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Republic of Kalmykia

The Republic of Kalmykia is a federal subject of Russia . As of the 2010 Census, its population was 289,481.It is the only region in Europe where Buddhism is practiced by a plurality of its citizens. It has become well known as an international center for chess because its former President, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, is the head of the International Chess Federation .GeographyThe republic is located in the southwestern part of European Russia and borders, clockwise, with Volgograd Oblast in the northwest and north, Astrakhan Oblast in the north and east, the Republic of Dagestan in the south, Stavropol Krai in the southwest, and with Rostov Oblast in the west. It is washed by the Caspian Sea in the southeast.A small stretch of the Volga River flows through eastern Kalmykia. Other major rivers include the Yegorlyk, the Kuma, and the Manych. Lake Manych-Gudilo is the largest lake; other lakes of significance include Lakes Sarpa and Tsagan-Khak. In all, however, Kalmykia possesses few lakes.
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