On the 16th of April 2013, the Russian President held a meeting in Elista, capital of Kalmykia, on housing improvement for the Russian Federation.
The Russian Government will allocate 129 billion rubles for housing improvement, from 2013 to 2015. President Vladimir Putin said that the regional budgets for housing improvement programmes must be increased from 30 to 64 percent.
He noted that residents of homes, which do not meet the requirements of comfort and safety, must be resettled speedily. From 2008 to 2012, already 343.000 people received new flats, but this number should be doubled in the coming years. "Affordable and comfortable housing is a subject of key social importance," Vladimir Putin said at the Government meeting in Elista, Kalmykia.
The capital city of the Republic of Kalmykia was founded as a small settlement in 1865. Elista means "sand" in the Kalmyk language. Today, Elista has a population of nearly 105.000 inhabitants. The city centre boasts statues of Buddha and Lenin. The eastern part of Elista is "Chess-City", an Olympic village built for the 23rd Chess Olympiad in 1998. Elista also owns the Museum of Kalmyk Buddist Art.
The Republic of Kalmykia, with a population of 280.000 citizens, is a federal subject of Russia, located on the Caspian Sea. It is the only Buddhist region in European Russia. The ethnic groups living in Kalmykia are 57 percent Kalmyks, 30 percent Russians and 13 percent others. Buddhism, Russian Orthodoxy and shamanism live side by side in this republic.
(re-written by Olivia Kroth; sources: Voice of Russia, Kreml.ru)