Kalmykiya Republic

Kalmyk autonomous republic was established in 1920 and transformed into a republic in 1935. In 1943 Kalmyks were deported to Siberia and Northern Kazakhstan for “collaboration with German occupants”. The autonomous area was restored in 1957. The autonomous republic inside RSFSR was restored in 1958. Sovereignty Declaration - October 1990. Capital - Elista (population 103.9 thousands), founded in 1930.
Moscow-Elista distance – 1836 km.

Geographic location. Republic of Kalmykia is located at the western part of Caspian lowlands. Its eastern part is washed by the Caspian Sea. North-south - 640 km, west-east - 480 km. It borders: in the south — on Republic of Dagestan, in the west – on Stavropol territory and Rostov region, in the north – on Volgograd region, in the east – on Astrakhan region.

Natural conditions. Kalmykia is mostly located in a semi-arid zone. Surface waters are not abundant. The Caspian Sea coast is low and swampy. The climate is acutely continental – hot and dry summer, cold winter with little snow. Winter temperature: from -15 to - 8 degrees. Summer temperature: from +23 to +26 degrees. Spring is the best season. Precipitation: from 170 to 400 mm per year. Vegetation period: 180-213 days.

Population. Kalmykia is mostly rural with population engaged in grazing livestock farming. The population quantity is stable with birthrate a bit above mortality rate. The main Republic population is Kalmyks, also living in Astrakhan, Volgograd, Rostov areas and Stavropol territory. Religious Kalmyks are Lamaists. Kalmyks migrated to the region at the beginning of the XVII century. Their early ethnic history is closely connected with ancient Oirats tribes, which migrated to downstreams of Volga from the Central Asia. In the course of migration Oirats were joined by Turk, Russian and other ethnicities (with little influence), and finally Kalmyk ethnic group was formed. In the XVII century Kalmyks took to Lamaism. They lead nomadic way of life until the end of the XIX century.

State structure. Kalmykia is a presidential republic. President is elected for 7 years. President is allowed to appoint up to 1/3 of parliament deputies. In April 1994 by decree of President Iliumzhinov the Republic constitution was substituted by the so called Steppe Code, strengthening the presidential power. The Republic is almost totally devoid of local administrative bodies — all the power “in the field” belongs to presidential representatives, who in case of need may call people’s council. In 1995 the president-appointed legislative council was established by a presidential decree.

Economy strong and weak points. The Republic subsoil contains oil, gas, salt, building materials. Besides, there are formations (5-48 m, 60-120 m and 480-500 m) with uranium-phosphorous ores. In this respect it is not clear whether the territory and soil have already been polluted in the process of oil production (due to ground waters surfacing from the formations). Fresh water is insufficient. Recently the Caspian Sea waters go higher and flood coastal agricultural lands. The Kalmyk territory receives discharges from Astrakhan gas-condensate combine.

Specialty. The Republic specialty is outrun livestock farming.

Kalmykia industry is weak. Mostly it relates to agricultural products processing: light, food, mining (oil and gas) and construction materials. Energy system is supplied by Tsimliansky Hydro power station..

Official website: http://kalm.ru/

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