185005, Lýðveldið Karelia, Petrozavodsk, Pravdi Street, 28A, e-mail: freekarelia@list.ru

Fyrir fjárstuðning: Okkar fjárstuðning: INN: 1001049385, KPP: 100101001, OGRN: 1051002816700, OKVED: 91.33,
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Fyrir fjárstuðning: Okkar heimilisfang: 185001, Karelia, Petrozavodsk, ul. Kutuzova, 53A;
Okkar fjárstuðning: INN: 1001049385, KPP: 100101001, OGRN: 1051002816700, OKVED: 91.33, Okkar bankaupplýsingar: 40703978200120000001 (Euro) “Baltiysk banki” i Petrozavodsk, banka reýkningur: 30101810000000000752, BIK: 048602752

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History of Karelian People

Karelian People – are an actually existing European Peoples, established on the territory of the present Republic of Karelia during IX - XVIII centuries constituting the representatives of various Northern Peoples: Izhor Slavs, Russians, Karelians, Suomi, Swedes, Veps and Lapps.

Karelian Nation has its particular historical, ethnic and cultural commonalities, which significantly distinguish it from all other peoples of Europe. According to traditional historiography it is generally accepted that the ancestors of the Karelian People lived in the land of Karelia for over nine centuries in the harsh climatic conditions and the same cultural environment, which resulted in the emergence and the subsequent formation of Karelian national-cultural traditions, firmly tying their descendants into a common folk - Karelian People. Distinctive national culture of the Karelian People defined the historic features of the socio-economic development of Karelia, constituting the lack of slavery, serfdom and religious dominance. For this reason, the Karelian People are common to freedom, respect for nature, reverence for the ancestors, resiliency, diligence and belief in a Higher justice.

The ancient ancestors of the Karelian People first appeared in the land of Karelia some eight thousand years ago and lived a small groups at great distances from each other, divided by boundless forests. With this, their languages, beliefs, life patterns and everyday life were very similar to each other, which is also confirmed by the various archaeological finds and survived ancient Runic inscriptions and rock drawings - petroglyphs. The ancient ancestors of the Karelian People had to constantly overcome hardship in the struggle with the harsh northern nature, so only their hard work and their belief in their power for thousands of years helped them to survive, to become stronger and develop the fertile land of Karelia. The harsh, but majestically beautiful nature of Karelia forged a unique type of person - independent, laconic, hard-working, confident in own power and always aware of own dignity.

Originally Karelian People were formed of five major kindred tribes, who lived in the land of Karelia: Karelian tribes living in the north and north-west of Lake Ladoga; Suomi tribes living west of Lake Ladoga; Veps tribes who lived between the Ladoga and Onega lakes; Suomi tribes who lived almost across the entire modern Karelia and the Izhorsk Slavic tribes who lived in the south of the modern Republic of Karelia. All of these tribes lived in a communal regime, while each tribe was headed by a chieftain who was elected at the communal gathering of all adult members of the tribe, including women.

In the IX century, during the period of emergence, to the south of Karelia, of an ancient Russian State, the territory of Karelia was visited by the first ancient Russian immigrants, who mixed with the tribes living in the territory originally. In X-XI centuries, the southern part of Karelia was under the sphere of influence of ancient Russian state, resulting in new ancient Russian pioneers heading into the Karelia, and after them - the many peasants who had fled from the oppression of their princes, and Orthodox priests. These brave people formed their settlements in different, hard to reach places of Karelia and went further into Karelia - on the coast of the White Sea to the Kola Peninsula and Arkhangelsk regions. At the same time, ancient Russian settlers gradually mixed with the residing here Izhor Slavs, Karelians, Suomi, Veps and Lepps; resulting in their ethnic fusion, use of their cultural traditions and phonosematic mixing of the languages.

Thus, from the mid XI century on the territory of the south of the modern Karelia there were large mixed settlements made of representatives of various tribes, administered by the people’s assembly, conveyed, both in case of military danger, and in case of need of a collective resolution of important economic issues. Thus, since ancient times the predecessors of the Karelian People form a natural democracy, which throughout the long history led to the adherence to freedom, independence and respect to individuals by the Karelians.

At the beginning of the XII century a large part of Karelia has voluntarily joined the old Russian Novgorod Principality, while the western part of Karelia was soon captured by the Kingdom of Sweden, which formed next to the old tribal center Karel - city of Korely a Swedish border stronghold - Vyborg. Immediately after that, the territory of western Karelia was resettled by many Swedish farmers, who then mixed with the local population.

During this period, the process of formation of the Karelian People intensified and reached its peak by the end of XII century, when the majority of Russian immigrants and Izhor Slavs almost completely mixed with the Karelians, Veps, Suomi and Lepps. It is in this historical period the inhabitants of Karelia began to feel as the formed people's community - the Karelian People.

