Republic of Kalmykia, Russia

The Autonomous Republic of Kalmykia is located in the south of Russia. One of the centers of Buddhism in Russia and the only one in geographic Europe. About 20% of the territory of the republic is given to nature reserves, sanctuaries and natural parks. The self-name of the Kalmyks is Halmgud. The Kalmyks divide themselves into four sub-ethnic groups, three of which make up the bulk of the nation: Buzavs, Dervyuds, Torguds, and small Khoshuds. There are a number of stereotypes of these subethnic groups about each other and autostereotypes, as well as jokes and even songs. Stereotypes are mainly associated with the place of residence, lifestyle, appearance (although there are no visible differences), and mentality.



Buddhism in Kalmykia has a long history; by the beginning of the 20th century, there were 90 large and small khuruls with 3,000 monks. In the 1930s, as a result of Stalinist repressions, almost all temples were destroyed, and the Buddhist clergy were subjected to severe repressions. By the beginning of the Great Patriotic War, Buddhism in Kalmykia was practically destroyed. The eviction of the Kalmyks in 1943 completed the destruction of Buddhism. Now Kalmykia is represented by yellow-cap Buddhism or Gelugpa, founded by the Tibetan lama Je Tsongkhapa in the 15th century. But there are also two red-cap schools.



The climate is sharply continental with hot, dry summers and little snow and windy winters, sometimes very cold. The warm period lasts 240-275 days. The main features of the climate are prolonged sunshine and dry winds. Droughts occur very often, since the region lies in the zones of steppes, semi-deserts and deserts.



Elista is the capital of the republic
Lagan is the second largest city where you can see lotus fields
Zunda Tolga
Tsagan Aman is a developing resort on the Volga


Other destinations

Manych-Gudilo is a salt lake with an incredible variety of flora and fauna. Wild horses live on an island in the middle of the lake, and pelicans, herons and geese nest in the backwaters. In the steppe around the lake, tulips bloom in spring, among which is the Shrenk tulip listed in the Red Book. Their flowering season is short and not entirely predictable, but a special festival is planned for it, popular among the inhabitants of Kalmykia and its neighboring regions.
The Black Lands are a protected area of the steppe, a habitat for saigas, although not only they live here: wild horses, foxes, camels, eagles and ground squirrels are also full-fledged residents of the reserve. You can visit it only on established routes and by prior arrangement, but these efforts are worth it - you will see both the steppe and parts of the desert, and there is a special expanse for photographers who are fond of shooting wild animals.

Big Yashaltinskoe Lake (in the common people Salt Lake) is located between the villages of Beryozovoe and Salt in the Yashalta region, 240 km from Elista. In ancient times, the lake was part of the river between the Caspian and the Black Sea. A distinctive feature of the Salt Lake is that the level of the lake is below sea level, and its mud baths are much superior to many resorts in the Caucasus and the Dead Sea. The village of Yashalta was founded by settlers from Estonia in 1877 and was formerly called Esto-Haginskoye. A curious attraction of Yashalta was the Museum of Local Lore built in 1905, which stores, among other things, a stone Polovtsian woman of the 12th century.
City-Chess is a district in Elista where chess tournaments, school Olympiads and meetings of officials are often held.
Biosphere Reserve "Chernye Zemli" is a reserve in the Chernozemelsky and Yakshulsky districts. The saiga population is maintained here.
Sanatorium Lola is located in the quiet village of Lola, 35 km from Elista. Climatic koumiss clinic. Produces koumiss on a horse farm.
The Golden Abode of Buddha Shakyamuni is the largest Buddhist temple in Kalmykia, built in 2005, standing in the center of the capital. The largest Buddha statue in Europe, decorated with gold leaf and inlaid with diamonds, is also located here.
Khurul "Syakyusn-sum" is the second largest and oldest khurul (temple) of Kalmykia, located 6 km north of Elista. The current monastery, therefore, is often closed to visitors.
Ergeni hills in northern Kalmykia. They differ from the sand dunes and steppes of central and eastern Kalmykia, as there are forests here. Ergeni are crossed by hills, hollows, ravine streams (burgusts), and contain water sources even in the sands. Ergeni is popular for the healing properties of groundwater; there are many Red Book fish and herbs. In addition, it is the highest point in the republic (218m).
Sarpinsky lakes - an elongated chain of lakes at the foot of Ergeni in the northeast. Scientists believe that they are the ancient channel of the Volga. Sarpa, Light, Koltan-Nur.
More than 30 Buddhist khuruls are scattered over the entire area of Kalmykia. Temples and monasteries are called khurulas, and small buildings dedicated to good events are called stupas.
Bamb-Tsetsg (Tulip) - Natural National Park. Founded in 1991, with an area of over 500 hectares. In spring it is covered with a carpet of Schrenk tulips (mostly red), white, yellow and purple.
Khar-Buluk is a village to the west of Elista and a saiga kennel.
Saiga sanctuaries — Mekletinskiy, Sarpinskiy and Harbinskiy federal sanctuaries
Kalmyk wind farm 20 km to Elista on the road from Stavropol. Not active (2010).


