|Republic of Dagestan
Республика Дагестан (Russian)
|— Republic —|
|Federal district||North Caucasian|
|Economic region||North Caucasus|
|Established||January 20, 1921|
|Government (as of January 2013)|
|- Head||Ramazan Abdulatipov|
|- Legislature||People's Assembly|
|Area (as of the 2002 Census)|
|- Total||50,300 km2 (19,400 sq mi)|
|Population (2010 Census)|
|- Density||57.86 /km2 (149.9 /sq mi)|
|Time zone(s)||MSK (UTC+04:00)|
|Official languages||Russian; Aghul, Avar, Azerbaijani, Chechen, Dargwa, Kumyk, Lezgian, Lak, Nogai, Rutul, Tabasaran, Tsakhur|
The Republic of Dagestan (// or //; Russian: Респу́блика Дагеста́н, Respublika Dagestan; also spelled Daghestan) is a federal subject (a republic) of Russia, located in the North Caucasus region. Its capital and largest city is Makhachkala, located at the center of Dagestan on the Caspian Sea.
With a population of 2,910,249, Dagestan is ethnically very diverse (it is Russia's most heterogeneous republic, where no ethnic group forms a majority) with several dozen ethnic groups and subgroups inhabiting the republic, most of which speak Caucasian and Turkic languages. Largest among these ethnic groups are the Avar, Dargin, Kumyk, Lezgian, Laks, Azerbaijani, Tabasaran and Chechen. Ethnic Russians comprise about 3.6% of Dagestan's total population. Russian is the primary official language and the lingua franca among the ethnic groups.
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. Much of the tension is rooted in an internal Islamic conflict between traditional Sufi groups advocating secular government and more recently introduced Salafist teachers preaching the implementation of Sharia law in Dagestan.
- 1 Toponymy
- 2 Geography
- 3 Administrative divisions
- 4 History
- 5 Politics
- 6 Demographics
- 7 Economy
- 8 Dagestani conflict
- 9 Notable residents
- 10 See also
- 11 Notes
- 12 References
- 13 External links
- 14 Further reading
The word Dagestan is of Turkic and Persian origin. Dağ means 'mountain' in Turkic and -stan is a Persian suffix meaning 'land'. The word Dagestan therefore means 'the land of mountains'. Dagestan used to be called Kohestan 'mountainous place' in Persian and Arabized as Ghahestan. When the Persian language gradually faded in those regions and the Turkic language prevailed, the Persian koh (kuh in contemporary Persian) was replaced with its Turkic equivalent dagh. The present city transliterated as Derbent is from the Persian Darband, meaning a point on a mountain that one cannot climb further. In Persian Islamic mysticism Darband is the place where Simorgh (Shahrokh or Phoenix) lives and is the end point and farthest point of the world that man can imagine. Some areas of Dagestan were known as Albania, Avaria, and Tarkov at various times.
Names for Dagestan
- Russian – Респу́блика Дагеста́н (Respublika Dagestan)
- Persian – جمهوری داغستان (Jomhuriye Dâghestân)
- Turkish – Dağıstan Cumhuriyeti
- Arabic – جمهورية داغستان (Jumhūrīyat Dāghistān)
- Azerbaijani – Дағыстан Республикасы / Dağıstan Respublikası
- Georgian – დაღესტანის რესპუბლიკა (Daghestanis Respublika)
- Avar – Дагъистаналъул Республика (Daɣistanałul Respublika)
- Dargin – Дагъистанес Республика (Daɣistanes Respublika)
- Kumyk – Дагъыстан Республикасы (Dağıstan Respublikası)
- Lezgian – Республика Дагъустан (Suwarin xalq'pačaħ)
- Lak – Дагъустаннал Республика (Daɣustannal Respublika)
- Tabasaran – Дагъустан Республика (Daɣustan Respublika)
- Chechen – Деxастан пачхьалкъ (Dexastan Pačxalqʼ)
- Nogai – Дагестан Республикасы (Dağıstan Respublikası)
- Aghul – Республика Дагъустан (Respublika Daɣustan)
- Rutul – Республика Дагъустан (Respublika Daɣustan)
- Tsakhur – Республика Дагъустан (Respublika Daɣustan)
The republic is situated in the North Caucasus mountains. It is the southernmost part of Russia, and is bordered on its eastern side by the Caspian Sea.
- Area: 50,300 square kilometers (19,400 sq mi)
- Highest point: Bazardyuzi Mountain (4,466 m)
- Maximum north-south distance: 400 kilometers (250 mi)
- Maximum east-west distance: 200 kilometers (120 mi)
There are over 1,800 rivers in the republic. Major rivers include:
Dagestan has about 405 kilometers (252 mi) of coast line on the Caspian Sea.
