Is Dagestan a Country?

The Sulak River in Dagestan.
The Sulak River in Dagestan.

Dagestan is a federal subject of Russia that is situated in the Ciscaucasia region. Dagestan is on the shorelines of the Caspian Sea and the easternmost parts of the northern flanks of Ciscaucasia. Dagestan is surrounded by the Caspian Sea, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Chechnya. Dagestan is the most ethnically diverse region in Russia. The official language and the lingua-franca among other ethnic groups in Dagestan is Russian.

Mountain Republic 

Dagestan, together with Ingushetia and Chechnya, managed to break away from Russia in 1917 and formed the short-lived state of Mountain Republic. The Mountain Republic was identified by all the world’s superpowers. Dagestan broke away from Russia shortly after the Russian Civil War began. The Soviet Union captured the Mountain Republic in 1921 and renamed it to the Mountain ASSR.

Another attempt to establish an independent Dagestan was initiated by an Islamist group of soldiers from Chechnya under Ibn Al-Khattab, and Shamil Basayev invaded Dagestan in 1999. The soldiers were pushed back by Russia, and in retaliation, the Russian forces invaded Chechnya. Violence broke out in Dagestan from 2010 to 2012.

Politics Of Dagestan

The highest legislative and executive body in Dagestan is the People’s Assembly which is made up of 72 elected deputies. According to Dagestan’s constitution, the State Council was the highest executive power which was made up of representatives from 14 ethnicities. The People’s Assembly disbanded the State Council in 2006. Vladimir Putin offered Mukhu Aliyev the role of Dagestan president, which was accepted by the People’s Assembly. Aliyev became the first president of Dagestan.


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