With this, in the middle of XII century Suomi tribes who lived in the western Karelia and mixing with the Swedish settlers, moved to the west in Sweden and later assimilated there with the Sum and Em tribes, initiating the formation of modern Finnish people.

Thus the Karelian People was formed very gradually from various European ethnic and linguistic groups: Slavic-Izhor, Finish-Ugric, Saami and the Ancient Russian, while over the centuries unique Karelian language naturally evolved, the specific economic structure, and original Karelian culture.

In the first half of the XIII century, some of the Karelian People was very reluctant in accepting, as the main religion, the Orthodox Christianity, but later never practiced it with the same excessive mysticism and unnatural restrictions in everyday life, as was accepted in Russia, and before that - in Byzantium. Moreover, along with Orthodoxy, the territory of Karelia has long maintained paganism, using Runes in its teachings and rituals, folk tales and ancient Karelian epos «Kalevala». The basis of the pagan beliefs of the Karelian People was the popular belief that God is existent always, everywhere and in everything and that God does not need any intermediaries to communicate with people; so everyone can communicate with God individually, at anytime and anywhere. Moreover, when from Novgorod at the time of the ancient Russian prince Yaroslav Vsevolodovich, father of St. Prince Alexander Nevsky, Karelia began to be penetrated by the first Orthodox missionaries, Karelian people simply did not accept the Orthodox priests and monks as agents of some new teaching, believing them to be crazy, not adapted to real life. That is why, in Karelia, Orthodox Christianity was never fully adopted, as it did in the Novgorod and other ancient Principalities. The juxtaposition of orthodox missionaries of themselves to the rest of the world and the abundance of conflicting and obscure religious tenets, the creation of complex and large church hierarchy, leading a parasitic lifestyle, aggressive preaching of the complex Christian cult and many related unnatural restrictions in daily life, were perceived by the Karelian People, as an attempt to restrict its personal freedom and national independence. Therefore, Orthodox Christianity has never been able to become a common faith for all of the Karelian People, rapidly degenerating into an isolated caste of monks, who moved to remote and uninhabited areas and lived here in isolation within their monasteries. Thus were created the Spaso-Preobrazhensk Valaam Monastery on Lake Ladoga and Solovetsky monastery on the White Sea. In addition to the Orthodox missionaries in the XIII-XV centuries, the territory of Karelia, from Sweden and Germany, was infiltrated first by Roman Catholic missionaries, and later during the European Reformation - Lutheran and other Protestant missionaries. Lutheran Christianity proved to be more comprehensible to the worldview of the Karelian People, because it did not have a complex church hierarchy and the opposition of clergy to simple laymen, and it also used a much more simple religious cult and lacked many of the unnecessary restrictions. Therefore, soon in various locations of Karelia had Lutheran churches. However, in the territory of Karelia, none of the Christian teachings never fully dominated, as the impact of these teachings have always been limited to small number of its followers, resulting, in the Karelian history, in the lack of clerical dominance and, even more so, religious hatred. Thus, any church in Karelia, including any church allocated to be as the official Orthodox, from ancient times has always been really separated from the state.

Speaking, in this regard, about the outlook of the Karelian People, it is necessary to note that during the entire history of its formation and development, it refused to accept any irrational philosophical systems of the world view, which were never evidenced in the real everyday life. Due to this, the national outlook of the Karelian People have always been based on practical knowledge that the whole world: sky, earth, nature and man - is an integrated whole, and that God which created this world exists in this world always, everywhere and in everything. This rational understanding of God was followed by a logical conclusion that God is eternal, omnipotent and omnipresent, as the formed by it nature and man, whose fate is determined by them and the God, who gives to everyone, not only freedom of choice, but Its assistance as a reward for the good deeds. With this, God does not need any intermediaries to communicate with people, as It communicates with everyone, individually, and man, in order to communicate with God, needs only the good deeds: taking care of parents and children, help to neighbors, respect for nature, hard work, generosity, courage and love of freedom. Thus, the very notion of freedom to the Karelian people is Sacred, as well as the right of free choice was granted by the eternal God.

In XIV-XV centuries, the flow of new Russian immigrants to Karelia from the Novogorodsk Principality has increased, as many Russian peasants, pressured by the unbearable yoke by the Russian Princes and Orthodox priests, had nothing left to do than to look for a more free and prosperous life in the neighboring Republic of Karelia. This new influx of Russian immigrants in Karelia led to the spread of mass hunting, fishing, marine industries, salt making and iron crafts. As a result of this migration process, a number of new mixed tribal settlements emerged: Olonets, Pudoga, Povenets, Sum and Vytegorsk churchyard.

