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The Republic of Tuva

Protection of the Blessed Virgin MaryDeer at the entrance to the city of KyzylTere-Khol LakeMusic-Drama Theatre

The Subject of the Russian Federation:
Republic of Tuva

Federal District: The Siberian Federal District

Area: 168 604 km2
Population: 313 940 persons.

Emblem of the Republic of Tuva
Emblem of the Republic of Tuva

Flag of the Republic of Tuva
Flag of the Republic of Tuva


Tyva is a real paradise for the true travelers. Yes-yes, definitely for the true travelers – for those who are able to sacrifice the boring European comfort and want to breathe deeply the air full of romanticism, natural beauty and harmony. Here everything is real, everything is primeval, and everything touches your soul. Only after visiting the State natural Biosphere Reserve “Ubsunur Hollow”, Ethno-cultural complex “Aldin-Bulak”, walking along the road of Chinggis khan, enjoying Charash-Dash, the reviving river, the stone sculptures “Ush-Kozhi”, swimming in the revitalizing hot springs “Ush-Beldir” and “Taris” you could slightly discover the charm of these places. One can admire this region forever, discovering its beauty.  And the national cuisine will impress any kind of gourmet. The most respected product among the Tuvans was always milk (sut). Since ancient times all dishes made of milk are called “ak chem” which means “the white food”. During the holidays, send-offs and meetings milk was the first thing to be served. The hostess of the yurt sacrificed it to the spirits of heaven and earth by splashing it with “toskarak”, a special aspergilla with nine holes.

Besides milk, meat occupies an important place in the Tuvan cuisine. The concept of prosperity in the family is still associated with the possibility to eat as much meat as one can physically afford every day. Meat of domestic and wild animals is dried, smoked, salted, frozen, in other words, all possible ways of a long-term preservation is invented. Any time of the year the Tuvinians prefer to cook meat rather than frying it. Lamb is the most common type of meat in Tyva. The natives use absolutely everything left after cutting the animal, including all the interior parts and blood without any exception. This is the basis to prepare the traditional Tuvan sausage called izig-khan.

Wild herbs and medicinal plants are also used in the national Tuvan cuisine. Delicious liqueurs are prepared from fungus, nettle, golden root, sheds, rose hips, sea buckthorn, licorice and currants. But better not to reveal all the secrets, they will be explained by the hospitable inhabitants of Tyva.

The Republic of Tyvais the subject of the Russian Federation.

The capital of the republic is city of Kyzyl.

It was founded on October 11, 1944.

It shares borders with Mongolia in the east and south, Krasnoyarsk region in the north, Khakassia in the north-west, Buryatia and Irkutsk region in the north-east and the Republic of Altai in the west.  

The population is about 320 thousand people.

The administrative division of the region is represented by 17 districts; 2 cities under the republican jurisdiction – Kyzyl and Ak-Dovurak, and the cities of Shagonar, Chadan and Turan under the regional jurisdiction.


The territory of Tyva was home of an ancient man of about 40 thousand years ago. You can observe the transition of several epoch of human development in this area: Neolithic, Bronze and Iron Ages which reached its highest development (pieces on “Scythian animal style” found in the burial mounds are a good example of it). Very prominent are considered the historical periods of Tuva as part of Turkic Khanate (VI—VII centuries), Uigur Khanate (VIII—IX centuries), in the Ancient Kyrgyzs State of Chinggis Khan (XIII—XVI centuries), Altyn Khan and Jungars (XVII—XVIII centuries), of Manchu dynasty.

The revolution of 1917 influenced on the election of the further development of Tuva. ThenationalrevolutionwoninTuvain1921. The Alltuvan National Hural of nine khoshuns proclaimed the formation of Tuvan National Republic in SurBahz of the Tandin region on August 13th—16th. The first Constitution was also adopted there.  

Since 1926 Tuva became known as Tuvan People’s Republic (ТPR). The Soviet Russia influenced a lot on the ideology of the Republic. TPR demonstrated a non-capitalistic way of development under the leadership of Tuvan People’s Revolutionary Party. Since the beginning of the World War II the Tuvan Republic was entirely involved into the economic, military and political union with the USSR due to the aggravated international relations and the situation in the region.

Since 1943 Tuvan volunteers participated in the World War II and as a result of their military combat service they were granted with the USSR and TPR orders and medals. In 1944 the Republic was incorporated into the Russian Federation as an autonomous region. By the time when TPR formed part of RSFSR it was a legal state with its corresponded attributes. It had its Constitution, flag, coat of arms, golden reserves, budget and legal representatives USSR and Mongolian People’s Republic.

In 1961 Tuvan autonomous region was transformed into Tuvan ASSR.

In December 1990 the Republic became known as the Soviet Republic of Tuva and in August 1991 — the Republic of Tuva. Adopted in 1993 the Constitution of the Republic changed the name of “Tuva” for “Tyva”. The same way people officially became known as Tyvians.

Geography, natural resources and climate

It is located in the south of Eastern Siberia. The Central and Western part of Tuva is occupied by the Tuvan hollow surrounded by the mountains of the Western Sayan (in the north), Altai (in the west) and Tannu-Ola (in the south). Within the eastern and more elevated part there are the south-western slopes of the Eastern Sayan, Todzha hollow, East-Tuvan and Sangilen highlands. Theheightisupto3970 m(Mongun-Taiga). It has the deposits of non-ferrous and rare metals, coal, asbestos, iron ore, gold, mercury and other.

Almost all the rivers belong to the basin of Yenisei River. The major rivers are Upper Yenisei (Ulug-Khem) with the left flow of the river Khemchik as well as other constituting rivers of Yenisei — Big Yenisei (Bii-Khem) and Small Yenisei (Ka-Khem). Tuva has 15 salt and brine lakes. There are some mineral resources.  

