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Republic of North Ossetia–Alania

 

Republic of North Ossetia–Alania

Republic of North Ossetia–Alania
Республика Северная Осетия — Алания (Russian)
Республикӕ Цӕгат Ирыстон — Алани (Ossetic)
—  Republic  —
Flag
Coat of arms
Anthem: National Anthem of the Republic of North Ossetia–Alania
Coordinates: 43°11′N 44°14′E / 43.183°N 44.233°E / 43.183; 44.233Coordinates: 43°11′N 44°14′E / 43.183°N 44.233°E / 43.183; 44.233
Political status
Country Russia
Federal district North Caucasian[1]
Economic region North Caucasus[2]
Established July 7, 1924
Capital Vladikavkaz
Government (as of August 2010)
 - Head[3] Taymuraz Mamsurov[4]
 - Legislature Parliament[3]
Statistics
Area (as of the 2002 Census)[5]
 - Total 8,000 km2 (3,088.8 sq mi)
Area rank 79th
Population (2010 Census)[6]
 - Total 712,980
 - Rank 64th
 - Density[7] 89.12 /km2 (230.8 /sq mi)
 - Urban 63.8%
 - Rural 36.2%
Time zone(s) MSK (UTC+04:00)[8]
ISO 3166-2 RU-SE
License plates 15
Official languages Russian;[9] Ossetian[10]
Official website

The Republic of North Ossetia–Alania (

Name

In the last years of the Soviet Union, as nationalist movements swept throughout the Caucasus, many intellectuals in the North Ossetian ASSR called for the revival of the name of Alania, a medieval kingdom of the Alans, ancestors of the modern-day Ossetians. The term of "Alania" quickly became popular in Ossetian daily life through the names of various enterprises, a TV channel, political and civic organizations, publishing house, football team, etc. In November 1994, the name of "Alania" was officially added to the republican title (Republic of North Ossetia–Alania).[11]

History

Early history

The territory of North Ossetia was first inhabited by Caucasian tribes. Some Nomadic Alans settled in the region in the 7th century, forming the kingdom of Alania. It was forcibly converted to Christianity by missionaries from Byzantium. Alania greatly profited from the Silk Road which passed through its territory.

After the Middle Ages, the Mongols' and Tartars' repeated invasions decimated the population, now known as the Ossetians. Islam was introduced to the region in the 17th century by Kabardians. Conflicts between the Khanate of Crimea and the Ottoman Empire eventually pushed Ossetia into an alliance with Imperial Russia in the 18th century. Soon, Russia established a military base in the capital, Vladikavkaz, making it the first Russian-controlled area in the northern Caucasus. By 1806, Ossetia was under complete Russian control.

Russian/Soviet rule


The Russians' rule led to rapid development of industry and railways which overcame its isolation. The first books from the area came during the late 18th century, and became part of the Terskaya Region of Russia in the mid-19th century.

The Russian Revolution of 1917 resulted in North Ossetia being merged into the Soviet Mountain Republic in 1921. It then became the North Ossetian Autonomous Oblast on 7 July 1924, then merged into the North Ossetian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic on 5 December 1936. In World War II, it was subject to a number of attacks by Nazi German invaders unsuccessfully trying to seize Vladikavkaz in 1942.

The North Ossetian SSR declared itself the autonomous republic of the Soviet Union on June 20, 1990. Its name was changed to Republic of North Ossetia–Alania in 1991.

Post-Soviet rule

The Soviet Union's collapse posed particular problems for the Ossetian people, who were divided between North Ossetia, which was part of the Russian SFSR, and South Ossetia, part of the Georgian SSR. In December 1990 the Supreme Soviet of Georgia abolished the autonomous Ossetian enclave amid the rising ethnic tensions in the region, and much of the population fled across the border to North Ossetia or Georgia proper. Some 70,000 South Ossetian refugees were resettled in North Ossetia, sparking clashes with the predominantly Ingush population in the Prigorodny District. That led to the Ossetian–Ingush conflict.

As well as dealing with the effects of the conflict in South Ossetia, North Ossetia has had to deal with refugees and the occasional spillover of fighting from the war in neighboring Chechnya. The bloodiest incident by far was the September 2004 Beslan hostage crisis, in which Chechen insurgents attributed to Shamil Basayev (who alternatingly denied and claimed responsibility) seized control of a school. In the firefight between the terrorists and Russian forces that ended the crisis, 335 civilians, the majority of them children, died.

