Support The Moscow Times!

Europe’s Tallest Buddha Statue Unveiled in Russia

Sandzhi Ubushiyev / TASS

Russia is now home to the tallest Buddha statue in Europe.

The 30-ton golden monument to the Maitreya — a bodhisattva who will appear in the future — was unveiled in Russia’s Buddhist stronghold of Kalmykia on Sunday.

Sitting at 12.5 meters tall, the Russian Buddha in the Kalmyk city of Lagan overtakes the 10-meter Buddha tucked away in the Pagode de Vincennes of Paris.

Kalmykia had housed Europe’s previous tallest Buddhist sculpture in late 2005.

Buddhism is one of five religions considered to be traditional to Russia. 

An estimated 1 million Buddhists live in Russia, mainly in the republics of Kalmykia, Tuva and Buryatia where the religion is traditionally practiced.

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

As the only remaining independent, English-language news source reporting from Russia, The Moscow Times plays a critical role in connecting Russia to the world.

Editorial decisions are made entirely by journalists in our newsroom, who adhere to the highest ethical standards. We fearlessly cover issues that are often considered off-limits or taboo in Russia, from domestic violence and LGBT issues to the climate crisis and a secretive nuclear blast that exposed unknowing doctors to radiation.

Please consider making a one-time donation — or better still a recurring donation — to The Moscow Times to help us continue producing vital, high-quality journalism about the world's largest country.