What to do

Equestrian tourism
Camel riding
Annual off-road rally raids
Watching tulips bloom
Therapeutic mud
Wheeled buer (only your own)



There are two official languages in the republic: Russian and Kalmyk. The Kalmyk language belongs to the Mongolian group and is written in Cyrillic. Unlike older people and some middle-aged people who speak it at the native level, young people and most middle-aged people speak Russian or even a kind of Russian-Kalmyk pidgin.

Mendyud (Healthy!). Halun mende (fiery greetings).
Yamaran bianch? (How are you doing?).
Khanjanav. (Thank you)). Hanjes (iki). Thank you (cheeks).


Getting here

by plane
Airlines "Azimuth" from Vnukovo (travel time 1 hour 50 minutes).

By bus
Elista is located at the crossroads between the eastern part of the North Caucasus and the rest of Russia. A bus runs to Elista from Rostov (night), Astrakhan (five hours) and Volgograd (five hours). From Moscow from the Sportivnaya metro station at 14-00 and 19-00 daily. The bus station is a twenty minute walk from the city center.

By train
Passenger traffic on the only railway line Elista-Stavropol has long been stopped.



Black caviar
Traditional Kalmyk dishes

Night life

In a more or less civilized form, it is presented only in Elista, that is, in the capital of the republic.

Precautionary measures
Bathing for more than 15 min. in the Salt Lake is not desirable.
Take sun protection from April to October.


Physical and geographical characteristics


The area of the republic is 76,100 km². The Republic of Kalmykia is located in the extreme southeast of the European part of Russia. The length of the territory from north to south is 458 km, from west to east - 423 km. Its extreme coordinates are 41°38' and 47°34' East and 48°15' and 44°45' North.

The region is located in the zones of steppes, semi-deserts and deserts and occupies a territory with a total area of 75.9 thousand km², which is larger than the territory of such states in Western Europe as Belgium, Denmark, Switzerland and the Netherlands.

On the territory of Kalmykia, three natural and economic zones are conditionally distinguished: western, central and eastern. The western zone covers the territories of Gorodovikovskiy and Yashaltinsky districts, the central zone - the territories of Maloderbetovsky, Sarpinsky, Ketchenerovsky, Tselinny, Priyutnensky and Iki-Burulsky regions, the eastern zone - the territories of Oktyabrsky, Yustinsky, Yashkulsky, Chernozemelsky, Lagansky. The western zone is the most favorable in terms of soil and climatic conditions.

From the south, the territory of Kalmykia is bounded by the Kumo-Manych depression and the Manych and Kuma rivers, in the southeastern part it is washed by the Caspian Sea, in the northeast, in a small area, the border of the republic approaches the Volga River, and in the northwest, the Ergeninskaya Upland is located. Within the territory of the republic, the northern part of the Caspian lowland is called the Sarpinskaya lowland, and in its southern part there are the Black Lands. The dominant type of relief of the republic, which occupies most of its territory, are plains. The Caspian coast is sandy, indented with small bays.



The climate of the republic is transitional from temperate to sharply continental; summers are very hot and dry, winters have little snow, sometimes with great cold. The continentality of the climate increases significantly from west to east. The average January temperatures throughout the country are negative: from -7 ... -9 ° C in its southern and southwestern parts to -10 ... -12 ° C in the north, the minimum temperature in January: -35 ... -37 ° C. The lowest temperatures sometimes reach -35 °C and lower in the northern regions: for example, in Yashkul, the absolute minimum temperature reaches -36.1 °C. The coldest months are January and February. A feature of the climate is the significant duration of sunshine, which is 2180-2250 hours (182-186 days) per year. The duration of the warm period is 240-275 days. Average temperatures in July are +23.5…+25.5 °C, while in the hottest years (2010, for example) the average monthly temperature in July can exceed +32 °C. This is the hottest subject of Russia in summer, on a par with the Astrakhan region. The absolute maximum temperature in hot years reaches +40 ... +45 °C, and on July 12, 2010 in the village of Utta the air warmed up to +45.4 °C, which was a record air temperature for Russia.

An increase in air temperature is observed from north to south and southeast of the territory of the republic. In winter, there are thaws, on some days - blizzards, and sometimes the resulting ice damages agriculture, causing icing of grass pastures and winter crops.

A specific feature of the territory of the republic are droughts and dry winds: in summer there are up to 120 dry windy days. The region is the driest in the south of the European part of Russia. The annual rainfall is 210-340 mm. According to the conditions of moisture supply in the republic, four main agro-climatic regions are distinguished: very dry, dry, arid, very arid.