In 1478 a large part of Karelia, together with the Principality of Novgorod formally joined the Moscow State, and the south-western part of Karelia, together with the ancient tribal center Karel - city of Korely until the XVII century, belonged to the Kingdom of Sweden. By this time the formation of the Karelian People was almost complete, with this the Russian immigrants and Izhor Slavs by this time became to form an ethnic dominant of the Karelian People. This was reflected on the Karelian language, which became to have a Slavic-Izhor structure and contain mostly Ancient Russian vocabulary, enriched by many Karelian, Sum, Vepsian and Leppsian words and phrases. Karelian language itself, with this, became to be known as Zaonezhsk dialect. The emergence of this commonly accepted name of Karelian language completed a diachronic process of its formation into a separate national language of the Karelian People.

By the end of XVIII century Zaonezhsk dialect was spoken by an absolute majority of the Karelian People. In addition, Zaonezhsk dialect became the language for inter-tribal communication of Karelians, Sum, Veps and Lepps, who lived in remote locations, isolated from the rest of Karelia. Zaonezhsk dialect was used in the first recordings of many of Karelian folk tales and Karelian epos «Kalevala». With this, Zaonezhsk dialect was not spoken or understood by neither the Russian Empire government officials who came to Karelia from St.Petersburg, nor the new Russian immigrants, that during the XIX-XX centuries continued to arrive to Karelia from other provinces of the Russian Empire. Thus, the final formation of the Karelian national language - Zaonezhsk dialect completed the last phase of the formation of the Karelian People as a separate ethnic group. And, despite the unconditional phontosentematic resemblance of the Karelian and Russian languages, their dialect relationship is far from being clear. For example, the Karelian word "lyudiki" - translated into Russian as: "people", and Karelian phrase "si akoy pravi" - translated into Russian as: "you are right" (in both cases, the Russian person, that does not possess the knowledge of the Karelian language would find it quite difficult to suggest the exact meaning of Karelian words, despite their phontosentematic proximity to Russian, similar words in meaning). As is clear from these examples, although the Karelian and Russian languages are phontosemantic to each other, however, the Karelian language is not a dialect of Russian and vice versa. That is why, it is quite difficult for an un-prepared Russian person to understand the meaning of Karelian words and phrases. This only proves once again that the Karelian language - Zaonezhsk dialect as a distinct and fully-formed East-Slavic language - the national language of the Karelian People.

At the end of XVII century in Karelia, in Zaonezh, began a rapid industrial and cultural development of the Karelian People: the first smelting and iron plants were built; wooden architecture and original northern painting were flourishing, which portrayed the majestic northern nature, scenes from the epos «Kalevala», or evangelical scenes in the cheerful, often comic form. At the same time to Karelia from the Russian Empire, like flood, came the Orthodox Old Believers, persecuted by the Moscow Patriarchate after the church split in 1666. Karelian People showed, to the persecuted Old Believers, not only hospitality, but also the traditional religious tolerance, resulting in the fact that many communities of the Old Believers (the so-called "consents") subsequently adopted from the Karelian People its rationalist and reassuring views of the surrounding world, rejected Popovtsy and were able to successfully adapt to a new way of life: to work hard and build a "heaven" on earth.

At the beginning of XVIII century, the Kingdom of Sweden after the defeat in the Northern War under the Nishtadsk peace treaty in 1721 transferred to the Russian Empire the south-western part of Karelia. As a result, another part of the Karelian People were the Karels, Finns and Swedes who inhabited the south-western Karelia, which gave a powerful new impulse to its industrial development. Thus, the whole of Karelia ended up under the authority of the Russian Empire, and the first Russian Emperor Peter the Great did much to further develop the Karelian People: and Karelia received considerable development of the metallurgical industry, several new steel mills were built, including, the Petrovskii plant, around which in 1703, Petrovsk settlement was formed. Emperor Peter the Great has traveled to Karelia on numerous occasions, and he was in great love with Karelia. In 1719, near the Petrovsk settlement, Emperor Peter the Great founded the first Russian resort «Martsial Waters», where he has rested and was treated on numerous occasions.

Karelian People, due to its independence and efficiency, was of extra liking for Peter the Great, the Emperor showed special affection to Karelian ordinary workers and craftsmen. For example, in 1720 Emperor Peter the Great personally issued the so-called "obelnaya" award to the Karelian worker of the Konchezersk Copper Smelting Plant, Ivan Reboev, for that Ivan in 1714 was the first to open the healing iron sources, on which subsequently the health resort «Martsial Waters» was found. At the same time, Peter the Great, bearing in mind that almost all the Karelian workers, craftsmen, artisans, hunters and fishermen have been, by their nature, lovers of freedom and often related their work at the royal factories and fields with hard labor for their own farm, "for ever" freed the Karelian People from all "land" dependency. It is for this reason that the Karelian People, throughout their history, was never “serfdom-based” and was never in slave dependency from the ruling classes of the Russian Empire. Moreover, social division within the Karelian People themselves into “rich” and “poor” – never took place, as most families simultaneously owned significant in size and strong farms, was engaged in profitable crafts and worked in the industrial teams, which allowed each family to have a stable high income, that assured rich life to each member of the family. As a rule, nearly all farms in Karelia were large, multi-industrial and resembled farms of the middle class lord of the land in Russia. With this, each Karelian family was large and included on average up to 50 people; in addition, sometimes kindred families joined in one family clan, headed by the oldest father of the family, that enjoyed unquestioned all-round respect.

