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The Kabardino-Balkar Republic or Kabardino-Balkaria (Russian: Кабарди́но-Балка́рская Респу́блика; Kabardian: Къэбэрдей-Балъкъэр Республикэ, Balkar: Къабарты-Малкъар Республика) is a federal subject of the Russian Federation (a republic), located in the northern Caucasus. The direct transliteration of the republic's name is Kabardino-Balkarskaya Respublika or Kabardino-Balkariya.



The republic is situated in the North Caucasus mountains, with plains in the northern part.

Time zone

Kabardino-Balkaria is located in the Moscow Time Zone (MSK/MSD). UTC offset is +0300 (MSK)/+0400 (MSD).


Major rivers include:

  • Terek River (623 km)
  • Malka River (216 km)
  • Cherek River (131 km)
  • Chegem River (102 km)
  • Argudan River
  • Baksan River
  • Kurkuzhin River
  • Lesken River
  • Urukh River


There are about 100 lakes in the republic, none of which are large. Most of the lakes (55) are located between the Baksan and Malka Rivers, with the largest lakes each having an area of no more than 0.01 km². Some of the lakes are:

  • Tserikkel Lake (with the area of 26,000 m²; 368 m deep)
  • Lower Goluboye Lake
  • Kel-Ketchen Lake (177 m deep)
  • Upper Goluboye Lake (18 m deep)
  • Sekretnoye Lake
  • Tambukanskoy Lake (area:1.77 km²; 1.5-2 m deep). This lake is partially located in Stavropol Krai.


Mount Elbrus, the highest peak of the North Caucasus and Europe, is located in the republic. Other major mountains include:

  • Mount Dykhtau (5,402 m)
  • Mount Koshkhatau (5,151 m)
  • Mount Shkhara (5,068 m)
  • Pushkin Peak (5,033 m)
  • Mount Mizhergi (5,025 m)

Natural Resources

Republic's natural resources include molybdenum, tungsten ores, coal, and more.


The republic has continental type climate.

  • Average January temperature: -4°C (plains) to -12°C (mountains).
  • Average July temperature: +23°C (plains) to +4°C (mountains)
  • Average annual precipitation: 500-2,000 mm.

Administrative division

Main article: Administrative division of Kabardino-Balkaria

While Nalchik is the capital of the republic, Tyrnyauz serves as an administrative center for Balkaria.


Kabardino-Balkaria consists of two ethnic territories, one predominantly of Kabardin (speakers of a Caucasian language) and the other predominantly Balkar (speakers of a Turkic language). There is also a significant Russian population. Kabardins make approx. 43% of the population, while Balkars make 8%, and Russians — 33%.

  • Population: 901,494 (2002)
    • Urban: 510,346 (56.6%)
    • Rural: 391,148 (43.4%)
    • Male: 422,720 (46.9%)
    • Female: 478,774 (53.1%)
  • Females per 1000 males: 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 Kabardian lands have been under Russian protectorate since 1557. In 1739 Kabardia became independent and in 1774 it became part of the Russian empire. Balkaria was annexed in 1827.

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 to the status of an Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic. In 1944, Stalin accused the Balkars of collaborating with Nazi Germany and deported the entire population. The territory was renamed the Kabardin ASSR until 1957, when the Balkar population was allowed to return and its name was restored.


The head of government in Kabardino-Balkaria is the President. As of 2004, the president is Valery Mukhamedovich Kokov.


The economy of the republic is primarily agricultural, with lumbering and mining. Most of the industry centers on agricultural processing.

Related articles

External links

Last updated: 05-07-2005 11:12:09
Last updated: 05-13-2005 07:56:04