Due to the prevalence of strong wind zones, the region has significant wind energy resources, there are two wind farms (Tselinskaya and Salynskaya) with a total capacity of 200 MW. Kalmykia is one of the windiest regions in the Russian Federation (up to 120 days dry winds blow here at a speed of 9 m/s). In 2018, Wind Energy Management Company LLC (manages the Wind Energy Development Fund, whose shareholders are PJSC Fortum and JSC Rusnano) signed a cooperation agreement with the government of the Republic of Kalmykia. This agreement provides for the construction of wind power plants with a total capacity of up to 450 MW in the region.



There are hydrocarbon reserves, the main explored and exploited are the Iki-Burulskoye and Ermolinskoye natural gas fields. The fields belong to the Caspian oil and gas province.



The largest lake in the republic is Lake Manych-Gudilo. Important water bodies are the Sarpinsky and Sostinsky lakes, the Deed-Khulsun lake, the Small and Big Yashalta lakes. A significant amount of fresh water is concentrated in the Chogray reservoir, located on the border with the Stavropol Territory.

The largest river on the territory of the republic is the Volga, which crosses the territory of Kalmykia near the village of Tsagan Aman (12 km). Other large rivers are the Yegorlyk (a section of the republic's border in the extreme southwest runs along the river), the Western and Eastern Manych, Kuma (the border with Dagestan passes along the river). Dzhurak-Sal and Kara-Sal originate on the territory of the republic, the confluence of which forms the Sal River. Most of the rivers of Kalmykia are small, dry up in summer, often bitter-salty. In the south of the republic, on the border with the Stavropol Territory, there is the Chogray reservoir, in the east - the Caspian Sea (167-kilometer stretch of coast).



The diversity of bioclimatic and geomorphological-lithological factors and their manifestations determines the diversity of the structure of the soil cover of Kalmykia. In the extreme west of Kalmykia, on the northeastern periphery of the Stavropol Upland, southern chernozems predominate; within the Kuma-Manych depression - chestnut and solonetsous-saline soils; within the Ergeninskaya Upland - light chestnut soils with solonetzes; in the east of Kalmykia, brown (desert) soils predominate with vast areas of solonetzes, solonchaks, and fixed and open sands.


Animal and plant world

About 60 species of mammals live on the territory of the republic. About 130 species of birds nest in the reservoirs of Kalmykia, and more than 50 species are found during seasonal migrations. 20 species of reptiles and 3 species of amphibians. Within the republic there are 23 species of birds listed in the Red Book of the Russian Federation.

The only remaining saiga population in Europe lives on the territory of Kalmykia and adjacent areas of the Astrakhan region. Currently, the size of the entire Russian saiga population is alarmingly low. According to the 2011 census, the total number of saigas in Kalmykia was only 12,870 individuals, and the proportion of adult males in the population, according to various sources, is only from 1 to 10% (in the "best" years).


History of Kalmykia

Kalmykia from ancient times to the 17th century

The territory of Kalmykia in ancient times was inhabited by representatives of numerous tribes and peoples. Almost all the peoples of the steppe zone of Eastern Europe successively replaced each other on the territory of the Volga-Don interfluve: Cimmerians, Scythians, Sarmatians, Huns, Pechenegs, Cumans. The territory of modern Kalmykia was the center of one of the early state formations of Eastern Europe - Khazaria, which had a profound influence on the history of Europe and Asia. In the XIII century, the entire territory was under the rule of the Golden Horde, after the collapse of which the Nogai roamed here.

The Kalmyks are the descendants of the Oirats (Western Mongols), who came from Dzungaria. The Oirats began to populate the space between the Don and the Volga from the middle of the 17th century, establishing the Kalmyk Khanate here.

Kalmyks began to move to the territory of Russia at the end of the 16th - beginning of the 17th centuries due to the shortage of pasture territories and feudal strife within the Oirat Khanate, which prompted the rulers of large Oirat ethno-political associations of the Torguts, headed by the taisha Ho-Urlyuk, and the Derbets, headed by the Dalai-Batyr, to migrate in the steppe of Western Siberia, which, after the campaign of Yermak, became part of Russia. In 1608-1609, they first took the oath of allegiance to the Russian Tsar. Later, this part of the Oirats, whom the Russians, following the example of their Turkic-speaking neighbors, called Kalmyks, settled in the territory between the Emba, Yaik (Ural) and Volga rivers.

The Kalmyk Khanate achieved its greatest power during the reign of Ayuki Khan (r. 1669/1672-1724). Ayuka Khan reliably defended the southern borders of Russia, repeatedly made campaigns against the Crimean and Kuban Tatars.

Ayuka Khan waged wars with the Kazakhs, conquered the Mangyshlak Turkmens, and repeatedly made victorious campaigns against the highlanders of the North Caucasus.


Kalmykia in the XVIII—XIX centuries

The Kalmyk cavalry, first as an allied, later as an irregular part of the Russian army, took part in many wars of the Russian Empire - in the Northern War (1700-1721, a 3,000-strong detachment in the Battle of Poltava), in the Russian-Turkish wars, in the Russian-Polish war (1654-1667), in the Russian-Swedish war (1741-1743), in the seven-year war (1756-1763), in the Persian campaign (1722-1723).

