Republic of Kalmykia
Kalmykia (Russian: Калмыкия; Kalmyk: Хальмг, Xälmıg IPA: [xɑlʲˈməg]), officially the Republic of Kalmykia,[a] is a republic of Russia located directly north of the North Caucasus in Eastern Europe. The republic is part of the Southern Federal District, and borders Dagestan to the south and Stavropol Krai to the southwest; Volgograd Oblast to the northwest and north and Astrakhan Oblast to the north and east; Rostov Oblast to the west and the Caspian Sea to the east. Kalmykia is the only region in Europe where Buddhism is the predominant religion.
The republic covers an area of 76,100 square kilometres (29,400 square miles), with a small population of about 275,000 residents. The republic is home to the Kalmyks, a people of Mongol origin who are primarily of Buddhist faith. The capital of the republic is the city of Elista, which has gained an international reputation for international chess competitions.