Stories of Kabardino-Balkar Republic

Kabardino-Balkar Republic


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

Kabardino-Balkaria consists of two ethnic territories, one predominantly of Kabardin (speakers of a North-West Caucasian language) and the other predominantly Balkars (speakers of a Turkic language). According to the 2002 Census, Kabardin make up 55.3% of the republic’s population, followed by Russians (25.1%) and Balkars (11.6%). Other groups include Ossetians (9,845, or 1.1%), Turks (8,770, or 1.0%), Ukrainians (7,592, or 0.8%), Armenians (5,342, or 0.6%), Koreans (4,722, or 0.5%), Chechens (4,241, or 0.5%), and a host of smaller groups, each accounting for less than 0.5% of the total population.

The economy of Kabardino-Balkaria is primarily agricultural, with lumber production and mining. Most of the industry centers on agricultural processing. The fall of the Soviet Union and the outbreak of the various conflicts in the Caucasus have hit the republic hard, causing a collapse in tourism in the region and producing an unemployment level estimated to be as high as 90%. Poverty is reported to be an endemic problem in the republic. Russian investors have invested in local ski resorts in order to attract more tourists.