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    * Daghestan *

    Dagestan, Daghistan

    داغستان


    Iranian_Flag_Hand_Love_Heart.jpg
    Daghestan is a country in the Caucasus area of south Russia bordering on the Caspian Sea.The Republic of Daghestan is a federal subject (a republic) of Russia, located in the North Caucasus region.Daghestan has great ethnic diversity, with several dozen ethnic groups and subgroups, most of which speak Caucasian, Turkic, or Iranian languages. Largest among these ethnic groups are the Avar, Dargin, Kumyk, and Lezgin.While Russians form only a small proportion (4.7%) of the population, Russian remains the primary official language. Daghestan has been a scene of low-level Islamic insurgency, occasional outbreaks of separatism, ethnic tensions and terrorism since the 1990s. According to International Crisis Group, the militant Islamist organization Shariat Jamaat is responsible for much of the violence.The oldest records about the region refer to the state of Caucasian Albania in the south, with its capital at Derbent and other important centres at Chola, Toprakh Qala, and Urtseki. The northern parts were held by a confederation of Daghestani tribes. In the first few centuries AD, Caucasian Albania continued to rule over what is present day Azerbaijan and mountains of Daghestan. It was fought over in classical times by Rome and the Persian Sassanids and was early converted to Christianity.In the 5th century AD, the Sassanids gained the upper hand and constructed a strong citadel at Derbent, known henceforward as the Caspian Gates, while the northern part of Daghestan was overrun by the Huns, followed by the Caucasian Avars. It is not clear whether the latter were instrumental in the rise of the Christian kingdom in the Central Daghestan highlands. Known as Sarir, this Avar-dominated state maintained a precarious existence in the shadow of Khazaria and the Caliphate until the 9th century, when it managed to assert its supremacy in the region.In 664, the Persians were succeeded in Derbent by the Arabs who clashed with the Khazars. Although the local population rose against the Arabs of Derbent in 905 and 913, Islam was eventually adopted in urban centers, such as Samandar and Kubachi (Zerechgeran), from where it steadily penetrated into the highlands. By the 15th century, Albanian Christianity had died away, leaving a tenth-century church at Datuna as the sole monument to its existence.Due to Muslim pressure and internal disunity, Sarir disintegrated in the early 12th century, giving way to the Khanate of Avaristan, a long-lived Muslim state that braved the devastating Mongol invasions of 1222 and 1239, followed by Teimur Lang's raid in 1389.As the Mongol authority gradually eroded, new centers of power emerged in Kaitagi and Tarki. In the sixteenth and 17th centuries, legal traditions were codified; mountainous communities (jamaats) obtained a considerable degree of autonomy, while the Kumyk potentates (shamhals) asked for the Tsar's protection. Russians intensified their hold in the region in the 18th century, when Peter the Great annexed maritime Daghestan in the course of the First Russo-Persian War. (Wikipedia) - Dagestan   (Redirected from Daghestan) For other uses, see Dagestan (disambiguation). Republic of Dagestan Республика Дагестан (Russian) —  Republic  — Political status Country Federal district Economic region Established Capital Government (as of January 2013)  - Head  - Legislature Statistics  - Total Area rank  - Total  - Rank  - Density  - Urban  - Rural Time zone(s) ISO 3166-2 License plates Official languages
    Flag Coat of arms
    Anthem: National Anthem of the Republic of Dagestan
    Coordinates: 43°06′N 46°53′E / 43.100°N 46.883°E / 43.100; 46.883Coordinates: 43°06′N 46°53′E / 43.100°N 46.883°E / 43.100; 46.883
     Russia
    North Caucasian
    North Caucasus
    January 20, 1921
    Makhachkala
    Ramazan Abdulatipov
    People''s Assembly
    Area (as of the 2002 Census)
    50,300 km2 (19,400 sq mi)
    52nd
    Population (2010 Census)
    2,910,249
    12th
    57.86 /km2 (149.9 /sq mi)
    45.2%
    54.8%
    MSK (UTC+04:00)
    RU-DA
    05
    Russian; Aghul, Avar, Azerbaijani, Chechen, Dargwa, Kumyk, Lezgian, Lak, Nogai, Rutul, Tabasaran, Tat, Tsakhur
    Official website
    Cultural heritage monument in Dagestan

    The Republic of Dagestan (/dɑːɡɨˈstɑːn/ or /ˈdæɡɨstæn/; Russian: Респу́блика Дагеста́н, Respublika Dagestan; also spelled Daghestan) is a federal subject (a republic) of Russia, located in the North Caucasus region. Its capital and largest city is Makhachkala, located at the center of Dagestan on the Caspian Sea.