During the reign of Khan Donduk-Dashi (1741-1761), the tsarist government began to pursue a policy of limiting the khan's power. In the 1760s, the crisis in the khanate intensified due to the colonization of the Kalmyk lands by Russian landlords and peasants, the reduction of pasture land, the infringement of the rights of the feudal elite, and the interference of the tsarist administration in Kalmyk affairs. After the construction of the fortified Tsaritsynskaya line, thousands of families of the Don Cossacks began to settle in the area of ​​the main nomad camps of the Kalmyks. The narrowing of the nomadic area aggravated internal relations in the khanate. Under these conditions, the idea of ​​returning to their historical homeland - to Dzungaria, which at that time was under the rule of the Manchu Qing Empire, became widespread. On January 5, 1771, the Kalmyk feudal lords raised the uluses that roamed along the left bank of the Volga, and began their disastrous journey to Central Asia. This campaign turned into a national tragedy. On the way, the Kalmyk ethnic group, small in number, lost more than 100,000 people killed in battles, from wounds, cold, hunger, diseases, as well as prisoners, and lost almost all livestock - the main wealth.

During the migration (Torgut escape or Dusty campaign) of the Russian Torguts and Khoshuts in 1771 to Dzungaria, which, after the defeat of the Dzungar Khanate in 1757-1758, was included in the Manchurian Qing Empire (China), the main part of the European (Volga) Derbets and Derbet Noyons with their troops, they remained in the places of their migrations in the Don, Volga and North Caucasus, as they did not agree with the migration to the citizenship of the Manchurian Qing Empire and did not want to leave free pastures in the interfluve of the Don and Volga and in the steppes of the North Caucasus. In addition to them, part of the Torgut and Khoshut uluses remained in the places of their nomads on the Volga and in the interfluve of the Volga and Yaik (Urals).

The rest of the Kalmyk people (mainly Torguts and Khoshuts), thanks to the policy of the largest of the Torgut and Khoshut noyons - advisers to the young governor of the Kalmyk Khanate Ubasha - noyon, who, due to his age and lack of life experience, was under their influence, as well as the influence of the highest Buddhist clergy, who made an astrological forecast and calculated a favorable year and month for migration, went to the Manchurian Qing Empire. According to various historical sources, from 140-170 thousand (33 thousand wagons, according to other sources 30 thousand) from 70-75 thousand people reached the Qing Empire, the rest died on the way from disease, hunger, attacks by the Kirghiz - Kaisak (now - Kazakh) tribes or were captured by the tribes of Central Asia.

In October 1771, Catherine II liquidated the Kalmyk Khanate. The noyons of the uluses that remained on the right bank of the Volga began to obey the "Expedition of Kalmyk Affairs", a bailiff was appointed to each ulus. Small groups of Kalmyks became part of the Ural, Orenburg and Terek Cossack troops. At the end of the 18th century, the Kalmyks who lived on the Don were enrolled in the Cossack class of the Don Army Region.

In 1786, the Kalmyk court (Zargo) was canceled and closed, all criminal and civil cases were transferred to the district courts.

Later, in 1800, Emperor Paul I, thanks to the petitions of the Derbet taisha Chuchei Tundutov, for the military merits of the Derbets and Torguts remaining in Russia, restored the Kalmyk Khanate, but the khan's power was then already limited, and after the palace coup d'état and the assassination of Emperor Paul I, and changed As a result of this state policy, in 1803, under Emperor Alexander I, the Kalmyk Khanate was again abolished.

Kalmyks continued to take part in Russia's wars with external enemies. In 1807, 5200 Kalmyk soldiers took part in various battles of the Russian army. In the Patriotic War of 1812, the Kalmyk steppe fielded three cavalry regiments, and separately from them, the Kalmyks of the Don Army Region took part in battles with the French army.

In 1860, the Bolshederbetovsky ulus was reassigned to the Stavropol province, as a result, the Kalmyk people were administratively divided. Until that date, all the uluses of the Kalmyk steppe were part of the Astrakhan province.

In 1892, the obligatory relations between peasants and feudal lords were abolished.


Kalmykia in the first half of the 20th century

With the outbreak of the Civil War, the south of Russia became one of the main theaters of battle between the Red Army and the Volunteer Army of Denikin and the Don Cossack Army of Krasnov. As a result of hostilities, by March 1920, all the uluses of Kalmykia were occupied by the Reds, and Soviet power was restored in the steppe. At the first all-Kalmyk Congress of Soviets, held from July 2 to 9, 1920 in Chilgir, the Kalmyk Autonomous Region was proclaimed. The congress approved the "Declaration of the Rights of the Kalmyk Working People". Orenburg, Kuma, and partly Don Kalmyks were resettled within Kalmykia.

As a result of the Civil War, the Kalmyk people were split. Kalmyks (Don) who participated in the white movement emigrated to Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, France and other Western countries.

Kalmykia was affected by collectivization: in 1929-1934, 2195 peasant families (almost 14 thousand people) were dispossessed, of which 1821 were evicted outside the region, the remaining dispossessed households were ruined and resettled in other regions of the region.

