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Coordinates: 43°03′26″N 46°54′55″E / 43.05722°N 46.91528°E / 43.05722; 46.91528

Republic of Dagestan (English)
Республика Дагестан (Russian)
-  Republic  -
Map of Russia - Republic of Dagestan (2008-03).svg
Coat of Arms of Dagestan.svg
Coat of arms of Dagestan
FlagofDaghestan.svg
Flag of Dagestan
Anthem National Anthem of the Republic of Dagestan[citation needed]
Political status
Country Russia
Political status Republic
Federal district North Caucasian[1]
Economic region North Caucasus[2]
Capital Makhachkala[citation needed]
Official languages Russian[3]; Russian, Aghul, Avar, Azeri, Chechen, Dargwa, Kumyk, Lak, Lezgian, Nogai, Rutul, Tabasaran, Tat, Tsakhur[4][5]
Statistics
Population (2002 Census)[6] 2,576,531 inhabitants
- Rank within Russia 22nd
- Urban[6] 42.8%
- Rural[6] 57.2%
- Density 51 /km2 (100/sq mi)[7]
Area (as of the 2002 Census)[8] 50,300 km2 (19,420.9 sq mi)
- Rank within Russia 52nd
Established January 20, 1921[9]
License plates 05
ISO 3166-2:RU RU-DA
Time zone MSK/MSD (UTC+3/+4)
Government (as of October 2008)
President[10] Magomedsalam Magomedov[11]
Legislature People's Assembly[10]
Constitution Constitution of Dagestan
Official website
http://www.e-dag.ru/

The Republic of Dagestan (pronounced /dɑːɡɨˈstɑːn/ or /dæɡɨˈstæn/; Russian: Респу́блика Дагеста́н; also spelled as Daghestan) is a federal subjectrepublic—of the Russian Federation, located in the North Caucasus region.

Dagestan has great ethnic diversity, with several dozen ethnic groups and subgroups, most of which speak either Caucasian, Turkic, or Iranian languages. Largest among these ethnic groups are the Avar, Dargin, Kumyk, and Lezgin.[12] While Russians form only a small proportion (4.7%) of the population, Russian remains the primary official language. Dagestan has been a scene of low-level Islamic insurgency, occasional outbreaks of separatism, ethnic tensions and terrorism since the 1990s. According to International Crisis Group, the militant Islamist organization Shariat Jamaat is responsible for much of the violence.[13]

Contents

Terminology

The direct romanization of the republic's Russian name is Respublika Dagestan. It is the largest republic of Russia in the North Caucasus, both in area and population.

The word Daghestan or Daghistan means "country of mountains", it is derived from the Turkic word dağ meaning mountain and Persian suffix -stan meaning "land of". The name is written in Arabic alphabet as داغستان. The spelling Dagestan is a transliteration of the Russian name and is rather modern.

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Names in some official languages of the republic

Avar: Дагъистаналъул Республика, Dargin: Дагъистанес Республика, Kumyk: Дагъыстан Республикасы, Lezgian: Дагъустандин Республика, Lak: Дагъусттаннал Республика, Azerbaijani: Dağıstan Respublikası, Tabasaran: Дагъустан Республика.

Geography

The republic is situated in the North Caucasus mountains. It is the southernmost part of Russia.

Rivers

Map of Dagestan

There are over 1,800 rivers in the republic. Major rivers include:

Lakes

Dagestan has about 400 kilometers (249 mi) of coast line on the Caspian Sea.

Mountains

Most of the Republic is mountainous, with the Greater Caucasus Mountains covering the south. The highest point is the Bazardyuzi peak at 4,466 m.

Natural resources

Dagestan is rich in oil, natural gas, coal, and many other minerals.

Climate

The climate is hot and dry in the summer but the winters are hard in the mountain areas.

  • Average January temperature: +2 °C (35.6 °F)
  • Average July temperature: +26 °C (78.8 °F)
  • Average annual precipitation: 250 (northern plains) to 800 mm (in the mountains).

