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Supreme Lama Of Tuva Dies

The Buddhist leader of Russia's Tuva region has died after a serious illness.

Republic of Tuva leader Sholbana Kara-oola announced on September 12 that Supreme Lama Tenzin Tsultim had died.

Kara-oola said the Lama had fought against "negative phenomena such as drunkenness" and that he had placed a "huge value on the co-existence of religions and peoples, peace and harmony in the republic [Tuva]."

Tenzen Tsultim was born Nikolai Kuular in a village in Tuva in 1947. He graduated with an accounting degree from the Novosibirsk Institute of Soviet Cooperative Trade and went to study Buddhism in Leningrad.

He was elected to be supreme lama in 2010.

There are some 700,000 to 1.5 million Buddhists in Russia, mainly living in the Buryatia, Kalmykia, and Tuva republics near China and Mongolia.

Based on reporting by Interfax and