    With a population of 2,910,249, Dagestan is ethnically very diverse (it is Russia''s most heterogeneous republic, where no ethnic group forms a majority) with several dozen ethnic groups and subgroups inhabiting the republic, most of which speak Caucasian and Turkic languages. Largest among these ethnic groups are the Avar, Dargin, Kumyk, Lezgian, Laks, Azerbaijani, Tabasaran and Chechen. Ethnic Russians comprise about 3.6% of Dagestan''s total population. Russian is the primary official language and the lingua franca among the ethnic groups.

    Dagestan has been a scene of low-level Islamic insurgency, occasional outbreaks of separatism, ethnic tensions and terrorism since the 1990s. According to International Crisis Group, the militant Islamist organization Shariat Jamaat is responsible for much of the violence. Much of the tension is rooted in an internal Islamic conflict between traditional Sufi groups advocating secular government and more recently introduced Salafist teachers preaching the implementation of Sharia law in Dagestan.

    Contents

    Toponymy

    The word Dagestan is of Turkic and Persian origin. Dağ means ''mountain'' in Turkic and -stan is a Persian suffix meaning ''land''. The word Dagestan therefore means ''the land of mountains''. Dagestan used to be called Kohestan ''mountainous place'' in Persian and Arabized as Ghahestan. When the Persian language gradually faded in those regions and the Turkic language prevailed, the Persian koh (kuh in contemporary Persian) was replaced with its Turkic equivalent dagh. The present city transliterated as Derbent is from the Persian Darband, meaning a point on a mountain that one cannot climb further. In Persian Islamic mysticism Darband is the place where Simorgh (Shahrokh or Phoenix) lives and is the end point and farthest point of the world that man can imagine. Some areas of Dagestan were known as Albania, Avaria, and Tarkov at various times.

    Names for Dagestan Geography

    The republic is situated in the North Caucasus mountains. It is the southernmost part of Russia, and is bordered on its eastern side by the Caspian Sea.

    RiversMap of Dagestan

    There are over 1,800 rivers in the republic. Major rivers include:

    Lakes

    Dagestan has about 405 kilometers (252 mi) of coast line on the Caspian Sea.

    Mountains

    Most of the Republic is mountainous, with the Greater Caucasus Mountains covering the south. The highest point is the Bazardyuzi peak at 4,470 m.

    Natural resources

    Dagestan is rich in oil, natural gas, coal, and many other minerals.

    Climate

    The climate is hot and dry in the summer but the winters are harsh in the mountain areas.

    Administrative divisions Main article: Administrative divisions of Dagestan

    Dagestan is administratively divided into forty-one districts (raions ) and ten cities/towns. The districts are further subdivided into nineteen urban-type settlements, and 363 rural okrugs and stanitsa okrugs.

    History Main article: History of Dagestan
    This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (January 2011)
    Pattern of migration of Nakh-Dagestanian peoples (Ingush, Chechens, and present 26 nations of Dagestan) from the birthplace in the Fertile Crescent to the slopes of the Caucasus (red arrow points to the area of present day Azerbaijan from which the Nakh-Dagestanian tribes started the spread in the Caucasus)10,000 BC after they overused the land and created deserts. Bernice Wuethrich, Johanna Nichols (19 May 2000). "Peering Into the Past, With Words". Science 288 (5469): 1158Map of the Caucasian isthmus. Designed and drawn by J. Grassl, 1856In the old town of Derbent, a World Heritage Site

    The oldest records about the region refer to the state of Caucasian Albania in the south, with its capital at Derbent and other important centres at Chola, Toprakh Qala, and Urtseki. The northern parts were held by a confederation of Dagestani tribes. In the first few centuries AD, Caucasian Albania continued to rule over what is present day Azerbaijan and mountains of Dagestan. It was fought over in Antiquity by Roman Empire and the Sassanid Persians and converted to Christianity early on.