Geography


The republic is in the northern Caucasus. The northern part of the republic is situated in the Stavropol Plain. 22% of the republic's territory is covered by forests.

Rivers

All of the republic's rivers belong to the basin of the Terek River. Major rivers include:

Mountains


All of the mountains located on the territory of the republic are a part of the Caucasus. Mount Kazbek is the highest point (5,033 m), with Mount Dzhimara being the second highest (4,780 m).

Natural resources

Natural resources include minerals (copper, silver, zinc), timber, mineral waters, hydroelectric power, and untapped reserves of oil and gas.

Climate

Climate is moderately continental.

  • Average January temperature: −5 °C (23 °F)
  • Average July temperature: +24 °C (75 °F)
  • Average annual precipitation: 400–700 mm in the plains, over 1,000 mm in the mountains.

Politics

During the Soviet period, the high authority in the republic was shared between three persons: The first secretary of the North Ossetia–Alania CPSU Committee (who in reality had the biggest authority), the chairman of the oblast Soviet (legislative power), and the Chairman of the Republic Executive Committee (executive power). Since 1991, CPSU lost all the power, and the head of the Republic administration, and eventually the governor was appointed/elected alongside elected regional parliament.

The Charter of Republic of North Ossetia–Alania is the fundamental law of the region. The Parliament of North Ossetia–Alania is the republic's regional standing legislative (representative) body. The Legislative Assembly exercises its authority by passing laws, resolutions, and other legal acts and by supervising the implementation and observance of the laws and other legal acts passed by it. The highest executive body is the Republic's Government, which includes territorial executive bodies such as district administrations, committees, and commissions that facilitate development and run the day to day matters of the province. The Oblast administration supports the activities of the Governor who is the highest official and acts as guarantor of the observance of the krai Charter in accordance with the Constitution of Russia.

The head of government in the Republic of North Ossetia–Alania is the Head of the Republic. As of 2008, the head of the republic is Taymuraz Mamsurov. Mamsurov succeeded Alexander Dzasokhov, who voluntarily quit his post on May 31, 2005.[12]

Administrative divisions

Main article: Administrative divisions of North Ossetia–Alania

Economy

In recent years, North Ossetia–Alania's economic development has been successful; the indicators of the republic's social and economic development in 2005–2007 revealed a stable growth of all sectors of the economy and major social parameters. The nature and climatic conditions of the republic contribute to the successful development of various economic sectors, which is compounded by the abundance of natural resources. Gross regional product pro capita of the region in 2006 was 61,000 rubles ($2,596), and increased 30% in the 2005–2007 time period.[13] GRP pro capita in 2007 was 76 455 rubles.[14] In 2005–2007, the average monthly wage in North Ossetia–Alania doubled, with the actual cash earnings increased by 42.5 percent. In terms of the average monthly wage growth, the republic ranks first in the North Caucasus.[13]

The regional government's economic priorities include industrial growth, development of small enterprise, spas, and resorts, and strengthening the budgetary and tax discipline.[15]

Natural resources, agriculture, and industry

The most widespread resources are zinc- and lead-containing complex ores. There are deposits of limestone, dolomites, marble and touchstone. There is also a large availability of construction materials, such as clay, sand and gravel. The local oil deposit reserves are estimated at 10 million metric tons.[13]

Agricultural sector is varied and specializes in the cultivation of wheat, corn, and sunflowers; horticulture; viticulture; and cattle and sheep breeding.[16][17]

North Ossetia's industry is mainly concentrated in Vladikavkaz. Major companies located here include Elektrotsink, Gazoapparat, an instrument-making plant, Elektrokontraktor, a factory producing automotive electrical equipment, a large-panel construction complex, and companies in the food industry. The Sadonsky industrial center has grown around the mining and forest industries.[17]

Tourism


Despite the proximity to Chechnya, North Ossetia is making efforts to develop its tourist industry.[18] Projects under a program for spa, resort, and tourism development have been successfully implemented in the mountainous part of the republic, according to the head of the regional government.[15] There are nearly 3000 historical monuments in the republic and more than half of the its area is occupied bv Alania National Park, the North Ossetia National Preserve, and game preserves. There are more than 250 therapeutic, mineral, and freshwater springs in the republic with estimated daily reserves of 15,000 cubic meters. Besides providing the basis for health spas, these mineral waters also have the potential to be bottled and sold. North Ossetian mineral waters are known for their unique qualities, as well as special mineral composition.[17][18]

Infrastructure

In terms of its infrastructure, North Ossetia–Alania ranks second in the Southern Federal District and 10th in the nation.[13] The republic has some of the most extensive telecommunication networks in the North Caucasus region and in Russia. It ranks first in terms of its telecom network installations in the Southern Federal District.