Emperor Peter the Great put Russia "on the buck", digging a window to Europe from Russia and that made the unwashed, ignorant, poor Russia get used to the European civilization and scientific progress, at the same time did much for further progressive development of Karelia. Emperor Peter the Great, not only reunited the Karelian lands, but also gave the Karelian People an ability to develop freely in accordance with their national traditions. Therefore, the Russian Emperor Peter the Great - the only one of the emperors that followed him, who did the greatest good for Karelia, rather than bad, and therefore, to the Karelian People he is a National Hero. Moreover, it was during the time of Emperor Peter the Great that the formation of the Karelian People as a separate ethnic group was finally complete, with its unique traditions, culture and national language. Therefore, given prominent role of Emperor Peter the Great in the historical fate of the Karelian People, the modern capital of the Republic of Karelia - Petrozavodsk bares his glorious name.

At the same time in some remote places in Karelia, small ethnically distinct and autonomous tribes of Karels, Veps and Lepps still remained, that did not assimilate with the People of Karelia. These tribes have evolved in almost total isolation from civilization, were engaged in gathering, hunting and fishing, did not have their own written language and had a very backward way of life. Thus, the common language of inter-tribal communication for these tribes from the middle of the XVIII century became the Karelian language - Zaonezhsk dialect.

In the second half of XVIII century, by the decree of the Russian Empress Catherine II, dated March 21, 1777 Petrovsk settlement, founded by Peter the Great, was renamed to the town of Petrozavodsk and Karelia itself from 1784 was renamed to the Olonets province, the first Governor of which was the Russian poet G.R.Derzhavin . At the end of XIX century, new industrial development of Olonets province began, in thirty years ten timber plants, equipped with the latest technology, were constructed which led to the rapid growth of exports of forests from Karelia.

At that time, the inflow of the new Russian immigrants has increased on the borders of Karelia. With this, the majority of migrants quickly assimilated with the Karelian People, adopting not only Karelian language - Zaonezhsk dialect, but also the love of personal freedom. This is due to the fact that all the repeated attempts by the imperial authorities to introduce, in the territory of Karelia, "serfdom", ended in failure. For example, when by the decree of Russian Empress Catherine II in 1769 Karelian peasants who worked for pay at Olonets mountain plants, were, in an attempt, forced to free bonded labor in Tivdiysk marble quarries and at the construction of Lizhemsk steelworks, the Karelian peasants rebelled immediately and for three years fiercely resisted the royal punitive troops with armed resistance. Center of this large scale Karelian Uprising, which was participated by at least 50 thousand people was the Kizhsk churchyard. At the same time, the uprising has united virtually all segments of the Karelian People, increasingly disaffected by the Russian feudal exploitation in the form of compulsory unpaid work in factories and abuse of representatives of the imperial administration of the province. Karelian uprising was engaged by even some remote parishes, inhabited by ethnic Veps and Karelians. Chief of the uprising was the Karelian peasant from a large wealthy family - K.A.Sobolev. Rebels forced the Empress Catherine II to rescind her decree and directed their representatives to St.Petersburg, for negotiations. However, upon arrival in St.Petersburg all the Karelian negotiators were vilely arrested. Soon, in Karelia by fraud, was arrested the Chief of the Karelian People K.A.Sobolev. Immediately after that the rebels made a swift attack, and freed their leader and other leaders of the Karelian Uprising. However, in June 1771 part of the rich peasants were bribed by the messenger of the Catherine II, and soon disengaged from the Karelian Uprising, and soon to the island of Kizhi, arrived four companies of the Russian chastiser and besieged the center of the rebellion - Kizhsk churchyard. The result of the bombardment of the Kizhsk fortress with heavy guns, more than 2 thousands of the rebels were killed and wounded and soon Karelian rebellion was brutally suppressed. Chiefs of the Karelian People: K.A.Soboleva, A.Salnikov and S.Kostin and more than 100 people were exposed to brutal torture, stigmatize with hot iron and then sent to eternal penal servitude in Siberia, in Nerchinsk. Nevertheless, as a result of the Kizhsk uprising of the Karelian People, in the territory of Karelia any serf labor was banned and taxes were lowered, which had a positive impact on further economic development of Karelia and reproduction of Karelian people.

Currently Karelian People make up the most of all the inhabitants of Karelia. At the same time, in some inaccessible northern and north-western parts of Karelia there are still, low-in-number, Karelian-Finnish People, who thanks to the historically isolated living conditions, maintained the purity of their Karelian-Finnish language. Also now in the south of Karelia there a separate national Vepss area centered in the village of Sheltozero, where the representatives of the small Vepsian people still reside. Today, however, representatives of all these nationalities freely speak the Zaonezhsk dialect, as well as in the Russian language, and many of them gradually lose the desire to speak at their national dialects.

