Tuva Republic, Russia

The Republic of Tyva or Tuva is a region of the Russian Federation located in the very center of Asia, in the south of Central Siberia. The national republic, stretching near the border with Mongolia, surrounded by the Sayan and Altai mountains on all sides, is one of the most inaccessible and unpopular tourist destinations in the country.

Geographical isolation made it possible to preserve the national identity of Tuvans and preserve unique recreational resources. In fact, ethnographic and natural tourism (fishing, water tourism), with due diligence, can encourage sophisticated travelers to take an independent trip, which, due to the harsh climate, is best planned for the summer.



Azas Nature Reserve

Lake Tere-Khol
Uvs Nuur Basin



The official languages are Russian and Tuvan. Tuvan belongs to the Sayan group of Turkic languages, and is practically incomprehensible to, say, Tatars, Turks, Kazakhs or Uzbeks.

Despite the fact that Tuvans make up more than 82% of the republic’s population, almost everyone understands and speaks Russian, although there may be some difficulties when communicating with residents from remote areas who do not speak it well. Don’t be surprised if someone refuses to speak Russian for ideological reasons, even if they know it.


How to get there

By plane
There is a small airport in Kyzyl that can accommodate some types of aircraft. There are daily flights (except Sun) Kyzyl-Krasnoyarsk-Kyzyl. And Kyzyl-Novosibirsk-Kyzyl on Mon, Wed, Fri.

1  Kyzyl Airport (IATA:KYZ). Kyzyl city airport.

By train
There are no railways on the territory of the republic; the nearest stations are in Khakassia and the Krasnoyarsk Territory, then by road.

2  Abakan city railway station. Railway station of the city of Abakan.

By bus
3  Passenger ATP of the city of Kyzyl. Kyzyl bus station.

By car
Along the M54 “Yenisei” highway from Khakassia and the Krasnoyarsk Territory. The A162 highway passes through the territory of the republic.



The main mode of transport in the Republic of Tyva is automobile. The main highway is the federal highway R-257 “Yenisei” (until December 31, 2017, the previous registration number “M-54” is used at the same time) - a federal highway (Krasnoyarsk - Abakan - Kyzyl - state border with Mongolia). The Abakan-Kyzyl section is also known under the historical name “Usinsky tract”. It is the main transport artery connecting Tyva with all regions of Russia. Passes through the Sayan Mountains.

In the capital of the republic, the Kyzyl airport is located, through which air communication is carried out with Moscow (since 2015), Krasnoyarsk and Novosibirsk, as well as a number of remote areas of Tuva.

It is assumed that after the upcoming comprehensive modernization, the airport may receive international status in 2018.

Tuva did not have a railway connection, so the construction of the Kuragino-Kyzyl railway line in conjunction with the development of Tuva’s mineral resource base is of great importance for the republic. The railway line was planned to be put into operation in 2020.



Tuvan cuisine is not for everyone, it is very fatty and high in calories, and is replete with meat (mainly lamb) and dairy products, of which there are more than twenty. The most common national drink is Tuvan tea - green tea with milk and salt.

The list of the most famous dishes of national cuisine includes:
Tuva Dylgan is a national dish based on coarsely ground fried wheat (taraa) with sour cream (or sarzhag, or any other butter), with the addition of sugar, aarzhy (small fermented milk cheese), and sometimes jam. All this is poured with Tuvan milk tea and mixed.
izig khan - blood sausage
bydaa - soup with various grains and potatoes
manchylyg mun - soup with dumplings
byzhyrgan dalgan - fried flatbread
Munchy - dumplings
tsuiwan - noodles with meat and vegetables
kara mun - lamb offal soup


Night life

The republic's nightlife, like the republic itself, is not developed. There are practically no nightclubs and fashionable establishments in cities and villages, except for Kyzyl. In Kyzyl there are quite a lot of nightclubs and establishments of various kinds, where there is a high probability of running into a drunken fight and other setups.


