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Subject of the Russian Federation
Kabardino-Balkar Republic
Кабардино-Балкарская республика ( Russian )
Къэбэрдей-Балъкъэр Республикэ ( Kabardian )
Къабарты-Малкъар Республика ( Karachay-Balkar )
flag coat of arms
coat of arms
Federal district North Caucasus
surface 12,470  km²
population 859,939 inhabitants
(as of October 14, 2010)
Population density 69 inhabitants / km²
Capital Nalchik
Official languages Kabardian , Balkarian , Russian
Cabardians (57.0%)
Russians (22.5%)
Balkars (12.6%)
Turks (1.6%)
Ossetians (1.1%)
(as of 2010)
head Kazbek Kokow (Kluèkluè Valerij i kw ”è K” azbèč)
Founded September 1, 1921
Time zone UTC + 3
Telephone prefixes (+7) 866xx
Postcodes 360000-361999
License Plate 07
ISO 3166-2 RU-KB
Website kabbalk.ru
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Coordinates: 43 ° 24 '  N , 43 ° 24'  E

Located in the North Caucasus located Kabardino-Balkaria ( Russian Кабардино-Балкария / transcription Kabardino-Balkarija , Kabardian Къэбэрдей-Балъкъэр Республикэ, Balkar Къабарты-Малкъар Республика) since 1991, a republic in Russia . It emerged from the collapse of the Soviet Union from the Kabardino-Balkarian ASSR of the Russian SFSR .


Detailed map of Kabardino-Balkaria
Kabardino-Balkaria in a regional context

Kabardino-Balkaria lies on the northern slope of the Caucasus . From a topographical point of view, the northern part of the country is flat, while the country becomes increasingly mountainous towards the southwest up to Elbrus , the highest mountain in the Caucasus. The republic borders in the west on Karachay-Cherkessia , in the east on North Ossetia-Alania , in the north on the Stavropol region and in the south on Georgia . The maximum extension in north-south direction is 167 km, in east-west direction 123 km.


The republic has a continental climate .

The average temperature in the flat north is −4 ° C in January and 23 ° C in July, the amount of precipitation is low with less than 500 mm.

In the mountains, the temperature is between −12 ° C (January) and +4 ° C (July).

Time zone

Map of Russia - Moscow time zone.svg

Kabardino-Balkaria is in the Moscow Time Zone (MSK). The shift to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) is thus +0300 (MSK, Moscow Time ).


The main rivers are:


There are about 100 smaller lakes in the republic. Most (55) are located between the Baksan and Malka Rivers and are barely larger than 10,000 m².

Some of the most important are:


In Kabardino-Balkaria there is the 5642 meter high Elbrus , the highest peak of the Greater Caucasus and the highest mountain in Russia. If the main Caucasus ridge is recognized as the border of Europe, then the inactive volcano located about 11 kilometers north of the ridge and the Georgian border is also the highest mountain in Europe.

More mountains

  • Dychtau (5204 meters, second highest mountain in Russia and Europe when defining the main Caucasus ridge as the continental border)
  • Koschchatau (5151 meters)
  • Shchara (5068 meters)
  • Pushkin Peak (5033 meters)
  • Mischergi (5025 meters)

Natural resources

The republic's natural resources include molybdenum and tungsten ores (near Tyrnyaus) and coal .


  • Population: 901,494 (2002)
    • Urban: 510,346 (56.6%)
    • Rural: 391,148 (43.4%)
    • Male: 422,720 (46.9%)
    • Female: 478,774 (53.1%)
  • Women per 1000 men: 1,133
  • Average age: 30.9 years
    • Urban: 32.4 years
    • Rural: 29.0 years
    • Male: 29.1 years
    • Female: 32.8 years
  • Number of households: 227,922 (with 891,783 people)
    • Urban: 144,872 (with 504,085 people)
    • Rural: 83,050 (with 387,698 people)

The population of the republic, which was 859,939 people in the 2010 census, consists of two eponymous nations. These are the Kabardines , a subgroup of the Circassians , and the Balkars , a Turkic people . There are also a significant number of Russians living in the republic . Turks , Ossetians , Ukrainians and Armenians form smaller minorities . The official languages ​​are Kabardian , Balkar and Russian . The majority of the population professes Islam , there are also members of the Russian Orthodox Church .