The climate is hot and dry in the summer but the winters are harsh in the mountain areas.
- Average January temperature: +2 °C (36 °F)
- Average July temperature: +26 °C (79 °F)
- Average annual precipitation: 250 (northern plains) to 800 mm (31 in) (in the mountains).
|This section needs additional citations for verification. (January 2011)|
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 Dagestani tribes. In the first few centuries AD, Caucasian Albania continued to rule over what is present day Azerbaijan and mountains of Dagestan. It was fought over in classical times by Rome and the Persian Sassanids and was early converted to Christianity.
In the 5th century AD, the Samian peregrinations took place from Ukraine to this land, they returned to their natal country by 150 BC. 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 the Central Dagestan highlands. Known as Sarir, this Avar-dominated state maintained a precarious existence in the shadow of Khazaria and the Caliphate until the 9th 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. 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 10th-century church at Datuna as the sole monument to its existence.
Due to Muslim pressure and internal disunity, Sarir disintegrated in the early 12th century, giving way to the Khanate of Avaristan, a long-lived Muslim state that braved the devastating Mongol invasions of 1222 and 1239, followed by Tamerlane's raid in 1389.
As the Mongol authority gradually eroded, new centres of power emerged in Kaitagi and Tarki. In the 16th and 17th centuries, legal traditions were codified and 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 18th 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 18th 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.
Dagestan and Chechnya profited from the Russo-Turkish War, 1877-1878, to rise together against Imperial Russia for the last time (Chechnya rose again various times throughout the late 19th and 20th centuries). 21 December 1917 Ingushetia, Chechnya, and Dagestan declared independence from Russia and formed a single state "United Mountain Dwellers of the North Caucasus" (also known as Mountainous Republic of the Northern Caucasus) which was recognized by major world powers. The capital of the new state was moved to Temir-Khan-Shura (Dagestan) The first prime minister of the state was elected Tapa Chermoyev a Chechen prominent statesman, second prime minister was elected an Ingush statesman Vassan-Girey Dzhabagiev who also was the author of the Constitution of the land in 1917, in 1920 he was reelected for the third term. In 1921 Russians attack and occupy the country and forcefully join in to the Soviet state. Caucasian war for independence continues the government goes into exile. After the Bolshevik Revolution, Ottoman armies occupied Azerbaijan and Dagestan and the region became part of the short-lived Mountainous Republic of the Northern Caucasus. After more than three years of fighting White movement and local nationalists, the Bolsheviks achieved victory and 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.
As with its neighbors Georgia, Azerbaijan and Chechnya, Dagestan developed a renewed nationalist movement in the late 1980s. Dagestani nationalism, however, rested on very unstable foundations, as the republic was (and is) extremely multiethnic, with many of its regions being recent additions, and even the existence of a unified Dagestan was relatively new with little historical context (previously, Avaria had been a separate entity, and most areas were completely unrelated to any sort of centralizing government). Dagestan's new elite, composed overwhelmingly of Avars, Dargins and Russians founded and consolidated its power. To this day, Dagestan is a very troubled region. There are various underground Wahhabist/Islamist movements (some more moderate than others, there was also a constitutional Islamizationist party before it was banned), originating as early as the late 80s.
Dagestan's poor population, often displeased with the "official" clergy (who they deem as government puppets, either of the Dagestani government or of Russia), is occasionally drawn to these groups as a form or reaction against the government (not in the least because of the unifying power of the common Muslim religion in a highly multiethnic area paired with the promises of the Islamists to "end inequality, patriarchalism and corruptions of the true faith" paired with their occasional assistance to poor communities). However, attraction to Islamism varies between sectors of the population. People from Southern Dagestan, poorer people, people with a lower education level and people from certain ethnic groups are more inclined to support Islamist tendencies. Whilst people from Northern Dagestan, Russians (who are not Muslim), Turkic peoples (who are often highly syncretic in their practice and often drawn instead to Turkic nationalism as a revolt against the authorities), more wealthy people, people from the hundred-or-so "governmental families", people with a higher education, and groups who are officially "not-native" to Dagestan (Russians, Azerbaijanis, Chechens, etc., regardless of actual nativeness they are not "titular groups") are less inclined. Separatism is also prominent: various groups resent the dominance of Dargins, Avars and Russians in government and revolt against this by calling Dagestan an artificial nation and demanding higher self-determination (i.e. secessionism). This is most noticeable among the Kumyks.
