Filming in Yakutia, TV Production in Yakutia, Shoot in Yakutia

Yakutia is the largest territory of Russia, and one of the coldest inhabitable places on Earth located in the country's permafrost Far East.

Shoot in Yakutia: Geography and Climate

Yakutia, or Sakha Republic, has a total area of 3,084 million km² (1.9 million mi²) and is the largest region of Russia. It stretches for 2,000 km from south to north, where Laptev and the East Siberian seas form a total coastline of over 4,500 km. From east to west, it is  2,500-km long and crosses three different time zones.

Two-thirds of Yakutia's territory is covered in hills and mountains with the highest point of Pobeda (Victory) Peak located at 3,147 meters above sea level, only 100 miles south of the Arctic Circle. 

Over 40 percent of the republic lies within the polar circle. Temperatures here change dramatically throughout the year, from +40˚C (104˚F) in the summer to -60˚C (-76˚F) in the winter is some areas. Yakutia is the place with the lowest temperature ever recorded outside the Antarctic.

Shoot in Yakutia: Nature

Due to a very insignificant population, most of Yakutia is absolutely untouched by humans, It's covered in endless forests, lakes, rivers and wetlands. Wildlife is presented by regular and polar bears, wolves, wolverines and arctic foxes.

Russia is very rich in natural resources, but Yakutia stands out. It holds 82% of Russia's diamond production and 61% of uranium. A quarter of all diamonds in the world come from Sakha.

Shoot in Yakutia: History and Culture

The region got its name after the nation of Yakuts, or Sakha as they call themselves. They migrated to the present-day Yakutia in the 7th century.

Colonization of Sakha started in 1623, when Russian cossacks first appeared in the area. Later, peasants and exiles from mainland Russia started to appear in the region. The road took months, as railroad and highways appeared there only in the 20th century. 

It was during the Soviet rule, when massive exploitation of resources took place. In 1990, Yakutia was granted a status of a republic inside Russia and elected its first president in 1991.

Many Yakuts still adhere to their traditional way of life and beliefs. Some live as nomads, breeding horses and deer in the wilderness. Shamans play a powerful role in the society, especially in rural and isolated areas.

Shoot in Yakutia: Population

Despite its enormous size (slightly smaller than India), Sakha has a total population of just over 962 thousand people. Two major nationalities are indigenous Yakuts who form 45 percent of the population and Russians with 42 percent.

Shoot in Yakutia: Cities

The biggest city and the capital is Yakutsk with 261,000 people, which makes it the largest city located in the permanent frost and the coldest city with population of over 100,000. The second biggest city is Neryungri with 61,000 population.

The real gem is the coldest city on Earth, Oymyakon. In the winter, the temperature bar drops well below -60˚C (-76˚F).

Shoot in Yakutia: How to Get

The capital Yakutsk is located 8,300 km (5,150 mi) east of Moscow. Flights from Moscow an St. Petersburg take about 6.5 hours.

Shoot in Yakutia: Interesting facts

  • If Yakutia was independent from Russia, it would have been the world's 8th biggest country;
  • During the Soviet Union, shamans were prohibited. But now their influence in small villages is still very big;
  • It's quite common to see kids playing outside and eating ice cream, when the temperature is below -40˚C (-40˚F);
  • World's biggest mammoth cemetery, the Berelekh site, lies in the north of the region;
  • One of the most famous attractions in Yakutia are Lena Pillars, an UNESCO heritage site. It is a natural rock formation along the banks of the Lena River in far eastern Siberia;
  • Yakutia's Olyorinskiy Suktul village is the only place in Russia where there is a government office position called "The Chief";
  • In the extreme winter temperatures, an iron bar will break if you hit a hard object with it.
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Lena Pillars
UNESCO World Heritage site, a unique natural phenomenon. The pillars have been formed for ages, affected by heavy rains and winds.

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Lena pillars

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Lena pillars

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Yakutsk
Typical street view in the winter

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Yakutsk
Embankment in the winter

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Typical city landscape in the winter

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Road from Yakutsk to Magadan

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Road from Yakutsk to Magadan

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Wooden bridge on the road from Yakutsk to Magadan

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Sunset near Indigirka river in Northeast Yakutia

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Yakutia in spring

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Summer landscape on Lena river

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Mountain lake in the summer

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Group of Yakut performers in traditional outfit

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Traditional Pagan pillar
Pagan beliefs and shamanism still play a crucial part in Yakutia's social life

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Construction from mammoth tusk
Mammoth tusk and bones are well-preserved due to permafrost conditions and can be found all across Yakutia

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Yakut horses
Small indigenous breed, famous across Russia. The height of a species rarely exceeds 1.5 meters (5 ft)

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Mirny diamond mine in the winter

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Giant truck Belaz in Yakutia's Mirny diamond mine

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Lena Pillars
UNESCO World Heritage site, a unique natural phenomenon. The pillars have been formed for ages, affected by heavy rains and winds.

Title #493

Lena pillars

Title #494

Lena pillars

Title #495

Yakutsk
Typical street view in the winter

Title #496

Yakutsk
Embankment in the winter

Title #497

Typical city landscape in the winter

Title #498

Road from Yakutsk to Magadan

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Road from Yakutsk to Magadan

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Wooden bridge on the road from Yakutsk to Magadan

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Sunset near Indigirka river in Northeast Yakutia

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Yakutia in spring

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Summer landscape on Lena river

Title #504

Mountain lake in the summer

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Group of Yakut performers in traditional outfit

Title #506

Traditional Pagan pillar
Pagan beliefs and shamanism still play a crucial part in Yakutia's social life

Title #507

Construction from mammoth tusk
Mammoth tusk and bones are well-preserved due to permafrost conditions and can be found all across Yakutia

Title #509

Yakut horses
Small indigenous breed, famous across Russia. The height of a species rarely exceeds 1.5 meters (5 ft)

Title #510

Mirny diamond mine in the winter

Title #511

Giant truck Belaz in Yakutia's Mirny diamond mine