Kalmykia has a number of claims to fame. It is "Europe's only Buddhist self-governing republic". The president of the republic, Kirsan Nikolayevich Ilyumzhinov, is also president of the World Chess Federation. And it also appears to have a strategic defense initiative to rival the US Star Wars project, and at a fraction of the cost.
"Irrespective of what I tell people," Ilyumzhinov said, "I give them instructions on a subconscious level. I am creating around the republic a kind of extrasensory field."