History of Kabardino-Balkaria
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Early history 
As with other parts of the Caucasus, the area that is now known as Kabardino-Balkaria has been inhabited for thousands of years. The origins of its inhabitants are somewhat obscure.
The proto-Balkars as inhabitants of the Elbrus area are mentioned by the Armenian writer Moses of Chorene in his History of Armenia, written in the 480s AD. In it he speaks about two groups of proto-Balkars who came from Elbrus to settle parts of Armenia dated to the second half of the 4th century, at about the same time the Huns began their expansion in the East-European steppes. The first of these references is in connection with the campaign of the Armenian ruler Vaharshak to the lands, named Basen (Basian) by the ancients... and which were afterwards populated by immigrants of the vh' ndur Balkar Vund, after whose name they (the lands) were named Vanand. The Vanand- chaj (Vanand tributary to the Arax near the town of Kars) still bares testimony to this migration even today. The second wave mentioned took place during the time of the Armenian King Arsaces II (Arshak II), when great disturbances occurred in the range of the great Caucasus mountain, in the land of the Balkars, many of whom migrated and came to our lands and settled south of Kokh. Even today a river flowing though the Mungan steppe in South Azerbaijan and emptying in the lake Mahmud-chala, is still called Bolgaru-chaj (Balkar river).
The Kabards, a branch of the Adyghers, are known to have settled there by the 15th century. The region came under the control of the Mongols between 1242-1295. It passed into the hands of the Georgians from 1295 to 1505 before falling, briefly, into the orbit of the Persian Empire between 1502-1516. It was then ruled by the Ottoman Empire from 1516-1557. From 1557, it became a protectorate of the expanding Russian state – first Muscovy, then the Russian Empire. The lowland-dwelling Kabards allied themselves with the Russians, but the mountain-dwelling Balkars resisted the Russians for many years.
Russian and Soviet rule 
Kabardia gained independence briefly between 1739–1774, before being annexed by Russia under the terms of the Treaty of Kuchuk Kainarji. Balkaria was annexed in 1827. The Russians established a number of forts in the region, notably at Nalchik (the republic's present-day capital), to secure their control over it. A significant number of Russians – many of Cossack descent – also settled there.
During the Russian Civil War, the region became part of the anti-communist South-Eastern League (1917–1918), then joined the Mountain Peoples’ Autonomous Republic in 1921. On September 1, 1921, with the emergence of the Soviet Union, the territories were organized into the Kabardin Autonomous Oblast. The region's name was changed to the Kabardino-Balkar Autonomous Oblast the following year, and on December 5, 1936 it was elevated in status and named Kabardino-Balkar Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic.
In 1944, Soviet leader Joseph Stalin accused the Balkars of collaborating with Nazi Germany and deported the entire population. Their name was deleted from the territory, which was renamed the Kabardin ASSR. The Balkar population was only allowed to return in 1957 at which point its pre-war name was restored.
Post-Soviet history 
Kabardino-Balkaria became a full republic in 1991 and in March 1992 became one of the constituent republics of the Russian Federation.
The republic's economy was very hard hit by the fall of the Soviet Union and the outbreak of war in neighboring Georgia and nearby Chechnya. The instability produced by the conflicts led to a collapse in tourism in the region and produced an unemployment level estimated to be as high as 90%. The republic's mainly Muslim population has become increasingly radicalised by the region's instability. In October 2005, Kabardino-Balkaria's capital Nalchik was the site of fighting after an attack on the city by Chechen militants.
- Istorija Armenii Mojseja Horenskogo, II izd. Per. N. O. Emina, M., 1893, s.55-56.