In 1999, a group of Muslim fundamentalists from Chechnya, led by warlords Shamil Basayev and Ibn Al-Khattab, launched a military invasion of Dagestan, with the aim of creating an "independent Islamic State of Dagestan". Although Basayev and Khattab had expected that they would be welcomed as liberators, the Dagestanis instead saw them as occupiers and unwelcome religious fanatics, and the initial resistance against the invasion was provided by the Dagestani police, spontaneous militias and villagers. Once Russian military help arrived, the invaders were beaten and driven back to Chechnya. As a retaliation, Russian forces subsequently reinvaded Chechnya later that year.
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.
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 the Republic of Dagestan. The nomination was accepted by the People's Assembly, and Mukhu Aliyev became the first President of the republic. The current Head of the republic is Ramazan Abdulatipov (acting since 2013, following the resignation of Magomedsalam Magomedov).
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.
|Average population (x 1000)||Live births||Deaths||Natural change||Crude birth rate (per 1000)||Crude death rate (per 1000)||Natural change (per 1000)||Fertility rates|
The people of Dagestan include a large variety of ethnic groups. According to the 2010 Census, Northeast Caucasians (including Avars, Dargins, Lezgins, Laks and Tabasarans) make up almost 75% of the population of Dagestan. Turkic peoples, Kumyks, Azerbaijanis and Nogais make up 21%, and Russians 3,6%. Other ethnic groups each account for less than 0.4% of the total population.
|1926 Census||1939 Census||1959 Census||1970 Census||1979 Census||1989 Census||2002 Census||2010 Census1|
|1 18,430 people were registered from administrative databases, and could not declare an ethnicity. It is estimated that the proportion of ethnicities in this group is the same as that of the declared group.|
The indigenous ethnic groups of Dagestan are bolded.
There are also forty or so tiny groups such as the Hinukh, numbering 439, 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.
More than thirty local languages are commonly spoken, most belonging to the Northeast Caucasian language family. Russian became the principal lingua franca in Dagestan during the 20th century; prior to that, beginning in the 18th century, it had been Classical Arabic. The northern Avar dialect of Khunzakh has also served as a lingua franca in central Dagestan.
According to a 2012 official survey 83% of the population of Dagestan adheres to Islam, 2.4% to the Russian Orthodox Church, 2% to Caucasian Neopaganism, 1% are non-denominational Christians. In addition, 9% of the population declares to be "spiritual but not religious", 2% is atheist and 0.6% follows other religions or did not answer to the question.
Dagestanis are largely Sunni Muslims, of the Shafii rites, that has been in place for centuries. On the Caspian coast, particularly in and around the port city of Derbent, the population (primarily made of the Azerbaijanis) is Shia.
A relatively large number of native Tati speaking Jews, designated by the Soviet state censuses as the "Mountain Jews" were also present in this same coastal areas, but since 1991 and the collapse of the Soviet Union they have migrated to Israel and the United States. These were an extension of much larger Jewish community across the border in Azerbaijan (districts of Quba and Shamakhi).
The appearance of Sufi mysticism in Dagestan dates back to the 14th century. The two Sufi tariqas that spread in the North Caucasus were the Naqshbandiya and the Qadiriya. The mystic Tariqas preached tolerance and coexistence between the diverse people in the region. The Communist total intolerance for any religion after the Communist Revolution of 1917 also suppressed the Sufi movements. Shaykh Said Afandi al-Chirkawi is prominent scholar, spiritual leader and murshid of Naqshbandi and Shadhili tariqahs in Dagestan.
The number of Christians among the non-Slavic indigenous population is very low, with estimates between 2,000 and 2,500. Most of these are Pentecostal Christians from the Lak ethnic group. The largest congregation is Osanna Evangelical Christian Church (Pentecostal) in Makhachkala, with more than 1,000 members.
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.
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. 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.
In 2011 Rostelecom started implementation of WDM-based equipment on the backbone network for data transmission in the Republic of Dagestan. Due to WDM introduction the fiber-optic communication lines bandwidth increased to 2.5 Gbit/s. Rostelecom invested about 48 million rubles in the project.
Since 2000, Dagestan has been the venue of a low-level guerrilla 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:
- 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 several rebels were killed in an ambush by Russian special forces.
- 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.
- On March 31, 2010, 12 people were killed and 18 wounded by two suicide bombings in the town of Kizlyar outside the offices of the local interior ministry and the FSB security agency. The second bomb went off twenty minutes after the first, as a crowd had gathered. In the early hours of the next morning two people died as a bomb went off in their car, apparently prematurely, near the village of Toturbiikala.
