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Abazin, abaza (self identification), live in Karachaevo-Cherkessia region of the Russian Federation. Population in the Russian Federation 37942 (2002), including in Karachaevo-Cherkessia - 32346. They also live in Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon. The Abazin are the indigenous people of the Caucasus. Abazin language has two dialects: tapantsky - the base of the literary language, and ashharsky. The Abazin are the Sunnis.

Abkhaz, apsua (self identification), live mainly in the republic of Abkhazia and Georgia. Population in the Russian Federation - 11366 (2002). The Abkhaz are the indigenous people of Abkhazia (93 300, 1989). They also live in Turkey, Syria, Jordan. The Abkhaz are the autochthonous people of the Caucasus. In remote antiquity the ancestors of the Abkhaz were within the vast conglomeration of tribes which inhabited the East of the Black Sea region. The Abkhaz speak Abkhaz language. The written language is based on the Russian graphics. The Abkhaz are the Orthodox Christians and the Sunnis.

Avartsy, maarulal (self identification), are the indigenous people of Dagestan. Population in the Russian Federation 814473 (2002), including in Dagestan 758438. They also live in the republic of Chechnya, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan. The Avartsy are associated with the tribes called the Leg, Gel, Uti which are known since the second half of the 1 thousand BC and the Savir tribes mentioned by Ptolemy (the second century); since the 5th century the territory inhabited by the Avartsy is known as the Sevir kingdom - the largest political formation in medieval Dagestan; since the 14th century in Dagestan chronicles this entity was called Avaria. The Avartsy speak Avarsky language which has dialects. The written language is based on the Russian graphics. The Avartsy are the Sunnis.

Aguly, agul, agular (self identification "inhabitants of Agul"), live in Dagestan. Population in the Russian Federation 28297 (2002), including 23314 in Dagestan. The Aguly are the indigenous people of Dagestan. Origin of the "agul" ethnicon may be associated with the name of the Aguldere canon. By the beginning of the Common Era the Aguly constituted self sufficient ethnical and cultural society. They speak Agulsky language. The written language is based on the Russian graphics. The Aguly are the Sunnis.

Azerbaijanis, azerbaijanlylar (self identification), are the basic population of the republic of Azerbaijan (5 805 000, 1989), population in the Russian Federation - 621 840. They also live in Iran, Uzbekistan, Kirgizia, Kazakhstan, Georgia, Turkmenia, Turkey, Ukraine. Azerbaijan language belong to the Turkic family, it has dialects. The Azerbaijanis are the muslims, both Shiah and Sunnis.

Armenians, khai (self identification), are the basic population of the republic of Armenia. (3 083 000 (1989)). Population in the Russian Federation - 1 130 491 (2002). Compact and dense population is in Nagorny Karabakh, Georgia. The Armenians live in more than 70 countries of the world. Formation of ancient Armenian ethos took place on the Armenian Highlands within the state of Urartu through the 9-6 centuries BC. The Armenians name their country as Khaik (Khaiastan) after the name of mythical ancestor. In the old Persian texts the country was named as Armina, in old Greek texts - Armenia. In 301 the Armenians embraced Christianity which became the established religion. In 405-06 the Armenian alphabet was established. The Armenians speak Armenian language, which has dialects and subdialects. The written language is based on Armenian alphabet. The Armenians are the Christians-Monophists, there are some Catholics and Protestants.

Balkartsy, taululula (self identification "highlander"), live in Kabardino-Balkaria region of the Russian Federation. Population in the Russian Federation - 108 426 (2002), including in Kabardino-Balkaria - 104 951. The Balkartsy are the indigenous people of Kabardino-Balkaria. There are some local groups: balkartsy, bizingievtsy, kholamtsy, chegemtsy, urusbievtsy. They also live in Kazakhstan, Kirgizia, etc.. The language is karachaevo-balkarsky. The written language is based on the Russian graphics. The Balkartsy are the Sunnis.

