Mushketov, the Kalmuck Steppe must be divided into two parts, western and eastern.
KALMUCK, or Kalmyk Steppe, a territory or reservation belonging to the Kalmuck or Kalmyk Tatars, in the Russian government of Astrakhan, bounded by the Volga on the N.E., the Manych on the S.W., the Caspian Sea on the E., and the territory of the Don Cossacks on the N.W.
After a strenuous resistance to Russian conquest, and much suffering at a later period from Kirghiz and Kalmuck raids, they now live by agriculture, either in separate villages or along with Russians.
Are covered by the Kalmuck and Kirghiz Steppes.
In the 17th century a powerful Kalmuck confederation arose in Dzungaria, and extended its sway over the Ili and Issyk-kul basins, having its capital on the Ili.
They are Lamaists by religion and immigrated to the mouth of the Volga from Dzungaria, in the 17th century, driving out the Tatars and Nogais, and after many wars with the Don Cossacks, one part of them was taken in by the Don Cossacks, so that even now there are among these Cossacks several Kalmuck sotnias or squadrons.
Nearly one-half of the population are Cossacks, the other ethnological groups being (1897) 2 7, 2 34 Armenians, 2255 Greeks, 1267 Albanians, 16,000 Jews and some 30,000 Kalmuck Tatars, who are Lamaists in religion.