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The Monument of Ostap BenderElistaCentral khurulMonastery

The Subject of the Russian Federation:
Republic of Kalmykia

Federal District: The Southern Federal District

Population: 102 800 persons.


Elista (1944-1945 – Stepnoy) — a city in the south of Russia, the capital of Kalmykia.

Founded in 1865. Became city since 1930.

Population amounts to 102,8 thousand people (2009).


From the early XX century Elista became the center of Manych Ulus, Chernoyarsky Chernoiarsk district, Astrakhan province.

In February 1918, Soviet power was established in Elista, . In 1930, Elista became a city.

In August 1942, during the World War II Elista was occupied by German troops. On December, 1942 it was set free by the Soviet Army.On  December 28, 1943 the Kalmyk population of the city was deported by force to Siberia, Kazakhstan and Central Asia according to Stalin’s accuse in cooperating with Germans. In 1957 the Kalmyks were allowed to come back. From 1944 to 1957 the Kalmyk ASSR was abolished, the city of Elista was called the city of Stepnoy and was a part of the Stavropol Territory.

Nowadays Elista is a political, administrative, cultural and economic center of the Republic of Kalmykia.Geographical position

Elista is located in the south-eastern Ergeney, in the very center of Kalmykian steppes.


Industry of Elista is represented mainly by refining ventures.


Air traffic is carried out through airport of Elista, where currently only one flight  operates (Elista-Moscow-Elista) .

In addition the city has a bus station. Inter-city bus routs to Moscow and St. Petersburg are popular because they are cheaper than travelling by air. Major companies involved in bus traffic are "Express Tour", "Nezhin-Express”, “Trans-Tour" and "Alliance Tour".

Urban transport is represented only by mini-bus taxi. Fare amounts to 8 rubles (2010).


  • The central and largest city square is named after Vladimir Lenin. Now there is a complex "Pagoda 7 days", fountain "Three lotus" and a checkerboard with dimensions of about 5x5 m
  • A meter and a half statue of Buddha-Shakyamuni, made of white Ural marble
  • A monument to the Dzungars-narrators glorifying epic Jangar. Songs about Jangar are the most favorite and most common in oral folk art of Kalmyks
  • “The Golden Abode of Buddha Shakyamuni” — the main Buddhist temple
  • The memorial complex "Exodus and Return", dedicated to deportation and return from exile of the Kalmyk people in the years 1943—1957

Elista district - City-Chess. , in its center there is a Palace of Chess build for the purpose of holding chess competitions and Olympiads. City-Chess presents realization of the project New Vasyuki from the novel “12 Chairs”, the avenue heading there is named after Ostap Bender.Famous people 

  • David Kugultinov (1922-2006) — Soviet poet
  • Erenzhen Khara-Davan (1883-1942) — Kalmyk historian
  • Telo Tulku Rinpoche — the head of Kalmyk Buddhists
  • Eelyan Ovla – known Dzungar
  • Nikolai Aberda — known copperplate engraver
  • F. Kalmyk — drawer and graphic artist, painter