In 1935, the Kalmyk Autonomous Region was transformed into the Kalmyk Autonomous Socialist Soviet Republic.


Kalmykia during the Great Patriotic War

During the Great Patriotic War in the summer of 1942, a significant part of Kalmykia was occupied by German troops, but by January 1943, the Soviet Army liberated the territory of the republic. Warriors of Kalmykia bravely fought on the fronts of the Great Patriotic War and in partisan detachments in the steppes of Kalmykia, in Belarus, Ukraine, Bryansk region, etc. The 110th Separate Kalmyk Cavalry Division distinguished itself in the battles for the Don and the North Caucasus.

The topic of the participation of the Kalmyk people in the Great Patriotic War for a long time in the USSR and for some time in the Russian Federation was under some kind of unspoken political taboo in connection with the problem of the “Kalmyk issue” - the transition of part of the population to the side of Nazi Germany. The sham of such a ban is obvious, because, despite the collaborationism that took place (for example, the Kalmyk cavalry corps), most of the Kalmyks heroically defended their homeland in the ranks of the Red Army (there are many Kalmyks who received various awards for military merit, including Heroes of the Soviet Union).

The accusation of the Kalmyk people of betrayal is refuted by the mass heroism of the Kalmyks at the front and in the rear. So, for courage and courage, several tens of thousands of soldiers, including 700 women, were awarded orders and medals. 22 natives of Kalmykia were awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union.

Kalmyks, Heroes of the Soviet Union: Badmaev E. L., Basanov B. M., Gorodovikov B. B., Gorodovikov O. I., Delikov E. T., Mandzhiev L. I., Sanjirov N. M., Selgikov M. A., Khechiev BM 6 soldiers of Kalmykia were awarded the high honor of participating on June 24, 1945 in the historic Victory Parade on Red Square in Moscow. Natives of Kalmykia, Heroes of the Soviet Union: Batashev N. I., Vorobyov N. T., Germashev I. V., Zhigulsky K. M., Zigunenko I. F., Krynin S. M., Lazarev G. M., Lopatin A. A., Mergasov V. V., Metyashkin A. G., Popov F. G., Pyatkin G. Ya., Turchenko P. A., Khrapov N. K.

During the war period 1941-1943. The Kalmyk ASSR sent 38,778 people to the front, and taking into account active military service on the fronts of the Great Patriotic War, 43,210 natives of the republic fought. In addition to them, about 300 people actively participated in reconnaissance and sabotage detachments operating behind enemy lines in the occupied territory of the Kalmyk Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic, the Stalingrad and Rostov regions, and the Ordzhonikidze region. During the same time, the republic delivered to the Red Army almost 30 thousand horses, hundreds of thousands of tons of meat and fish products, grain and other agricultural products, a significant amount of warm clothes, linen, shoes, and also handed over more than 100 million rubles.


Elimination of national autonomy

In December 1943, the Kalmyks were deported to Siberia. The deportation of the Kalmyks was seen as a measure of punishment for mass opposition to the organs of Soviet power, the struggle against the Red Army.

The deportation became a national catastrophe. From the moment of deportation until April 1946, there were 14,343 dead Kalmyk settlers. At the same time, the birth rate among the Kalmyks was extremely low. Of the 97-98 thousand deported Kalmyks in exile from 1943 to 1950, more than 40 thousand people died. The total losses of the Kalmyk people amounted to more than half of its total number.

The deportation of the Kalmyk people automatically led to the elimination of national autonomy. In 1944, the Kalmyk ASSR ceased to exist. Its districts were partially included in the administrative subordination of neighboring regions.

Only in 1956 were the Kalmyks rehabilitated.


Kalmykia in the postwar years

Kalmyk autonomy was recreated in two stages: on January 9, 1957, as an autonomous region within the Stavropol Territory, and on July 29, 1958, as an ASSR, but not within the former borders. The territories of the Volga and Dolbansky uluses (most of the modern Narimanov district and the Limansky district of the Astrakhan region), which were part of the republic until 1943, were not returned after the restoration of autonomy.

On October 18, 1990, the Supreme Soviet of the Kalmyk ASSR adopted the Declaration of State Sovereignty, according to which the ASSR was transformed into the Kalmyk SSR. On May 24, 1991, the Congress of People's Deputies of the RSFSR approved this decision, amending Art. 71 of the constitution of the RSFSR.


Modern period

On February 20, 1992, the Supreme Soviet of the Kalmyk SSR adopted a resolution renaming the republic into the Republic of Kalmykia - Khalmg Tangch; On April 21, 1992, the Congress of People's Deputies of Russia introduced a new name into the Russian constitution.

In 1993, the first president of the Republic of Kalmykia, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, was elected.