Administrative divisions

Demographics

A couple in traditional dress poses for a portrait in Dagestan. Photographed by Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky, circa 1907 to 1915.
Ethno-Linguistic groups in the Caucasus region

Because its mountainous terrain impedes travel and communication, Dagestan is unusually ethnically diverse, and still largely tribal. It is Russia's most heterogeneous republic. Unlike most other parts of Russia, Dagestan's population is rapidly growing.[14]

  • Population: 2,576,531 (2002)
    • Urban: 1,102,577 (42.8%)
    • Rural: 1,473,954 (57.2%)
    • Male: 1,242,437 (48.2%)
    • Female: 1,334,094 (51.8%)
  • Females per 1000 males: 1,074
  • Average age: 25.2 years
    • Urban: 25.1 years
    • Rural: 25.2 years
    • Male: 24.0 years
    • Female: 26.3 years
  • Number of households: 570,036 (with 2,559,499 people)
    • Urban: 239,338 (with 1,088,814 people)
    • Rural: 330,698 (with 1,470,685 people)
  • Vital statistics
Source: Russian Federal State Statistics Service
Births Deaths Birth rate Death rate
1970 41,381 9,543 28.8 6.6
1975 42,098 10,292 27.3 6.7
1980 44,088 11,188 26.6 6.8
1985 50,053 12,010 28.7 6.9
1990 48,209 11,482 26.1 6.2
1991 47,461 12,062 24.9 6.3
1992 44,986 12,984 22.9 6.6
1993 41,863 14,777 20.8 7.3
1994 44,472 15,253 21.0 7.2
1995 45,680 15,700 20.7 7.1
1996 42,282 15,565 18.8 6.9
1997 41,225 15,662 17.9 6.8
1998 41,164 15,793 17.4 6.7
1999 38,281 16,020 15.8 6.6
2000 38,229 16,108 15.5 6.5
2001 38,480 15,293 15.3 6.1
2002 41,204 15,887 16.1 6.2
2003 41,490 15,929 16.0 6.1
2004 41,573 15,724 15.9 6.0
2005 40,814 15,585 15.5 5.9
2006 40,646 15,939 15.3 6.0
2007 45,470 15,357 17.0 5.7
2008 49,465 15,794 18.3 5.9

Ethnic groups

The people of Dagestan include a large variety of ethnic groups. According to the 2002 Census, Northeast Caucasians (including Avars, Dargins and Lezgins) make up almost 75% of the population of Dagestan. Turkic peoples, Kumyks, Nogais and Azeris make up 20%, and Russians 5% . Other ethnic groups each account for less than 0.5% of the total population.

It should be noted that such groups as the Botlikh, the Andi, the Akhvakhs, the Tsez and about ten other groups were reclassified as Avars between the 1926 and 1939 censuses.[15]

census 1926 census 1939 census 1959 census 1970 census 1979 census 1989 census 2002
Avars 177,189 (22.5%) 230,488 (24.8%) 239,373 (22.5%) 349,304 (24.5%) 418,634 (25.7%) 496,077 (27.5%) 758,438 (29.4%)
Dargins 125,707 (16.0%) 150,421 (16.2%) 148,194 (13.9%) 207,776 (14.5%) 246,854 (15.2%) 280,431 (15.6%) 425,526 (16.5%)
Kumyks 87,960 (11.2%) 100,053 (10.8%) 120,859 (11.4%) 169,019 (11.8%) 202,297 (12.4%) 231,805 (12.9%) 365,804 (14.2%)
Lezgins 90,509 (11.5%) 96,723 (10.4%) 108,615 (10.2%) 162,721 (11.4%) 188,804 (11.6%) 204,370 (11.3%) 336,698 (13.1%)
Laks 39,878 (5.1%) 51,671 (5.6%) 53,451 (5.0%) 72,240 (5.1%) 83,457 (5.1%) 91,682 (5.1%) 139,732 (5.4%)
Tabasarans 31,915 (4.0%) 33,432 (3.6%) 33,548 (3.2%) 53,253 (3.7%) 71,722 (4.4%) 78,196 (4.3%) 101,152 (4.3%)
Nogais 26,086 (3.3%) 4,677 (0.5%) 14,939 (1.4%) 21,750 (1.5%) 24,977 (1.5%) 28,294 (1.6%) 38,168 (1.5%)
Rutuls 10,333 (1.3%) 20,408 (2.2%) 6,566 (0.6%) 11,799 (0.8%) 14,288 (0.9%) 14,955 (0.8%) 24,298 (0.9%)
Aguls 7,653 (1.0%) 6,378 (0.6%) 8,644 (0.6%) 11,459 (0.7%) 13,791 (0.8%) 23,314 (0.9%)
Tsakhurs 3,531 (0.4%) 4,278 (0.4%) 4,309 (0.3%) 4,560 (0.3%) 5,194 (0.3%) 8,168 (0.3%)
Russians 98,197 (12.5%) 132,952 (14.3%) 213,754 (20.1%) 209,570 (14.7%) 189,474 (11.6%) 165,940 (9.2%) 170,875 (6.7%)
Azeris 23,428 (3.0%) 31,141 (3.3%) 38,224 (3.6%) 54,403 (3.8%) 64,514 (4.0%) 75,463 (4.2%) 111,656 (4.3%)
Chechens 21,851 (2.8%) 26,419 (2.8%) 12,798 (1.2%) 39,965 (2.8%) 49,227 (3.0%) 57,877 (3.2%) 87,867 (3.4%)
Others 43,861 (5.6%) 52,031 (5.6%) 61,495 (5.8%) 63,787 (4.5%) 57,892 (3.6%) 58,113 (3.2%) 25,835 (1.0%)