Bezhtintsy, bezhtiny (self identification), belong to the Tsez peoples and are the indigenous people of the West of Dagestan. Population in the Russian Federation - 6 198 (2002). They speak Bezhtinsky language. The written language is based on Avarsky language and Russian graphics. The Bezhtintsy are the Sunnis.

Greeks, hellenes (self identification). Population in the Russian Federation - 97 827 (2002). The Greeks are the basic population of Greece. The language - neo-greek, has dialects, sub-dialects and patois. The Greeks are the Orthodox Christians. Several ethnic entities of the Greeks had been historically forming over the territory of Russia. (1) Descends of the Greeks who settled in Russian towns along the Black Sea, and the Sea of Azov through the 17th -19th centuries. Now, they live in Moscow, St.Petersburg and other cities and towns of Russia and Ukraine. (2) Descends of the old identities of Crimea who were moved from the Crimea peninsular in 1770 and settled long the North of the Sea of Azov. Now they live in Donetsk district of Ukraine, in the towns of Donetsk, Mariupol, etc. (3) Descends of the Greeks who worked in mining. They were invited to the territories of the modern Armenia in the first half of the 18th century and, partly, in the 1820ies and lately settled in Central Georgia. (4) Descents of migrants from Asia Minor, mainly from Trapisond and inner areas of Turkey. They live in Adjaria, Abkhazia, and some districts of Central Georgia. (5) Descents of migrants (19th century) from the inner areas of Turkey. They live in Central Georgia. (6) Descents of the migrants (19th -20th century) from Turkey, mainly from Trabzon and Kara district. They live on North Caucasus. (7) Descents of the Greek political immigrants who immigrated to the USSR in 1949.

Georgians, kartveli (self identification), are the basic population of Georgia. Population in the Russian Federation - 197 934 (2002). Georgian language has a lot of dialects; the following subethnical groups have their own language: the Megrel, Svan, Laz. There are local ethnographical groups - Kartliytsy, Kakhetintsy, Imeretiny. Tushiny, Khevsury, Pshavy, Mtiuly, Mokhevtsy, Rachintsy, Lechhumtsy, Guriytsy, Meskhi, Djavakhi, Adjartsy, Ingiloitsy. The written language is based on the Georgian alphabet. The Georgians are orthodox Christians, there are some Sunnis and Catholics. The ethnical core is formed of three main closely related tribal entities: the Kart, Megrel-Chan, Svan. In the 4th -6th centuries the Georgians embraced Christianity. In the 5th century the first written monuments of literature in Georgian language were created. The centralized country, which was formed on the turn of the 10th - 11th centuries and achieved its apogee in the 12the - beginning of the 13th centuries, completed the formation of the Georgian ethnos.

Dargintsy, dargan, darganti (self identification), live in Dagestan. Population in the Russian Federation - 510 156 (2002), including in Dagestan 425 526. They also live in Stavropol Krai and Kalmykia. The Dargintsy are the indigenous people of Dagestan. Darginsky language has a number of dialects. The written language is based on the Russian alphabet. The Dargintsy are the Sunnis.

Didoitsy, didoi, tsezy (self identification, "eagles"), tsiuntial, dido, belong to the Tsez peoples, the indigenous people of West Dagestan. They live in Georgia as well. They speak tsezsky language. The written language is based on Avarasky language and Russian graphics. The Didoitsy are the Sunnis.

Georgian Jews, hebraeli (self identification), - ethnolinguistic group of the Jews. Population in Georgia - 14 310 (1989). Population in the Russian Federation - 53 (2002). The term "Georgian Jews" was adopted in the Russian Empire since the beginning of the 19th century to identify members of the Jewish community in Georgia (though this term had been used in Georgian historical literature since the 11th century). According to the Georgian historical tradition the first Jews arrived in Georgia upon Nebuchadnezzar's conquest of Jerusalem (586 B.C.). The Georgian Jews speak Georgian language, and use it as the written one. They are the Judaists.