    In the 5th century AD, the Samian peregrinations took place from Ukraine to this land, they returned to their natal country by 150 BC. The Sassanids gained the upper hand and constructed a strong citadel at Derbent, known henceforward as the Caspian Gates, while the northern part of Dagestan was overrun by the Huns, followed by the Caucasian Avars. It is not clear whether the latter were instrumental in the rise of the Christian kingdom in the Central Dagestan highlands. Known as Sarir, this Avar-dominated state maintained a precarious existence in the shadow of Khazaria and the Caliphate until the 9th century, when it managed to assert its supremacy in the region.

    In 664, the Persians were succeeded in Derbent by the Arabs, who in the 8th century repeatedly clashed with the Khazars. Although the local population rose against the Arabs of Derbent in 905 and 913, Islam was eventually adopted in urban centres, such as Samandar and Kubachi (Zerechgeran), from where it steadily penetrated into the highlands. By the 15th century, Albanian Christianity had died away, leaving a 10th-century church at Datuna as the sole monument to its existence.

    Due to Muslim pressure and internal disunity, Sarir disintegrated in the early 12th century, giving way to the Khanate of Avaristan, a long-lived Muslim state that braved the devastating Mongol invasions of 1222 and 1239, followed by Tamerlane''s raid in 1389.

    Kaitag embroidered textile, early 19th century, from southwest Dagestan

    As the Mongol authority gradually eroded, new centres of power emerged in Kaitagi and Tarki. In the early 16th century the Persians (under the Safavids) reconsolidated their rule over the region, wich would, intermittently, last till the early 19th century. In the 16th and 17th centuries, legal traditions were codified and mountainous communities (djamaats) obtained a considerable degree of autonomy, while the Kumyk potentates (shamhals) asked for the Tsar''s protection following the Russo-Persian War (1651–53), despite a Russian loss. The Russians intensified their hold in the region in the 18th century, when Peter the Great annexed maritime Dagestan in the course of the Russo-Persian War (1722–23). Although the territories were returned to Persia in 1735, the next bout of hostilities resulted in the Russian capture of Derbent in 1796. However, the Russians were again forced to retreat from the entire Caucasus following internal governmental problems, making Persia recapture the territory again.

    The 18th century also saw the resurgence of the Khanate of Avaristan, which even managed to repulse the attacks of Nadir Shah of Persia and impose tribute on Shirvan and Georgia. In 1803 the khanate voluntarily submitted to Russian authority, but it took Persia a decade to recognize all of Dagestan as the Russian possession (Treaty of Gulistan).

    The Russian administration, however, disappointed and embittered the highlanders. The institution of heavy taxation, coupled with the expropriation of estates and the construction of fortresses (including Makhachkala), electrified highlanders into rising under the aegis of the Muslim Imamate of Dagestan, led by Ghazi Mohammed (1828–32), Gamzat-bek (1832–34) and Shamil (1834–59). This Caucasian War raged until 1864, when Shamil was captured and the Khanate of Avaristan was abolished.

    Dagestani man, photographed by Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky, circa 1907 to 1915

    Dagestan and Chechnya profited from the Russo-Turkish War (1877–78), to rise together against Imperial Russia for the last time (Chechnya rose again various times throughout the late 19th and 20th centuries). 21 December 1917 Ingushetia, Chechnya, and Dagestan declared independence from Russia and formed a single state "United Mountain Dwellers of the North Caucasus" (also known as Mountainous Republic of the Northern Caucasus) which was recognized by major world powers. The capital of the new state was moved to Temir-Khan-Shura (Dagestan) The first prime minister of the state was elected Tapa Chermoyev a Chechen prominent statesman, second prime minister was elected an Ingush statesman Vassan-Girey Dzhabagiev who also was the author of the Constitution of the land in 1917, in 1920 he was reelected for the third term. In 1921 Russians attack and occupy the country and forcefully join in to the Soviet state. Caucasian war for independence continues the government goes into exile. After the Bolshevik Revolution, Ottoman armies occupied Azerbaijan and Dagestan and the region became part of the short-lived Mountainous Republic of the Northern Caucasus. After more than three years of fighting White movement and local nationalists, the Bolsheviks achieved victory and the Dagestan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic was proclaimed on 20 January 1921. Nevertheless, Stalin''s industrialization largely bypassed Dagestan and the economy stagnated, making the republic the poorest region in Russia.