The indigenous ethnic groups of Dagestan are bolded.

There are also forty or so tiny groups such as the Hinukh, numbering 200, or the Akhvakhs, who are members of a complex family of indigenous Caucasians. Notable are also the Hunzib or Khunzal people who live in only four towns in the interior.

The lingua franca in Dagestan is Russian. Over thirty local languages are also commonly spoken.

Economy

The major industries in Dagestan include oil production, engineering, chemicals, machine building, textile manufacturing, food processing, and the timber. Oil deposits are located in the narrow coastal region. The Dagestani oil is of high quality, and is delivered to other regions. Dagestan's natural gas production goes mostly to satisfy local needs. Agriculture is varied and includes grain-farming, viticulture and wine-making, sheep-farming, and dairying. The engineering and metalworking industries own 20% of the republic's industrial production assets and employ 25% of all industrial workers. Dagestan's hydroelectric power industry is developing rapidly. There are five power plants on the Sulak River providing hydroelectric power. It has been estimated that Dagestan's total potential hydroelectric power resources are 4.4 billion kW. Dagestan has a well-developed transportation system. Railways connect the capital Makhachkala to Moscow, Astrakhan, and the Azerbaijani capital, Baku. The Moscow-Baku highway also passes through Dagestan, and there are air links with major cities.[16][17]

Conditions for economic development are favorable in Dagestan, but – as of 2006 – the republic's low starting level for a successful transition to market relations, in addition to rampant corruption, has made the region highly dependent on its underground economy and the subsidies coming from the central Russian government.[17][18] Corruption in Dagestan is more severe than in other regions of the former Soviet Union, and is coupled with a flourishing black market and clan-based economic system.[13]

Religion

90.6% percent of Dagestan's population is Muslim, with Christians accounting for much of the remaining 9.4%.[19]

As with much of the Caucasus region, Dagestan's native Islam is a Sunni Islam that has been in place for centuries. From the middle of the 19th century, after the war of Imam Shamil, Sufi orders were introduced in Dagestan from Azerbaijan. The appearance of heterodox Sufism in Dagestan, as opposed to orthodox Sunni Islam, is a major issue of concern for peaceful co-existence of religious community. Resul Magomedov, a contemporary writer of Dagestan, writes about the unifying role of Islam:

Before Islam, all Daghestan tribes were divided in respect of language, religion, ethnic structure and geography like all other Caucasian peoples. This situation caused severe hostility and conflicts. After all native tribes became Muslims, a unity in belief could be sustained among Dagestani tribes which also stopped ethnic conflicts among them. If these conflicts continued, our homeland would face great disasters. This unity could only be established by medressehs spread out all the country. The scientists, scholars, imams graduated from these medressehs had an important role in stopping these conflicts in this multinational region and they helped tribes to establish friendly relations. Islam should also serve such a goal today.[20]

