| || A mountainous peninsula of volcanic origin at Siberia’s far eastern end, Kamchatka is a place apart in the Russian Federation. It is remote from the capital—by more than 3,700 miles (6,000 km)—and the Russian authorities have done little to encourage its development since the breakup of the Soviet Union. Yet Kamchatka plays a part in Russian economic life, thanks to its forest and agricultural resources, the development of its coastal towns, and its ﬁsheries. The population is concentrated in the towns and consists largely of Russians, who mingle with older residents such as the Kamchadales. These nomads, also known as Itelmens, have retained their traditional way of life and live chieﬂy from ﬁshing. Only about 18,000 are thought to remain of a people who were once the most numerous on the peninsula.
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