North Caucasus

The North Caucasus (Russian: Се́верный Кавка́з, IPA: [ˈsʲevʲɪrnɨj kɐfˈkas]) or Ciscaucasia is the northern part of the Caucasus region between the Sea of Azov and Black Sea on the west and the Caspian Sea on the east, in Russia. Geographically, the Northern Caucasus (territory north of the Greater Caucasus Range) includes the Russian republics and krais of the North Caucasus. As part of the Russian Federation, the Northern Caucasus region is included in the North Caucasian and Southern Federal Districts and consists of Krasnodar Krai, Stavropol Krai, and the constituent republics, approximately from west to east: the Republic of Adygea, Karachay–Cherkessia, Kabardino-Balkaria, North Ossetia–Alania, Ingushetia, Chechnya, and the Republic of Dagestan.[1]

Geographically, the term North Caucasus also refers to the northern slope and western extremity of the Caucasus Major mountain range, as well as a part of its southern slope to the West (until the Psou River in Abkhazia). The Forecaucasus steppe area is often also encompassed under the notion of "Ciscaucasus", thus the northern boundary of the Forecaucasus steppe is generally considered to be the Manych River.

North Caucasus is located in Southern Federal District
Krasnodar Krai
Krasnodar Krai
Adygea
Adygea
Abkhazia
Abkhazia
KC
KC
KB
KB
Stavropol Krai
Stavropol Krai
Oss
Oss
Ing
Ing
Cya
Cya
Dag- est- an
Dag-
est-
an
Rostov Oblast
Rostov Oblast
Volgograd Oblast
Volgograd Oblast
Kalmykia
Kalmykia
Ast- rakh- an Oblast
Ast-
rakh-
an
Oblast
Northern Caucasus region within Russia west of the Urals
  • Red: NC economic region, former NC krai, former NC military okrug
  • Green: former NC military okrug
  • Blue: NC economic region, NC federal okrug, former NC military okrug
Caucasus region 1994
1994 map of Caucasus region prepared by the US State Department.

History

Ciscaucasus was historically covered by the Pontic steppe, mostly on fertile calcareous chernozyom soils, which has been almost completely tilled and grazed. It is bounded by the Sea of Azov on the west, and the Caspian Sea on the east. According to the Concise Atlas of the World, Second Edition (2008), the Ciscaucasus region lies on the European side of the "commonly-accepted division" that separates Europe from Asia.

The outer border of the Soviet Union's North Caucasus Krai was the same as that of present-day North Caucasus Economic Region (Raion) which includes an oblast (Rostov Oblast), two krais (Krasnodar Krai and Stavropol Krai), and seven republics. The former North Caucasus Military District (Okrug) also included Astrakhan Oblast, Volgograd Oblast, and the Republic of Kalmykia. Its administrative center was Rostov-on-Don until 10 January 1934, Pyatigorsk until January 1936, then Ordzhonikidze (today Vladikavkaz) and, from 15 December 1936, Voroshilovsk (today Stavropol).

In 2011, the Russian government has put forward plans to create a "North Caucasian version of Silicon Valley", at a cost of 32 billion rubles ($1.1 billion) as part of ongoing efforts to generate opportunities in the region.[2]

Image Gallery

Map of Russia - North Caucasian Federal District

Location of the North Caucasian Federal District

Russian Ground Forces - North Caucasus Military District Map

Map of former North Caucasus Military District (Okrug)

Map of Russia - North Caucasus economic region

Map of modern-day North Caucasus Economic Region (Raion)

See also

References

  1. ^ A small schematic map of the regions can be seen at
  2. ^ "Проект «Кремниевой долины» на Северном Кавказе обойдется в 32 млрд рублей" Proekt "Kreminevoj doliny" na Severnom Kavkaze obojdetsya v 32 mlrd rublej [The "Silicon Valley" project in the North Caucasus will cost 32 billion rubles]. Forbes.ru (in Russian). Moscow: Forbes. August 25, 2011. Retrieved March 27, 2017.