Ingushi, galgai (self identification). Population in the Russian Federation - 413 016 (2002), including in the republic of Ingushetia - 361 057. They also live in Chechnya, Northern Ossetia, etc.. Along with the Chechens (common self identification "vainakh") belong to the indigenous peoples of North Caucasus. They speak Ingushsky language. The Ingushi are the Sunnis.

Laktsy, lak (self identification), are the indigenous people of Dagestan. Population in the Russian Federation - 156 545 (2002), including in Dagestan - 139 732. The Laktsy live in the central part of Dagestan Highlands, over the planes of Dagestan and outside Dagestan (Stavropolsky Krai, tec..). The self identification name "lak" is associated with the tribe called the "leg", which was mentioned by the classic and early medieval authors. They speak laksky language which has a number of dialects. The Laktsy are the Sunnis.

Nogaitsy, nogai (self identification). Population in the Russian Federation - 90 666 (2002). The main area inhabited by the Nogaitsy is within the territory of Dagestan - 38168, Karachaevo-Cherkessia - 14873, and Stavropolsky Krai - 20680. They also live in Turkey, Romania, etc. The ethnical core of the Nogaitsy is based on the ancient nomad Turkic and Mongol tribes who inhabited the territories over the Irtysh river region, the north-west of Mongolia, Middle Asia, Northern Caucasus. The ethnicon "nogaitsy" and formation of the core of the Nogaitsy people is associated with the name of the khan of the Golden Horde called Nogai (13 century). The Nogaitsy speak Nogaisky language which has dialects. The written language since the 18th century and by 1928 was based on the Arabic graphics, since 1928 - on the Latin graphics, since 1938 - on the Russian graphics. The Nogaitsy are the Sunnis.

Ossetin, iron, digoron (self identification) are the basic population of Northern Ossetia, they also live in Kabardino-Balkaria, Stavropol Krai. They live in Georgia and are the basic population of Southern Ossetia. Population in the Russian Federation - 514 875 (2002). The Ossetins are one of the ancient peoples of the Caucasus. Formation of the Ossetin people is associated both with the aborigine inhabitants of Northern Caucasus (creators of Kobanskaya culture) and with the alien Iran-speaking peoples - the Scythes, Sarmatians, and Alans. The settlement of the Alans in Central Caucasus resulted in Alan language and culture being percepted by the local inhabitants. The union of the Alan initiated formation of the Ossetian people. The Ossetians speak Ossetian language which has dialects. The written language (since the 19th century) is based on the Russian alphabet. The Ossetians are the Orthodox Christians.

Rutultsy, rutuly, self identification: mykh adbyr, mykhadar. The Rutultsy are the indigenous people of Dagestan. Population in the Russian Federation - 29929 (2002), including in Dagestan - 24298. The early culture of the Rutultsy is associated with the state entity Caucasian Albania. On the territory of the Rutultsy since the 16th century there was a union of communities called Rutulsky magal. In 1812 the Rutultsy were adjoined to the Russian Empire and organized community called Rutul-chai. The Rutultsy speak Rutulsky language. They are the Sunnis.

Udiny, udi, uti (self identification) live in Azerbaijan, Georgia. Population in the Russian Federation - 3721 (2002). They speak Udinsky language. The Udiny are the Orthodox Christians and Christians-Monophists. The Udiny are the descents of the Uti - one of the ancient tribes of East Transcaucasia. The ancient authors locate the tribe of Uti within Uti district with the main town Partva in Caucasian Albania.

Chechens, nokhchiy (self identification), - the indigenous people of Chechnya. Population in the Russian Federation - 1360253 (2002), including in the republic of Chechnya - 1031647, Ingushetia - 95403, Dagestan - 87867. The Chechens speak Chechenian language. They are the Sunnis.


Source: Peoples of Russia: encyclopedia - Moscow, Bolshaya Enciklopedia, 1994. ISBN 5-85270-082-7. (Народы России: энциклопедия/Гл.ред.В.А.Тишков - М.: Большая Российская энциклопедия, 1994 - 479 с.ил. ISBN 5-85270-082-7)



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