geographical region, consisting of almost all of North Asia. Siberia has been part of Russia since the seventeenth century.
The territory of Siberia extends eastwards from the Ural Mountains to the watershed between the Pacific and Arctic drainage basins. Siberia stretches southwards from the Arctic Ocean to the hills of north-central Kazakhstan and to the national borders of Mongolia andChina.Siberia is 77% of Russia (13.1 million square kilometers), but has just 28% (40 million people) of Russia's population.
TRANSPORT IN SIBERIA Many cities in Siberia, such as
Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, cannot be reached by road, as there are virtually none connecting from other major cities in Russia or Asia. The best way to tour Siberia is through the Trans-Siberian Railway. The Trans-Siberian Railway operates from Moscow in the west toVladivostok in the east. Cities not near the railway are best reached by air or by the separate Baikal-Amur-Railway (BAM).
TEMPERATURE The climate of Siberia varies dramatically.
On the north coast, north of the Arctic Circle, there is a very short (about one-month-long) summer.
Taiga near Lake Baikal Almost all the population lives in the
south, along the Trans-Siberian Railway. The climate in this southernmost part is Humid continental climate (Köppen Dfb) with cold winters but fairly warm summers lasting at least four months. Annual average is about 0.5 °C (32.9 °F), January averages about −15 °C (5 °F) and July about +19 °C (66 °F), while daytime temperatures in summer typically are above 20 °C. With a reliable growing season, an abundance of sunshine and exceedingly fertile chernozem soils, Southern Siberia is good enough for profitable agriculture, as was proven in the early twentieth century.
RELIGION There are a variety of beliefs throughout
Siberia, including Orthodox Christianity, other denominations of Christianity, Tibetan Buddhism and Islam.An estimated 70,000 Jews live in Siberia, and there is also the Jewish Autonomous Region. The predominant group is the Russian Orthodox Church.
Siberia is regarded as the locus classicus of shamanism and polytheism is popular.These native religions date back hundreds of years. The vast terrority of Siberia has many different local traditions of gods. These include: Ak Ana, Anapel, Bugady Musun, Kara Khan, Khaltesh-Anki, Kini'je,Ku'urkil, Nga, Nu'tenut, Numi-Torem, Numi-Turum, Pon, Pugu, Todote, Toko'yoto, Tomam, Xaya Iccita, Zonget. Places with sacred areas includeOlkhon, an island in Lake Baikal.