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Ufa, Republic of Bashkortostan
Ufa enjoys an idyllic setting at the confluence of the Ufa and Belaya rivers. Part of the Trans-Siberian Railway route, the city is a key hub for trading, manufacturing, sport and science. It is also a thriving cultural centre with an international arts festival and the childhood home of the dancer Rudolf Nureyev. The beautiful Bashkir State Opera and Ballet Theatre attracts visitors from across the world and is where Nureyev took his first steps. Meanwhile Park Vatan offers a fascinating collection of boutique shops and exhibition spaces in traditional yurts. Beyond Ufa, Bashkortostan is home to the majestic Ural Mountains, crystal clear rivers and lakes, unblemished mountain forests, as well as ski resorts.