Precautionary measures

The republic has an increased level of murders and other crimes. Tyva is one of the most criminally dangerous regions of Russia. Here, in addition to murders, thefts and robberies, fights, and rapes are not uncommon. Avoid moving under your own power in the dark, and on the outskirts and in industrial zones even during daylight hours, especially if you look like a Tuvan. Use official taxis, and even there, take a closer look at the drivers. Try to look and dress “normally.” There are especially many homophobes here (even among young people); dyed hair in unusual colors, a non-standard hairstyle and even an innocent earring, a T-shirt with a wide neckline, torn jeans or cuffs can cause attacks.
However, information about Tuvan nationalism is exaggerated by the media; just avoid communicating with drunk, antisocial and aggressive people.



Protectorate of the Russian Empire

After the Mongolian National Revolution of 1911, the Tuvan princes were divided into three groups: some supported independence, others proposed to become part of Mongolia, and the rest proposed to become part of the Russian Empire.

After the Xinhai Revolution in China (1911-1912), the Tuvan noyons ambyn-noyon Kombu-Dorzhu, Chamzy Khamby Lama, noyon Daa-khoshun Buyan-Badyrgy and others several times appealed to the tsarist government with a request to accept Tuva under the protectorate of the Russian Empire. It was decided to grant the request, and thus in 1914 Tuva voluntarily entered under the protectorate of Russia under the name Uriankhai Territory as part of the Yenisei province with the transfer of political and diplomatic affairs in Tuva to the Irkutsk Governor-General. In the same year, construction began on the capital of the region, which was named Belotsarsk in honor of the “White Tsar,” that is, the Russian emperor.


Education of the People's Republic of Tannu-Tuva

On June 18, 1918, a joint meeting of the Russian and Tuvan congresses took place in the Uriankhai region, at which the Treaty on the self-determination of Tuva, friendship and mutual assistance of the Russian and Tuvan peoples was unanimously adopted.

From July 7, 1918, the Uriankhai region was almost entirely occupied by Kolchak’s troops. On June 14, 1919, the troops of the Badzhei Soviet Republic under the command of A.D. Kravchenko and P.E. Shchetinkin moved from the territory of Kansk and Krasnoyarsk counties to the Uriankhai region. On July 18, they captured the capital of the Uriankhai region, Belotsarsk.

In mid-1921, Tuvan revolutionaries, supported by the RSFSR, decided to proclaim the national sovereignty of Tuva, and the independent People's Republic of Tannu-Tuva was formed. The Constitution, flag, coat of arms were adopted, the gold reserves, budget and plenipotentiary representations in the USSR and the Mongolian People's Republic were approved.

Since 1926 - Tuvan People's Republic. The state was recognized by the USSR in 1924 and the Mongolian People's Republic in 1926, but was not recognized by China and most countries of the world, which considered Tuva part of China.

In 1932, an agreement was signed on the border between the TPR and the MPR, which provided for the transfer to the TPR of part of the disputed territories south of the Tannu-Ola ridge (modern Mongun-Taiginsky, Ovursky, Tes-Khemsky and Erzinsky kozhuuns). This agreement, concluded through the mediation of the USSR, was received ambiguously in Mongolia and was not ratified by it. In 1937, the Mongolian side declared the 1932 border agreement “unfair” and concluded under pressure from the USSR and repeatedly proposed to revise it, including after the accession of the TPR to the USSR. However, all these proposals were rejected by the Tuvan-Soviet side.


Tuva during World War II

On June 25, 1941, the Tuvan People's Republic entered World War II on the side of the USSR, declaring war on Nazi Germany, and became the first state to officially ally the Soviet Union in the fight against the aggressor.