Development of the ethnic groups since the beginning of the Soviet era
The area was settled by the two titular nations until the end of the Tsarist Empire. There were huge population shifts during the Stalin era. While the Kabardines and Balkars lost massive proportions of the population (1926: 76.3%; 1959: 53.4%), the number of Slavic settlers grew rapidly (1926: 16.3%; 1959: 40.9%). During the Stalin era, members of the Korean minority were also resettled from the border areas in the Far East to other parts of the Soviet Union. A small part of them came to Kabardino-Balkaria.

Since the post-Stalin era, the proportion of titular nations has risen sharply (partly because of a high birth rate). At the same time, Slavs migrated back to their home regions after the end of the Soviet Union. Almost all of the minorities of the mountain Jews and Germans emigrated (to Israel and Germany, respectively). The number of other North Caucasians and Transcaucasians is significant, but ethnically variable. The number of Chechens grew massively from 1989 to 2002 - and has since fallen by half. The number of Roma and Turks is increasing rapidly. It is difficult to estimate how high the proportion of Mesheds are under the name of Turk.


Since 1991 Kabardino-Balkaria has had its own spiritual authority, the Duchownoe Uprawlenie Musul'man Kabardino-Balkarij (DUMKB). In 1992, with the support of the International Islamic Relief Organization (IIRO), a sub-organization of the Islamic World League , a state institute for Islamic law, the Shariatsky Institute , was opened in Nalchik . However, this was closed again in 1996 due to its Salafist orientation. A year later, a new state Islamic institute was opened, but from the beginning it was under the direct control of the DUMKB.

In addition to this state-organized Islam, a non-state Islamic movement developed in the early 1990s under the leadership of young imams who had studied at Islamic universities in Saudi Arabia. The central figure of the group, which came to be known as Novye Musul'mane ("New Muslims"), was Musa Mukodschew. With the aim of promoting knowledge about Islam and spreading the Islamic faith among young Muslims, he opened an Islamic center in Nalchik in 1995, which in the years that followed was spread over a number of non-official Islamic schools across the country were opened. The "new Muslims" built a central Islamic community ( jamaat ) for Kabardino-Balkaria, which was joined by all Muslim communities that did not agree with the state-traditionalist Islam of the DUMKB.

In the late 1990s, Islamic groups with a jihadist orientation emerged in Kabardino-Balkaria for the first time , who had contacts with Wahhabi fighters in Chechnya . As a result of the militant actions of these groups (attack on the Ministry of the Interior in Nalchik in August 1998), the "new Muslims" came under suspicion of terrorism and had to close their Islamic Center and the schools connected to it in 1999. Mukodschew himself was arrested in 2001 on suspicion of organizing a terrorist attack that took place in December 2000 in the city of Pyatigorsk . Although he was released a little later, he was no longer able to continue his religious activities unhindered.

Many of the “new Muslims” went underground as a result of state repression. A splinter group of the Kabardino-Balkar Jamaat , led by Muslim Atayev, published a jihad declaration against the Kabardino-Balkar government under the name Yarmuk in August 2004 . In December of the same year she carried out an attack on the Russian narcotics control authority in Nalchik and captured numerous weapons. Atayev and some of his followers were killed by state security forces in a major operation in January 2005. The increasing confrontation between state authorities and the Islamic movement led to more and more "new Muslims" joining the Yarmuk group. In October 2005, it carried out its largest action, a simultaneous attack with 150 fighters against the police, military and security facilities in Nalchik.

The Nalchik attack, which represented a military defeat for the group and was compared by its own representatives with the Battle of Uhud , was followed by a new wave of state repression against the "new Muslims" and their sympathizers. In 2006, this finally led Mukodschew to give up his violent course and to switch to the jihadist camp. The Kabardino-Balkarian Jamaat was disbanded to give way to a military organization that aims to fight the Russian infidels . Anzor Astemirov, who was one of the founders of the "new Muslims" movement in Kabardino-Balkaria, has built up close relationships with Doku Khamatowitsch Umarov , who proclaimed the Caucasus Emirate in November 2007 , and is considered head of the Sharia court in its shadow government .

Administrative division

The Republic of Kabardino-Balkaria is divided into ten Rajons and three urban districts . A total of 7 urban and 112 rural communities are subordinate to the Rajons (status: 2010).

