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 Khanty - Mansi Autonomous Region Profile


The Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Region (Yugra) is located in the centre of the West Siberian Plain. It borders on the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Region in the north, the Komi Republic in the northeast, Sverdlov Region in the southwest, Tobolsky Region in the south, and Tomsk Region and Krasnoyarsk Territory in the southeast and east. The region spans 1,400 km east to west from the eastern slopes of Northern Ural almost to the banks of the Yenisey; and north to south - 900 km from the Sibirskiye Uvaly to the Konda taiga. The length of the borders is 4733 km.

The relief is a combination of plains, foothills, and mountains. The highest elevations are Narodnaya Mountain in the Pre-Polar Urals (1894 m) and Pedy Mountain in the Northern Urals (1010 m). The Ob, with a length of 3,650 kilometers and Irtysh, whose length is 3,580 kilometers, their tributaries, and many smaller rivers form the area`s river system. Altogether, there are nearly 30 000 rivers in the area. There are nearly 290 000 lakes with an area of more than 1 hectare. Larger lakes (area greater than 100 km2) include Kondinsky Sor, Leushinsky Tyman, Vandemtor, and Tromemtor.  

The distance from Moscow is 2,500 km, from Irkutsk is 3,500 km. and from the largest city in the district - Surgut is 300 km.

CAPITAL:  Khanty-Mansiysk (founded in 1582, population 101,000 as of 2019)

Watch video from the capital of Yugra  here

AREA: 535,000 km2, rank 9th in the country.

 POPULATION & NATIONALITIES: 1,700,000 as of 2019, national composition: Russian 68%, Tatar 7,6%, Ukrainian 6%, Bashkir 2,5% the indigenous population (Khanty, Mansi, and Nenets) is 2,2%.


The climate is temperate continental, characterized by a rapid change in weather conditions especially in transitional periods - from autumn to winter and from spring to summer. Winters are long, snowy and cold. The average January temperature in the district ranges from -18 to -24C. Extreme cold conditions may last for several weeks with the average air temperature below minus 30C. Summer is short and warm. The warmest month of July is characterized by average temperatures from + 15C (in the northwest) to + 18.4C (in the southeast). The absolute maximum reaches 36C.

Climate formation is significantly influenced by the protection of the territory from the west by the Ural Range and the openness of the territory from the north, which facilitates the penetration of cold Arctic masses, as well as the flat character of the area with a large number of rivers, lakes and swamps.


Ugra is the historical homeland of the Ob-Ugric peoples first of all: Khanty, Mansi, Nenets and Selkups. They were engaged in hunting, fishing, and cattle breeding. After the Turkic peoples pressed them from south to north, these peoples transferred their skills to more severe conditions. It was in a new place that the Ugrians began to domesticate the deer.

 The most ancient sites of people on the territory of the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Region-Ugra appeared in the Mesolithic era. During the Neolithic period, settlement was mainly on the left bank of the river Ob. In the first millennium AD, large fortifications appeared on the vast expanses of the taiga right bank of the Ob. Their inhabitants hunted fur animals, fished, defended themselves from enemies.

In the XII-XIII centuries. in the Irtysh and Priobye formed territorial clan associations of the Khanty and Mansi, called the principalities. From the second half of the XIII century a new factor in the development of the territory was its entry into the Golden Horde. At the end of the XIV century the collapse of the Golden Horde led to the separation of the Tyumen Khanate. In 1495, the Siberian Khanate was formed, the capital of which was the city of Kashlyk. It was then that the basic principles of the political-administrative and socio-economic organization of the territory developed. At this time, it was called Ugra.

Gradual conquest of Siberia by Moscow state started in 1582 with the Yermak's campaign.

State Nature Reserve "Malaya Sosva"

Area: 225,562 hectares

 Location: in the Soviet and Berezovsky regions of the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Region, in the valley of the Malaya Sosva River.
 Main aims of the reserve are the conservation, study and restoration of the native West Siberian river beaver population; development of scientific and practical recommendations for the conservation of rare and valuable species of animals and plants. About 80% of the reserve's territory is occupied by forests: indigenous spruce-cedar, pine. In dry forests on the right bank of the Em-Egan River there are relict plants - yellowing cross, yellow cotoneaster, Veronica spikelet, Ural ostracis, and others.

