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    Kabardino-Balkar Republic

Kabardino-Balkarian Republic is one of 89 subjects of Russian Federation located on the northern slope of central Caucasus and the adjacent plain. The republic consists of 9 administrative and territorial regions: Baksansky, Zolsky, Maysky, Prohladnensky, Tersky, Urvansky Chegemsky Chereksky, and Elbrussky. The capital of the republic - the city of Nalchik - was founded in 1818. Nalchik is a large cultural, scientific and industrial centre.

Kabardino-Balkaria has a population of 782,000 people. About 60 percent of the republic's inhabitants live in urban areas. Kabardinians represent about 48 percent of the republic's inhabitants, Russians constitute about 32 percent, and Balkars account for about 9 percent. Smaller groups make up the remainder.

The Kabardinians are related to the Cherkess and Adygeans and speak Kabardian, which is in the North-West Caucasian language family. Kabardinian and Cherkess form a single literary language that changed from a Latin to a Cyrillic alphabet in the late 1930s. The Balkars are related to the Karachay and speak Karachay-Balkar, a Kipchak (Western Turkic) language with a Cyrillic alphabet. The Kabardinians and the Balkars are Sunni Muslims.

The economy of Kabardino-Balkaria revolves around grain and fruit farming in the plains; livestock raising in the mountains; tourism; forestry; light industry, such as food processing; heavy industry, such as machine building and the manufacture of electrical instruments; and mining. Located in the center of the republic, Nalchik is linked by air, rail, and road to Moscow and the rest of the Caucasus.

Kabardino-Balkaria and the other Russian republics are the administrative units with the greatest autonomy within the Russian Federation. Kabardino-Balkaria is administered by an elected president, an elected bicameral (two-chamber) legislature, and a council of ministers, headed by a prime minister. Kabardino-Balkaria has three seats in the Russian Federal Assembly: two in the Council of the Federation (upper house) and one in the State Duma (lower house). The president and the prime minister serve as Kabardino-Balkaria's two representatives to the Council of the Federation. The seat in the State Duma corresponds to an electoral district from which a representative is selected.

While not as involved in the general conflict across the North Caucasus, Kabardino-Balkaria, especially Nalchik, has been attacked repeatedly by rebel and terrorist forces. Expect a very tight security situation, realize that this is an unstable and dangerous part of the world, and make your travel plans accordingly.

Internet sites used for the article:

www.encarta.msn.com

www.wikitravel.org

www.encyclopedia.com

www.wikipedia.org

Tags: Russian tourism Russian regions Kabardino-Balkaria Russian history  


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