As a result of the Socialist Revolution in the Russian Empire, which took place in October 1917, in Karelia in the period of: November 1917 to March 1918 Russian power was also established, and on 8 June, 1920 Karelian Labor Commune was formed, which on 25 July 1923 was transformed into Karelian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (Karelian ASSR) within the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. At the same time in the East (White sea) Karelia, on June 21, 1918 was the proclamation of an independent Republic of Ukhta with the capital city of Ukhta (now the city of Kalevala). However, already in 1922 Ukhta Republic was defeated by the Bolsheviks and ceased its short existence.

During the years of Soviet authority, Karelian ASSR was the basis of the energy industry, Kondopoga HES was built and 15 smaller electric stations, lumbering, wood processing and pulp and paper industry were transformed, reconstruction of other existing manufacturing was implemented. Karelian ASSR on Mar 31, 1940 received the status of the sixteenth Soviet Republic and was renamed into the Karelian-Finnish Soviet Socialist Republic (Karelian-Finnish SSR). At the same time, the territory of the Karelian-Finnish SSR has increased due to new areas, that were now owned by the USSR after the war with Finland in the 1939-1940 - Karelian-Finnish SSR was granted the Finnish industry enterprises and human settlements. Mainila, Lembolovo, Kerro, Termolovo, Kallelovo and others. Thus, Karelia for the first time in its history has gained statehood and became legally full constituent Entity of the international law, while being the part of USSR.

However, the Soviet authorities at the same time attempted to abolish the historic memory and national identity of the Karelian People. To this end, in 1920, for more than six decades under the cover of communism "education" and the preservation of minority tribes of Karels, Veps and Lepps, preserved in isolated and remote areas of Karelia and that lead a backward way of life, the Soviet authorities pursued a deliberate policy on the artificial division of the Karelian People into the individual language groups, the so-called: "Russian", "Karelian-Finnish", "Vepsian" and "Leppsian" nationality. Thus, the Karelian language - Zaonezhsk dialect was forcibly replaced by the Russian language with writing based on the Russian alphabet, as Karelian People before that had their own writing system based on the Runic alphabet. In addition, the Karelian People were now expected to learn, in addition to Russian language, even more rarely used languages: Karelian-Finnish, Vepsian and Leppsian, which was spoken only by few representatives of the tribes living in isolation from the bulk of the Karelian People. Despite such anti-Karelian policy, the Soviet authorities have not been able to artificially divide the Karelian People into separate components, as by the end of 1970, more than 70% of all new Karelian "nationalities" were evenly mixed among themselves, including all minority representatives of Karelians, Veps and Lepps. Thus, the active mixture of different Karelian "nationalities" occurred exclusively in the territory of Karelia, not affecting the representatives of the same "nationalities" living beyond its borders. Thus, despite measures undertaken by the Soviet power on the formal abolition of the Karelian People, it was once again revived in the second half of the XX century and, thus, clearly demonstrated its historical right to exist,

During the First World War, 2/3 of the territory of the republic, which accounted for 83% of industrial production, was occupied by Finnish troops, but at the end of 1944, Karelia had been completely liberated by the Soviet Army. However, unlike most other European regions of the Soviet Union occupied during the war by German troops, industrial and agricultural potential of the Karelian SSR was not completely destroyed. That is why, in the postwar years in the Karelian ASSR there was a rapid growth in the construction of housing, development of car manufacturing, energy sector, metallurgy, chemical industry, which lasted until mid-1980. However, on 16 July 1956 under the arbitrary order of the Illiterate General Secretary of the Central Committee of KPSS N.S.Khrushchev, public status of Karelian-Finnish Soviet Socialist Republic within the USSR was demoted to the status of the Karelian ASSR as part of the RSFSR, which caused the People of Karelia and the Karelia itself a considerable material and moral damage. From that time until the end of 1980 the Karelian ASSR remained a low-income subsidy province of RSFSR, further economic development of which was dramatically stalled. At the end of 1980, USSR underwent radical political and economic reforms that finally stalled and almost froze the economy of Karelian ASSR.