City districts

Urban district Residents Area
(inh / km²)
More places Number of
Number of
I. Baksan 58,620 180 326 37,722 20,898 Dygulybgei 1 1
II Nalchik 295.252 131 2254 269.029 26,223   1 4th
III Prochladny 59,966 35 1709 59,966 -   1 -


Rajon Residents Area
(inh / km²)
Administrative headquarters Number of
Number of
1 Baksan 58,042 830 70 - 58,042 Baksan - 13
10 Elbrus 35,174 1850 19th 20,057 15,117 Tyrnyaus 1 6th
3 Leskenski 29,274 523 56 - 29,274 Ansorei - 9
4th Maiski 39,957 385 104 27,338 12,619 Maiski 1 4th
5 Prochladny 45,701 1349 34 - 45,701 Prochladny - 19th
2 Solskoye 50,433 2124 24 9.419 41,014 Salukoko ash 1 15th
6th Terek 51,107 893 57 19,988 31,119 Terek 1 17th
8th Tschegem 68,852 1503 46 18,315 50,537 Tschegem 1 9
9 Tschereksky 26,057 2213 12 5,211 20,846 Kaschchatau 1 9
7th Urwan 75,384 458 165 33,431 41,953 Nartkala 1 11


  1. a b number of the district / district (in alphabetical order of the names in Russian )
  2. According to the law on the administrative structure of the Republic of Kabardino-Balkaria, the village of Dugulubgei was incorporated into Baksan in 2003 and has no longer had an independent administration. However, the population of the place is still listed under rural population in the 2010 population data; There are no other rural settlements in the urban district.
  3. a b City does not belong to the Rajon, but forms an independent urban district; Population of the city not included in the calculation of population density


By far the largest town is the capital Nalchik . Other larger cities are Prochladny , Baksan , Nartkala and Maiski . There are a total of eight cities and two urban-type settlements in the republic .

f1Georeferencing Map with all coordinates: OSM | WikiMap

City * / City settlement Russian City district / Rajon Residents
(October 14, 2010)
coat of arms location
Baksan * Баксан Urban district 36,860   43 ° 41 '  N , 43 ° 32'  E
Salukoko ash Залукокоаже Solskoye 9,859   43 ° 54 '  N , 43 ° 13'  E
Kaschchatau Кашхатау Tschereksky 5,295   43 ° 19 '  N , 43 ° 36'  E
Maiski * Майский Maiski 26,755   43 ° 38 '  N , 44 ° 4'  E
Nalchik * Нальчик Urban district 240.203 Coat of Arms of Nalchik since 2011.png 43 ° 29 '  N , 43 ° 37'  E
Nartkala * Нарткала Urwan 31,694   43 ° 33 '  N , 43 ° 51'  E
Prochladny * Прохладный Urban district 59,601 Coats of arms of Prokhladny (Kabardino-Balkaria) .png 43 ° 45 '  N , 44 ° 2'  E
Terek * Терек Terek 19,170   43 ° 29 '  N , 44 ° 8'  E
Tyrnyaus * Тырныауз Elbrus 21,000   43 ° 24 '  N , 42 ° 55'  E
Tschegem * Чегем Tschegem 18,019   43 ° 34 '  N , 43 ° 35'  E


50 years of ASSR Kabardino-Balkaria (Soviet postage stamp 1971, but calculations were made here from the previous Berg-ASSR ).

Alans , Khazars , (proto-) Bulgarians and Mongols took turns in ruling the area. Some researchers count the Balkars among the descendants of the proto- Bulgarians of Khan Kubrats Khaganat , which is possibly also reflected in the derivation of the Russian name (Balkaren russ. Balkarzy , Bulgarians russ. Bulgary or bolgary ). The derivation is controversial, however, it could also go back to a group of Bolgars who nomadized north in the 12th century in the Kipchak association . Since 14./15. In the 17th century the principality "Kabarda" existed here, which in the 17th century split into the western "Great Kabarda" and the eastern "Little Kabarda". At the end of the 18th century, both fell under Russian rule. The two Kabarda principalities were annexed by Russia in 1827.

During the Soviet Union , Kabardino-Balkaria was an Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (ASSR). In April 1944, the Soviet authorities accused the Balkars of collaboration with the Germans and deported them to Siberia (there were 42,666 Balkars in 1939). The Kabardino-Balkarian ASSR was renamed the Kabardian ASSR , the people "Balkars" deleted from the list of peoples of the Soviet Union. As a result of the deportation, many Balkars died, according to some estimates 50%.

With the rehabilitation of the Balkars in 1957, the old name came into use again. Since 1991, with the dissolution of the Soviet Union , Kabardino-Balkaria has been a republic within Russia. The head of state is Kazbek Valerijewitsch Kokow ( Kabardian Kluèkluè Valerij i kw ”è K” azbèč ). In November 1996, an attempt by the Balkars to establish their own republic failed. On September 1, 1997, the Kabardino-Balkarian constitution was passed.

