One of the 21 autonomous
republics of Russia
, in Europe, just west of the Urals
; on the south it adjoins Tatarstan
. The area is about 43 000 km2
, and the population 1.6 million, of whom one third are Udmurt
s, speaking a Finno-Ugrian
language. The capital is Izhevsk
(briefly renamed Ustinov
in the 1980s).
The Udmurts were under the rule of the Bulgars, then the khanate of Kazan in the Middle Ages, before passing to Russia in the sixteenth century. Some are now Orthodox but others remain shamanist. They were also formerly known as the Votyaks, and a Votyak autonomous region was created in Soviet Russia in 1920. It was renamed Udmurt in 1932 and became an ASSR in 1934. The presidents in the post-Soviet period have been Valentin Tubylov 1990-1995 and Alexandr Volkov 1995-.
The flag is a vertical tricolor of black, white, and red, with a stylized angular eight-pointed red sun on the white band.