The Republic of Dagestan (Russian: Респу́блика Дагеста́н), also spelled Daghestan is a federal subject of the Russian Federation (a republic). The direct transliteration of the republic's name is Respublika Dagestan. It is the largest republic of Russia in the northern Caucasus, both in area and population. Template:Federal subject of Russia



Map of Dagestan
Map of Dagestan

The republic is situated in the North Caucasus mountains. It is the southernmost part of Russia.

Time zone

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


There are over 1,800 rivers in the republic. Major rivers include:


Dagestan has about 400 km of coast line on the Caspian Sea.


Most of the Republic is mountainous, with the Greater Caucasus Mountains covering the south. The highest point is the Bazardyuzi peak at 4,466 m.

Natural Resources

Dagestan is rich in oil, natural gas, coal, and more.


The climate is hot and dry in the summer but the winters are hard in the mountain areas.

  • Average January temperature: +2°C
  • Average July temperature: +30°C
  • Average annual precipitation: 200 (northern plains) to 800 mm (in the mountains).

Administrative division

Main article: Administrative division of Dagestan


Because its mountainous terrain impedes travel and communication, Dagestan is unusually ethnically diverse, and still largely tribal. Unlike most other parts of Russia, the population of Dagestan is rapidly growing, mostly because of migration.

Missing image
A couple in traditional dress poses for a portrait in the mountainous interior region of Gunib on the north slope of the Caucasus Mountains in what is today the Dagestan Republic of the Russian Federation. Photographed by Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii circa 1907 to 1915, using three black-and white images through coloured filters before the invention of colour photography.
  • Population: 2,576,531 (2002)
    • Urban: 1,102,577 (42.8%)
    • Rural: 1,473,954 (57.2%)
    • Male: 1,242,437 (48.2%)
    • Female: 1,334,094 (51.8%)
  • Females per 1000 males: 1,074
  • Average age: 25.2 years
    • Urban: 25.1 years
    • Rural: 25.2 years
    • Male: 24.0 years
    • Female: 26.3 years
  • Number of households: 570,036 (with 2,559,499 people)
    • Urban: 239,338 (with 1,088,814 people)
    • Rural: 330,698 (with 1,470,685 people)

Ethnic groups

There is no single ethnic group with the name Dagestani. The people of Dagestan include over a dozen sizeable groups, including:

There are also tiny groups like the Balkars (who mostly live in Kabardino-Balkaria), or the Ginukh, numbering 200, members of a complex family of indigenous Caucasians — some 40 groups, including other little-known peoples such as the Akhwakh, many of them crowded into Dagestan. Notable are also Lak people who immigrated after a Soviet population transfer, and the Hunzib or Khunzal people who live in only four towns in the interior.

The lingua franca in Dagestan is Russian. Over 30 local languages are also commonly spoken.


The famous Muslim leader Imam Shamil was from Dagestan. He was an Avar.

Missing image
Dagestani man, photographed by Prokudin-Gorskii circa 1907 to 1915 using three black-and white images through coloured filters before the invention of colour photography.

Dagestan became a republic of the modern Russian Federation in 1991.

In 1999, a group of Muslim fundamentalists from Chechnya under Shamil Basayev, together with local converts, staged an unsuccessful insurrection in Dagestan. This helped prompt the Russian decision to invade Chechnya later that year.

In 2005 Major General Magomed Omarov, the deputy interior minister, was assassinated in Makhachkala by armed gunmen. This came a month after authorities reportedly prevented an incident much like the Beslan school hostage crisis.


The head of government in Dagestan is the President. As of 2004, the president is Magomedali Magomedovich Magomedov.


As of 2000, the economy of Dagestan was broken down as follows:

Important industries include food processing, power generation, oil extraction, machine building, chemicals, and instrument making. Dagestan's major exports are oil and fuel. Important agricultural products include fish from the Caspian Sea, wine and brandy, and various garden fruits.

Dagestan continues to be the least urbanized republic in the Caucasus.

Missing image
The village of Tindi, in Daghestan, in the late 1890s. This region of the southern Caucasus is home to a mixed population, many of whom are Muslims (a mosque can be seen to the left of the village). The photograph was taken by M. de Dchy, who returned from the area with large collections of plants, fossils, and photographs.


Most of Dagestan's population is Muslim. As with much of the Caucasus region, Dagestan's native Islam consists of Sufi orders that have been in place for centuries. In recent years there has been tension and even violence between local Sufi orders and Wahabbi missionaries who have come to the region seeking converts.

Related articles

External links

Template:Russian federal subjectsav:Дагъистан ca:Daguestan cs:Dagestn de:Dagestan et:Dagestani Vabariik eo:Dagestano es:Daguestn fr:Daguestan id:Dagestan nl:Dagestan ja:ダゲスタン共和国 pl:Dagestan pt:Daguesto ru:Дагестан sr:Дагестан fi:Dagestan uk:Дагестан


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