This explains why after the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) collapse, the Supreme Council of the Karelian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (Karelian ASSR) was the first among other soviet autonomous republics to adopt its Declaration on State Sovereignty of the Karelian ASSR (on August 9, 1990). But soon most of the popular deputies of the Supreme Council of the Karelian SSR were threatened with physical intimidation by representatives of the State Security Committee (the SSC) and fearing for their lives they passed another resolution: On July 4, 1991 the Supreme Council of the Karelian ASSR agreed to participate in signing the Treaty on the Union of Sovereign States, and on November 13, 1991 the Karelian ASSR Supreme Council passed a resolution to rename the Karelian ASSR into the Republic of Karelia within the Russian Federation although from May 24, 1991 till May 21, 1992 the Karelian ASSR regained its former public status as Karelian Soviet Socialist Republic, and thus the Karelian SSR had full authority to exercise its state self-determination. Nonetheless, on March 31, 1992 the delegation of the Republic of Karelia signed the Federative Agreement, whereunder it enjoyed solely the status of a “sovereign state” within the Russian Federation. Afterwards, on November 28, 1992 the Supreme Council of the Republic of Karelia adopted the new version of Article 1 of the Constitution of the Republic of Karelia determining its status as “sovereign state within the Russian Federation enjoying full state authority in its territory except for authorities delegated to federal state bodies of the Russian Federation in accordance with the Federative Agreement”.

The so-called "check" privatization carried out by the Government of the Russian Federation in 1994, made almost all the inhabitants of the Republic of Karelia bankrupt. However, in some cases false concessions offered to members of the work unions, made them only the owners of the bankrupt enterprises. During those years, in the Republic of Karelia, 972 companies and real estate facilities were "privatized", at the same time 639 enterprises were municipal-owned, the facilities of ownership of the Government of the Republic of Karelia - 308 companies, and facilities of the federal property of the Russian Federation - only 25 companies. Moreover, the new owners of the absolute most profitable Karelian enterprises were people, who were not the residents of the Republic of Karelia. Therefore, such privatization of state property of the Republic of Karelia through its sale at its residual value was in fact illegal. Thus, an important condition for the formation of the real estate market was the redemption of land for privatized enterprises. However, the specified plots were redeemed by only 34 of the privatized companies, which amounted to less than 4% of all privatized enterprises. The so-called "owners" of all the other privatized enterprises, did not even intend to redeem the land for these companies because these companies will soon be robbed and become bankrupt. Of all the privatized enterprises and real estate facilities, only the facilities of small privatization were transferred into private ownership and make some profits: trade enterprises, public catering and consumer services, which previously belonged to the municipal property of the Republic of Karelia. Privatization of large and medium-sized enterprises in the Republic of Karelia took place mainly through corporatization. With this, the controlling package of shares of these companies was illegally held by various criminal groups, mainly from Moscow and St.Petersburg, who bought shares for nothing from the labor unions of enterprises. As a result, the budget of the Republic of Karelia after the privatization of state and municipal property received only 37.3 million rubles. This ridiculous amount was less than 0.1% of real market value of all enterprises privatized in the Republic of Karelia from 1992 to 1997. Thus, as a result of a criminal "privatization", the Karelian People had been robbed for more than 1.3 billion U.S. dollars. Notorious "privatization" not only destroyed the previous weak economic foundation of the Republic of Karelia, but also gave rise to massive fraud and abuse of official powers in the field of real estate. Evidence of extreme inefficiency of the implemented "privatization" is the fact that the privatization of enterprises in the Republic of Karelia did not create a layer of effective owners, which is the social basis of market economy in any state. In addition, in the Republic of Karelia, at present time there is still the actual separation of the legal regimes of land plots and buildings located on them, causing various rules for their involvement and participation in real estate turnover, which is unacceptable in any civilized country of Europe.

In the modern Republic of Karelia there is only 13 cities, 11 towns and a little more than 600 villages, so the average population density in the Republic of Karelia is less than 4 people per 1 square kilometer, well below the national average indicator for the European part of Russia. Thus, today Karelian people is a relatively small nation, which, however, has enormous natural wealth. In accordance with Article 6 of the Constitution of the Republic of Karelia: the land and its mineral wealth, flora and fauna are the property of the People of the Republic of Karelia and the foundation of its economic sovereignty. In accordance with Article 35 of the Constitution of the Republic of Karelia: everyone is obliged to protect nature, environment, historical monuments and culture of the Republic of Karelia. Thus, the ground, a bowels, flora and fauna of Karelia legislation belongs to all Karelian People, however, to Actually Karelian People does not belongs anything.

Thus, the area of the Republic of Karelia - 180.5 thousand square kilometers. The length of the territory of the Republic of Karelia: from North to South - 660 kilometers from west to east - 421 kilometers. In the west it borders with the Republic of Finland, in the south - with the Leningrad and Vologda regions, in the east - with the Arkhangelsk region and in the north - with the Murmansk region of the Russian Federation, with this the Republic of Karelia geographically cuts off Murmansk region of the mainland of the Russian Federation, as on North-East Karelia is washed by the White Sea. Distance from the capital of the Republic of Karelia - Petrozavodsk, to the capital of the Russian Federation - Moscow City: 925 kilometers, and to the capital of Finland, Helsinki: 703 kilometers. Therefore, geographically, the Republic of Karelia is close to the European Union than to the Russian Federation. At the same time, the Republic of Karelia is an official member of the European Arctic Barents Region, and is included in the Assembly of European Regions. Thus, the Republic of Karelia has a very advantageous geopolitical situation in North-Eastern Europe, situated on the Economic Border of the Northern and Eastern Europe and joining the European Union states with the Russian Federation and member-countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States, which is essential for the successful development of external economic relations of the Republic of Karelia , which, however, is currently un-seen.