    As with its neighbors Georgia, Azerbaijan and Chechnya, Dagestan developed a renewed nationalist movement in the late 1980s. Dagestani nationalism, however, rested on very unstable foundations, as the republic was (and is) extremely multiethnic, with many of its regions being recent additions, and even the existence of a unified Dagestan was relatively new with little historical context (previously, Avaria had been a separate entity, and most areas were completely unrelated to any sort of centralizing government). Dagestan''s new elite, composed overwhelmingly of Avars, Dargins and Russians founded and consolidated its power. To this day, Dagestan is a very troubled region. There are various underground Wahhabist/Islamist movements (some more moderate than others, there was also a constitutional Islamizationist party before it was banned), originating as early as the late 80s.

    Dagestan''s poor population, often displeased with the "official" clergy (who they deem as government puppets, either of the Dagestani government or of Russia), is occasionally drawn to these groups as a form or reaction against the government (not in the least because of the unifying power of the common Muslim religion in a highly multiethnic area paired with the promises of the Islamists to "end inequality, patriarchalism and corruptions of the true faith" paired with their occasional assistance to poor communities). However, attraction to Islamism varies between sectors of the population. People from Southern Dagestan, poorer people, people with a lower education level and people from certain ethnic groups are more inclined to support Islamist tendencies. Whilst people from Northern Dagestan, Russians (who are not Muslim), Turkic peoples (who are often highly syncretic in their practice and often drawn instead to Turkic nationalism as a revolt against the authorities), more wealthy people, people from the hundred-or-so "governmental families", people with a higher education, and groups who are officially "not-native" to Dagestan (Russians, Azerbaijanis, Chechens, etc., regardless of actual nativeness they are not "titular groups") are less inclined. Separatism is also prominent: various groups resent the dominance of Dargins, Avars and Russians in government and revolt against this by calling Dagestan an artificial nation and demanding higher self-determination (i.e. secessionism). This is most noticeable among the Kumyks.

    In 1999, a group of Muslim fundamentalists from Chechnya, led by warlords Shamil Basayev and Ibn Al-Khattab, launched a military invasion of Dagestan, with the aim of creating an "independent Islamic State of Dagestan". Although Basayev and Khattab had expected that they would be welcomed as liberators, the Dagestanis instead saw them as occupiers and unwelcome religious fanatics, and the initial resistance against the invasion was provided by the Dagestani police, spontaneous militias and villagers. Once Russian military help arrived, the invaders were beaten and driven back to Chechnya. As a retaliation, Russian forces subsequently reinvaded Chechnya later that year.

    Violence in the Republic literally exploded from the beginning of 2010 to the end of 2012. This upsurge led many people to claim that Dagestan was about to enter into a situation of sectarian civil war. Dagestan became the epicenter of violence in the North Caucasus with Makhachkala, Kaspiisk, Derbent, Khasavyurt, Kizlyar, Sergokala, Untsukul, and Tsumada all becoming hotbeds of militant activities.

    Politics Main article: Politics of DagestanThe Government building of the Republic of Dagestan

    The Parliament of Dagestan is the People''s Assembly, consisting of 72 deputies elected for a four-year term. The People''s Assembly is the highest executive and legislative body of the republic.

    The Constitution of Dagestan was adopted on July 10, 2003. According to it, the highest executive authority lies with the State Council, comprising representatives of fourteen ethnicities. The members of the State Council are appointed by the Constitutional Assembly of Dagestan for a term of four years. The State Council appoints the members of the Government.

