jueves, 24 de enero de 2008

Caucasian Countries and Breakaway Territories

The Caucasus is a mountain range that divide the space between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea in a diagonal way from NW-SE of 900 x 100 km. It holds the higher peaks of Europe, reaching 5.642 mts. at Mount Elbrus.

The 16 former SSR, Russian Republics and breakaway lands bordering or somewhat involved in the Caucasus region covers approximately an area equivalent to Italy or Poland.
Seven of those republics are located at the North Caucasus (or Ciscaucasus): from NW-SE, Adygea, Karachay-Cherkessia, Kabardino-Balkaria, North Ossetia (antique Alans), Ingushetia, Chechenya (or Ichkeria) and Dagestan (antique Avars). All the seven Republics are located in current territory of the Russian Federation.

There are nine republics and breakaway territories at South Caucasus (or Transcaucasus): Georgia with 3 breakaway territories (Abkhazia, Adjara and South Ossetia), Armenia with an enclave in Azerbaidhzan (Nagorno-Karabakh), and Azerbaidhzan with one exclave (Nakhichevan, landlocked by Iran and Armenia) and an enclave in Armenia (Karki).

Many other cultural groups (Yezhids, Kurds, Gypsies) spreading across the whole Caucasus lends a rich mosaic of some 50 languages and 2 major religions (Christian Ortodox and Sunnite Muslims) along with many others, going from Zoroastrianism to chamanism.

Some years ago, I discovered one of the sweetest voice of the Caucasus, Malika Utsaeva. Fortunately I've found a Malika's video to post here.

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