There is a millennia-old presence of a Jewish community, the so-called Mountain Jews, in Dagestan. Their influx from Babylonia and Persia occurred from the seventh century BC to the sixth century AD.[21]

History

Karte des Kaukasischen Isthmus. Entworfen und gezeichnet von J. Grassl, 1856.
In the old town of Derbent, a World Heritage Site

The oldest records about the region refer to the state of Caucasian Albania in the south, with its capital at Derbent and other important centres at Chola, Toprakh Qala, and Urtseki. The northern parts were held by a confederation of pagan tribes. In the first few centuries AD, Caucasian Albania continued to rule over what is present day Azerbaijan and the area occupied by the present day Lezghians. It was fought over in classical times by Rome and the Persian Sassanids and was early converted to Christianity.

In the fifth century AD, the Sassanids gained the upper hand and constructed a strong citadel at Derbent, known henceforward as the Caspian Gates, while the northern part of Dagestan was overrun by the Huns, followed by the Caucasian Avars. It is not clear whether the latter were instrumental in the rise of the Christian kingdom in Central Dagestan highlands. Known as Sarir, this Avar-dominated state maintained a precarious existence in the shadow of Khazaria and the Caliphate until the ninth century, when it managed to assert its supremacy in the region.

In 664, the Persians were succeeded in Derbent by the Arabs who clashed with the Khazars over control of Dagestan. Although the local population rose against the Arabs of Derbent in 905 and 913, Islam was eventually adopted in urban centres, such as Samandar and Kubachi (Zerechgeran), from where it steadily penetrated into the highlands. By the 15th century, Albanian Christianity had died away, leaving a tenth-century church at Datuna as the sole monument to its existence.

Due to Muslim pressure and internal disunity, Sarir disintegrated in the early twelfth century, giving way to the Khanate of Avaristan, a long-lived Muslim state which relied on the alliance with the Golden Horde and braved the devastating Mongol invasions of 1222 and 1239, followed by Tamerlane's raid in 1389.

Kaitag embroidered textile, early 19th century, from southwest Dagestan

As the Mongol authority gradually eroded, new centres of power emerged in Kaitagi and Tarki. In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, legal traditions were codified, mountainous communities (djamaats) obtained a considerable degree of autonomy, while the Kumyk potentates (shamhals) asked for the Tsar's protection. Russians intensified their hold in the region in the eighteenth century, when Peter the Great annexed maritime Dagestan in the course of the First Russo-Persian War. Although the territories were returned to Persia in 1735, the next bout of hostilities resulted in the Russian capture of Derbent in 1796.

The eighteenth century also saw the resurgence of the Khanate of Avaristan, which managed to repulse the attacks of Nadir Shah of Persia and impose tribute on Shirvan and Georgia. In 1803 the khanate voluntarily submitted to Russian authority, but it took Persia a decade to recognize all of Dagestan as the Russian possession (Treaty of Gulistan).

The Russian administration, however, disappointed and embittered the highlanders. The institution of heavy taxation, coupled with the expropriation of estates and the construction of fortresses (including Makhachkala), electrified highlanders into rising under the aegis of the Muslim Imamate of Dagestan, led by Ghazi Mohammed (1828–32), Gamzat-bek (1832–34) and Shamil (1834–59). This Caucasian War raged until 1864, when Shamil was captured and the Khanate of Avaristan was abolished.

Dagestani man, photographed by Prokudin-Gorskii, circa 1907 to 1915

Dagestan and Chechnya profited from the Russo-Turkish War, 1877-1878, to rise against Imperial Russia for the last time. During the Russian Civil War, the region became part of the short-lived Republic of the Mountaineers of the North Caucasus. After more than three years of fighting White movement reactionaries and local nationalists, the Dagestan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic was proclaimed on 20 January 1921. Nevertheless, Stalin's industrialization largely bypassed Dagestan and the economy stagnated, making the republic the poorest region in Russia.

In 1999, a group of Muslim fundamentalists from Chechnya under Shamil Basayev, together with local converts and exiles from the 1998 uprising attempt, staged an abortive insurrection in Dagestan in which hundreds of combatants and civilians died. Russian forces subsequently reinvaded Chechnya later that year.

