Ulan Ude (Russian: Ула́н-Удэ́ oo-LAHN oo-DEH) is the capital of Buryatia, known during Soviet times as the Buryat Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic.
Ulan Ude, originally called Udinskoye, is in an area of Russia called Buryatia, named after the nomadic Buryat Mongols that first settled in the area. In the 1650s, as a result of a split in the Russian Orthodox Church, a group of people called the "Old Believers" were forced to flee their homes and escape to Siberia in order to freely practice their religion. The settlement was officially founded in 1666 by Russian Cossacks as a fortress. Due to its location on trade routes between Russia, China and Mongolia, it developed into a prosperous trading town. It grew further when it became a hub for the Trans Siberian Railway in 1900 and the locomotive manufacturing industry dominated the economy. Ulan Ude means "Red Ude" in the local Buryat language. The city was closed to foreigners before 1991.
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