Being the hugest administrative unit by area, Yakutia has a low population density, which does not reach even a million as of 2021. India, a state of the same size, is home to two billion people. But this, of course, is understandable: the climate of India is much more comfortable and adapted for life, and the historical and political path is quite different.
Russian pioneers came to the republic in the 17th century: Yakutia has become a place for prisoners and political exile since then. But even now there are not so many people who want to settle in the land of permafrost with polar nights and days: for a modern person, who has been separated from close interaction with nature for many centuries, getting into such hard climate will be total stress for both the psyche and the body. In Russian social networks, photos of cities in the Far North – including the Republic of Sakha – are popularas they depict harsh living conditions: snow-covered cities, frozen houses, polar nights. All this causes a feeling of hopelessness, longing and icing. Playwright Mikhail Bashkirov, who moved to Yakutsk – the capital of the republic – in 2016, says that "all the time you feel the proximity of death" here. The sense of extremity separates Yakutia both geographically and mentally.
Yes, Russia is a snow-covered cold country, but the Republic of Sakha is even darker and colder . Although, is it fair to compare them? It's no secret that Moscow and St. Petersburg have little in common with the rest of Russia. But some of its regions, including Yakutia, can also hardly be called Russia the europeans know.