The Chukotka Autonomous Area is one of the coldest and least populated regions of Russia. The major part of its territory lies beyond the Arctic Circle.
In the south, Chukotka borders the Kamchatka Territory, Yakutia in the west, and the Magadan Region in the southwest. The East Siberian, Chukchi and Bering Seas wash its shores.
The state border between Russia and the USA lies in the Bering Strait. The conditional border line divides the Diomede Islands. Big Diomede is part of Russia, while Little Diomede belongs to Alaska, US. The distance between the two countries at this point is actually just 4 km. The International Date Line, or the 180° meridian, also passes here.
Chukotka is predominantly mountainous. The highest point of Chukotka is Velikaya mountain, or the Chantal peak (1,888.3 m). The longest river is Anadyr at 1,150 km long. Other long rivers include the Omolon, Velikaya, Bolshoy Anyui and Maly Anyui.
Most of the territory of Chukotka is covered with permafrost.
Due to its proximity to the Arctic, Chukotka is a severe, almost extreme place to live in.
The average annual temperatures in Chukotka are below zero. It is around –4°C in the south and –12°C in the north. The average temperature in January varies from –15°C to –39°C, in July from +5°C to +10°C. Average annual precipitation is 200–500 mm.
The colliding Arctic, Southern, and European-Asian cyclones make the weather here extremely changeable: the freezing cold of the winter and powerful northern wind may be immediately followed by relative warm, humid weather, blizzards or just heavy snowfall.
Because of the complex climate, the region holds many climatic records. The least number of sunny days was recorded here — only one thousand hours per year. Other records include the most days without sunshine, maximum average annual wind speed, and the most frequent storms in Russia.
There are three mobile communication operators in Chukotka: MTS, Beeline and Megafon. There is coverage in most towns and villages, but the connection can be unreliable and not all operators are available everywhere.
Mobile internet connection works in major towns and cities; however, the speed is quite low.
Outside the towns, there is virtually no mobile internet connection anywhere. Satellite connection is also unreliable, with regular interference and loss of signal.
Previously, most of the territory of the Chukotka Autonomous Area was in the border zone. Since 2018, the border zone has been limited only to Big Diomede island, Wrangel island, and the Herald Island. Citizens of Russia no longer need a special pass to enter the municipal district. The situation is more complex for foreigners: they will need an entrance pass, issued within 60 days.
For more information about access, call the Border Agency of the Russian Federal Security Service in the Chukotka Autonomous Area: +7 (42722) 2-53-71; or the Department of International Relations in the Office of the Governor and Administrations of the Chukotka Autonomous Region: +7 (42722) 6-90-16.
Chukotka communicates with the main land predominantly by sea and air. In addition to permanent automobile roads, winter roads are made accessible between certain towns and villages during winter.
The key passenger transport on Chukotka is aviation. There are direct flights from Central Russia to Anadyr and Pevek. Within the region, there are a large number of airports that facilitate transportation between regions. Small aircrafts commute between small villages. You can find current schedule of internal flights in Chukotka at http://chukotavia.com/.
Flights can be cancelled due to weather conditions, so we recommend you book open tickets.
There is no year-round automobile road between the airport and Anadyr, since both sites are located on the opposite sides of a wide lagoon. In winter, from February to May, there is a winter road over the ice. In summer, a motor boat provides a shuttle service between the shores. Between seasons, the lagoon can be crossed only by air.
In summer, the steam boat Kapitan Sotnikov passes along the shore of Chukotka. Its schedule is published a month in advance. The voyage to Egvekinot takes around 12 hours, to Provideniya – 24 hours, to Lavrentiya – 36 hours. There are 5 maritime ports located in Chukotka: Anadyr, Pevek, Provideniya, Beringovsky, Egvekinot.
Airport (info desk)
+7 (42732) 2-77-77
Maritime port (dispatching office)
+7 (42722) 2-04-60
Taxi: 550, 525, 333
Emergency call centre
+7 (42722) 2-43-74
Duty dispatcher service