    The ethnicities represented in the State Council are Avars, Dargins, Kumyks, Lezgins, Laks, Azerbaijanis, Tabasarans, Russians, Chechens, Nogais, Aguls, Rutuls, Tsakhurs and Tats.

    Formerly, the Chairman of the State Council was the highest executive post in the republic, held by Magomedali Magomedovich Magomedov until 2006. On February 20, 2006, the People''s Assembly passed a resolution terminating this post and disbanding the State Council. Russian President Vladimir Putin offered the People''s Assembly the candidature of Mukhu Aliyev for the newly established post of the President of the Republic of Dagestan. The nomination was accepted by the People''s Assembly, and Mukhu Aliyev became the first President of the republic. On 20 February 2010 Aliyev was replaced by Magomedsalam Magomedov. The current Head of the republic is Ramazan Abdulatipov (acting until 2013, following the resignation of Magomedov).

    DemographicsA couple in traditional dress poses for a portrait in Dagestan. Photographed by Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky, circa 1907 to 1915.Ethnolinguistic groups in the Caucasus regionDagestani man and woman, April 1904.

    Because its mountainous terrain impedes travel and communication, Dagestan is unusually ethnically diverse, and still largely tribal. It is Russia''s most heterogeneous republic. Unlike most other parts of Russia, Dagestan''s population is rapidly growing.

    Population: 2,910,249 (2010 Census); 2,576,531 (2002 Census); 1,802,579 (1989 Census).

    Vital statisticsSource: Russian Federal State Statistics ServiceAverage 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 1,438 41,381 9,543 31,838 28.8 6.6 22.1
    1975 1,544 42,098 10,292 31,806 27.3 6.7 20.6
    1980 1,655 44,088 11,188 32,900 26.6 6.8 19.9
    1985 1,744 50,053 12,010 38,043 28.7 6.9 21.8
    1990 1,848 48,209 11,482 36,727 26.1 6.2 19.9 3.07
    1991 1,906 47,461 12,062 35,399 24.9 6.3 18.6 2.94
    1992 1,964 44,986 12,984 32,002 22.9 6.6 16.3 2.70
    1993 2,012 41,863 14,777 27,086 20.8 7.3 13.5 2.46
    1994 2,117 44,472 15,253 29,219 21.0 7.2 13.8 2.45
    1995 2,209 45,680 15,700 29,980 20.7 7.1 13.6 2.41
    1996 2,251 42,282 15,565 26,717 18.8 6.9 11.9 2.19
    1997 2,308 41,225 15,662 25,563 17.9 6.8 11.1 2.10
    1998 2,363 41,164 15,793 25,371 17.4 6.7 10.7 2.05
    1999 2,417 38,281 16,020 22,261 15.8 6.6 9.2 1.87
    2000 2,464 38,229 16,108 22,121 15.5 6.5 9.0 1.82
    2001 2,511 38,480 15,293 23,187 15.3 6.1 9.2 1.79
    2002 2,563 41,204 15,887 25,317 16.1 6.2 9.9 1.85
    2003 2,609 41,490 15,929 25,561 15.9 6.1 9.8 1.81
    2004 2,647 41,573 15,724 25,849 15.7 5.9 9.8 1.76
    2005 2,684 40,814 15,585 25,229 15.2 5.8 9.4 1.69
    2006 2,721 40,646 15,939 24,707 14.9 5.9 9.1 1.64
    2007 2,761 45,470 15,357 30,113 16.5 5.6 10.9 1.81
    2008 2,804 49,465 15,794 33,671 17.6 5.6 12.0 1.94
    2009 2,850 50,416 16,737 33,679 17.7 5.9 11.8 1.92
    2010 2,896 52,057 17,013 35,044 18.0 5.9 12.1 1.92
    2011 2,914 54,427 16,917 37,510 18.1 5.8 12.3 1.98
    2012 2,931 56,039 16,547 39,492 19.0 5.6 13.4 2.03
    2013 2,955 55,783 16,229 39,554 18.8 5.5 13.3 2.02(e)

    Ethnic groups

    The people of Dagestan include a large variety of ethnic groups. According to the 2010 Census, Northeast Caucasians (including Avars, Dargins, Lezgins, Laks and Tabasarans) make up almost 75% of the population of Dagestan. Turkic peoples, Kumyks, Azerbaijanis and Nogais make up 21%, and Russians 3,6%. Other ethnic groups each account for less than 0.4% of the total population.

