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Old Avar(Dagestan) Songs

Old Avar Songs. From mountains of Dagestan
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Tens thousand people without heat and light in Makhachkala

More than 30 thousand person remain Makhachkala without light and heat. In capital occupied the Russian armies Dagestan have developed an emergency with the electric power.

Except for that because of constant switching-off of light work of three boiler-houses is broken(disturbed). Without heating still not only apartment houses, but also kindergartens, schools, hospitals, inform occupational sources.

Let's remind, that earlier city dwellers left on protest action, blocking roads. Puppet authorities have declared in the answer, that city dwellers « show extremism ».

Dagestan (Video Documentation)

This documentation film has been taken by a German's. It's about Dagestan customs. It's showing how Dagestan people live there. It's in German language...

Fight in Makhachkala

As inform occupational sources, on the night of on January, 14th, 2008 in capital of Dagestan Makhachkala mojaheds have entered fight with superior forces Russian and local police. From initial messages follows, that between 3 mojaheds and local police there was a firing, and then some explosions have followed. Occupational sources have declared, that the group of mojaheds has become stronger in one of apartments in the multi-storey house.

Fight goes in the center of Dagestan

As inform occupational sources, in capital Dagestan, mojaheds have entered fight with superior forces . From the message follows, that on between three mojaheds there was a firing, and then some explosions have followed.

From last message it became known, that at present intensive shooting is stopped, but from time to time on a place of carrying out of operation automatic turns and explosions are distributed. 5 Floors buildings are in densety populated area of capital, near to school. The area is surrounded, pulled together weapons.

Hits from Makhachkala (Mahachkala)

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Best of Lezginka's

Best of Lezginka's. There's 7 best lezginka hits from Dagestan.
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Dagestan Rap Music (Avar)

I found a video clip on YouTube about Dagestan Rap. It's like a cartoon but nice : ) They'r reading a rap on Russian, Avar and Kumuk languages. Backround music 50Cent's In da club : )

Avar Songs Dagestan Music

Avar songs from Mountains of Dagestan Music
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The Music of the Mountain Jews

The Music of the Mountain Jews from Dagestan
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Music of Dagestan

Lezginka Music Dagestan Makhachkala
Part 1 | Part 2
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Dagestan Rap Music

Rap Music from Dagestan =)
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Heroics of Imam Shamil

Chechnya is a tiny Caucasian land-locked enclave, predominantly
inhabited by the Muslims. It has been in continuous confrontation with
Russia since the 18th century.

It all started when the Czar's expansionist policies gradually brought
many parts of Central Asia and Caucasia under the influence of Russia.
However, the Caucasians did not accept foreign domination and put up
severe resistance.

The struggle for maintaining sovereignty reached its peak when the
'Murid Movement' under the leadership of Imam Shamil, a man of
extraordinary charisma and master of guerrilla tactics, began
resisting the Russian expansion into Chechen and Daghestan borders far
more than 25 years.

Imam Shamil was born in a village called Gimrah. He was a natural
leader and did not have any extremist tendencies. He turned many
tribes into a cohesive unit and developed such a power base that
proved good for outmanoeuvring the Russians.

He first became a trusted lieutenant of Ghazi Muhammad, the first Imam
of Daghistan, who had declared Jihad against the Russians. It was in a
fierce battle against the Russians that the first Imam was surrounded
and got killed along with his companions in their stronghold at
Gimrah. Only Shamil and one of his men survived. Shamil continued
putting up severe resistance to Russian advancement under the
leadership of another Imam. However, when the second Imam was also
killed, Shamil was unanimously chosen as the leader and the third Imam
of Daghistan.

Owing to his extraordinary military talent and despite the Russian
influence, he managed to control Daghistan. The Russian commander who
failed to capture the territories he wanted, was able to recognize
Imam Shamil's extraordinary military talents and on several occasions
had to ask for peace. As a result, Imam Shamil's reputation as a
leader spread all over the place, making him 'enemy number one' to the
Russian military administration. Realizing Imam Shamil's growing
influence on the tribes of nearby Chechnya, the Russians launched a
massive military attack against his headquarters.

After a series of bloody engagements that ensued, the Russians were
finally able to surround the brave Imam and his men in their mountain
fortress. When he refused to surrender after several weeks of fierce
fighting, the Russians ruthlessly cut his garrison into pieces.
Miraculously, Imam Shamil again made an almost incredible escape under
the enemy's very nose. His spirit was far from broken. This time,
however, he found new powerful allies among the Chechans, who were
disgusted at the continued Russian encroachment on their independence.
After regaining strength with new powerful allies Imam Shamil expanded
his power and delivered several shattering blows to the invading
forces of the Czar in Chechnya and Avaristan.

