Kabardin-Balkar Republic

Kabardin autonomous region was formed on September, the 1st, 1921. In 1922 it was transformed in Kabardin-Balkar autonomous region; on December, the 5, 1936 it was proclaimed Kabardin-Balkar Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic; in January 1991 it became Kabardin-Balkar Republic within the Russian Federation. The capital is Nalkchik (256,1 thousand inhabitants), founded in 1817.
The distance between Moscow and Nalchik is 1873 km.

Geographic location. The republic is situated on the northern flank of the Big Caucasus, its central part, and on the adjoining Kabardin plain. The territory extends 100 km from north to south, and 175 km from east to west. It borders: in the south — on Georgia Republic, in the north — on Stavropol territory, in the west — on Karachai-Cherkess Republic, in the east and south-east — on Northern Ossetia - Alaniya Republic. Northern Caucasus railroad Moscow - Rostov-on-Don – Baku crosses the territory of the Republic, with a branch line to Nalchik.

Natural conditions. The relief is mountainous. The highest peak of the Caucasus and Russia – Elbrus (5642 m) – is situated here. Main rivers are the Terek, Malka, Baksan. Forests cover 180 thousand hectares. Climatic conditions subject to the pattern of high zoning. On Kabardin plain winter temperature fluctuate from +1 to -8 degrees centigrade, summer temperature — from +20 to +26 degrees. Vegetation period on the plain lasts for 190 days. In the mountainous districts the temperature in winter goes down to -20 degrees centigrade, in summer it fluctuate from +4 to +15.

Population. Basic population are Kabardins and Balkars. The total number of Kabardins in all the republics of the former USSR is about 400 thousand people, Balkars — 90 thousand people. In the republic there live about 370 thousand Kabardins (49% of the whole republic population), and 75 thousand Balkars (10% of the population). Balkar language belongs to Turkic language family. Kabardins together with Adygeis, Cherkess and Abkhazians make up a single nation (Adyghes) separated by regional and state boundaries. Balkars were among the victims of Stalin's political repressions: in 1944 they were forcibly deported to Middle Asia and Kazakhstan. Today they demand execution of the law of the Russian Federation «On rehabilitation of the repressed nations» and, in particular, restoration of four administrative districts in the boundaries as of March, the 8th, 1944. Kabardin and Balkar believers are Sunni Moslems. Birth rate a bit surpasses death rate, but because of migration outflow the number of the population remains constant.

State system. Kabardin-Balkariya is a presidential republic. President is elected for a term of five years. He is the head of executive power. The supreme legislature is the State Assembly consisting of two chambers — Council of representatives and Council of the Republic. In July 1994 the Russian Federation and Kabardin-Balkar Republic signed an Agreement on mutual delegating authorities.

Economic advantages and disadvantages. Kabardin-Balkar Republic is an industrial and agrarian region. Food and mineral resource industries are key industries in the economy. There is Tyrnyauz tungsten and molybdenum deposit. Agriculture focuses on grain farming and husbandry, wheat and corn growing, wine-growing, ship and livestock breeding prevailing. The Republic is one of the tourist centers, ski and health resort. Near Elbrus, in the upper reaches of the Malaka river there was built a sport complex with ropeways. Tourists routs go along the Malaka valleys (Narkhan valley), along the Baksan valley to Elbrus (Adyrsu and Adylsu gorges) and through the pass to the Black sea. Free economic zone «Kabardin-Balkariya» has been set up in the republic.

Specialty. Kabardin-Balkar Republic exports non-ferrous metals, cables, pumps, motor and tractor trailer, agricultural products.

Main industries. For a long time food processing industries prevailed in the economy of the region. But since the end of 1950-ies the focus shifted to heavy industry (instrument engineering, machine-building and non-ferrous metallurgy). Power engineering is represented by Baksan hydro-electric power station. The Republic is a monopolist in Russia in production of tungsten anhydride, steam installations and dewaxing units.

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