At first the Muslim Bashkirs declined to participate, but later in 1917 they and the Volga Germans joined the League of Idel-Ural.
The republic, which in reality included only parts of Kazan, was defeated by the Red Army on 28 March 1918.
The president of Idel-Ural, Sadrí Maqsudí Arsal, escaped to Finland in 1918. He was well received by the Finnish foreign minister, who remembered his valiant defence of the national self-determination and constitutional rights of Finland in the Russian Duma. The president-in-exile also met officials from Estonia before continuing in 1919 to Sweden, Germany and France, in a quest for Western support. Idel-Ural was listed among the "Captive Nations" in the Cold War-era public law (1959) of the United States.
Present-day Tatar nationalists rely on the historic precedent of an independent Idel-Ural to justify the re-establishment of a Turkic state independent of the Russian Federation.