[Maggie Burke]
The modern Republic of Adygea [Respublika Adygeia] is located within Krasnodar Krai [Krasnodarskii Krai], at the southern border of Russia, just north of the Caucasian mountain range. It is governed by a “Head” (a position formerly referred to as the President) (Wikipedia, “Adygea”), who is appointed by the President of Russia, although a non-binding election is held within the Republic. The current Head is Aslan Tkhakushinov, who has served from 2007 to the present (RFE).

Historically, the territory occupied by the Republic of Adygea was inhabited by the Circassian people, victims of Russian deportation and genocide (Shenfield), who today make up 25.2% of its population (UNPO). The Circassians called themselves “Adyghe”, from which the name of the republic was taken (Wikipedia, “Circassia”), and the inhabitants of this region speak a language known as West Circassian or Adyghe, which is a branch of the older Circassian or Cherkess (Wikipedia, “Adyghe language”). It is very closely related to the Kabardian language, spoken in Kabardino-Balkaria and Karachay-Cherkessia (Wikipedia, “Kabardian language”). The Republic of Adygea began as an Autonomous Oblast established in 1922 as part of the movement towards korenizatsiia, and was named a Republic in 1991, just prior to the collapse of the Soviet Union (Wikipedia, “Adygea”).


Works Cited:

  • Stephen D. Shenfield, “The Circassians – A Forgotten Genocide?” Circassian World. Accessed 28 March 2012.
  • Radio Free Europe. “Adygeya Republic Head Nominated For Second Term.” Accessed 28 March 2012.
  • Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization. “Circassia.” Accessed 28 March 2012.
  • Wikipedia. “Adygea.” Accessed March 28, 2012.
  • ________. “Adyghe language.” Accessed March 28, 2012.
  • ________. “Circassia.” Accessed March 28, 2012.
  • ________. “Kabardian language.” Accessed March 28, 2012.