Autonomous Republic in the Russian Federation, on the northern, eastern and southern shores of Lake Baikal and bordering on Mongolia.
The Buryats are Mongol by language and Buddhist by faith, and were conquered by Russians in the 17th century, China recognising Russsian rights to the region in 1689 and 1727.
A Buryat-Mongol Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic was established within the Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic in 1923 around Lake Baikal. In 1937 it was reduced in size. The lands west of Lake Baikal became part of the Irkutsk region and some of the steppe lands east of the Lake were transferred to the Chita region. Within the former, there was an autonomous okrug (district), the Ust’-Ordynsk Buryat AO, to the north of Irkutsk, and there was another within the Chita region, the Agin-Buryat AO. In 1958 the ASSR was renamed the Buryat Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic. With the end of communist rule it became the Buryat Republic within the Russian Federation.
The region had seen a considerable influx of Russians. In the last days of the Soviet Union 70% of the population in Buryatria were Russian, 24% Buryat.