The Republic of Bashkortostan is situated in the Southern Urals. It borders Perm Krai in the north, the Udmurt Republic in the north-west, the Republic of Tatarstan in the west, and the Oblasts of Orenburg in the south, Chelyabinsk in the east and Sverdlovsk in the north. The Bashkirs originated as a distinct ethnic group during the 16th century, out of the Tatar, Mongol, Volga Bulgar, Oguz, Pecheneg and Kipchak peoples. In April 2008 Rafael Baidavletov resigned as Prime Minister, after he was appointed to the upper chamber of the federal legislature, the Federation Council. Bashkortostan is one of the principal agricultural regions of the Russian Federation. The Chuvash Republic is situated in the north-east of European Russia. The Chuvash, traditionally a semi-nomadic people, were conquered by the Mongol Tatars in the 13th century.