Further reading

  • In Quest for God and Freedom: Sufi Responses to the Russian Advance in the North Caucasus by Anna Zelkina
  • Russia in the Modern World: A New Geography by Denis J. B. Shaw, Institute of British Geographers

External links

11th Army (Soviet Union)

The 11th Army was an army of the Red Army, formed four times. The first formation was a unit of the then newly created Soviet armed forces. It was formed by the Bolsheviks on October 3, 1918, from the Red Northern Caucasus Army. In February 1919 it was dissolved and was again deployed in March 1919 as a subdivision of the Caspian-Caucasian Front. It took a prominent part in the sovietization of the three republics of the southern Caucasus in 1920–21, when Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Georgia were brought within the orbit of Soviet Russia. In 1939 the 11th Army (2nd formation) was formed in the Belarusian Special Military District (BSMD) from the former Minsk Army Group. It fought in the Soviet invasion of Poland, the Baltic Operation, the Demyansk Pocket, and the Battle of Kursk. The army disbanded in December 1943.

Avars (Caucasus)

The Avars (Avar: аварал / магIарулал, awaral / maⱨarulal; "mountaineers") are a Northeast Caucasian native ethnic group who are the predominant of several ethnic groups living in the Russian republic of Dagestan. The Avars reside in a region known as the North Caucasus between the Black and Caspian Seas. Alongside other ethnic groups in the North Caucasus region, the Caucasian Avars live in ancient villages located approximately 2,000 m above sea level. The Avar language spoken by the Caucasian Avars belongs to the family of Northeast Caucasian languages and is also known as Nakh–Dagestanian. Islam has been the prevailing religion of the Avars since the 13th century.

Caucasian War

The Caucasian War (Russian: Кавказская война; Kavkazskaya vojna) of 1817–1864 was an invasion of the Caucasus by the Russian Empire which resulted in Russia's annexation of the areas of the North Caucasus, and the ethnic cleansing of Circassians. It consisted of a series of military actions waged by the Empire against the peoples of the Caucasus including the Adyghe, Abkhaz–Abaza, Ubykhs, Kumyks and Nakh and Dagestanians as Russia sought to expand. In Dagestan, resistance to the Russians was described as jihad.Russian control of the Georgian Military Highway in the center divided the Caucasian War into the Russo-Circassian War in the west and the Murid War in the east. Other territories of the Caucasus (comprising contemporary eastern Georgia, southern Dagestan, Armenia and Azerbaijan) were incorporated into the Russian empire at various times in the 19th century as a result of Russian wars with Persia. The remaining part, western Georgia, was taken by the Russians from the Ottomans during the same period.

Caucasus Emirate

The Caucasus Emirate (Chechen: Имарат Кавказ Imarat Kavkaz (IK); Russian: Кавказский Эмират Kavkazskiy Emirat), also known as the Caucasian Emirate, was a militant Jihadist organisation active in the southwestern region of the Russian Federation. Its intention was to expel the Russian presence from the North Caucasus and to establish an independent Islamic emirate in the region. Caucasus Emirate also refers to the state that the group seeks to establish. Partially a successor to the secessionist Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, it was officially announced on 7 October 2007, by former President of Ichkeria Dokka Umarov, who became its first emir.By late 2015 the group no longer had a visible presence in the North Caucasus region, as most of its members defected to the local ISIL affiliate, Vilayat Kavkaz.

Chechen–Russian conflict

The Chechen–Russian conflict (Russian: Чеченский конфликт, Chechenskiy konflikt) is the centuries-long conflict, often armed, between the Russian (formerly Soviet) government and various Chechen forces. Formal hostilities date back to 1785, though elements of the conflict can be traced back considerably further.The Russian Empire initially had little interest in the North Caucasus itself other than as a communication route to its ally Georgia and its enemies, the Persian and Ottoman Empires, but growing tensions triggered by Russian activities in the region resulted in an uprising of Chechens against the Russian presence in 1785, followed by further clashes and the outbreak of the Caucasian War in 1817. Russia only succeeded in suppressing the Chechen rebels in 1864.

During the Russian Civil War, Chechens and other Caucasian nations lived in independence for a few years before being Sovietized in 1921. During World War II, the Chechens saw the German invasion as an opportunity to revolt against the Soviet regime. In response, they were deported en masse to Central Asia where they were forced to stay until 1957.

The most recent conflict between Chechen and the Russian government took place in the 1990s. As the Soviet Union disintegrated, the Chechen separatists declared independence in 1991. By late 1994 the First Chechen War broke out and after two years of fighting the Russian forces withdrew from the region. In 1999, the fighting restarted and concluded the next year with the Russian security forces establishing control over Chechnya.

