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Bashkortostan – Rich in Culture, History and Natural Beauty

Located between the Ural Mountains and the Volga River, close to the borders of both Europe and Asia, the Russian Republic of Bashkortostan is home to people from more than a hundred different nationalities. With Ufa as its capital city, Bashkortostan is known for its rich cultural heritage, with many academies and theaters promoting performing arts, including Russian, Bashkir and Tatar State Drama Theaters, the State Opera and Ballet Theater, National Symphony Orchestra, and Bashkir State Folk Dance Ensemble, as well as a film studio. World famous Russian ballet dancer, Rudolf Nureyev, reportedly began his illustrious dancing career in the theaters of Ufa.

Bashkortostan's geographical features include more than 13,000 rivers, some of which provide access to both the Black Sea and the Baltic Sea. This well-watered and fertile region of Russia also has 2,700 lakes and reservoirs, with the southern Ural Mountains stretch from the northern border through to the south. Natural resources include varied deposits of minerals, crude oil , coal, natural gas, iron ore, non-metallic ores, precious and semi-precious stones.

Evidence suggests that the earliest settlements in Bashkortostan date back to the early Paleolithic period, but it is thought that these were temporary, and permanent settlements were only established during the later Bronze Age in a period referred to as the Abashevo Culture. The region was named after the tribe that settled there – the Bashkirs – and the first written reference to this tribe was made in documents recorded by Herodotus in the 5th century BC. The early years of Bashkortostan were marked by conflict, with the territory at one stage being divided between the Siberia Khanate, the Kazan Khanate and the Nogai Horde. Following the conquest of Kazan by Ivan the Terrible in 1554-1555, representatives of the remaining Bashkir tribes requested permission from the Russian Tsar to join the Grand Principality of Moscow, generally referred to as Muscovy. The territory became part of the Russian state and during the Soviet era was among the first Russian regions to be granted board autonomous rights. During World War II, many factories that evacuated from Western Russia were relocated in Bashkortostan, bringing huge numbers of people with them and making the region a hub for manufacturing of weapons and fuel, as well as the production of foodstuffs for people further north. Bashkortostan remains an important industrial region today.

In addition to being rich in culture and history, the Republic of Bashkortostan places much emphasis on education. Branches of sixteen Russian universities and colleges and up to sixty scientific research organizations are active in Bashkortostan, as well as a number of institutions of higher education, design bureaus and professional organizations.


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