Exasperated by these reversals, Czar Nicholas I ordered a determined
campaign to crush the resistance. In 1844, a force organized and led
by Prince Vorontsove with 10,000 men was dispatched - but it also
proved disasterous. From 1846 to 1849 they prepared all out
strategies, erected fortifications in and cut roads through the
impenetrable forests of Chechnya. At the same time, they pacified the
population of fertile plains, chasing those who refused to submit to
the Russians' will. In the meantime, another Russian force attempted
to eradicate Imam Shamil's stronghold in central Daghistan, a goal for
which they paid an enormous price.

Their successes, nonetheless, proved short-lived. Once the Russian
troops had withdrawn, the Imam quickly built his fortification and
invaded southern Daghistan, whose free communities had asked for his
assistance against the oppressive Russian rule.

During 1851-53, the battles in which Imam Shamil personally took part
were centred around Chechnya with results generally favourable to the
Russians. But throughout this period, faced with the prospect of going
to war with the Ottomans, the Russians were unable to capitalize on
their earlier successes and diverted their attention to the Ottomans
front, giving Imam Shamil a much-needed respite. He also sought help
from Britain, but the British refused to oblige.

After getting a bit of relief from the Ottoman forces, the Russians
paid undivided attention to the Caucasus. In a relentless advance,
Imam Shamil made his last move on the top of mount Ghunib, surrounded
by his family members and 400 loyal men. In the face of inevitable
destruction due to overwhelming might of the Russian empire, he
surrendered unconditionally to the Russians in 1859. He was given
abode in Kaluga, a town about 120 miles southwest of Moscow, where he
lived along with his family. In 1869 he was allowed to move to Kiev
(now capital of Ukraine) and was subsequently given permission to
leave to Makkah for performing Haj where ho found his final resting

In 1920, after the communist revolution, a Chechen autonomous oblast
(province) was created. Later on it was merged with Ingush and was
subsequently given the status of a republic. In World War II, Chechan
and Ingush people were accused of collaborating with the Germans and
were awarded severe punishment by extraditing them to Central Asia.

In 1957, Under Nikita Khrushchev's government, Russia rescinded its
earlier decision and the province was restored and exiled were also
allowed to return home. However, the freedom movement which gained
momentum during Imam Shamil's time continued and did not die down.
Following the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991, the movement
even gained more impetus. In 1992 Checheno-Ingushetiva was divided
into two separate republics, Chechnya and Ingushetia.

The torch of freedom struggle lit up by Imam Shamil still continues to

A Dangerous Oil Game in Dagestan

At the turn of the 20th century, J. D. Rockefeller made the Standard Oil
fortune in the waters at the southern end of the Caspian Sea, near the
Caucasian city of Baku. The fierce international competition for those riches
was described as the Great Game..
A century later, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, this term has been
revived to describe the renewed struggle among multinational corporations and
global political powers to control the oil and gas fields of the Caspian
region. The stakes are higher today than they were for Rockefeller because of
the discovery of oil fields in Kazakhstan at the northern end of the Caspian,
and natural gas to the east in Turkmenistan..
Russia and the Western powers are operating in the region on an increasingly
competitive basis, on the assumption that Caspian development is a zero-sum
game. They are building military alliances with local governments and
engaging in exercises with local troops..
In the United States, the competitive outlook is intensified by a
consideration of petroleum products as a national security issue. Around the
Caspian, however, this approach contributes to local political instability,
diminishes regional security, heightens the risk for investments in the
region and reduces opportunities for effective extraction of Caspian
The Great Game metaphor has become a misleading, possibly dangerous,
anachronism. It is dangerous because while it is appropriate to the keen
sense of geopolitical competition in the region, it invites participants to
forget that most parts of the region either are currently scenes of conflict
or are only a few steps away from ignition. Heightened international
competition will certainly produce sparks and further conflagrations would be
costly for everyone. It is no longer possible to treat the locals as pawns in
a game, so it is impossible to separate the extraction of energy resources
from local economic development and political stability..
The combination of energy extraction with development and stability appears
to be the strategy of the Russian government in the sleepy Caspian seaport of
Mahachkala, in the Russian republic of Dagestan. It appears that Moscow is
determined to transform Mahachkala into a major oil and gas terminal. It has
completed reconstruction of the petroleum pipeline from Baku to the Russian
Black Sea port of Novorossisk, bypassing Chechnya through Dagestani
territory. The pipeline now includes a 17-kilometer link to Mahachkala's
seaport, which has permitted officials in Russia's Transneft oil organization
to urge Western oil executives to transfer Turkmen and Kazakh crude through
Mahachkala's facilities..
There appear to be at least three related reasons for Moscow's interest in
Mahachkala's increasing hydrocarbon traffic. First, it is clear that Moscow
wants to support the Dagestani economy, and thereby contribute to the
Republic's political stability. Budgetary transfers from Moscow to Mahachkala
have increased sixfold in the last two years..
Second, Moscow has now recognized that Dagestan is the key to its presence in
the North Caucasus. Third, this presence is particularly important to Moscow
because Dagestan, on the Western shore of the Caspian, has historically been
the point of north-south connection in the region. If Moscow is to maintain
its presence in the southern Caspian-Caucasus region, it must maintain a
vital presence in Dagestan..
If these considerations are the basis of Moscow's strategy in the Caucasus
then that strategy makes sense in terms of the challenge posed by Caspian
hydrocarbon development. Among hydrocarbon basins the Caspian is uniquely
landlocked. From the Caspian Sea to Western industrial centers, all routes
for hydrocarbon transport run through the Caucasus..
It will be more difficult for the West to get anything into or out of the
Caspian basin if there are political problems in the Caucasus, and there will
be political problems in this impoverished region unless hydrocarbon
extraction results in local economic development..
An alternative to the Great Game would emphasize local stability, giving
greater attention to local cultures, problems and politics, with
international cooperation toward broad-based economic development. Only
through attention to regional stability will the players succeed in the
extraction of Caspian resources..
The writer, an assistant professor at Southern Illinois University,
contributed this comment to the International Herald Tribune.

