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Karelia (republic)

The Republic of Karelia is an autonomous republic of Russia that borders Finland, the Saint Petersburg region, the Kola peninsula, the White Sea, and the Arkhangelsk region.

Historically Karelia was a region to the northwest of Russia, east of present-day Finland. In the 16th century south-eastern Karelia was annexed to Sweden, and then lost again during the first half of the 18th century. In the 19th century the same area belonged to the Russian Grand Duchy of Finland, and 1918-1940 to independent Finland.

Present-day Karelia is situated between Lake Ladoga in the southwest and the White Sea in the northeast. Karelia, called Karjala in Finnish, is populated by Karelians (karjalaiset) and Russians. The Karelian language is close to Finnish, and has in recent years become considered a dialect of Finnish, why Finnish and Russian are the official languages of the republic.

See also: Karelia (disambiguation)

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