During this era, the Kalmyks also kept close contacts with their Oirat kinsmen in Dzungaria, as well as the Dalai Lama in Tibet.
After the October Revolution in 1917, many Don Kalmyks joined the White Russian army and fought under the command of Generals Denikin and Wrangel during the Russian Civil War.
With the annexation of the territory by the Russian Empire, Christianity arrived with Slavic settlers, before all religion was suppressed after the Russian Revolution.
Shamanism has in all probability remained a constant, often hidden, substrate of folk-practice, as it is today.
Another motivation may have been to escape the growing dominance of the neighboring Dzungar Mongol tribe.
They reached the lower Volga region in or about 1630.
This area under Kalmyk control would eventually be called the Kalmyk Khanate.That land, however, was not uncontested pastures, but rather the homeland of the Nogai Horde, a confederation of Turkic-speaking nomadic tribes.The Kalmyks expelled the Nogais who fled to the Caucasian plains and to the Crimean Khanate, areas under the control of the Ottoman Empire.The republic is located in the southwestern part of European Russia and borders, clockwise, with Volgograd Oblast in the northwest and north, Astrakhan Oblast in the north and east, the Republic of Dagestan in the south, Stavropol Krai in the southwest, and with Rostov Oblast in the west. A small stretch of the Volga River flows through eastern Kalmykia.Other major rivers include the Yegorlyk, the Kuma, and the Manych.