Of the mammals, sable, wolverine, ermine, weasel, common squirrel, muskrat, otter, elk, deer, bear and a number of other species are common here. Less common are arctic fox and lynx. A specially protected species is the North Asian river beaver, listed in the Red Books of the International Union for Conservation of Nature and the Russian Federation.

The reserve "Vaspuholsky"

Area: 93,000 hectares

 Location: on the territory of two districts of the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Region - Khanty-Mansiysk and Kondinsky.

The basis of its activity is the conservation of the population of taiga reindeer, as well as the reproduction of valuable hunting and Red Book species of animals. The reserve is part of the reserve "Malaya Sosva".

 The flora of the reserve represents species typical of the West Siberian taiga - pine forests, swamps, crossed by rivers, streams, many lakes. The base of the forest is dark coniferous taiga, including spruce, pine, cedar, fir, aspen and birch. The southern part of the reserve is represented by pine forests with lingonberries, bearberries and blueberries. Also on the territory of the reserve there are red-book plants - Siberian aster, double-leafed loving, ferns and mosses.

Among the permanent residents of the reserve reindeer, otter, ermine, column, squirrel, hare, muskrat can be found. Of the large predators, you can often find a wolf, less often - wolverine and lynx. Meetings with chipmunks, affection, mole, and water voles are frequent. In summer, roe deer enters the territory of the reserve, Arctic fox in winter. Under special protection of the reserve employees are mainly game animals - sable, bear, otter, fox. Of the birds, a white owl, a white-tailed eagle and an osprey are protected.

The reserve "Ugansky" 

Area: 650,000 hectares

 Location: in the rural settlement of Ugut, 300 kilometers from Surgut city.

Almost 2/3 of the reserve is covered with forests, the rest are swamps. The swamps of the reserve are part of the largest swamp massif in the world - Vasyugana. There are also quite common transitional between swamps and forest communities. The most common of these is ryam - a swampy pine forest. The most prominent representatives of plant families are cereal, Asteraceae, and sedge. Quite often there are orchid and buttercups. In general, 332 species of vascular plants, 195 species of lichens, 114 species of moss and more than 500 species of mushrooms are preserved.

The fauna of the reserve is also quite rich and diverse, birds are especially distinguished - out of 262 species of vertebrates, 216 species are represented by birds. Of these, only 30 species fly here by chance, the rest are regular inhabitants of this zone. However, you can not see all this bird diversity all year round - most of them fly away for the winter to warmer regions.

Mammals are represented by 40 species, more than half of which are rodents and shrews. The least widespread family of the reserve is feline, represented by only one species - trot. In addition to lynxes, other predators such as wolverine, sable, ermine, and badger live in the reserve. Also habitual inhabitants are the wolf and the fox, the population of which varies depending on the amount of game. Among ungulates you can meet moose and reindeer.

 Nature Park "Samarovsky Chugas"

Area: 6,500 hectares

 Location: Knanty-Mansiysk city

Samarovsky Chugas is the largest natural site in Khanty-Mansiysk and a true paradise for lovers of ecotourism. The park is perfect for rest and walks: the pristine nature and natural beauty of these places, carefully preserved by the ancient peoples of the Khanty and Mansi for many centuries, fascinates anyone who has ever visited these parts.

 The park is covered with dense coniferous forests, streams and blue lakes, serene swamps and islands. Dozens of species of rare plants and animals live on the territory of the park, and seeing a squirrel here is completely common thing. Therefore, islets for relaxation have become favorite places for connoisseurs of wildlife and all lovers of walks in the fresh air. It has everything you need for a comfortable pastime: it offers visitors more than 25 relaxation areas, walking trails, trash containers.
Nature Park "Numto"
 Area: 500,000 hectares
 Location: in the center of the West Siberian Plain 200 kilometers from the city of Beloyarsky and 300 kilometers from the city of Surgut.

The natural park is the custodian of the indigenous inhabitants of this region. There are many secrets of the culture and life of the small peoples of the North, which makes this place one of the most mysterious in the region.

 The territory of the natural park is a storehouse of archaeological and ethno-cultural monuments. So, to date, 20 architectural monuments have been found here, including fortified and unfortified settlements, places of worship left by the people who lived here from the Stone Age to the present day. Researchers also found 65 monuments of ethnic culture, the main of which are objects of worship - sacred places and cemeteries.