Chechnya

Chechnya (; Russian: Чечня́, translit. Chechnyá; Chechen: Нохчийчоь, Noxçiyçö), officially the Chechen Republic (; Russian: Чече́нская Респу́блика, translit. Chechénskaya Respúblika; Chechen: Нохчийн Республика, Noxçiyn Respublika), is a federal subject (a republic) of Russia.

It is a Federal Subject of Russia located in the North Caucasus, and within 100 kilometres (62 miles) of the Caspian Sea. The capital of the republic is the city of Grozny. As of the 2010 Russian Census, the republic was reported to have a population of 1,268,989 people; however, that number has been questioned by multiple demographers, who think such population growth after two deadly wars is highly implausible.After the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Chechen-Ingush ASSR was split into two parts: the Republic of Ingushetia and the Chechen Republic. The latter proclaimed the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, which sought independence. Following the First Chechen War with Russia, Chechnya gained de facto independence as the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria. Russian federal control was restored during the Second Chechen War. Since then there has been a systematic reconstruction and rebuilding process, though sporadic fighting continued to take place in the mountains and southern region until 2017.

Circassia

Circassia (; Adyghe: Адыгэ Хэку) is a region in the North Caucasus and along the northeast shore of the Black Sea. It is the ancestral homeland of the Circassian people.

Insurgency in the North Caucasus

The insurgency in the North Caucasus was a low-level armed conflict between Russia and militants associated with the Caucasus Emirate and, since June 2015, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) groups. It followed the official end of the decade-long Second Chechen War on 16 April 2009. It attracted people from the Middle East, North Africa, Europe and Central Asia, who then participated in the conflict, but volunteers from the North Caucasus are also fighting in Syria. Also used is the name Armed Conflict in the North Caucasus (Russian: Вооружённый конфликт на Севером Кавказе).

The insurgency has gone relatively dormant in recent years. During its peak, the violence was mostly concentrated in the North Caucasus republics of Chechnya, Dagestan, Ingushetia and Kabardino-Balkaria. Occasional incidents happened in surrounding regions, like North Ossetia-Alania, Karachay-Cherkessia, Stavropol Krai and Volgograd Oblast.

Jamestown Foundation

The Jamestown Foundation is a Washington, D.C.-based institute for research and analysis, founded in 1984 as a platform to support Soviet defectors. Today its stated mission is to inform and educate policy makers about events and trends, which it regards as being of current strategic importance to the United States. Jamestown publishes numerous publications that focus on China, Russia, Eurasia, and global terrorism.

Kabardia

Kabardia (Kabardian: Къэбэрдей) was a historical region in the North Caucasus corresponding partly to the modern Kabardino-Balkaria. It had better political organization than its neighbors and a somewhat ‘feudal’ social structure. It existed as a political community from the fifteenth century or earlier until it came under Russian control in the early nineteenth century.

List of cities and towns in Russia by population

This is a list of cities and towns in Russia with a population of over 50,000 as of the 2010 Census. These numbers are the population within the limits of the city/town proper, not the urban area or metropolitan area figures.

The list excludes the city of Sevastopol and locations within the Republic of Crimea, since those were not subject to the 2010 Census as constituent parts of Ukraine. The city of Zelenograd (a part of the federal city of Moscow) and the municipal cities/towns of the federal city of St. Petersburg are also excluded, as they are not enumerated in the 2010 Census as stand-alone localities.

Mountainous Republic of the Northern Caucasus

The Mountainous Republic of the Northern Caucasus (MRNC; also known as the Mountain Republic or the Republic of the Mountaineers; Russian: Республика Союза Горцев Северного Кавказа, tr. Respublika Soyuza Gortsev Severnogo Kavkaza) was a short-lived state situated in the Northern Caucasus that existed from 1917 until 1920. It broke away from the Russian Empire during the February Revolution, shortly before the start of the Russian Civil War.

MRNC included most of the territory of the former Terek Oblast and Dagestan Oblast of the Russian Empire, which now form the republics of Chechnya, Ingushetia, North Ossetia–Alania, Abkhazia, Kabardino-Balkaria, Dagestan and part of Stavropol Krai of the Russian Federation. The total land area was about 260,000 square kilometers (100,000 sq mi), with a population of about 6.5 million. Its capital was initially at Vladikavkaz, then Nazran, and finally Temir-Khan-Shura.

