Russia

Putin Promises Support for Russian Buddhists in Buryatia Republic

100 percent the Russian president said

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Russian President Vladimir Putin promised "100-percent support" for Russian Buddhists on Thursday during a visit to the country's Buryatia republic, where about 20 percent of the population is Buddhist.

Lama Damba Ayusheyev, head of the Buddhist Sangha of Russia, complained to the president that Buddhist universities often do not have state accreditation, and their students are drafted into the army for compulsory military service. Under Russian law, full-time university students are exempt from military service for the duration of their studies.