The republic ranks fourth in Russia in terms of its paved roads, and its expanding transport and logistics complex provides communication networks between Russia and the South Caucasus, as well as Central Asia. The complex includes two federal highways (Georgian Military Road connects Vladikavkaz with Transcaucasia) running across the Greater Caucasus Range, two customs checkpoints for cars, a developed railway network, Vladikavkaz international airport, and well-equipped transport terminals.[13]

Demographics

Population: 710,275 (2002 Census);[19] 634,009 (1989 Census).[20]

Number of Refugees: 12,570 [21]

Vital statistics

Source: Russian Federal State Statistics Service
Average population (x 1000) Live births Deaths Natural change Crude birth rate (per 1000) Crude death rate (per 1000) Natural change (per 1000) Fertility rates
1970 554 9 731 3 964 5 767 17.6 7.2 10.4
1975 575 10 368 4 664 5 704 18.0 8.1 9.9
1980 598 10 135 5 821 4 314 16.9 9.7 7.2
1985 617 11 598 6 047 5 551 18.8 9.8 9.0
1990 649 10 967 6 166 4 801 16.9 9.5 7.4 2,23
1991 679 10 985 6 694 4 291 16.2 9.9 6.3 2,09
1992 683 10 048 7 125 2 923 14.7 10.4 4.3 1,89
1993 661 8 251 7 872 379 12.5 11.9 0.6 1,67
1994 666 8 806 8 329 477 13.2 12.5 0.7 1,79
1995 674 8 781 8 574 207 13.0 12.7 0.3 1,78
1996 680 8 043 8 514 - 471 11.8 12.5 - 0.7 1,62
1997 681 7 758 8 378 - 620 11.4 12.3 - 0.9 1,56
1998 683 7 767 8 188 - 421 11.4 12.0 - 0.6 1,56
1999 689 7 195 8 412 - 1 217 10.4 12.2 - 1.8 1,43
2000 699 7 179 8 626 - 1 447 10.3 12.3 - 2.0 1,39
2001 707 7 317 8 205 - 888 10.3 11.6 - 1.3 1,39
2002 709 7 874 8 753 - 879 11.1 12.3 - 1.2 1,47
2003 709 7 978 8 952 - 974 11.3 12.6 - 1.4 1,48
2004 707 7 893 8 663 - 770 11.2 12.2 - 1.1 1,46
2005 706 7 894 8 654 - 760 11.2 12.3 - 1.1 1,46
2006 706 8 308 8 138 170 11.8 11.5 0.2 1,53
2007 706 9 556 7 806 1 750 13.5 11.1 2.5 1,76
2008 708 9 981 7 975 2 006 14.1 11.3 2.8 1,83
2009 710 10 017 7 987 2 030 14.1 11.3 2.9 1,84
2010 712 10 303 7 748 2 555 14.5 10.8 3.7 1,88
2011 715 10 375 7 720 2 655 14.5 10.8 3.7 1,88
2012 717 10 669 7 500 3 169 15.0 10.6 4.4 1,93

Ethnic groups

The Ossetian population of North Ossetia is predominantly Christian with a Muslim minority, speaking Ossetian and Russian.

According to the 2010 Census,[6] Ossetians make up 65.1% of the republic's population. Other groups include Russians (20.8%), Ingush (4.0%), Armenians (2.3%), Kumyks (2.3%), Georgians (1.3%), Ukrainians (0.4%), Chechens (0.3%).

