The Republic of Tatarstan is a federal subject of Russia with a population of 3,786,488 people located in the Volga Federal District. Tatarstan finds a special mention in the Russian Constitution, and there has always been a demand of freedom from the people of Tatarstan. Kazan, one of the biggest and most prosperous cities of Russia, is the capital of Tatarstan. Tatarstan has borders with Kirov, Ulyanovsk, Samara, Orenburg Oblast, Mari El, Udmurt, Chuvash Republic and Republic of Bashkortostan.
The head of the government in Tatarstan is the President. Since March 2010, Rustam Minnikhanov has been the President of the Republic. Tatarstan’s unicameral State Council has 100 seats – 50 seats are for representatives of the parties, and the other 50 are for Deputies from the Republic’s localities. According to the Constitution of the Republic of Tatarstan, the President can be elected only by the people of Tatarstan, but due to Russian federal law this law was suspended for an indefinite term. The Russian law about election of governors says that they should be elected by local Parliaments and that the candidate can be presented only by the Federal President.
The Tatars inherited Islam from the first Muslim state of Russia — Volga Bulgaria. Islam was introduced by the missionaries from Baghdad during the time of Ibn Fadlan’s journey in 922 A.D. Islam’s long presence in Russia also extends at least as far back as the conquest of the Khanate of Kazan in 1552, which brought the Tatars and Bashkirs on the Middle Volga into Russia.
The region’s main source of wealth is oil. Tatarstan produces 32 million tons of crude oil per year and has estimated oil reserves of more than 1 billion tons. The most developed manufacturing industries are the petrochemical industry and machine building.
Tatarstan is one of the most economically developed regions of Russia. The Republic is highly industrialised, and ranks second only to Samara Oblast in terms of industrial production per sq km. Tatarstan’s GDP per capita was US $ 12,325 in 2004, with GDP in 2008 at about 930 billion Rubles.