The state was captured by Soviet Russian forces in 1920, who transformed it into the Mountain Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic.

North Caucasian Federal District

North Caucasian Federal District (Russian: Се́веро-Кавка́зский федера́льный о́круг, Severo-Kavkazsky federalny okrug) is one of the eight federal districts of Russia. It is located in extreme southern Russia, in the geographical area of the North Caucasus. The federal district was split from Southern Federal District on January 19, 2010.The population of the federal subjects comprising the federal district was 9,428,826 according to the 2010 Census, living in an area of 170,400 square kilometers (65,800 sq mi).The current Envoy is Oleg Belaventsev.

North Caucasus Military District

The North Caucasus Military District was a military district of the Russian Armed Forces, which became in 2010 the Southern Military District and lately also included the Black Sea Fleet and Caspian Flotilla.

It comprised the Republic of Adygeya, the Republic of Dagestan, the Republic of Ingushetia, the Kabardino-Balkar Republic, the Republic of Kalmykia, the Karachay–Cherkess Republic, the Republic of North Osetia-Alaniya, the Chechen Republic, Krasnodar Krai, Stavropol Krai, and Astrakhan, Volgograd, and Rostov oblasts. It has the same borders as the Southern Federal District. Its last commander was Lieutenant General Alexander Galkin, appointed from January 2010.

North Caucasus Railway

North Caucasus Railway (Russian: Северо-Кавказская железная дорога) is a 1,520 mm (4 ft 11 27⁄32 in) broad gauge Russian railway network that links the Sea of Azov (in the west) and Caspian Sea (in the east). It runs through ten federal subjects: Rostov Oblast, Krasnodar Krai, Stavropol Krai, Republic of Adygeya, Karachay–Cherkessia, North Ossetia, Ingushetia, Chechnya, Dagestan, and Kalmykia. The headquarters are in Rostov-on-Don.

The network comprises Grozny, Krasnodar, Makhachkala, Mineralnye Vody, and Rostov passenger and freight railways, as well as two children's railways (in Vladikavkaz and Rostov). As of 2005, there were 6315.9 km of railtrack and 403 railway stations. The railway is operated by the Russian Railways and employs 80,757 people.

The Black Sea resorts of Sochi, Gelendzhik and Anapa are the principal passenger destinations on the railway. The Sochi line, running for many miles along the coast of the Black Sea, is especially busy in summer with regular extra direct express trains for holiday makers. The oil ports at Novorossiysk and Tuapse are significant destinations for rail freight traffic.

North Caucasus economic region

North Caucasus Economic Region (Russian: Се́веро-Кавка́зский экономи́ческий райо́н; tr.: Severo-Kavkazsky ekonomichesky rayon) is one of 12 economic regions of Russia. It comprises the whole of the North Caucasian Federal District and the western federal subjects of the Southern Federal District.

In this area, descending northward from the principal chain of the Caucasus Mountains to a level plain, are found rich deposits of oil, natural gas, and coal. The major cities are Rostov-on-Don, Krasnodar, Grozny, Vladikavkaz, and Novorossiysk. Sochi is a popular resort. Farm machinery, coal, petroleum, and natural gas are the chief products. The Kuban River region, a fertile black-earth area, is one of the chief granaries of Russia. Wheat, sugar beets, tobacco, rice, and sunflower seeds are grown, and cattle are raised. Other rivers include the Don, the Kuma, and the Terek, and the Volga-Don Canal is a major transportation route.

Pontic–Caspian steppe

The Pontic–Caspian steppe, or Pontic steppe is the vast steppeland stretching from the northern shores of the Black Sea (called Euxeinos Pontos [Εὔξεινος Πόντος] in antiquity) as far east as the Caspian Sea, from Moldova and eastern Ukraine across the North Caucasus Federal District, Southern Federal District and the Volga Federal District of Russia to western Kazakhstan, forming part of the larger Eurasian steppe, adjacent to the Kazakh steppe to the east. It is a part of the Palearctic temperate grasslands, savannas, and shrublands ecoregion of the temperate grasslands, savannas, and shrublands biome.