In 1994, the "Steppe Code (Constitution) of the Republic of Kalmykia" was adopted, named in memory of the "constitution" of the Dzungar Khanate, which confirmed the status of the republic as a subject and an integral part of the Russian Federation, while declaring the continuity of the Dzungar Khanate - the Republic of Kalmykia. The name of the republic was changed from the Republic of Kalmykia (Khalmg Tangch) to the modern Republic of Kalmykia.

In November 1998, the current president of Kalmykia, Ilyumzhinov, stated on one of the federal television channels that “Kalmykia can become an associated member of the Russian Federation or leave it altogether,” for which he received a large amount of rather harsh criticism from the heads of many federal government structures. The current head of state, Boris Yeltsin, ordered the Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation Nikolai Bordyuzha "to ensure unconditional observance of the Constitution of Russia." The next day, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov himself had to make excuses that his speech was not an official statement, but an ordinary interview in order to draw attention to the problems of the republic.



The economic potential of Kalmykia is underdeveloped. The volume of the GRP of Kalmykia in 2011 amounted to only 28,779.4 million rubles, which is 0.06% of the total GRP of Russia (2011). The weak development of the economy is demonstrated by the structure of the GRP. Thus, in 2011 the main types of economic activity were:
agriculture, hunting and forestry - 37%;
public administration and military security; social insurance - 15.5%;
wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles, motorcycles, household and personal items - 8.2%;
health care and provision of social services - 7%;
education - 6.25%;
construction - 5.9%;
transport and communications - 4.2%;
manufacturing industries - 3.6%;
other activities — 12.3%

weakly. In the structure of industrial production of the Republic in 2008, the production and distribution of electricity, gas and water dominated - 43%, manufacturing - 32%, mining - 25%. A clear indicator of the underdevelopment of the industry is the dominance of the electric power industry in the structure of industrial production in the absence of its own generating capacities.

The main economic problems of the republic are the extremely low level of per capita income - 7540 rubles (2010) and high unemployment - 15% (2010) of the able-bodied population.



The most important component of the economy of the Republic of Kalmykia is the agro-industrial complex. It employs 25% of the total number of people employed in the economy, employs a tenth of the fixed production assets and creates about 30% of the GRP. The basis of the agrarian sector of the republic's economy is animal husbandry. Main directions: beef cattle breeding, meat and fine-wool sheep breeding. Livestock production accounts for 80% of all agricultural products.

Agricultural products produced in 2020 amounted to 27.4 billion rubles, of which 6.4 billion rubles were plant growing, and 21.4 billion rubles were animal husbandry. Production indices 91.5%, 90.1%, 92.0% respectively.


Animal husbandry

As of mid-2015, in terms of livestock production in Kalmykia:
cattle - 814 thousand heads (1st place in Russia)
sheep and goats - about 3067.1 thousand
horses - about 30 thousand.

In 2020, 131.6 thousand tons of livestock and poultry were produced for slaughter (in live weight), 54.8 thousand tons of milk, and 15.1 million eggs. The most modest results of milk yield in cows of the Republic of Kalmykia are 520 kg/year.

As of April 1, 2021, in all categories of farms, the number of cattle was 367.6 thousand heads (-18%), including cows - 261.2 thousand heads (-15.9%), sheep and goats - 1889, 3 thousand heads (-15.9%), pigs - 9.2 thousand heads (-6.0%).

In agricultural enterprises, the number of cattle decreased by 37.8%, including cows - by 22.2%, sheep and goats - by 26.8%, the number of horses - by 31%.


Crop production

In 2020, 539.1 thousand tons of wheat were threshed with an average yield of 22.9 c/ha, 37.2 thousand tons of barley with a yield of 16.5 c/ha and 10.1 thousand tons of rice with a yield of 34 c/ha ha.

Areas, gross harvest and productivity of fruit and berry plantations 2020.

In 2022, a record 15-year grain harvest was harvested - 729.5 thousand tons. The average yield of grain and leguminous crops was 26.2 c/ha.



The transport system of the republic includes road, rail and air transport. In 2009, the average annual number of people employed in the economy in the field of transport amounted to 6.2 thousand people. or 5.5% of the total number of people employed in the economy.

Automobile transport
Most of the freight and passenger traffic is accounted for by road transport. As of 2008, the total length of paved public roads was 3,122.1 km, of which 518.3 km are federal roads. Interregional communications of the Republic are provided by highways of federal and republican significance:

Volgograd - Elista (P221; entrance to the city of Elista from the highway P22 "Caspian");
Stavropol - Elista - Astrakhan (P216);
Elista - Arzgir - Mineralnye Vody;
Elista - Repair - Zimovniki;
Lagan - Budyonnovsk - Mineralnye Vody (P263);
Gorodovikovsk - Salsk and Gorodovikovsk - Ottoman;
Yashkul - Komsomolsky - Artezian (exit to Makhachkala);
Divnoe - Yashalta and Yashalta - Salsk.

