Buddhism in the Mongol and Turkic Regions of Russia 2023

During the Soviet period, Buddhism was severely repressed throughout the traditional, ethnic Buddhist regions of Russia: Buryatia, Kalmykia, Tuva, and Altai. However, with the “glastnost” openness in the late 1980s, the restrictions were gradually relaxed. Since then, monasteries and prayer halls have been constructed in all four regions. Tibetan teachers have visited from India to impart teachings, and a few having taken up permanent residence in Russia. Local young men have been sent to India to study in the Tibetan monastic institutions, and having completed their studies, several have returned to their native regions to become Dharma teachers there. Laypersons regularly travel to India on pilgrimage and to attend teachings. In all these ways, Buddhism is reviving in the traditional Mongol and Turkic Buddhist regions of Russia.