FC Anzhi Makhachkala

FC Anzhi Makhachkala is a Russian football club based in Makhachkala, capital of Dagestan. Currently the club plays in the Russian First Division.

Colours are (Home) green shirts, white shorts (Away) yellow shirts,black shorts or red shirts with white arms, red shorts.

The club was founded in 1991 and has played in the Russian league since 1992. In 1992 the team entered the Second Division and played there until promotion in 1996, when Eduard Malofeev coached them. In 1999 Anzhi won the First Division. In 2000 the team debuted in the Top Division and just missed the bronze medals. A penalty was awarded against Anzhi on the 95th minute of the last league match, and Torpedo converted it to clinch the third position. Anzhi finished fourth, recording the best result in club's history. In 2001 they reached the final of the Russian Cup, but lost to Lokomotiv on penalties.

Anzhi were relegated from the Premier League in 2002 and play in the First Division since then.

Karatins (Karatas)


The self-designation is khkhiridi and their language is called khkhirlhi matshtshi. Karata belongs to the Andi subgroup of the northwest Dagestan languages (the Avar-Ando-Dido languages) in the Caucasian language family. Two dialects (Karata, Tokita) and four subdialects (Anchikh, Archi, Ratsitl and Rachabalda) are distinguishable. The Karata and Tokita dialects differ both in regard to phonetics and morphology, but they are mutually comprehensible. The Karatas do not have their own written language, the need is served by Avar which is widely known. The ancient vocabulary of the Karatas is fairly well preserved. There is a notable Avar and Russian influence especially in the vocabulary relating to everyday life and social-political terminology.

The Karatas inhabit ten villages in the Akhvakh and Khazavyurt districts of Dagestan. Nine of them lie on the left bank of the Andi-Koisu river: Karata, Rachabalda, Archo, Anchikh, Mashtada, Tshabakoro, Ratsitl and Tokita. The only Karata village located in the Khazavyurt district is Siukh. Their neighbours to the east and north are the Andis, to the west the Avars, and to the south the Akhvakhs and Bagulals.

Anthropologically the Karata belong to the Caucasus type of the Balkano-Caucasian race, characterized by fair pigmentation, a big head and high stature. Some characteristics of the Caspian type have been noted.

The first and the last census that counted the Karatas separately was carried out in 1926. After this they were counted as Avars. In academic publications since World War II there have been some cursory remarks about their number, but these are usually very approximate estimates.

In 1926 (official census data) -- 5,305, 100 % speakers, in 1958 (according to Y. Desheriyev) -- 6,000, in 1967 (according to Z. Magomedbekova) -- 5,000.

Denominationally the Karatas are Muslim (Sunnite). The first Islamic missionaries arrived on the banks of the Andi-Koisu in the 8th century but Islam became established only in the 16th century. In the 8th and 9th centuries Christianity was introduced into the northwestern part of Avaria and Karata with the help of Georgian and Kakhetian rulers in the west. Christianity lost ground after the campaigns of Timur (Tamerlane) and the disintegration of Georgia in the 13th and 14th centuries.

Ethnologically the Karatas and the Avars are very similar. This is evident in both the material culture and folk traditions. There are some local differences, but they are minimal.

