One of the 22 republics of the Russian Federation. It is located in the foothills of the northwestern Caucasus. In the south it borders on Georgia.
Since 1921 it was part of the Mountain Autonomous Soviet Republic. In 1922 the Kabardino-Balkar Autonomous Oblast was formed within the South-Eastern region. In 1926, the Karachay Autonomous Oblast and Cherkess National Okrug were divided (since 1928 - an autonomous oblast). Karachay Autonomous Oblast was liquidated in 1943, and some of the Karachais were deported to Central Asia and Kazakhstan. After the rehabilitation of repressed peoples in 1957, the Karachay-Cherkess Autonomous Oblast was established within the Stavropol Krai. In 1990, she left the Stavropol Krai, and two years later was transformed into the Karachay-Cherkess Republic (KCR) within the Russian Federation.
There are two titular ethnic groups in the Karachay-Cherkess Republic - Karachays and Circassians. The defining markers of their differences from the titular nation of the country are language and religion. Karachay people speak the Karachay-Balkar language of the Turkic family. Circassians speak the Kabardian-Circassian language of the Abkhaz-Adyghe language family. Thus, the titular peoples belong to two different language groups that do not have a genetic relationship. However, religiously, they are similar, as the majority of them profess Islam of the Sunni type.
The KCR has a complex ethnic composition. According to the results of the 2010 All-Russia Population Census, Karachay comprise 41% of the population, Circassians - 11.9%. Moreover, Russians make up a significant part of the region's population - 31.6%. Apart from that, Abazines make up 7.8%, Nogais - 3.3%.
The situation in interethnic relations in the region is generally assessed as stable, but there is tension associated with the distribution of power positions among ethnic groups from time to time. In addition, there are social movements, which activists are in favor of dividing the republic on an ethnic basis both in the Karachay and in the Circassian part of the population.