Railway transport
Freight transportation of general use by rail transport is 13 times inferior in volume to road transport and accounts for 11.9% of the total volume of cargo transportation in the republic. The operational length of railways in the Republic of Kalmykia is only 165 km, which is 0.2% of the proportion of Russian railways. In the southeast, along the coast of the Caspian Sea, the main railway Kizlyar - Astrakhan passes (the length of the territory of the Republic of Kalmykia is more than 80 km). The Artezian and Ulan-Khol railway stations are located on this section of the line.

The capital of the republic, the city of Elista, is connected by the railway network of the Russian Federation with a section of the Elista-Divnoye railway line. The operational length of the railway section from the Elista reference station to Divnoye station is 73.2 km. The Elista railway station today only carries out the transportation of goods. Since May 31, 2016, passenger traffic with Moscow has been restored.

Air Transport
The only industry-forming enterprise of air transport in the Republic of Kalmykia is Airport Elista JSC, which employs 153 people (as of 2019). Currently, passenger transportation by air in the Republic of Kalmykia on the routes Elista - Moscow-Vnukovo (Azimut Airlines), Elista - Mineralnye Vody and Elista - Rostov-on-Don.



Almost all the cultures of the steppe zone of Eastern Europe are represented on the territory of Kalmykia: Cimmerians, Scythians, Sarmatians, Huns, Khazars, Pechenegs, Polovtsy replaced each other here. In the XIII century, the entire territory was under the rule of the Golden Horde, and after its collapse, the Nogai roamed here.

The cultural and historical heritage of the region is represented mainly by archaeological monuments, especially the concentration of mounds, which are associated with types of cultures dating back to the Bronze Age and later - up to the Golden Horde time, there are burials of the Maikop culture. On the territory of Kalmykia there are more than 233 monuments of history and culture, 200 thousand archaeological sites. Of the total number of monuments, 5 objects are under state protection of the Russian Federation.

The modern culture of Kalmykia is connected, first of all, with the culture of the Kalmyk people - the only people in Europe that traditionally profess Buddhism, Tengrianism, and the place of distribution of characteristic lamaist complexes - khurul monasteries, which served as centers of spirituality, culture and education and represented a synthesis of several types of art: architecture, sculpture, theater and music.

The origins of the culture of the Kalmyk people in the depths of the thousand-year history of the nomadic civilizations of Central Asia.

Buddhism brought into culture the light of high philosophy, versatile knowledge, art honed by age-old canons.

The pearl of Kalmyk folklore - "Dzhangar" - is an epic story about the country of happiness and prosperity Bumba and the exploits of its heroes. Imbued with the spirit of heroism and patriotism, this epic, in terms of its artistic merits, is one of the best examples of oral poetic creativity. "Dzhangar" and the rhapsodes that performed it enjoyed great love and respect among the people. There are several versions of the epic, as well as the manner of performing (singing) "Dzhangar".

Active work is being carried out in Kalmykia to preserve and develop traditional types of creativity, to implement the state cultural policy aimed at preserving the identity of the national cultures of the Kalmyk and other peoples living on the territory of the republic, to create legal, organizational, economic conditions for the work of cultural and art institutions.

There are two theaters in the republic (the National Drama Theater named after B. Basangov and the Republican Theater of Drama and Comedy), two museums, the Kalmconcert State Touring and Concert Institution, 246 club institutions, an art school, 33 children's music, art schools, art schools , five professional musical and choreographic groups.

The Tulip State Song and Dance Ensemble, the Oirats State Dance Theatre, and the National Orchestra of Kalmykia are widely known outside the republic. Created in October 1937, the national ensemble "Tulip" was revived in 1957. In the 1960s, Narma Tsedenovich Erendzhenov (1911-2001), the first in the republic to be awarded the high title of Honored Artist of the RSFSR (1940), was appointed director.

Much attention is paid to the preservation and development of the library system of Kalmykia. It is organized by 383 libraries of all systems and departments. There are 175 libraries in the system of the Ministry of Culture, National Policy and Religious Affairs, including the National Library. A. M. Amur-Sanana, Republican Children's Library. N. Ochirova, Republican Special Library for the Blind and 172 district, city and rural libraries, united in 14 centralized library systems.


Kalmyk literature

The works of writers, poets, playwrights of Kalmykia enjoy wide popularity.

The writer, the founder of Kalmyk literature A. M. Amur-Sanan, the people’s poet of Kalmykia, laureate of the USSR State Prize D. N. Kugultinov, the people’s poet of Kalmykia Vera Shugraeva, the playwright B. B. Basangov, the sculptor, Honored Artist of the RSFSR N. A. Sandzhiev and many others.

The cultural life of Kalmykia today is multifaceted and dynamic. Poets and prose writers, composers and directors, artists and architects turn in their work to the most diverse schools and trends of world classics, the latest trends of modernism. There is a steady interest in the values of national cultures. Slavic, Kazakh, Korean, German, Jewish, peoples of the North Caucasus and other national cultural centers operate in the republic.

The close interweaving and interaction of the cultures of the peoples of Kalmykia ensures the richness and diversity of the culture of the republic.

