Factbox-Facts about Russia's republic of Dagestan
Factbox-Facts about Russia's republic of Dagestan
Factbox-Facts about Russia's republic of Dagestan
by DZRH News31 October 2023
Pro-Palestinian protesters storm an airport building, in Makhachkala, Russia, October 29, 2023, in this screengrab taken from a video obtained by Reuters. Video Obtained by Reuters/via REUTERS

(Reuters) - Twenty people were injured when hundreds of anti-Israeli protesters stormed on Sunday an airport in Russia's Dagestan region before security forces closed the airport and removed the demonstrators.

Here are some facts about Russia's mainly Muslim republic of Dagestan, where waves of violence have erupted in the past.

* A mountainous territory in the eastern part of the North Caucasus, Dagestan is Russia's most ethnically and linguistically varied region and home to at least 40 different ethnicities. A republic within the Russian Federation, Dagestan's population is about 3.2 million, according to Russia's official figures.

* The majority of Dagestanis are Sunni Muslims.


* It is sometimes known as the Mountain of Languages, or Mountain of Nationalities - with some national groups occupying no more than one or two villages.

* The capital, Makhachkala, on Russia's Caspian Sea coast, was conquered by the Russian Imperial army in the 19th century and served as a major pre-revolutionary trading port. Today, Dagestan is a conduit for major oil and gas pipelines, which go from the Caspian Sea to the Russian heartland.

* For almost a decade until 2017, Russian security forces were battling an armed insurgency conducted by an array of Islamist militant groups in Dagestan, neighbouring Chechnya and Ingushetia.

* Islam came to present-day Russia by way of Dagestan's ancient southern city of Derbent, when Arabs brought the faith at least 1,000 years ago. After being discouraged under communism, Islam in Dagestan has flourished. The republic hosts some 3,000 mosques, Islamic institutes and schools.


* Dagestan is the birthplace of legendary Islamic fighter Imam Shamil, who resisted Russian rule for 25 years in the 19th century. Many streets and places are named after him.

(Reporting by Lidia Kelly in Melbourne; editing by Miral Fahmy)

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