    It should be noted that such groups as the Botlikh, the Andi, the Akhvakhs, the Tsez and about ten other groups were reclassified as Avars between the 1926 and 1939 censuses.

    Ethnic group 1926 Census 1939 Census 1959 Census 1970 Census 1979 Census 1989 Census 2002 Census 2010 Census1 Number  % Number  % Number  % Number  % Number  % Number  % Number  % Number  %
    Avars 177,189 22.5% 230,488 24.8% 239,373 22.5% 349,304 24.5% 418,634 25.7% 496,077 27.5% 758,438 29.4% 850,011 29.4%
    Dargins 125,707 16.0% 150,421 16.2% 148,194 13.9% 207,776 14.5% 246,854 15.2% 280,431 15.6% 425,526 16.5% 490,384 17.0%
    Kumyks 87,960 11.2% 100,053 10.8% 120,859 11.4% 169,019 11.8% 202,297 12.4% 231,805 12.9% 365,804 14.2% 431,736 14.9%
    Lezgians 90,509 11.5% 96,723 10.4% 108,615 10.2% 162,721 11.4% 188,804 11.6% 204,370 11.3% 336,698 13.1% 385,240 13.3%
    Laks 39,878 5.1% 51,671 5.6% 53,451 5.0% 72,240 5.1% 83,457 5.1% 91,682 5.1% 139,732 5.4% 161,276 5.6%
    Azerbaijanis 23,428 3.0% 31,141 3.3% 38,224 3.6% 54,403 3.8% 64,514 4.0% 75,463 4.2% 111,656 4.3% 130,919 4.5%
    Tabasarans 31,915 4.0% 33,432 3.6% 33,548 3.2% 53,253 3.7% 71,722 4.4% 78,196 4.6% 110,152 4.3% 118,848 4.1%
    Russians 98,197 12.5% 132,952 14.3% 213,754 20.1% 209,570 14.7% 189,474 11.6% 165,940 9.2% 120,875 4.7% 104,020 3.6%
    Chechens 21,851 2.8% 26,419 2.8% 12,798 1.2% 39,965 2.8% 49,227 3.0% 57,877 3.2% 87,867 3.4% 93,658 3.2%
    Nogais 26,086 3.3% 4,677 0.5% 14,939 1.4% 21,750 1.5% 24,977 1.5% 28,294 1.6% 38,168 1.5% 40,407 1.4%
    Aghuls 7,653 1.0% 20,408 2.2% 6,378 0.6% 8,644 0.6% 11,459 0.7% 13,791 0.8% 23,314 0.9% 28,054 1.0%
    Rutuls 10,333 1.3% 6,566 0.6% 11,799 0.8% 14,288 0.9% 14,955 0.8% 24,298 1.0% 27,849 1.0%
    Tsakhurs 3,531 0.4% 4,278 0.4% 4,309 0.3% 4,560 0.3% 5,194 0.3% 8,168 0.3% 9,771 0.3%
    Others 43,861 5.6% 52,031 5.6% 61,495 5.8% 63,787 4.5% 57,892 3.6% 58,113 3.2% 25,835 1.0% 19,646 0.7%
    1 18,430 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.

    The indigenous ethnic groups of Dagestan are bolded.

    There are also forty or so tiny groups such as the Hinukh, numbering 439, or the Akhvakhs, who are members of a complex family of indigenous Caucasians. Notable are also the Hunzib or Khunzal people who live in only four towns in the interior.

    Languages

    More than thirty local languages are commonly spoken, most belonging to the Northeast Caucasian language family. Russian became the principal lingua franca in Dagestan during the 20th century; prior to that, beginning in the 18th century, it had been Classical Arabic. The northern Avar dialect of Khunzakh has also served as a lingua franca in central Dagestan.

