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Cherkesogai (Russian: Черкесогаи) or Circassian Armenians (Armenian: չերքեզահայեր cherk'ezahayer; Russian: черкесские армяне; Kabardian/Adyghe: Адыгэ-ермэлы) sometimes referred to as Ermeli (Kabardian/Adyghe: ермэлы), Mountainous Armenians (Russian: горские армяне), Kuban Armenians (Russian: закубанские армяне) are ethnic Armenians who inhabit Russia's Krasnodar Krai and Republic of Adyghea since the end of 15th century that spoke the Adyghe language (currently, most of them speak Russian as their first language), apart from other Armenians living in the region. They reside mostly in the cities of Armavir and Maykop. Total number of Cherkosogai Armenians is about 50 thousand people (2008 estimation). According to Russian 2002 Census 230 Armenians speak Adyghe language and 222 speak Kabardian language as native.
Since the early medieval characteristic form of settlement of the Armenian ethnic group becomes the diaspora. Over time, North Caucasus and Transcaucasus becomes an important and sometimes compact center of Armenian settlement. The impetus for the emigration of Armenians from their historical homeland. It was believed that the majority of Armenians emigrated to the Kuban in the 15th century from Crimea and where finally formed a vassal of Turkish Crimean Khanate and living conditions prevailing there other Christians have deteriorated sharply.
According to some sources, 1475, when the Turks finally seized control up to the Genoese of the Catholic and Orthodox Principality of Theodoro and began to exterminate the civilian population, Armenians began to move actively to the Ukraine, Moldova and Poland. Some Armenians found refuge among the Circassians and Abkhazians. Armenians settlers, having lived in the mountains for 300 years, picked up the language, manners, customs, particularly of life, the entire way of life of Circassians, among whom they settled, but have retained their ethnic identity and Christian faith – the Armenian Apostolic Church. As a result of the interpenetration of the two cultures formed a completely new ethnic group of Cherkosogai.
- Arakelyan, Hranush (1980). "Չերքեզահայերի էթնիկ ինքնագիտակցության հարցի շուրջ [On the self-identity of Circassian Armenians]" (in Armenian). Yerevan: Institute of Archeology and Ethnography, Armenian National Academy of Sciences.
- (Russian) Л.В. Бурыкина. Черкесогаи Северо-Западного Кавказа в XIX в.
- 2002 All-Russia Population Census: Language (except Russian) population of the most numerous nationalities (with a population of 400 thousand people or more) Archived 9 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine.