The foundation of the Bashkir Autonomous Soviet republic was on the 23rd of March, 1919 by the document of the formation of Soviet Bashkiria, the first autonomous republic of the Russian Federation. Today it's the first day of the Bashkir republic birthday. Another birthday on the 12 of June is its independence day.
Bashkortostan is situated in the Southern foothills of the Ural Mountains just in the border between Europe and Asia. It occupies the territory of 143,600 square kilometers. There are 20 cities and towns in the republic, which is divided into 54 administrative regions. The capital of Bashkortostan is Ufa, a beautiful city on the river Belaya bank accounting more than one million people.
The population of Bashkortostan is about four million people. It is a multinational republic. Representatives of more than 100 nationalities live and work here: Bashkirs, Tatars, Russians, Ukrainians, Byelorussians, Mordovians, Maris and many others.
The nature of Bashkortostan is very beautiful. Boundless steppe here lies near impassable taiga, mountains ranges rise over extensive plains. The Urals are not high in Bashkortostan. The highest Yamantau mount is 1,640 meters above the sea. There are about 600 rivers and rivulets and thousand lakes in the republic. The largest, 1,420 meters long is the famous Belaya River and its tributaries, The Ufa, the Dyoma, the Sim and others.
Rich deposits of oil, gas, gold, copper, zink, and other ores discovered here made possible a rapid industrial growth of Baskortostan. The main branches of our industry are the extraction and processing of oil, fuel and energetic industries, machine-tool building, production of ferrous and non-ferrous metals, coal mining. Oil extraction has led to the development of refining and chemical industries.
Bashkortostan is also an important agricultural region of Russia, one of the major suppliers to the state of grain, potatoes, flax, milk, meat and other products. As to the total value of agricultural production, the republic takes 6th place in the federation and the first place in the Ural region.
The rapid growth of industry and agriculture in the republic requires a great number of qualified specialists. They are trained at higher and technical schools. The Ufa State Petroleum Technical University is one of the leading institutions of the oil and gas industry in Russia. There are 29 research and development and project development institutions, in addition to the 26 industrial institutions already operating in Bashkortostan.
Now a few words about Ufa, the capital of our republic. The network of navigable rivers, railway lines, highways, air routes, and oil and gas pipelines leads to Ufa. The busy life in the big city is a good indication of the republic's prosperity.
Ufa was founded in 1574. In 1573 the Bashkirs asked Moscow to erect a fortress to defend land from the devastating raids of the Siberian nomads. In 1574 Ufa was founded as a small fortress by a detachment of Russian streltsi (archers).
In 1588 Ufa was granted a town status and became Bashkiria's administrative center.
Today Ufa is an industrial, agrarian, scientific and cultural center with the population over 1 million people. About 40% of the republic's industrial capacity is concentrated in Ufa.