    Religion

    Religion in Dagestan (2012)

      Muslim (83%)   Russian Orthodox (2.4%)   Caucasian Neopaganism (2%)   Unaffiliated Christian (1%)   Spiritual but not religious (9%)   Atheist and non-religious (2%)   Other and undeclared (0.6%)Makhachkala Grand MosqueIslamic school in Sasitli villageZnamensky Cathedral in Khasavyurt

    According to a 2012 official survey 83% of the population of Dagestan adheres to Islam, 2.4% to the Russian Orthodox Church, 2% to Caucasian Neopaganism, 1% are non-denominational Christians. In addition, 9% of the population declares to be "spiritual but not religious", 2% is atheist and 0.6% follows other religions or did not answer to the question.

    Dagestanis are largely Sunni Muslims, of the Shafii rites, that has been in place for centuries. On the Caspian coast, particularly in and around the port city of Derbent, the population (primarily made of the Azerbaijanis) is Shia.

    A relatively large number of native Tati speaking Jews, designated by the Soviet state censuses as the "Mountain Jews" were also present in this same coastal areas, but since 1991 and the collapse of the Soviet Union they have migrated to Israel and the United States. These were an extension of much larger Jewish community across the border in Azerbaijan (districts of Quba and Shamakhi).

    The appearance of Sufi mysticism in Dagestan dates back to the 14th century. The two Sufi tariqas that spread in the North Caucasus were the Naqshbandiya and the Qadiriya. The mystic Tariqas preached tolerance and coexistence between the diverse people in the region. The Communist total intolerance for any religion after the Communist Revolution of 1917 also suppressed the Sufi movements. Shaykh Said Afandi al-Chirkawi is prominent scholar, spiritual leader and murshid of Naqshbandi and Shadhili tariqahs in Dagestan.

    The number of Christians among the non-Slavic indigenous population is very low, with estimates between 2,000 and 2,500. Most of these are Pentecostal Christians from the Lak ethnic group. The largest congregation is Osanna Evangelical Christian Church (Pentecostal) in Makhachkala, with more than 1,000 members.

    Economy

    The major industries in Dagestan include oil production, engineering, chemicals, machine building, textile manufacturing, food processing, and the timber. Oil deposits are located in the narrow coastal region. The Dagestani oil is of high quality, and is delivered to other regions. Dagestan''s natural gas production goes mostly to satisfy local needs. Agriculture is varied and includes grain-farming, viticulture and wine-making, sheep-farming, and dairying. The engineering and metalworking industries own 20% of the republic''s industrial production assets and employ 25% of all industrial workers. Dagestan''s hydroelectric power industry is developing rapidly. There are five power plants on the Sulak River providing hydroelectric power. It has been estimated that Dagestan''s total potential hydroelectric power resources are 4.4 billion kW. Dagestan has a well-developed transportation system. Railways connect the capital Makhachkala to Moscow, Astrakhan, and the Azerbaijani capital, Baku. The Moscow-Baku highway also passes through Dagestan, and there are air links with major cities.

    Conditions for economic development are favorable in Dagestan, but – as of 2006 – the republic''s low starting level for a successful transition to market relations, in addition to rampant corruption, has made the region highly dependent on its underground economy and the subsidies coming from the central Russian government. Corruption in Dagestan is more severe than in other regions of the former Soviet Union, and is coupled with a flourishing black market and clan-based economic system.

    In 2011 Rostelecom started implementation of WDM-based equipment on the backbone network for data transmission in the Republic of Dagestan. Due to WDM introduction the fiber-optic communication lines bandwidth increased to 2.5 Gbit/s. Rostelecom invested about 48 million rubles in the project.

    Dagestani conflict Main article: Insurgency in the North CaucasusA border guard outpost

    Since 2000, Dagestan has been the venue of a low-level guerrilla war, bleeding over from Chechnya; the fighting has claimed the lives of hundreds of federal servicemen and officials—mostly members of local police forces—as well as many Dagestani national rebels and civilians.

    More recently, among other incidents:

    Notable residents

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