Republic of Tatarstan (Tatar: Tatarstan Cömhüriyäte) is a federal subject of Russia
(a republic) with the capital of Kazan.
Tatar people always had well established traditions of statehood. During the early years of the Medieval
epoch, in the basin of Idel (the Volga river), there was one of the most developed and florishing
countries of its time — the Tatar state called Volga Bolgaria. In the Golden Horde time, Volga Bolgaria
was conquered and assimilated by Imperia that spread across the vast territories of Europe and Asia.
The Tatars occupied leading positions in it. Later, in the XV — XVI centuries, the territory of modern
Tatarstan was the base of the Kazan Khanate. However, after Ivan the Terrible conquered Kazan in 1552, Tatars
had to forsake any hopes of re-establishing their own state.
It seemed, a ray of realistic possibility of forming a new Tatar state shined when in 1920, after 3-years
of deliberations, the Autonomic Republic of Tatarstan was established and recognized by the Soviet Government.
However, the autonomy was only nominal, and Tatarstan remained under strict Moscow supervision.
The second ray broke through the clouds of hopelessness when in 1994, Mintimer Shaymiev, the first
president of the Tatarstan Republic, signed “The Declaration of Tatarstan State Sovereignty” and
a Treaty between Russia and Tatarstan. He hoped, it would be the beginning of the dialogue between
two States with equal rights.