North Ossetia Republic overview
North Ossetia Republic (also known as Alania; other spellings North Osetia, North Ossetiya, Alaniya) is located in the northern range of Big Caucasus, North Caucasian Federal District of Russia.
North Ossetia territory length from north to south is 120 km, from west to east - 125 km. Capital city of the region is Vladikavkaz.
North Ossetia Republic population is about 706,000 (2012), land area - 7,987 sq. km.
North Ossetia Republic facts
North Ossetia Republic is located on the northern slope of Great Caucasus. The highest peak Kazbek is 5,033 meters. The following natural resources are found: complex ores deposits containing zinc, lead, copper, silver, dolomites, mineral water springs. Oil deposits are prospected and preparations for putting them into operation are being held.
The climate of the region is of continental type. On Mozdok plain, it is dry; average temperature in January is 4,3 degrees Celsius below zero, in July - 24 degrees C above zero. A lot of rivers flow across the territory of Northern Ossetia.
The republic is mountainous region with the largest river of Terek. Forests cover about 22% of North Ossetia territory. It is divided into 8 districts, 2 towns of republican submission, 4 towns of district submission, 7 town settlements, 91 villages.
North Ossetia Republic history
From 1,000 B.C., Kobanskaya culture was spread on the territory of present Northern Ossetia. It was named after the village Koban (Tagaur canyon of Northern Ossetia), where ancient archaeological monuments were found.
In the 1st century B.C., the Sarmats of south-eastern Europe and Middle Asia united under a new name - the Alans. In the 9th century, a strong Alanian state was formed which included the territories of Central Caucasus and Caucasian valley.
In the 12th century, Alania experienced the period of feudal breaking up and actually was divided into principalities fighting with each other. In 1238, Tatar-Mongols began the conquest of Alania.
The plain part of Alania was destroyed and robbed, the cities were burnt. In 1395-1400, Timur’s army defeated the Alans and almost annihilated them. The remnants of the population hided in mountainous districts where they mixed with the local population of another language family (according to linguistic data).
Alania Republic landscapes
Alania Republic landscape
North Ossetia Republic view
Ossets territories were the first ones in the Northern Caucasus which joined the Russian Empire in 1774. Vladikavkaz became the first Russian fortress in this region (was founded in 1784).
In the 19th century, the Ossets migrated from the mountains to the plain and outskirts of Mozdok. In 1921, Ossetia became a part of Gorskaya Soviet Republic and received the status of autonomous oblast in 1924, and, in 1936, was reformed into North-Ossetic Soviet Socialist Republic.
During the World War II, severe battles occurred on the territory of the republic, most part (northern and western parts) of North Ossetiya was occupied. From November 6 till 11, 1942, the German troops attack was stopped near the city of Ordzhonikidze (Vladikavkaz).
During the Second World War, the territories of the Ingushes who were on deportation were joined to North Ossetia, the empty settlements were inhabited by Ossets from North Ossetia as well as from South-Ossetic Autonomous region and inner districts of Georgia.
Ingushes who returned home in 1950s were given back a part of their territories and instead of Prigorodny district which then belonged to North Ossetia were given lands in Stavropolsky krai. But Ingushes demanded that the eastern part of Prigorodny district should be returned to them.
In 1990, North Ossetia was the first one received the status of an independent republic. In 1992, due to the territory arguments an armed conflict broke out. The situation in the region has not been settled yet.
The conflict between Russia and separately oriented Chechnya in 1990s and in the early 21st century caused several large acts of terrorism on the territory of North Ossetia Republic.
North Ossetia Republic economics
North Ossetia is the region which budget is granted from the federal budget of Russia. One of the items exported from Ossetiya is spirits. Main plants producing spirits are located in Vladikavkaz and Beslan cities.
Main industries of the republic are as follows: non-ferrous metallurgy, machine-building, mining (non-ferrous ores, construction materials), electronics, light, glass, food.
North Ossetia Republic has better level of infrastructure development than that in the region and Russia in general. The Republic of North Ossetia-Alania is the forth in Russia in the quality of highways.
Two main highways (Miltary-Georgian and Transkam) cross North Ossetia territory through the Principal Caucasian mountain ridge. They connect Russia with Trans-Caucasian states and Mid East.