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Print version. Published on site Rusnet.NL 8 December 2003

Encyclopedia :: A :: Adygea

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The Adygea Autonomous Republic is located in the central part of the North-West Caucasus, in the lowlands of the Kuban, Laba and Belaya Rivers valleys.

Area: 7,600 sq km
Population: 450,400
Population density: 59 inhabitants per sq. km.
Capital: Maykop (175,000)

The Adygey emerged as a distinct ethnic group from the Circassians in the 13th century. After being conquered by the Mongol Empire during that period, the Adygey allied with the Russian Empire in the 1550s for protection from Tatar and Turkic groups.

The movement of Russian settlers into the Don and Kuban regions caused unrest among the Adygey and other Circassian groups that supported the Ottoman Empire against Russia in the Crimean War of 1853-1856. When the Circassians were defeated by the Russians in 1864, most were forced to emigrate or move to areas under Russian control.

Adygey Autonomous Republic was established on July 27, 1922. The Adygey-Khase Movement formed during the period of glasnost and raised issues of nationalism and independence. An Adegey commission began calling for the return of ex-patriots in 1991.

Adygea officially declared sovereignty on June 28, 1991 and was recognised as a republic at the signing of the Federation Treaty in March 1992. From March 1992 - an autonomous republic, though in reality it had the status of an autonomous region within the Krasnodar District.