One of the 22 republics of the Russian Federation. It is the southernmost region of the Russian Federation and the largest republic in the North Caucasus. It borders with Azerbaijan in the south, with Georgia in the south-west, as well as with the Chechen Republic in the west, with the Stavropol Krai in the north-west and with the Republic of Kalmykia in the north.
The Dagestan ASSR was established in 1921. In 1991 it was renamed the Republic of Dagestan.
It is the only one of the republics of the Russian Federation that does not have a "titular" ethnic group. Dagestani peoples are a conglomerate of different peoples, the most numerous of them, according to the 2010 All-Russia population census - Avars (29.4%), Dargins (17%), Kumyks (14.9%) and Lezgians (13.3%). The defining markers of their differences from the titular nation of the country are language and religion. The Dagestani peoples profess Islam of the Sunni type. There are also differences in language: the Avar, Dargin and Lezghian languages belong to the Nakh-Daghestan group of the North Caucasian family, while the Kumyk belongs to the Kipchak-Cuman language subfamily of the Kypchak group of Turkic languages.
The situation in interethnic relations in the republic is estimated as unstable. The main problems are the expansion of radical Islam, terrorism, traditional ethnic distribution of power, clan system, land disputes between ethnic groups, etc.