Factbox: Republic of Altai

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* Founded: 1922 as an autonomous area within the Soviet Union/ 1992 as a republic

* Area: 92,600 sq. km (36,000 sq. miles), about the size of Hungary

* Population: 203,000 (2002 census)

* Urban population: 26%, Rural population: 74%

* Ethnic make-up: Russians (57%), Altaians (31%), Kazakhs (6%)

* Capital: Gorno-Altaisk (53,500), 3,600km (2,300 miles) from Moscow

* President: Alexander Berdnikov (appointed in Jan. 2006) (official title: the head and the chairman of the government of the Republic of Altai)

* Geography: located in southeastern Siberia; borders on Kazakhstan, China, and Mongolia in the south, the Russian republics of Tuva and Khakassia, the Altai Territory and the Kemerovo Region. Lies in the Novosibirsk Time Zone: GMT +6/(+7 DST)

* Economy: Agriculture (animal husbandry, beekeeping) dominates the republic's economy. The food, construction materials and light industries also play an important role. Antlers from the republic's substantial deer population enjoy great demand in Southeast Asia.

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