One of the 22 republics of the Russian Federation. It is located in the southeast of the European part of Russia. It borders on the South with the Republic of Dagestan, in the south-west - with the Stavropol Krai, in the west - with the Rostov Oblast, in the northwest - with the Volgograd Oblast, in the east - with the Astrakhan Oblast.
Kalmyk Autonomous Oblast was established in 1920, and in 1935 it was transformed into a republic. In December 1943 the Kalmyk ASSR was liquidated, and some of the Kalmyks were deported to Siberia and Kazakhstan. The republic was reconstituted in 1957 after rehabilitation. In 1992 the Republic of Kalmykia was proclaimed.
The titular ethnic group is Kalmyks (Halimag). Kalmyks are descendants of Oirat tribes which migrated in the late 16th and early 17th centuries from Central Asia to the Lower Volga and the Northern Caspian. The defining markers of their differences from the titular nation of the country are language and religion. The Kalmyk language belongs to the Mongolian language family. The most widespread religion among the Kalmyks is Buddhism. The Republic is the only region in Europe where Buddhism is the dominant religion.
According to the All-Russia Population Census of 2010, Kalmyks make up 57.4% of the republic's population, Russians - 30.2%.
The situation in interethnic relations in the republic is assessed as stable. Characterized by short-term conflicts between Kalmyks and Dagestanis (Dargins) living in the southern regions of the republic.