Ethnic
group
1926 Census1 1939 Census 1959 Census 1970 Census 1979 Census 1989 Census 2002 Census 2010 Census2
Number  % Number  % Number  % Number  % Number  % Number  % Number  % Number  %
Ossetians 141,723 49.6% 165,616 50.3% 215,463 47.8% 269,326 48.7% 299,022 50.5% 334,876 53.0% 445,310 62.7% 459,688 65.1%
Russians 68,192 23.8% 122,614 37.2% 178,654 39.6% 202,367 36.6% 200,692 33.9% 189,159 29.9% 164,734 23.2% 147,090 20.8%
Ingush 23,851 8.3% 6,106 1.9% 6,071 1.3% 18,387 3.3% 23,663 4.0% 32,783 5.2% 21,442 3.0% 28,336 4.0%
Armenians 9,185 3.2% 8,932 2.7% 12,012 2.7% 13,355 2.4% 12,912 2.2% 13,619 2.2% 17,147 2.4% 16,235 2.3%
Kumyks 3,153 1.1% 85 0.0% 3,921 0.9% 6,363 1.2% 7,610 1.3% 9,478 1.5% 12,659 1.8% 16,092 2.3%
Georgians 6,057 2.1% 6,312 1.9% 8,160 1.8% 10,323 1.9% 11,347 1.9% 12,284 1.9% 10,803 1.5% 9,095 1.3%
Ukrainians 19,101 6.7% 7,063 2.1% 9,362 2.1% 9,250 1.7% 10,574 1.8% 10,088 1.6% 5,198 0.7% 3,251 0.4%
Others 14,690 5.1% 12,477 3.8% 16,938 3.8% 23,210 4.2% 26,182 4.4% 30,141 4.8% 32,982 4.6% 26,636 3.8%
1 The results of the 1926 census refer to the present territory, which is a combination of the North Ossetian AO, the city of Vladikavkaz and adjacent areas. .[22]

2 6,557 people were registered from administrative databases, and could not declare an ethnicity. It is estimated that the proportion of ethnicities in this group is the same as that of the declared group.[23]

Languages

Main article: Ossetian language

There are two official languages in North Ossetia – Russian, which is official for all federal subjects of Russia (North Ossetia being a republic), and Ossetian. Ossetian is an Indo-European language, belonging to the East Iranian group. Russian, acting as a lingua franca in the region, but also native to many, is an East Slavic language and as such also belongs to the Indo-European family, which means the two languages are related, albeit extremely distantly.

Religion

According to a 2012 official survey,[24] 49.2% of the population of North Ossetia–Alania adheres to the Russian Orthodox Church, 10% declares to be generically Christian (excluding Catholic and Protestant), 2% follows other Orthodox Churches. The second largest religion is Osset Paganism or Neopaganism (Etseg Din), comprising 29% of the population (maybe also including Slavic Rodnover communities). Muslims constitute 4% of the population, and Protestants the 1%. In addition, 1% of the population declares to be "spiritual but not religious" and 3% to be atheist.[24]

Culture

There are six professional theaters in North Ossetia–Alania, as well as Ossetian State Philarmonia.

Poets

Education

The most important facilities of higher education include North Caucasus State Technological University, North Ossetian State University, North Ossetian State Medical Academy, and Mountain State Agrarian University; all in Vladikavkaz.

See also

References

Bibliography

  • Верховный Совет Республики Северная Осетия. 12 ноября 1994 г. «Конституция Республики Северная Осетия–Алания», в ред. Закона №7-ркз от 22 декабря 2006 г. (Supreme Council of the Republic of North Ossetia. November 12, 1994 Constitution of the Republic of North Ossetia–Alania, as amended by the Law #7-rkz of December 22, 2006. ).

External links

General

  • (Russian) Official website of the Republic of North Ossetia–Alania
  • (Russian) Official website of the Parliament of the Republic of North Ossetia–Alania
  • (Russian) Official website of Alexander Dzasokhov
  • (Russian) Ossetia—History, culture, politics, news
  • (Esperanto) Pictures of North Ossetia–Alania
  • (English) (Ossetic) (Russian) Welcome to North Ossetia (by Toma Kulayeva)
  • (English) (Ossetic) (Russian) Ossetian history and culture

Education

  • (Russian) North Ossetian State University
  • (Russian) North Ossetian State Medical Academy
  • (Russian) Higher Institute of Management
  • Institute of Civilization

Mass media

  • (Russian) ) republican newspaper
  • (Russian) )
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