Yoshkar-Ola (Russian: Йошка́р-Ола́; Mari: Йошкар-Ола) is the capital city of the Mari El Republic, Russia. Its population is about a quarter million. Yoshkar-Ola means red city in Mari and was formerly known as Tsaryovokokshaysk (Царёвококшайск) before 1919, as Krasnokokshaysk (Краснококшайск) between 1919 and 1927 (both after the Malaya Kokshaga River, which runs through the city) and Charla (Чарла) (old Mari). Yoshkar-Ola was established as a military fortress in 1584, following the Russian conquest of the Mari region.
The Mari El Republic (Russian: Респу́блика Мари́й Эл, Respublika Mariy El; Meadow Mari: Марий Эл Республик; Hill Mari: Мары Эл Республик) is a federal subject of Russia (a republic). It is geographically located in the European Russia region of the country, along the northern bank of the Volga River, and is administratively part of the Volga Federal District. The Mari El Republic has a population of 696,459 (2010 Census).
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