The traditional holidays Zul, Tsagan Sar, Ur Sar are being revived, competitions of folk song, dance, oral folk art, exhibitions of folk craftsmen are held. Half-forgotten folk songs, proverbs, customs, holidays are returning, and folk groups and club institutions play a significant role in this. More than 40 amateur groups with the title of "people's" work in the republic.


Education and science

Kalmykia is a region with a developed scientific and educational potential. 13.2 thousand people are employed in the field of education[90]. In total, there were 174 general education schools in the republic in 2015, including 3 evening schools (2011), where about 32,000 schoolchildren study, 11 secondary specialized educational institutions (5238 students) and 4 higher educational institutions (8546 students).

Innovative technologies of education are being actively introduced in Kalmykia.

For every 1,000 urban population aged 15 and over who indicated their level of education, 723 people have vocational education (higher, including postgraduate, secondary and primary). Among specialists with higher professional education, 7 people out of 1000 people in the urban population have postgraduate education, and in rural areas 2 people

Kalmykia is the first region of Russia where chess was introduced as a school subject (since 1993). In the schools of Kalmykia, the UDE technology developed by Professor, Academician of the Russian Academy of Education P. M. Erdniev is being actively introduced. The target program "Development of technology for the enlargement of didactic units" has been approved, competitions are being held among teachers of schools using this technology.

Since April 1, 2010, she has been participating in an experiment in teaching the course "Fundamentals of Religious Cultures and Secular Ethics."

The most important educational and scientific center of Kalmykia is its capital, the city of Elista. All scientific institutions of the republic are located here: the Kalmyk Institute for Humanitarian Research of the Russian Academy of Sciences (KIGI RAS); Kalmyk Research Institute of Agriculture of the Russian Academy of Agricultural Sciences; Institute for Comprehensive Studies of Arid Territories; Kalmyk Research and Design and Survey Institute of Land Resources. Most of the higher educational institutions operating on the territory of Kalmykia are located in Elista, including the largest university in the republic - Kalmyk State University.

Kalmyk State University is one of the leading universities in the South of Russia. The structure of the university includes 8 faculties and the Institute of Kalmyk Philology and Oriental Studies, where students are trained in 22 specialties of higher professional education, 20 areas of bachelor's degree, 13 areas of master's degree, in 18 specialties of secondary vocational education, in a number of additional education programs for various sectors of the national economy of the republic and region, there is a postgraduate course. Currently, about 8 thousand students study at the university (on full-time, part-time forms of education).

The scientific schools and directions formed at KSU on the problems of higher and secondary education, the history and culture of the region, Mongolian and Oriental studies, ecology, rational environmental management, animal husbandry and irrigated agriculture received wide recognition.

The scientific infrastructure of the university includes 12 scientific and educational centers and research laboratories: the Caspian Archaeological Center, the Center for Mongolian and Altaic Studies, the problem research laboratory "Arid Ecosystems", the research laboratory for ethnopedagogical innovations, etc.


Government departments


The basic law of the Republic is the Steppe Code (Constitution), adopted on April 5, 1994.


Head of the Republic

The highest official of Kalmykia is the Head of the Republic. In the original version of the Steppe Code, the highest official of the Republic of Kalmykia was its President. The new title of the post was introduced by the Law of the Republic of Kalmykia dated July 29, 2005 No. 219-III-Z "On Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of the Republic of Kalmykia".

The head of the Republic of Kalmykia, being the head of the executive power of the republic, which is part of the unified system of executive power of the Russian Federation, determines the structure of the executive bodies of state power of the Republic of Kalmykia, forms the Government of the Republic of Kalmykia.

For 17 years, the highest official of the republic (the first President and subsequently the head of the Republic of Kalmykia) was Kirsan Nikolaevich Ilyumzhinov, who was first elected on April 11, 1993. On September 28, 2010, on the proposal of the President of the Russian Federation, the People's Khural (Parliament) of the Republic of Kalmykia approved Aleksey Maratovich Orlov as head of the Republic. On September 14, 2014, as a result of popular democratic elections, the incumbent head of the republic won with 82.89% of the vote. In March, Alexei Maratovich Orlov resigned, which was accepted by President Vladimir Putin. Batu Sergeevich Khasikov was appointed acting head of the subject. On September 8, 2019, the next elections of the head of the republic were held, where Batu Khasikov won, gaining 82.57% of the vote.



The highest legislative (representative) body of state power in the Republic of Kalmykia is the People's Khural (Parliament) of the Republic of Kalmykia, consisting of 27 deputies.


Executive branch

The highest executive body of state power of the Republic is the Government of the Republic of Kalmykia, headed by its chairman. The Government of the Republic of Kalmykia is accountable to the Head of the Republic. In May 2022, Ochir Sandzheevich Shurgucheev was appointed acting Chairman of the Government of the Republic of Kalmykia.


Judicial branch

Judicial power in the republic is exercised by the Supreme Court of the Republic of Kalmykia, the Arbitration Court of the Republic of Kalmykia, district courts and justices of the peace.