The climate is extremely continental. Winters are frosty without wind and with little snow in the hollows. The average temperature in January ranges from -28 °Сtill -35 °С. Summers are moderately warm in the mountains and hot in the hollows. The average temperature in July ranges from +15 °Сtill +20 °С. The quantity of precipitations in the hollows ranges from 150 mm per year, in the mountains – up to 1000 mm. It is located in the steppe zone. The steppe vegetation and some pine forests are typical for the hollows.  Along the valley of the major river there is the poplar uremia. Mountain forests (cedar, larch, pine trees) occupy around half of the territory, more than 2200 m are replaced by the mountain tundra, rarely — by the meadows. Fauna is represented by a variety of species due to a diverse landscape. In the steppe it is typical to find steppe foxes, wolves and numerous rodents. Sable, Siberian weasel, ermine, skunk, deer, brown bear, lynx and others are typical for the mountain taiga; mountain goats, creeper, white and tundra grouse can be seen in the highlands; grayling, trout, flax, pike, ide, white fish and others – in the rivers and freshwater lakes.


Among the principal resources of the Republic of Tyva are the deposits of coking and thermal coal, cobalt, gold, nonferrous and rare metals, rare earth elements, different construction materials, minerals and fresh ground waters.

Industry is represented by metal ore mining, production of heat and electricity, coal, food and construction material industries.

The peculiarity of climate conditions marked its differences in agriculture with the development of cattle breeding (mainly sheep and dairy cattle), goat and horse breeding.  Traditionally, the priority is given to pasture breeding. Cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, horses, poultry are grown in the farms. Breeding cattle is maintained and developed. In tundra people breed deer, in the mountains – yaks, in the south and semi-deserts – camels.

Cereals and fodder crops, potatoes, vegetables, and other cereals in small quantities are grown in the Republic of Tyva.  


Tyva is an agricultural republic. The main sector of agriculture is pasture breeding (mainly sheep and dairy cattle) but goat and horse breeding is also developed. In tundra people breed deer, in the mountains – yaks, in the south and semi-deserts – camels.  


Transport network of the Republic of Tyva is represented by road, air and water type of transport.  

Type of tourism

  • Cultural
  • Medical
  • Hunting and fishing
  • Active
  • Ecotourism


  • State natural Biosphere Reserve “Ubsunur Hollow”
  • Ethno-cultural complex “Aldin-Bulak” , “Teve-Khaia” (Camel rock)
  • Charash-Dash, the reviving river
  • Hot springs “Ush-Beldir” (North Arzhaan) and “Tarys” (South Arzhaan)
  • Cold arzhaab“Shivilig”(“Spruce”)
  • Stone sculptures “Ush-Kozhi”
  • Rock pictures of the sanctuary “Mugur-Sargol”
  • Fresh water lake “Chagytai”
  • Sacred mountain in form of a ring — Kezhege

Famous people of Tyva

  • Khertek Amyrbitovna Anchimaa-Toka (1912—2008) — Tuvan and Soviet state politician
  • Natalia Doydalovna Azhikmaa-Rusheva (1926) — Tuvan and Soviet ballet dancer
  • Raisa Azhievna Arakchaa (1925) — the first woman of stone-carving in Tuva
  • Elena Eugenievna Dostai (1969) — Russian honored master of Sports in Archery
  • Maxim Monguzhukovich Munzuk (1910—1999) — Tuvan and Soviet actor. One of the founders of the national theatre.
  • Tovarischtai Chambaevich Ondar(1948—1999) — a Tuvan sculptor
  • Larisa Burbuevna Oorzhak (1985) — Russian athlete in wrestling
  • Vladimir Bazir-oolivich Oskal-ool (1920—1999) — a founder of Tuvan circus, national artist of USSR
  • Nadia Nikolaevna Rusheva(1952—1969) — a graphic artist
  • Salchak Kalbakhorekovich Toka (1901 — 1973) — Tuvan and Soviet state politician and writer
  • Kaigak-ool Kim-oolovich Khovalyg (1960) — National hoomeyzhi of the Republic of Tuva, singer of Khuun-Khuur-Tu. Honored artist of Russia.
  • Alexey Boktaevich Chygal-ool (1924 — 1989) — Tuvan and Soviet composer, teacher and musician
  • Sergey Kuzhugetovich Shoygu (1955) — minister of the Russian Federation of Civil Defense, Emergencies and Elimination of Consequences of Natural Disasters (EMERCOM)

Emergency telephone numbers

  • Rescue service— 01, (39422) 2-3278
  • Police— 02, (39422) 9-3602
  • Ambulance— 03, (39422) 3-5885, 9-1227
  • Tuvgas— 04, (39422) 6-6055
  • Intercity telephone station (order department) — 07
  • Telephone directory inquiry service of Kyzyl — 09
  • EMERCOM service — (39422) 2-1352
  • Tuvin search and rescue service — (39422) 4-0269
  • MIA service — (39422) 2-1824
  • Traffic Police service — (39422) 5-6629
  • Inquiry care center — (39422) 3-2285
  • FSS service  — (39422) 2-1719
  • FSS Hotline service — (39422) 2-1077
  • Tuva Customs service — (39422) 2-2124
  • Migration service of the Republic of Tuva — (39422) 3-0441

Sources of touristic information

Tourist Information Center:

Kyzyl, Kalinin Str. 1B, office 205

Telephone: (39422) 6-4545

Territorial authorities of Russian EMERCOM  

Address: Sladskaya Str. 1B, 667007 – Kyzyl, Republic of Tyva

Telephone: (39422) 2-1079

Fax: (39422) 2-1236