Dagestani conflict

Since 2000, Dagestan has been the venue of a low-level guerilla war, bleeding over from Chechnya; the fighting has claimed the lives of hundreds of federal servicemen and officials – mostly members of local police forces – as well as many Dagestani national rebels and civilians.

More recently, among other incidents:

  • In early 2005, government forces surrounded a group of five rebels in a two-story house on the outskirts of Makhachkala. The rebels battled the authorities for seventeen hours, killing one of Russia's elite Alpha Group commandos and wounding another, until armored vehicles and a helicopter blew apart most of the house and its neighbour. All the rebels were killed.
  • In the weeks preceding the battle, insurgents had derailed two trains, sabotaged gas supplies and shot dead a high-ranking intelligence officer from Moscow, as well as a local police chief. A month later, Major General Magomed Omarov, the deputy interior minister, was assassinated in Makhachkala.
  • On July 1, 2005, eleven Russian MVD OSNAZ troops were killed and seven wounded in the capital when their trucks were bombed.
  • On August 20, 2005, a remote-controlled bomb killed at least three police officers and wounded several more on a downtown street in the Makhachkala. The bomb detonated as a foot patrol walked past a grove of trees.
  • On March 22, 2006, a group of assailants fatally shot the chief administrator of the Botlikh district of Dagestan during a fierce gun battle in Makhachkala.
  • On August 27, 2006, three police officers and four suspected militants were killed during a two-hour gun fight in Makhachkala.
  • On May 14, 2007, police said three rebels were killed and three police commandos wounded in a fierce firefight on Sheikh Mansur Street in Khasavyurt.
  • On May 15, 2008, two MVD officers were killed and one police officer heavily wounded during an ambush on their vehicle in Gubden.
  • On September 8, 2008, Abdul Madzhid and two rebels were killed along with ten Russian special commandos in a firefight in southern Dagestan.
  • On October 21, 2008, rebels ambushed a Russian military truck, killing five troops and wounding nine others.
  • On January 6, 2010, a suicide bomber attempted to blow up a police station in Makhachkala, killing six officers and wounding 14 others.

Politics

The Parliament of Dagestan is the People's Assembly, consisting of 121 deputees elected for a four year term. The People's Assembly is the highest executive and legislative body of the republic.

The Constitution of Dagestan was adopted on July 10, 2003. According to it, the highest executive authority lies with the State Council, comprising representatives of fourteen ethnicities. The members of the State Council are appointed by the Constitutional Assembly of Dagestan for a term of four years. The State Council appoints the members of the Government.

The ethnicities represented in the State Council are Aguls, Avars, Azeris, Chechens, Dargins, Kumyks, Laks, Lezgins, Russians, Rutuls, Tabasarans, Tats, and Tsakhurs.

Formerly, the Chairman of the State Council was the highest executive post in the republic, held by Magomedali Magomedovich Magomedov until 2006. On February 20, 2006, the People's Assembly passed a resolution terminating this post and disbanding the State Council. Russian President Vladimir Putin offered the People's Assembly the candidature of Mukhu Aliyev for the newly established post of the President of Dagestan. The nomination was accepted by the People's Assembly, and Mukhu Aliyev became the first President of Dagestan.

Economy

The village of Tindi, in Daghestan, in the late 1890s. The photograph was taken by M. de Déchy, who returned from the area with large collections of plants, fossils, and photographs.

As of 2000, the economy of Dagestan consisted of the following sectors:

Important industries include food processing, power generation, oil drilling, machine building, chemicals, and instrument making. Dagestan's major exports are oil and fuel. Important agricultural products include fish from the Caspian Sea, wine and brandy, and various garden fruits.

