(people) Member of the majority ethnic group of the autonomous republic of Bashkir in Russia. The Bashkirs have been Muslims since the 13th century. The Bashkir language belongs to the Turkic branch of the Altaic family, and has about 1 million speakers.
Autonomous republic of the Russian Federation
area 143,600 sq km/55,430 sq mi
physical Ural Mountains onthe east
industries minerals, oil, natural gas
language Russian, Bashkir (about 25%)
history annexed by Russia 1557; became the first Soviet autonomous republic 1919. Declared independence 1992. According to the 1993 constitution it is part of the Russian Federation on a voluntary and equal basis.