Dagestan Republic

Dagestan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic was established on January 30, 1921. In 1991 Dagestan Republic was proclaimed to be the part of the Russian Federation. Capital Makhachkala (population 385.0 thousand) was founded in 1857.
Moscow-Makhachkala distance – 2166 km.

Geographic location. Republic of Dagestan is located in the eastern part of the Northern Caucasus, at the east it is washed by the Caspian Sea (coast line — 350 km). North-south -350 km, west-east - 200 km. Dagestan borders: in the north – on Republic of Kalmykia, in the west – on Stavropol territory and Chechen Republic, in the south-west – on Republic of Georgia, in the south – Republic of Azerbaijan. Dagestan, being the most southern region of Russia, is of great strategic importance for the country.

Natural conditions. The Dagestan territory may be divided into four parts: lowland, foothills, mountains and high mountains. Main rivers: Terek, Sulak. The climate is warm and dry. Temperature: winter from +5 to -5 degrees, summer from +21 to +30 degrees. Precipitation is low. Vegetation period: 160-180 days.

Population. Dagestan is populated with over 100 peoples and ethnic groups, 14 of them considered to be indigenous according to the 1977 Constitution. Recently over 60 small ethnic groups stemmed out of the largest ones. The majority of ethnic groups belong to Caucasian linguistic family, the largest of them are: Avars, Dargins, Kumyks, Lezgins, Lakts,Tabasarants, Rutuls, as well as Chechens, Aguls, Tats ets. Nogais are the most numerous among Turkic language peoples. The Russian speaking population in Dagestan is quite small consisting mostly of qualified specialists, military personnel and border guard. The Republic is torn by hidden ethnic conflicts and fight for the supreme power and unification of certain territorially disparate peoples (Nogais, Lezgins, Chechens). Dagestan officially boasts 12 national languages. Sunni islam is the strongest component uniting peoples of Dagestan. Population mostly lives in the countryside. The Dagestan population grows very quickly. The highest birth rate in Russia is accompanied by low mortality and relatively high life span.

State structure. Dagestan is a parliamentary republic. The power belongs to one-chamber parliament – people’s council, which is selected by secret vote for five years. The executive power is exercised by the state council which appoints the government and its chairman.

Economy strong and weak points. Dagestan is the land of plenty. The most favorable climate and fertile soils in the country are complemented by sufficient reserves of oil, gas, coal and hydro-energy resources (over 3 mln kw). The Republic boasts seven sanatoria and three resorts. The most recognized ones are Talgi resort and medical treatment areas: Makhachkala, Kaiakent, Manas, Rytchalsu, Gunib, Buinaksk. Dagestan Republic is a free economic zone.

Unfavorable conditions: the Republic is overpopulated; the Caspian Sea level is getting higher, especially in the flat area in the north. Refugees’ influx due to the Chechen war has caused serious problems.

Specialty. Dagestan is an agro-industrial republic. Its agriculture is dominated by gardening and wine-growing. Grain crops are mostly presented by wheat. Sheep breeding is the main element of livestock farming. Makhachkala and Izberbash host oil fields. Gas is produced in Dagestanskie Ogni and Dzulak. The main part of crude oil is transported through the pipeline to Grozny refineries (Chechen Republic). Almost half of local GDP comes from food industry: wine-making, fish, food-canning. Mountain settlements are famous for their crafts. Kubachi settlement: ornament precious metal engraving, niello, inlaying and carving, rich weapons; Go-Tsatl settlement: copper engravings; Untsu-Kul settlement: woodwork, Balkhar settlement: unglazed ceramics with painting.

Main branches of industry: electric energy, oil refining, engineering, chemical and food industry. Largest hydro-power stations: Chirurt, Chirkey, Gergebil and some others. Engineering and metal processing are concentrated in Makhachkala, Izberbash, Derbent and Kizilyurt.

Official website: http://www.e-dag.ru/

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