From June 1941 to August 1944, the Tuvan People's Republic supplied 50 thousand horses to the USSR, as well as about 750 thousand heads of cattle, of which almost 650 thousand were free of charge. Thus, from each Tuvan family, which, as a rule, had an average of 130 heads, 10-100 heads of cattle were supplied to the USSR. During the war, Tuva supplied the Soviet army with 52 thousand pairs of skis, 10 thousand sheepskin coats, 19 thousand pairs of mittens, 16 thousand pairs of felt boots, 67 tons of wool, 400 tons of meat, rye, barley flour and melted butter, as well as tens of tons of honey, fruits and vegetables. canned berries and concentrates, fish products, tons of dressing bandages, alternative medicine, wax and resin, and approximately 90% - free of charge; Also, at the end of the war, 30 thousand cows were transferred to the Ukrainian SSR, from which the post-war revival of livestock farming in the de-occupied territories began. The entire gold reserve of the republic was transferred to the disposal of the USSR, and the production of Tuvan gold, in total, amounted to 35 million rubles (at that time).

In 1942, the USSR government allowed to accept volunteers from Tuva for military service. Previously, the mobilization of Russian-speaking citizens into the Red Army was announced. The first volunteers joined its ranks in May 1943 and were enlisted in the 25th separate tank regiment (since February 1944, a regiment as part of the 52nd Army of the 2nd Ukrainian Front), which took part in hostilities on the territory of Ukraine, Moldova, Romania, Hungary and Czechoslovakia.

In September 1943, the second group of volunteers (206 people) was enlisted in the 8th Cavalry Division, where they took part in a raid on the German rear in western Ukraine. In total, during the war years, up to 8 thousand residents of the Tuvan People's Republic and Soviet Tuva served in the ranks of the Red Army, many of them were awarded orders and medals of the USSR and the Tuvan People's Republic for military merits.


Tuva as part of the USSR and the RSFSR

On August 17, 1944, the VII session of the Small Khural of the Tuvan People's Republic adopted a declaration on the entry of the TPR into the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and petitioned the Supreme Soviet of the USSR to accept the Tuvan People's Republic into the USSR as an autonomous region of the RSFSR.

By Decree of October 11, 1944, the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR granted the petition and invited the Supreme Council of the RSFSR to accept the Tuvan People's Republic into the RSFSR as an autonomous region.

By the Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Council of the RSFSR of October 14, 1944 “On the admission of the Tuvan People's Republic into the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic,” the Tuvan People's Republic was admitted to the RSFSR as the Tuvan Autonomous Region.

On October 10, 1961, the region was transformed into the Tuva Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic.

On December 17, 1961, elections to the Supreme Council of the Tuvan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic of the first convocation took place.

In 1978, the first constitution of the Tuvan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic was adopted since joining the USSR.

On December 12, 1990, the Supreme Council of the Tuvan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic adopted the Declaration of State Sovereignty of the Soviet Republic of Tuva.

On May 24, 1991, the Congress of People's Deputies of the RSFSR transformed the Tuvan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic into the Tuvan SSR, amending Art. 71 of the Constitution of the RSFSR.

After the August Putsch in the USSR, on August 28, 1991, the Tuvan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic was renamed the Republic of Tuva by the Supreme Council of the Republic. This name was enshrined in the Constitution of the RSFSR as amended on April 21, 1992.

In December 1991, the post of President of Tuva was introduced, who is also the head of the government of the Republic of Tuva.



In 1993, a version of the 1993 Constitution of the republic was adopted with a new name for the republic: the Republic of Tuva (the Tuvan language was specified as the “Tuva language”). The Constitution of the Russian Federation, which came into force 2 months later, established the name “Republic of Tyva”.

In the currently valid Constitution of the Republic of 2001, the names “Republic of Tyva” and “Tuva” have become equivalent. The Constitution, adopted in a referendum on May 6, 2001, did not contain any mention of sovereignty and equalized the rights of the Russian and Tuvan languages. Also, the 2001 Constitution abolished the post of president of the republic, and the head of the region was declared to be the chairman of the government, appointed by the president of Russia.