Mushketov, the Kalmuck Steppe must be divided into two parts, western and eastern.
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.
We first hear of him in 1661 on a diplomatic mission from the Don Cossacks to the Kalmuck Tatars, and in the same year we meet him on a pilgrimage of a thousand miles to the great Solovetsky monastery on the White Sea "for the benefit of his soul."
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.