The area corresponds to Cimmeria, Scythia, and Sarmatia of classical antiquity. Across several millennia the steppe was used by numerous tribes of nomadic horsemen, many of which went on to conquer lands in the settled regions of Europe and in western and southern Asia.

The term Ponto-Caspian region is used in biogeography for plants and animals of these steppes, and animals from the Black, Caspian, and Azov seas. Genetic research has identified this region as the most probable place where horses were first domesticated.According to a theory, called Kurgan hypothesis in Indo-European studies, the Pontic–Caspian steppe was the homeland of the speakers of the Proto-Indo-European language, and these same speakers were the original domesticators of the horse.

Second Chechen War

Second Chechen War (Russian: Втора́я чече́нская война́), also known as the Second Chechen Сampaign (Russian: Втора́я чече́нская кампа́ния) or officially (from Russian point of view) Counter-terrorist operations on territories of North Caucasian region (Russian: Контртеррористические операции на территории Северо-Кавказского региона), was an armed conflict on the territory of Chechnya and the border regions of the North Caucasus between the Russian Federation and the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, also with militants of various Islamist groups, fought from August 1999 to April 2009.

On 9 August 1999, Islamist fighters from Chechnya infiltrated Russia's Dagestan region, declaring it an independent state and calling for a jihad until "all unbelievers had been driven out". On 1 October, Russian troops entered Chechnya. The campaign ended the de facto independence of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria and restored Russian federal control over the territory.

During the initial campaign, Russian military and pro-Russian Chechen paramilitary forces faced Chechen separatists in open combat, and seized the Chechen capital Grozny after a winter siege that lasted from late 1999 until February 2000. Russia established direct rule of Chechnya in May 2000 and after the full-scale offensive, Chechen militant resistance throughout the North Caucasus region continued to inflict heavy Russian casualties and challenge Russian political control over Chechnya for several more years. Some Chechen separatists also carried out attacks against civilians in Russia. These attacks, as well as widespread human rights violations by Russian and separatist forces, drew international condemnation.

In mid-2000, the Russian government transferred certain military operations to pro-Russian Chechen forces. The military phase of operations was terminated in April 2002, and the coordination of the field operations were given first to the Federal Security Service and then to the MVD in the summer of 2003.

By 2009, Russia had severely disabled the Chechen separatist movement and large-scale fighting ceased. Russian army and interior ministry troops no longer occupied the streets. Grozny underwent reconstruction efforts and much of the city and surrounding areas were rebuilt quickly. Sporadic violence continues throughout the North Caucasus; occasional bombings and ambushes targeting federal troops and forces of the regional governments in the area still occur.On 15 April 2009, the government operation in Chechnya was officially over. As the main bulk of the army was withdrawn, the burden of dealing with the low-level insurgency mainly fell on the shoulders of the local police force. Three months later the exiled leader of the separatist government, Akhmed Zakayev, called for a halt to armed resistance against the Chechen police force starting on 1 August and said he hoped that "starting with this day Chechens will never shoot at each other".The exact death toll from this conflict is unknown. Unofficial sources estimate a range from 25,000 to 50,000 dead or missing, mostly civilians in Chechnya. Russian casualties are over 5,200 (official Russian casualty figures) and are about 11,000 according to the Committee of Soldiers' Mothers.

Stavropol Krai

Stavropol Krai (Russian: Ставропо́льский край, tr. Stavropolsky kray, IPA: [stəvrɐˈpolʲskʲɪj kraj]) is a federal subject (a krai) of Russia. It is geographically located in the North Caucasus region in Southern Russia, and is administratively part of the North Caucasian Federal District. Stavropol Krai has a population of 2,786,281 (2010).Stavropol is the largest city and the capital of Stavropol Krai, and Pyatigorsk is the administrative center of the North Caucasian Federal District.

Stavropol Krai is bordered by Krasnodar Krai to the west, Rostov Oblast to the north-west, Kalmykia to the north, Dagestan to the east, and Chechnya, Ingushetia, North Ossetia-Alania, Kabardino-Balkaria and Karachay-Cherkessia to the south. It is one of the most multi-ethnic federal subjects in Russia, with thirty-three ethnic groups with more than 2,000 persons each. The western area of Stavropol Krai is considered part of the Kuban region, the traditional home of the Kuban Cossacks, with most of the krai's population living in the drainage basin of the Kuban River.

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