The Avars and the Karatas share a similar history. Avaria as a territory and the Avars as an ethnic group were mentioned in the works of classical authors. It is not known when the Avar language separated from the Karata language. It is assumed that the multi-lingualism in the Andi-Koisu basin has been caused by long-term territorial isolation. This theory is refuted by the historical contacts and close economic integration among the Ando-Dido peoples in the Andi-Koisu basin. The Karata villages were only isolated from the lowlands by natural barriers. Today theories which support the endogamic organization of the community (L. Lavrov) or a polystructural political system (M. Aglarov) are more popular.

Between the 8th and 12th centuries Avaria was under the control of Arab conquerors. In the course of the Mongol-Tatar conquests of the 13th and 14th centuries and the Turkish-Persian invasion in the 15th century, the Avar khanate was formed. This was centred on the Karata habitat and, not later than the 18th century, a kind of social organization, a 'free community', had been established there. During the following centuries the Karatas were engaged in warfare with neighbouring Ando-Dido peoples. Conflicts arose chiefly because of controversy over grazing rights on alpine pastures. In the 18th century the Karata formed an alliance with the Gidatl community against the Akhvakh. The whole of the 19th century is characterized by unrest in northwestern Avaria due to the activities of the muridi (Islamic mystical brotherhood) under the leadership of Shamil, and the continuous warfare in the Caucasus. In spite of the fact that officially Dagestan and Avaria were joined with Russia in 1806, an administrative structure did not develop there until the 1870s.

The economic activity of the Karatas has always been dependant on natural conditions. The availability of good pastures in summer and winter, gave rise to the importance of seasonal stock farming. Sheep were kept, and in villages, cattle and horses also for work and transport purposes. Since there was a shortage of cultivable land and natural conditions were unfavourable, agriculture was only of secondary importance. A part of the problem was solved with irrigated terraced farming. Wheat, rye, flax, and later potatoes and vegetables, were grown. The prevailing type of economy was barter. Household handicrafts occupied an important place and were highly developed. People tried to improve their financial situation by doing odd jobs in other districts and towns of Avaria. The annexation of Dagestan to Russia gave the economy a boost as it laid a new basis for trade and finance. However, there was no rapid economic development, which might be attributed to the relative isolation of the area. On the other hand, the annexation did introduce colonialism which advocated the interests of central authorities, not the needs of local people.

The smallest unit of Karata society was the village community (dzhamat) whose highest organ was the village assembly (rukken). The assembly elected the village elder (chaubi) and his two helpers. The religious life of the community was directed by the qadi (an Islamic leader). With the establishment of Russian administration these institutions were linked to the Russian bureaucracy.

Soviet supremacy was officially recognized in Dagestan in 1920. There were several hindrances to the assertion of the new power. These hindrances were focused in nationalist and religious movements whose goal was independence. A strong separatist movement arose in the Ando-Dido area which sought to establish links with the Mountain State formed in Georgia in 1917. In order to strengthen its control Moscow used both force and more peaceful methods. The former prevailed before World War II, the latter following. Two campaigns were launched: collectivization and cultural revolution. Resistance to collectivization and an uprising in west Avaria in 1930 enabled the Soviets to openly employ armed force and to crush the nationalist movement.

Today, the key issues for the survival of the Karatas are: the vitality and preservation of their language; the preservation of material ethnic culture against the advance of European urban culture (clothing, furniture, household appliances, housing); the preservation of folk traditions against encroaching Soviet traditions. The most important of these is the preservation of the language, as this is the only thing that distinguishes the Karatas and the Avars. Today, Karata is only spoken at home. For communication outside the home and for administrative purposes the Karatas use Avar. The result is widespread bilingualism. The Soviet-style educational system adopted by the Avars helps the advance of other languages (primary education in Avar, secondary education in Russian). The Karata tongue is not taught at schools. At the same time, the Soviet educational system serves as a tool for centralized ideology and propaganda; it is dismissive of local national peculiarities and opposes free thought.

The encroachment of European urban culture is linked to the growth of towns, the loss of territorial isolation and the influx of mass-produced goods. Domestic handicrafts are dying out or acquiring the status of arts. The Soviet variant of the urbanization process continues and is to be seen as a furtherance of colonial policies.

Ethnic culture has been further damaged by the forcible inculcation of Soviet traditions. Old customs have been ridiculed and there has been strong atheistic propaganda. Schools have played a key role in shaping new attitudes. The results are apparent in the different attitudes to folk tradition expressed by the older and the younger generations. The old keep traditions alive while the young have abandoned them and have gradually adopted Soviet customs. The crisis is yet to come, but what has taken place already points to the complete eradication of any national characteristics.