The territory of the Republic of Karelia is situated in the Taiga area and represents a vast, low-lying areas with more than 60 000 lakes and 27 000 rivers. Approximately 25% of the territory of the Republic of Karelia is a fresh-water surface. More than half of the dry area of the Republic of Karelia is covered by forests, while the total stock of wood resources in forests, of all categories, is more than 800 million cubic meters, taking up more than 5% of the European part of Russia. At the same time, a feature of the Karelian forest is the predominance of valuable conifers, share of which is 90%. Such enormous wealth - ratio of land, fresh water and the population, is not present in any other country of the world. Therefore, the Karelian People is one of the richest people of the world. The total volume of freshwater resources, both internal and external reservoirs of Karelia is more than 145 cubic kilometers, not taking into account the 908 cubic kilometers of water of Lake Ladoga, 291 cubic kilometers of water of Lake Onega and 66 cubic kilometers of water of the total run-off of Karelian rivers. These are indeed colossal natural water resources, given that at present 43% from the Karelian rivers, 29% from the Karelian lakes, only 15% from Onega Lake, and only 10% from the Lake Ladoga is taken from the total volume of freshwater that can be used in business activities without causing environmental damage to the natural environment. The territory of the Republic of Karelia, also has underground iron, radon, sodium chloride mineral waters, which are used for spa treatment and bottling as medical-table water (for example, the famous sanatorium «Martsial waters» was founded by the Russian Emperor Peter the Great in 1719).

In addition, the Republic of Karelia is washed, in the north-east, by the White Sea and, therefore, in accordance with the United Nations Convention «On the Territorial Sea and Contiguous Zone» 1958, and in accordance with the United Nations Convention «On the Law of the Sea», 198, the Republic of Karelia distributes its sovereignty over territorial waters in the White Sea, with a width of 12 miles, as well as to all minerals present in the continental shelf. Territorial Waters of Karelia contain a variety of marine resources, and the continental shelf contains large reserves of oil, gas and other minerals.

The territory of the Republic of Karelia is also rich with other minerals. Currently the Republic of Karelia has 643 mineral deposits, including: 211 deposits of titanium, vanadium, molybdenum, gold and diamonds, 432 deposits of mineral waters. In addition, the Republic of Karelia has large reserves of: peat, iron ore, phlegmatic raw materials, muscovite, facing stone and building stone. By the volume of reserves of minerals, Republic of Karelia, is in the first place among all regions of the Northern economic region of the Russian Federation; more than 50 different geological sites are registered in the territory of Karelia. In addition, the Republic of Karelia has large fuel-energy resources: hydropower, solar and wind energy. Potential hydropower resources constitute 13.5 billion kilowatts per hour of electric energy and solar and wind energy can be stored in large quantities in the southern areas of the Republic of Karelia.

Republic of Karelia is also fabulously rich with the resources of flora, fauna and recreational natural resources used for recreation, treatment and tourism. These natural resources include: 17 species of wild berry plants, 25 kinds of tea honey plants, 30 kinds of salad-vegetable plants, 300 species of medicinal plants, 20 000 species of insects, 63 000 mammals, 5200 species of amphibians, 5000 species of reptiles, 270 species of birds, 60 species of freshwater fish; as well as 4 sanatorium and resort areas, 3 state reserves, 2 national parks, 92 sanctuaries and 81 natural monuments. Strict and majestic beauty of northern nature of the Republic of Karelia at different times inspired European artists, writers, poets and composers who remained in the works of Tchaikovsky, Shishkin, Levitan, Kuindzhi, Vasiliev, Roerich and many other honored artists.

Today, every resident of the Republic of Karelia, accounts for 600 tons of various minerals, 1 150 cubic meters of valuable timber and about 2 500 000 cubic meters of fresh water. This enormous natural wealth belongs to the Karelian People and should be used only for the benefit of the Karelian People. If today the annual income from the sale of only the minerals mined in the territory of the Republic of Karelia, would be relatively evenly distributed, that is, fairly - among all of the Karelian People, that each representative of Karelian People, regardless of their social status, would annually receive about 65 thousands Euros, subject to the payment of all existing federal and national taxes. Therefore, the Karelian People can rightly be considered one of the richest people of Europe. However, in reality, Karelian People are one of the most poorest people of the world and is on the periphery of European civilization.