The heart of the nature park and one of its main objects is Lake Numto - a sacred place for the indigenous peoples of the North Ob. In the center of Lake Numto is the Holy Island, where Khanty and Mansi pay tribute to the lake - at the beginning of winter, they gather on the island to perform a deer sacrifice rite.

 In total, the nature park has 20 species of mammals, about 150 species of birds, about 10 species of fish, 3 species of amphibians, 2 species of reptiles. Typical representatives of the local fauna are chipmunk, squirrel, otter, as well as predators - ermine, fox, brown bear. The extensive wetland system attracts a large number of waterfowl - gull, crane, goose, duck, heron. Nine species of birds living on the territory of Numto are listed in the Red Books of IUCN and Russia.


The capital of Yugra – Khanty-Mansiysk- is situated on seven hills, and those who live here believe that this fact brings fortune to the residents and visitors of the city.

The territory gained notoriety as a place of exile for prisoners of State. Prince Dmitry Romodanovsky served his sentence in Berezovsky District; Count Andrei Osterman was exiled here in 1742; and the large family of the princes Dolgorukov, in 1798. Prince Menshikov and his daughter Mariya are buried in these lands where they were exiled.

The city also has many opportunities for cultural tourism. One of the most famous museums that have been actively restored recently is the Museum of Nature and Man, founded in 1930. The museum has accumulated rich collections on the history of the region, life and activities of indigenous peoples, nature, the Soviet period of history, the collection has unique exhibits: the remains of animals from the Paleozoic era, manuscripts of the oldest monastery in Siberia. The museum’s exposition includes the “Archeopark” located at the foot of the Samarovsky remnant, where ancient rocks of the earth are exposed, and on the top there is a possible residence of Prince Samara. In the Archeopark itself you can see a complex of bronze sculptures of a herd of mammoths, a rhinoceros, a cave bear and other prehistoric animals.

In the heart of Khanty-Mansiysk is another open-air ethnographic museum “Torum Maa”. Initially, the museum complex was a collection of traditions, life and culture. Today, “Torum Maa” consists of several exhibits that recreate in great detail the residential and household buildings of the ancient Ugrians, with household items, jewelry and other exhibits. The museum has a cult site where Khanty and Mansi worship their deities, who have preserved the faith of their ancestors.

The Barosova Mountain Natural Archaeological Park is stretched for 8 kilometers along the right bank of the Ob, to the west of Surgut. The remains of ancient buildings, sanctuaries, burial grounds of the Stone Age have been preserved in the tract.

The study of history always involves not just observation, but also some immersion in the era, life. This opportunity is available for tourists who visit the "museum-estate of a rural merchant" in Selirovo. It is located in the artistic and architectural ensemble of the late XIX - early XX centuries, and now the museum has a lot of ethnographic exhibits, as well as installations showing traditional life. The museum hosts master classes in ancient crafts.

The greater Khanty Mansi Autonomous Region contains around 70% of Russia’s developed oil fields, about 450 in total, including Samotlor, which is the largest oil field in Russia and the sixth largest in the world.

The Khanty-Mansiysk Museum of Geology, Oil and Gas is a unique museum located in a modern building in the city center. The main task of the museum is to collect the most complete and reliable information on the history of the formation and development of the oil and gas complex in the region, industry workers and their labor achievements. The exposition was based on archival documents and photographs related to the history of oil and gas production in Ugra. A special pride is the excellent mineralogical collection of quartz mined in the deposits of the Subpolar Urals. The mass of the largest exhibit is 300 kg.

Gallery-workshop of the artist G.S. Raishev is a unique cultural institution, which includes the creative workshop of the famous artist Gennady Raishev, as well as a museum of his works, the main theme of which is the magnificent nature of the native land, life of the indigenous inhabitants of Ugra and the original character of the Siberians.

Hunting tours are also offered in the Khanty-Mansiysk District, the visiting card of which is pheasant hunting in the hunting grounds on the banks of the Gornaya River.

Many of the Khanty, the Mansi, and the Nenets still maintain the traditional way of life in Ugra. The ethnographic tours offer an opportunity to see the traditional way of life of the descendants of the ancient Ob Ugrians. Such tours are available in the indigenous villages of the Nizhnevartovsk, the Khanty-Mansiysk, the Surgut, the Berezovo, and the Beloyarski districts.