- On July 15, 2010, Pastor Artur Suleimanov, a Muslim convert to Christianity, was murdered by a gunman. The pastor was killed in his car as he was leaving the Hosanna House of Prayer in Makhachkala, Dagestan in the North Caucasus region, according to a religious persecution watchdog group, Voice of the Martyrs, report. Pastor Suleimanov's church is one of the largest Protestant churches in Dagestan. Christians in the Russian Republic of Dagestan, which borders Chechnya, face harassment and intimidation from various groups. Pastor Suleimanov's life had been threatened on several previous occasions.
- On September 23, 2011, Magomed Murtuzaliyev, a high-level law enforcement official, was shot and killed by gunmen.
- On September 28, 2011, 7 civilians and a police officer were killed by a car bomb in the village of Hajjalmakhi.
- On May 4, 2012, 12 people were killed in two separate explosions on the outskirts of Makhachkala, capital of Russia's Dagestan region.
- On August 28, 2012, Sheikh Said Afandi, an influential 75-year-old Sufi cleric, was killed along with six others in a suicide bombing. Afandi, a Sufi Muslim, opposed violent jihad in Dagestan.
- Vakha Arsanov (1950–2005), vice president in Chechen Republic of Ichkeria
- Rustam Asildarov (b. 1981), militant leader of the Shariat Jamaat organisation in Dagestan
- Hizgil Avshalumov (1913–2001), novelist, poet and playwrighter of Mountain Jewish descent
- Rasul Gamzatov (1923—2003), poet
- Abdulkhakim Ismailov (1916–2010), World War II soldier
- Sergey Izgiyayev (1922–1972), poet, playwright and translator of Mountain Jewish descent
- Rappani Khalilov (1969–2007), militant leader of the Shariat Jamaat of the Caucasian Front during the Second Chechen War, in Dagestan
- Kuramagomed Kuramagomedov (b. 1978), freestyle wrestler who competed for Russia in the 2000 Summer Olympics, and won a world title in 1997
- Ilgar Mollachiev, militant leader of the Shariat Jamaat of the Caucasian Front in the Second Chechen War, in Dagestan
- Yagutil Mishiev (b. 1927), writer
- Eduard Puterbrot (1940–1993), artist
- Israel Tsvaygenbaum (b. 1961), artist
- Khabib Nurmagomedov, UFC fighter in the lightweight division
- Rustam Khabilov, UFC fighter in the lightweight division
- Former countries in Europe after 1815
- Insurgency in the North Caucasus
- List of clashes in the North Caucasus
- Music of Dagestan
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- http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2011/09/28/world/europe/international-us-russia-dagestan-bomb.html?hp[dead link]
- "BBC News – Dagestan Russia blasts: At least 12 dead in Makhachkala". Bbc.co.uk. May 4, 2012. Retrieved 2012-05-04.
- "Sheikh Murdered Over Religious Split Say Analysts | Russia | RIA Novosti". En.rian.ru. 30 August 2012. Retrieved 24 February 2013.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Dagestan.|
- В. М. Солнцев и др., ed. (2000). Письменные языки мира: Российская Федерация. Социолингвистическая энциклопедия. (in Russian). Москва: Российская Академия Наук. Институт языкознания. p. 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. ).
- (Russian) Official governmental website of Dagestan
- Egbert Wesselink (1998). "Dagestan (Daghestan): Comprehensive Report". Caspian.net. Archived from the original on 5 October 2001. Retrieved January 15, 2012.
- Dagestan in Iranica Encyclopaedia
- History of Islam in Russia
- "The North Caucasus," Russian Analytical Digest No. 22 (5 June 2007)
- BBC Country Report on Dagestan
- University of Texas maps of the Dagestan region
- Radio Free Europe discusses religious tension in Dagestan
- ISN Case Study: The North Caucasus on the Brink (August 2006)
- Articles on Dagestan, reports from research, photos
- Dagestan in Pictures (Russian)
- Daghestan's Kaitag Embroideries – and Henri Matisse?
- (Russian) Dagestan Republic News Portal
- Catholic Haidak in the Holy Roman Empire (rus)
- Kaziev, Shapi. Imam Shamil. "Molodaya Gvardiya" publishers. Moscow, 2001, 2003, 2006, 2010
- Kaziev, Shapi. Akhoulgo. Caucasian War of 19th century. The historical novel. "Epoch", Publishing house. Makhachkala, 2008. ISBN 978-5-98390-047-9
- Kaziev, Shapi. Caucasian highlanders. Everyday life of the Caucasian highlanders. 19th century (In the co-authorship with I.Karpeev). "Molodaya Gvardiy" publishers. Moscow, 2003. ISBN 5-235-02585-7
- Kaziev, Shapi. Crash of tyrant. Nadir Shah (Крах тирана). The historical novel about Nadir Shah. "Epoch", Publishing house. Makhachkala, 2009. ISBN 978-5-98390-066-0