Thus, modern Karelian People - are direct descendants of the ancient Karelian People, emerged in the IX-XVIII centuries in the territory of Karelia as a result of historical fusion of Russian immigrants, Izhor Slavs, Karel tribes, Veps, Lepps and the Finns and Swedes. Thus, the Karelian language - Zaonezhsk dialect, should be regarded not as a dialect of Russian language but as a separate Eastern Slavic language, which until recently by historical standards was spoken by an absolute majority of the Karelian People. Zaonezhsk dialect is a unique national language, which sounds nothing like the today's dialects of Russian language, which are used by the residents of other regions of the Russian Federation. At the same time, a large part of the vocabulary of the Zaonezhsk dialect are words and expressions borrowed from the ancient Russian, Izhorsk, Karelian, Finnish, Lepps and Veps lexicons, which in their majority are not understandable to the inhabitants of other regions of the Russian Federation, speaking the modern Russian language. Moreover, some specific vowel and consonant sounds of the Zaonezhsk dialect cannot be accurately determined by the letters of the Russian alphabet, based on the Cyrillic alphabet. In this regard, a more suitable and convenient for Zaonezhsk dialect is the historical Runic alphabet. Karelian People, like the Scandinavian and German tribes of Northern Europe, from the ancient times used Runes in their daily activities, as well as in their religious rituals. Runic alphabet appeared with various representatives of the Karelian People in the IX-X centuries, and since then always existed. Ancient runes used by the Karelian People, is a system of pictograms, displaying natural forces and natural phenomena, which were carved out of stone, wood or metal, and served as an effective symbol of divine protection and assistance in various life situations. In Karelia, as in most countries of Northern Europe, the most prevalent was the German version of the Runic alphabet - the so-called senior «FUThARK» (under the appellation of its first six letters: F, U, Th, A, R and K). This Runic alphabet was divided into three groups of eight letters: Freyja’s runes, Hagalla’s runes Tyr’s runes with the addition of one empty Odin’s rune. Thus, the Karelian variant «FUThARK» includes 25 runes, each with its own name, symbol and inherent only to it certain divine attributes. Runes served as effective talismans, averter and magic weapons - fortune telling. Rune fortune telling was one of the main traditions of the Karelian People. In the ancient times, the secret to fortune telling on Runes was possessed only by Chieftains of tribes and Volvas- female prophetess.

Another proof of awareness by the Karelian People of its particular national identity, is the affection of all the representatives of the Karelian People to Karelia and the Karelian land, because, in spite of extremely adverse, to the Karelian People, social and economic consequences of the collapse of the USSR, the Republic of Karelia, in the past 15 years, was abandoned, for permanent residence in other States or in other regions of the Russian Federation, by less than 1500 people, of whom the majority are not the representatives of the Karelian People, but in fact the representatives of other nationalities: Azerbaijani, Armenian and Jewish. Indeed, today more than 2/3 of all ethnically mixed families living in the Republic of Karelia - consider themselves Karelian People.

In addition, the Karelian People is markedly different from all other peoples of the Russian Federation, in particular from the Russian people, by their particular national mentality. The fact is that the Karelian People have always been characterized by: rational thinking, respect for nature, hard working and love of freedom, which led to the freedom of the Karelian People from all forms of slavery and the ideological dominance throughout its history. That is why at present, in the Republic of Karelia, peacefully live side by side representatives from various national groups and representatives from all world religions, even though more than 2/3 of the Karelian People consider themselves atheists or agnostics. Thus, the Karelian People throughout its history, in contrast to the Orthodox, Muslim and Jewish population of the Russian Federation, has never been a clerical people. Thanks to its rational thinking and tolerance towards all religions, Karelian People always lived independently, without slavery, without "serfdom based" law, without process of "dispossession", without the demolition of churches in the years of Soviet authority, and without dominant attitude towards religion at present. Therefore, today Karelian people, for the most part, believes any religion to be an Institute of subordination and oppression of human Freedom, than the institutions of education of mankind. In the collective mind of the Karelian People freedom is a Sacred Imperative of such immense power that it is able to substitute any religion. For the Karelian People freedom implies not solely personal inviolability and independent thought, but also resolute disapproval of any totalitarianism and religious ignorance. This explains why humanistic education, gender equality and impartial scientific approach to environment were inherent to Karelian People throughout its history.

Conclusive evidence of the special historical development of the Karelian People is science research and work of the Karelian historians, culture experts, philosophers, writers and poets, such as: Agapitov V.A., Pulkin V.I., Balagurov Y.I., Syukiyaynen I.I., Bardin E.S., Zhuravlev A.P., Bubrih D.V., Stepanov A.Y., Linevsky A.M., Linnik Y.V., Batsera M.I., Starostina T.B., Suni L.V., Takala I.R., Hurmevaara A.G., Costin I.A., Spivak D.L. and others.

Currently, the total number of Karelian People is 664 000 persons, of which approximately 518 000 people are able to work, that is 78%. However, persons under the age of thirty years are in the amount of 385 000 people or 58% of the Karelian people. Therefore, Karelian People – is young and full of forces. Therefore, Karelian People - has a excellent future! And this future of Karelian People - in Our hands!