Russian Old Settlement Shapsha: it takes 30 min. to get there by bus from Khanty-Mansiysk. There you can plunge into the atmosphere of folk festivals, to taste Russian traditional dishes such as pelmeni, gribnitsa, milk mushrooms, stroganina, home-made bred, to get acquainted with rural amusements and games. The guests may experience the ceremony of initiation into the Siberian and get a special certificate in support.

Ethnic settlement "Karamkinskoye" is located on the outskirts of the national village of Agan, 400 km from Khanty-Mansiysk. In a small area, an off-season camp, a bathhouse, a shed and a plague were erected; there is also a glacier, coral, farm buildings, and on the shore there are stoppers for fishing. Here you can ride on reindeer teams or snowmobiles, on tubing from a hill. Fishing is organized all year round. Master classes in traditional crafts, cutting and cooking fish are held. You can also try national cuisine here.

The Church of the Resurrection of Christ in Khanty-Mansiysk is one of the central attractions of not only the city, but the entire district. This is an amazing building in terms of architecture, built in 1999 using the most modern technologies.

Old Surgut is a historical and ethnographic complex located in a picturesque place in the central part of the city. There are 14 wooden houses on the territory. All of them represent a reconstruction of old buildings that once stood in different parts of the city, but subsequently assembled into a single architectural ensemble.

The gem of the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug – Ugra is the unique beauty of Northern and Polar Ural mountains with the highest peak of the Urals - Mount Narodnaya (1,895 m).

The highest peak of the Polar Urals is Mount Payer (1,499 m). The mountain is unusual for its plateau-shaped peak, from which sharp ridges extend to the side. On the slopes there are several glaciers and snowfields that do not have time to melt during the short and cold polar summer.

Another tourist attraction of Ugra is the therapeutic tourism. Mineral resources of the region include plenty of balneotherapeutic resources - mineral springs and muds. Several cities of the Okrug offer natural treatment opportunities: "Kedrovy Log" sanatorium in Surgut, city clinic balneary in Kogalym, "Samotlor Neftyanik" sanatorium in Nizhnevartovsk, "Tyumen-Trans Gas" sanatorium in Yugorsk, "Yugorskaya Dolina" in Khanty-Mansiysk and Khanty-Mansiysk city clinic balneary. In addition sapropel muds have been found in 160 lakes of the Autonomous Okrug, the medicinal properties of which are comparable to the muds of the famous Russian resorts.


Film Festival "Spirit of Fire"

The festival has been held annually since 2002 in Khanty-Mansiysk in late February - early March. Its permanent president is Sergey Soloviev. Films of debutant directors from different countries take part in the competition program. Within three to five days, several venues host sessions, concerts, performances, meetings with directors and actors, and round tables. Every year, a movie star comes to the festival. So, in different years, the honorary guests of the festival were Nastasya Kinski, Fanny Ardan, Catherine Deneuve, Christopher Lambert and others.

Exhibition-Fair "Products of the Land of Ugra"

It takes place every year in early December in Khanty-Mansiysk. Almost all producers of the region, including farmers, bring their products to the exhibition. Here you can buy fresh fish and meat delicacies, wild plants, clothes with national color, souvenirs right from the manufacturers.

60th Parallel Art Festival

An international cultural forum takes place in Surgut in the fall, usually in October. The festival acquaints the audience with the work of authors and groups from cities located on the 60th northern parallel. In Surgut come artists and musicians from Russia, the USA, Estonia, Sweden, Finland, from the Faroe Islands (Denmark). The festival hosts numerous concerts, exhibitions, performances.

In the traditional holiday "Day of the fisherman" arrange concert performances, children's entertainment programs, races on catamarans, in the program of the holiday competitions are held: "My favorite fishing", the best fish soup "Our good ear", "the Best smoked fish". Held in summer: June-July.

International day of the world's indigenous minorities

The cycle of events includes swimming competitions on columns, book exhibitions, master classes, creative workshops, children's educational competitions, game programs, and games of indigenous peoples of the world.



An intrepid French adventurer set off to Russia’s far north - and explored the harsh winter in this Siberian city, where mammoths once lived. Continue reading the article here

Read the article about the must see place in Khanty-Mansiysk here

Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug from above read here


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