oblast (province), northeastern Siberia, far eastern Russia. Magadan oblast is bordered by the Sea of Okhotsk to the east and southeast and by the Chukchi autonomous okrug to the north, Khabarovsk kray (region) to the southwest, and Sakha republic to the west. Most of the oblast is rugged and mountainous, except for small patches of lowland along the Sea of Okhotsk. There is some poor-quality swampy forest, or taiga, of larch, fir, and birch, but most of the surface is tundra. The climate is severely Arctic. There are a number of indigenous peoples-Even (Lamut), Yukaghir, Sakha (Yakut), and others, engaged chiefly in reindeer herding, fishing, and hunting. There is also a sizable Russian population. Gold is mined, and there are deposits of silver, tin, and coal. Some timber is cut, and salmon and other fish are caught in the Sea of Okhotsk. Area 178,100 square miles (461,400 square km). Pop. (1993 est.) 326,500
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