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Introducing Ufa

Ufa is the capital of the autonomous republic of Bashkortostan (Республика Башкортостан), home of the Bashkirs, a Muslim Turkic people who dominated most of the southern Ural Mountains before Russian colonisation. Although they’re only a third of the republic’s population, you can hear their lispy language spoken on the streets of Ufa, in rural areas and on the radio. Substantial hydrocarbon reserves have turned Bashkortostan into something of an oil khanate.

Although Ufa has no major sights, you can spend a pleasant day walking through the streets where wooden cottages are reflected in glass office blocks.

Ufa's main thoroughfare is ul Lenina. Pick up the Ufa City Transport Map (Схема городского транспорта Уфы; R43) from the Belaya Reka Dom Knigi bookshop, which has all routes (with a few inaccuracies) and stops and doubles as a useful street map.

Note that ul Zaki Balidi is sometimes called by its old name, ul Frunze.