References and notes

  1. ^ Президент Российской Федерации. Указ №849 от 13 мая 2000 г. «О полномочном представителе Президента Российской Федерации в федеральном округе». Вступил в силу 13 мая 2000 г. Опубликован: "Собрание законодательства РФ", №20, ст. 2112, 15 мая 2000 г. (President of the Russian Federation. Decree #849 of May 13, 2000 On the Plenipotentiary Representative of the President of the Russian Federation in a Federal District. Effective as of May 13, 2000).
  2. ^ Госстандарт Российской Федерации. №ОК 024-95 27 декабря 1995 г. «Общероссийский классификатор экономических регионов. 2. Экономические районы», в ред. Изменения №5/2001 ОКЭР. (Gosstandart of the Russian Federation. #OK 024-95 December 27, 1995 Russian Classification of Economic Regions. 2. Economic Regions, as amended by the Amendment #5/2001 OKER. ).
  3. ^ According to Article 68.1 of the Constitution of Russia, Russian is the official language on the whole territory of the Russian Federation. Article 68.2 further stipulates that only the republics have the right to establish official languages other than Russian.
  4. ^ According to Article 11 of the Constitution of Dagestan, the official languages of the republic include "Russian and the languages of the peoples of Dagestan"
  5. ^ Solntsev, pp. XXXIX–XL
  6. ^ a b c Федеральная служба государственной статистики (Federal State Statistics Service) (2004-05-21). "Численность населения России, субъектов Российской Федерации в составе федеральных округов, районов, городских поселений, сельских населённых пунктов – районных центров и сельских населённых пунктов с населением 3 тысячи и более человек (Population of Russia, its federal districts, federal subjects, districts, urban localities, rural localities—administrative centers, and rural localities with population of over 3,000)" (in Russian). Всероссийская перепись населения 2002 года (All-Russia Population Census of 2002). Federal State Statistics Service. http://perepis2002.ru/ct/html/TOM_01_04_1.htm. Retrieved 2010-03-01. 
  7. ^ The value of density was calculated automatically by dividing the 2002 Census population by the area specified in the infobox. Please note that this value may not be accurate as the area specified in the infobox is not necessarily reported for the same year as the Census (2002).
  8. ^ Федеральная служба государственной статистики (Federal State Statistics Service) (2004-05-21). "Территория, число районов, населённых пунктов и сельских администраций по субъектам Российской Федерации (Territory, Number of Districts, Inhabited Localities, and Rural Administration by Federal Subjects of the Russian Federation)" (in Russian). Всероссийская перепись населения 2002 года (All-Russia Population Census of 2002). Federal State Statistics Service. http://perepis2002.ru/ct/html/TOM_01_03.htm. Retrieved 2008-10-17. 
  9. ^ Всероссийский Центральный Исполнительный Комитет. Декрет от 20 января 1921 г. «Об Автономной Дагестанской Социалистической Советской Республике». (All-Russian Central Executive Committee. Decree of January 20, 1921 On Autonomous Dagestan Socialist Soviet Republic. ).
  10. ^ a b Constitution, Article 8
  11. ^ Lenta.ru Новый президент Дагестана вступил в должность (Russian)
  12. ^ Dagestan. Encyclopædia Britannica (Online edition)
  13. ^ a b Russia’s Dagestan: Conflict Causes. International Crisis Group Europe Report N°192. 3 June 2008
  14. ^ Ware, Robert Bruce. Islamic Resistance and Political Hegemony in Dagestan
  15. ^ Wixman, Ronald. The Peoples of the USSR: An Ethnographic Handbook. (Armonk, New York: M. E. Sharpe, Inc, 1984) p. 11
  16. ^ Dagestan Microsoft Encarta Online Encyclopedia 2008. Archived 2009-10-31.
  17. ^ a b Dagestan Republic Kommersant 2004-03-10
  18. ^ Dagestan’s Economic Crisis: Past, Present and Future North Caucasus Weekly 2006-12-31
  19. ^ http://www.rferl.org/section/North+Caucasus/167.html
  20. ^ Religion in Dagestan
  21. ^ Mountain Jews at World Culture Encyclopedia

Sources

  • В. М. Солнцев и др., ed (in Russian). Письменные языки мира: Российская Федерация. Социолингвистическая энциклопедия.. Москва: Российская Академия Наук. Институт языкознания.. pp. 651. проект №99-04-16158. 
  • 10 июля 2003 г. «Конституция Республики Дагестан», в ред. Закона №45 от 7 октября 2008 г. (July 10, 2003 Constitution of the Republic of Dagestan, as amended by the Law #45 of October 7, 2008. ).

See also

External links


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