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Sakha, also known as Yakutia or Yakutiya (Russian: Якутия, tr. Yakutiya, IPA: [jɪˈkutʲɪjə]; Yakut: Саха Сирэ), and officially known as the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) (Russian: Республика Саха (Якутия), tr. Respublika Sakha (Yakutiya), IPA: [rʲɪsˈpublʲɪkə sɐˈxa jɪˈkutʲɪjə]; Yakut: Саха Өрөспүүбүлүкэтэ, romanized: Sakha Öröspüübülükete, IPA: [saˈxa øɾøsˈpyːbylykete]), is a federal Russian republic.
It had a population of 958,528 at the 2010 Census, mainly ethnic Sakha and Russians.
Comprising half the Far Eastern Federal District, it is the largest subnational governing body by area in the world at 3,083,523 square kilometers (1,190,555 sq mi). Its capital is the city of Yakutsk. It is also known for its extreme and severe climate, with the lowest temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere being recorded in Verkhoyansk and Oymyakon, and regular winter averages commonly being below −35 °C (−31 °F) in Yakutsk. The hypercontinental tendencies also result in very warm summers for much of the republic.
Sakha was first home to hunting-gathering and reindeer herding Tungusic and Paleosiberian peoples such as the Evenks and Yukaghir. Migrating from the area around Lake Baikal, the Turkic Sakha people first settled the middle Lena sometime between the 9th and 16th centuries, likely in several waves, bringing the pastoral economy of Central Asia with them. Sakha was incorporated as Yakutsk Oblast into the Russian Empire in the early-mid 17th century, and the indigenous peoples of the area were made to pay yasak. While the initial period following Russian conquest saw the Sakha population drop by 70%, the czarist period also saw the expansion of the Sakha ethnic group out of the Middle Lena and along the Vilyuy River, the north, and the east, displacing other indigenous groups. Sakha was home to some of the last fighting in the Russian Civil War, and Yakutsk Oblast was reorganized into the Yakut ASSR in 1922. The Soviet period saw the migration of many ethnic Russians and Ukrainians into the area. The modern Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) was established in 1991 following the dissolution of the Soviet Union.