Although the Republic of Mordovia is located in Russia’s Volga Federal Region, the River Volga does not actually flow through the republic. It is situated between the Nizhny Novgorod, Ulyanovsk, Penza and Ryazan Regions and the Republic of Chuvashia. Around 30% of the republic’s population is Mordvins - a Finno-Ugric ethnic people. The Mordvins are further separated into two separate ethnic groups the Erzya and the Moksha. The Mordvins are especially famous for their red and white traditional dress.
The capital of the republic is the city of Saransk which was selected as one of the venues of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The city also boasts the largest collection of the work of sculptor Stepan Erzya - himself an Erzya Mordvin. Saransk was also the first city which the French actor Gérard Depardieu visited upon being personally granted Russian citizenship by President Vladimir Putin. He has since been officially registered as a resident there.