Geographic area and nature and climatic conditions

The republic is located in the foothills of the northwestern Caucasus. The length of its territory is 160 km from west to east and 140 km from north to south. It borders on the Republic of Kabardino-Balkaria, the Stavropol Krai and the Krasnodar Krai. It also has the state border with Abkhazia. There are 172 rivers and the Big Stavropol Canal in the republic. The main rivers are Kuban and its tributaries.


The climate is temperate and continental. The average January temperature is from -5°С in the foothills to -10°С in the highlands; the average July temperature is from +21°С in the foothills to +8°С in the highlands. Annual rainfall is from 550 to 2,500 mm. The growing season length is 182 days, while in the South of the republic (in mountainous region) it is from 50 to 75 days only. The vegetation is represented by coniferous and deciduous woods.


The Karachay-Cherkess Republic was founded in 1922, in 1957 it got the status of the Karachay-Cherkess Autonomous Region, in 1991 it became the Karachay-Cherkess Soviet Socialist Republic within the RSFSR, and since 1992 it has been the Karachay-Cherkess Republic. Its administrative center is Cherkessk. The territory of the republic is 14.3 thousand m2 (0.08% of the RF territory) as of January 1, 2012.


The estimated population of the Republic is 474.7 thousand people (0.33% of the RF population) as of January 1, 2012. The density of the population is 33.2 people/km2 as of January 1, 2012. The urban population share is 43.12% as of January 1, 2012.



Description of natural resources in the Republic of Dagestan as of January 2012*

Indicator Total area Timber reserves, mil. m3
Area under water bodies, th. ha
Area under forests, th. ha
Marshy land, th. ha
Area under water bodies, th. ha

*  According to Rosstat

Mineral resources

Teberda Natural Reserve

Mineral resources of the republic include copper-sulphide and polymetallic ores, lode and placer gold, coal, barite, minium, granite, marble, feldspar raw stock, cement raw materials, limestone, fireclay, chalk, construction silicate sand, all-in aggregate, high-melting clays, keramzite clays, brick and tile clays.


The republic is rich in water resources. There are about 130 highland lakes of glacial origin and a number of mountain waterfalls there. The republic also has vast deposits of Narzan mineral water with its valuable curative properties and hot spring waters.


Specially protected natural sites of the Republic of Dagestan

Name Area, th. ha*
Teberda National Biosphere Reserve

* As of January 1, 2012

Besides the Teberda Reserve, Dombay-Arkhyz tourism and recreation area is located in the territory of the Karachay-Cherkess Republic.