Kabardino-Balkaria is considered to be one of the most restless sub-republics of Russia in the North Caucasus federal district. The region largely survived the collapse of the Soviet Union without any serious political confrontation. The Islamist movements that were widespread in Chechnya and Dagestan at the beginning of the 1990s did not find a large number of visitors in Kabardino-Balkaria. The few radical forces got into conflicts of interest with moderate religious leaders close to the Kremlin. As a result, there were repeated attacks and armed attacks on local government officials and security agencies from the mid-1990s. On October 13, 2005, the hitherto most devastating attack occurred in the center of the capital Nalchik, in which more than 100 people were killed. According to the authorities, more than 40 law enforcement officers and 31 civilians were killed in up to 200 attacks in 2010 alone.

On the sidelines of the World Economic Forum 2011 in Davos, Russian President Medvedev announced a large-scale investment project in the region. By 2020 Moscow wants to build a ski area with a planned investment volume of 15 billion dollars. The project, called “Summit 5642”, is intended to compete with the “expensive and overcrowded resorts in the Alps”.


In addition to agriculture, forestry and mining dominate in Kabardino-Balkaria . Tourism plays a certain role in the Caucasus.

The most important industrial location is the capital Nalchik . Mechanical engineering and the food industry are the most important branches of industry here.

The fall of the Soviet Union and the outbreak of numerous conflicts in the Caucasus had far-reaching negative consequences for the republic. As a result of the collapse of the tourism industry, the number of unemployed rose to an estimated 90% in the region.

Poverty is a widespread problem in Kabardino-Balkaria.

On the sidelines of the World Economic Forum 2011 in Davos, Russian President Medvedev announced a large-scale investment project in the region. By 2020 Moscow wants to build a ski area with a planned investment volume of 15 billion dollars. The project, called “Summit 5642”, is intended to compete with the “expensive and overcrowded resorts in the Alps”.

Web links

Commons : Kabardino-Balkaria  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Administrativno-territorialʹnoe delenie po subʺektam Rossijskoj Federacii na 1 janvarja 2010 goda (administrative-territorial division according to subjects of the Russian Federation as of January 1, 2010). ( Download from the website of the Federal Service for State Statistics of the Russian Federation)
  2. a b Itogi Vserossijskoj perepisi naselenija 2010 goda. Tom 1. Čislennostʹ i razmeščenie naselenija (Results of the All-Russian Census 2010. Volume 1. Number and distribution of the population). Tables 5 , pp. 12-209; 11 , pp. 312–979 (download from the website of the Federal Service for State Statistics of the Russian Federation)
  3. Nacional'nyj sostav naselenija po sub "ektam Rossijskoj Federacii. (XLS) In: Itogi Vserossijskoj perepisi naselenija 2010 goda. Rosstat, accessed on June 30, 2016 (Russian, ethnic composition of the population according to federal subjects , results of the 2010 census).
  4. www.kabbalk.ru ( Memento from June 22, 2008 in the Internet Archive )
  5. Population of the Russian territorial units by nationality 2010 (Russian) http://demoscope.ru/weekly/ssp/rus_etn_10.php?reg=39
  6. Cf. Domitilla Sagramoso and Galina Yemelianova: Islam and ethno-nationalism in the north-western Caucasus in Galina Yemelianova (ed.): Radical Islam in the Former Soviet Union. London 2011. pp. 112-145. Here p. 119.
  7. See Sagramoso / Yemelianova 122.
  8. See Sagramoso / Yemelianova 123–125.
  9. Cf. Sagramoso / Yemelianova 125–126.
  10. See Sagramoso / Yemelianova 127–128.
  11. See Sagramoso / Yemelianova 129-130.
  12. a b Population figures from January 1, 2010 (calculation)
  13. ^ Isabelle Kreindler: The Soviet Deportated Nationalities: A Summary and an Update. In: Soviet Studies. Volume 38, No. 3, July 1986. p. 391.
  14. Konstantin Kazenin: Кабардино-Балкария. Сколько стоит тишина. In: carnegie.ru. January 26, 2017. Retrieved October 7, 2017 (Russian).
  15. Sputnik: Kabardino-Balkaria: 75 terrorist attacks since the beginning of the year in Russia's ski stronghold. Retrieved October 7, 2017 .
  16. a b Spiegel Online: Billions for a new ski paradise , accessed on January 26, 2011.