/al"tuy/; Russ. /ul tuy"/, n.

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also spelled  Altai,  

      kray (region), southwestern Siberia, Russia. Altay kray lies in the basin of the upper Ob River and its headstreams, the Biya and Katun. The kray borders Kazakhstan in the southwest.

      Once part of the khanate of Dzungaria, the kray was colonized by the Russians from the 18th century. It consists of the rolling plains of the Kulunda Steppe in the west, the Salair Ridge in the east, and the foreland of the Altai Mountains in the southeast. The kray has both steppe and forest-steppe vegetation. The steppes are almost entirely under cultivation, with wheat, oats, and corn (maize) the chief crops, together with sunflowers, flax, hemp, and sugar beets. Dairy cattle are also raised. Nonferrous ores—copper, zinc, lead, silver, mercury, barium, tungsten, and gold—are mined, chiefly around Zmeinogorsk and Gornyak. Light engineering, chemicals, and timber processing are developed in the main cities, notably Barnaul, the administrative centre. Five rail lines meet at Barnaul, including a link with the Trans-Siberian Railroad to the north. Area 65,300 square miles (169,100 square km). Pop. (2006 est.) 2,543,265.

formerly (1948–91)  Gorno-Altay , or (1922–48)  Oyrot , also spelled  Altai  

      republic, southern Russia, in the Altai Mountains. It is bounded on the south by Mongolia and China. It embraces a complex series of ranges and high plateaus, divided by deep valleys and broad basins, that attain a maximum height of 14,783 feet (4,506 metres) in Mount Belukha. Steppe vegetation in the basins gives way to dense coniferous forest on the mountain slopes. The republic, centred on the city of Gorno-Altaysk, was formed as an autonomous oblast in 1922 for the Mongol Oyrat people for whom it was named until 1948; today about two-thirds of the inhabitants are Russian. The economy is largely agricultural. In the valleys oats, other grains, and vegetables are grown, but the raising of cattle, sheep, goats, horses, and yaks on the mountain and valley pastures is dominant. Fur hunting and timber working are also carried on. Area 35,700 square miles (92,600 square km). Pop. (2006 est.) 204,474.

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Universalium. 2010.

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