Bashkortostan Republic

Bashkirskaya ASSR was set on March 23, 1919 and renamed into Republic of Bashkortostan in 1990. The capital is Ufa (population is 1091.4 thousand inhabitants), established in 1586.
Distance to Moscow is 1519 km.

Geographic location. Republic of Bashkortostan is situated at the border between Europe and Asia. It’s north-south length is 540 km, west-east - 420 km. Neighboring areas: south and south-west – Orenburg region, north-west – Udmurt Republic, north – Perm territory and Sverdlov region, west – Republic of Tatarstan, east – Chelyabinsk region.

Natural conditions. Republic of Bashkortostan occupies part of the eastern side of East-European plain (Preduralie), mountain strip of Southern Urals and elevation-plain TransUrals. Western part of the republic is plains, eastern - mountains. Climate is continental with warm summer and cool and snowy winter. Winter temperature goes down between -10 and – 22 degrees; summer temperature varies between +15 and +25 degrees. Vegetation period lasts about 120-135 days. About 5 mln hectares of the Republic territory is covered with forests. The main river is Belaya (Kama feeder).

Population. More than one third lives in the country. Death rate exceeds birth rate with natural growth being negative, but compensated by high migration inflow. General population of Bashkortostan is on the growing side.

Bashkortostan is a multi-national republic. The most sizeable groups are Russians (39%), Tartars (29%) and Bashkirs (23%). The Republic is also populated by Tchuvashs, Maris, Ukrainians (2-3% each) and other ethnic groups. Bashkirs constitute the republic indigenous population. Their distant predecessors were Iranian speaking cattle-farmers Sarmats, Oguz-Petcheneg tribes, Volga-Kama Bulgarians, Kypchaks and certain Mongolian tribes. Bashkirs were formed about IX-X centuries. After the Golden Horde was completely crushed, the Bashkir-populated territories found themselves in Kazan khanate. Since XVI century – in Russia. Bashkirs are Moslem Sunnites. According to sociological studies Bashkortostan has over 2.2 mln Moslems and 0.7 Orthodox Christians.

State system. Bashkortostan is a presidential republic. The President is elected for five years. The state legislative assembly is the highest legislative body (190 deputies) elected for five years. It consists of the two chambers: legislative chamber and chamber of representatives. Executive power is in the hands of the cabinet council headed by the prime-minister. Republic of Bashkortostan was the only one inside the RF that received a special Addendum to the Federation agreement of 1992. The Addendum specified liabilities of Republic of Bashkortostan, the republic subsoil, natural reserves, its scientific and industrial potential were declared its property, the republic rights in different areas were also determined. In August 1994 the republic signed an agreement about division of power and mutual delegation of responsibilities with the RF state bodies. Bashkortostan is characterized by highly centralized, stable and predictable executive power with the President at its head. Leaders of local administrative structures are presidential appointees.

Economic advantages and disadvantages. Bashkortostan is an industrial and agrarian republic, rich with natural resources; it is one of the main oil-producing areas in the RF and the center of chemical industry and machine building. Bashkortostan is rich with different natural resources: oil (Touimazin, Ishimbai, Arlansk and Chekmagush deposits); gas (projected reserves exceed 300 bln cubic meters); brown coals (in the south) — balance stock up to 0.5 bln tons; rock salt; at the east there are iron deposits (Mountain Bashkortostan) – balance stock about 100 mln tons; copper; zinc; gold (TransUrals).

The republic boasts highly productive agriculture with specialty in grain, milk and dairy and wool products.

There are many health centers and spas in the republic.

The most significant social-economic drawback in Bashkortostan is problematic environmental situation and high probability of anthropogenic catastrophes in a number of districts and towns due to over-saturation with ecologically dangerous productions: oil, refining and petro-chemical industries, and presence of oil and gas pipelines. There are many military-industrial enterprises concentrated in the area.

Specialty. Bashkortostan exports mostly oil, oil products, ores and agricultural products (especially sugar, honey, vegetable oil).

Main industries: fuel-energy, including oil producing (over 23%), oil refining (about 20%). Also: chemical and oil-chemical industry (16% of production) and electric energy (13%), machine building and metal processing (8%), metallurgy, wood, woodworking, pulp and paper, light and food industries. Oil refining and petrochemical enterprises are concentrated in Ufa, Salavat and Ishimbay. Sterlitamak boasts a soda-cement combine, built around local salt and lime deposits. Machine-building and metal processing has been developed: production of oil and mining equipment, machine tool engineering, petro-chemical engineering. Light and food industries are noted for flour-and-cereals industry, butter-and-cheese, dairy, meat, clothing and footwear industry. Electric energy is represented by thermal power stations; there is Pavlovsk hydro-power station at Ufa river (166 thousand kvt). Republic of Bashkortostan is a Russian monopolist in 12 types of industrial products, including organic synthesis products, car engines, high-discharge mixers, soda ash etc.

Official website: http://www.bashkortostan.ru/

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