The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary






North Ossetia-Alania

The Republic of North Ossetia-Alania (Russian: Респу́блика Се́верная Осе́тия-Ала́ния; Ossetic: Цгат Ирыстоны Аланийы Республик) is a federal subject of the Russian Federation (a republic). The direct transliteration of the Russian name of the republic is Respublika Severnaya Osetiya-Alaniya. Its name in Ossetic transliterates as Caegat Irystony Alanijy Respublikae.



The Republic is located in the northern Caucasus. The northern part of the republic is situated in the Stavropol Plain . 22% of the republic's territory is covered by forests.

Time zone

North Ossetia-Alania is located in the Moscow Time Zone (MSK/MSD). UTC offset is +0300 (MSK)/+0400 (MSD).


All of the republic's rivers belong to the basin of the Terek River. Major rivers include:

  • Terek River (~600 km)
  • Urukh River (104 km)
  • Ardon River (101 km)
  • Kambileyevka River (99 km)
  • Gizeldon River (81 km)
  • Fiagdon River
  • Sunzha River


All of the mountains located on the territory of the republic are a part of the Caucasus. Mount Dzhimara is the highest point (4,780 m), with Mount Ulipata being the second highest (4,638 m).

Natural Resources

Natural resources include minerals (copper, silver, zinc), timber, mineral waters, hydroelectric power, and untapped reserves of oil and gas.


Climate is moderately continental.

  • Average January temperature: −5°C
  • Average July temperature: +24°C
  • Average annual precipitation: 400-700 mm in the plains, over 1,000 mm in the mountains.

Administrative Division

Main article: Administrative division of North Ossetia-Alania


The Ossetian population of North Ossetia is predominantly Christian with a Muslim minority, speaking Ossetic and Russian.

The republic used to have a sizeable Ingush population, but most of it left for Ingushetia with the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the outbreak of interethnic conflict in the region.

Over 90 different nationalities live in the republic. Ossetians account for 53% of the population, followed by Russians (30%), Ingush (5%), and Armenians (2%).

  • Population: 710,275 (2002)
    • Urban: 464,875 (65.5%)
    • Rural: 245,400 (34.5%)
    • Male: 336,035 (47.3%)
    • Female: 374,240 (52.7%)
  • Females per 1000 males: 1,114
  • Average age: 33.8 years
    • Urban: 34.2 years
    • Rural: 32.9 years
    • Male: 30.4 years
    • Female: 36.9 years
  • Number of households: 200,191 (with 690,806 people)
    • Urban: 143,397 (with 447,884 people)
    • Rural: 56,794 (with 242,922 people)


Main article: History of North Ossetia-Alania


The head of government in the Republic of North Ossetia-Alania is the President. As of 2004, the president is Alexander Sergeyevich Dzasokhov , who was elected in January of 1998, and re-elected in January of 2002.


Despite the inevitable economic burden of a sizeable refugee population, North Ossetia is the most well-to-do republic in the northern Caucasus. It is the most urbanized and the most industrialized, with factories producing metals (lead, zinc, tungsten, etc.), electronics, chemicals, and processed foods.

Local agriculture focuses primarily on livestock, especially sheep and goats, and the cultivation of grains, fruit, and cotton.


There is an airport in Vladikavkaz. Overall, the transport infrastructure is well-developed, with railroads and automobile roads being the principal means of transportation.


There are six professional theaters in North Ossetia-Alania.


The most important facilities of higher education include North Caucasus State Technological University , North Ossetian State University , North Ossetian State Medical Academy , and Mountain State Agrarian University ; all located in Vladikavkaz.


The most common confessions are Russian Orthodox Church and Islam.

Related articles

External links

Last updated: 05-13-2005 07:56:04