became a part of Russia. The political and economical development of Mordvas was interrupted by Tatar-Mongol invasion.
The first thrust on Mordovian lands happened in 1237. In 1239, the Mordovian lands were invaded severely for the second time. The Mordvas were finally subdued in 1242. Timur’s campaigns at the end of the 14th century ended by defeat almost of all regions of the Golden Horde which itself was torn apart.
In the 40s of the 15th century, the Golden Horde finally collapsed and a part of Mordvas was ruled by newly formed Kazan khanate. But becoming a part of Moscow state was more important for Mordvas. It was a long and complicated process which consisted of several stages.
In the 80s of the 15th century, some Mordovian lands were a part of Moscow state. The relations between the Russian state and Kazan became aggravated, the Crimean khans attacked the Russian state very often. Russia had to strengthen its eastern borders and attacked the Kazan khanate several times, the Mordva people took part in these attacks as well.
In summer 1551, the peoples living on the right bank of the Volga swore allegiance to the Russian tsar and it meant that they became a part of the Russian state. The Kazan khanate destiny was solved in 1552. According to chronicles about 10,000 Mordvas took part in this campaign.
In 1706, Peter I demanded by his order that convert to Christianity should be faster and, in the second half of the 18th - the early 19th centuries, Christianity became the Mordvas religion.
In the 18th century, processing industry began developing in the region. In 1880s, Russia was turning from just agricultural country into industrial one. But Mordovia remained typical agricultural region. Its social and economical situation was specific due to low development of the cities. Before developed metallurgic and cloth industries couldn’t compete with industrial center and declined.
In 1928, the Mordovian okrug (district) was formed, in 1930 - the Mordovian autonomous oblast, in 1934 - the Mordovian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic. At the end of 1920s - early 1930s, forced labor of prisoners was intensely used in Mordovia economy. At that time there were 12 large prisons in the country and 2 of them were located in Mordovia. Mainly prisoners were busy in timber cutting, at sawmills and railway construction.
By early 1940s, Mordovia became agricultural and industrial republic. Mordovia was one of the main producers of ropes in the Volga region, textile, food processing, timber cutting and wood working industries were developing.
The Second World War caused great damage for the whole country as well as for Mordovia. About 130,000 people were killed. Villages suffered most of all. Almost all the able-bodied population was at the battle-front. Only women, old people and children were left. The number of able-bodied decreased and was 208,000 in 1945, before the war it was 342,000 in 1940.
In the first half of 1990s, the level of social and economical development of the republic declined and by mid 1990s the livestock farming was in crisis. In the second half of 1990s, the situation began stabilizing, a part of plants adjusted to changing economic relations.
Mordovia region churches
Mordovia abandoned church
Mordovia region abandoned church
Mordvinia republic church
Mordovia Republic features
There is a modern airport in Saransk. Mordovia Republic is the closest to Moscow national region. The distance from Moscow to Saransk is 642 km.
The average temperature of the coldest month (January) is 11,5-12,3 degrees Celsius below zero, of the warmest month (July) - 18,9-19,8 degrees Celsius above zero.
Representatives of Mordva (Moksha, Erzya), Russian, Tatar, Ukrainian, Byelorussian and other nationalities live in Mordovia. Till the end of 1930s, the number of Mordva population grew and the formation of Mordovian autonomy influenced a lot. In 1939-1959, the number of the Morva people decreased by 12%. It was due to migration and assimilation processes.
At present, the population of the republic is presented mainly by Russians - 60,8%; Mordvas - 31,9 %; Tatars - 5,2 %.
The dominating religion of Mordovia Republic population is Orthodox Christianity. The state national official languages are Mordovian and Russian.
Mordovian language belongs to Finnish group of Ural-Altai language family and it is spoken by one third of Mordovia Republic population. The region is a part of Volga-Vyatka economic region. Main industrial centers are Saransk and Ruzaevka.