The Kabards were known in the 9th cent. They occupied the land in the foothills of the central Caucasus between the 13th and 15th cent. It is not known when the Balkars settled. They have a mixed Black Bulgar, Alan, and Cuman heritage. The Kabard area became a Muscovite protectorate in 1557. Its annexation by Russia began with the treaty of Kuchuk Kainarji (1774) and was completed in 1827. The area was organized as an region in 1922 and became an autonomous republic in 1936. In 1944 the Balkars, accused of collaborating with the Germans, were deported, and their area, the upper Baksan valley, was ceded to the Georgian SSR. The area was then renamed Kabardinian Autonomous SSR. In 1957, their exile having been ended, the Balkars began to return and the area assumed its old name. Karbardino-Balkar became a full republic in 1991, and was a signatory to the Mar. 31, 1992, treaty that created the Russian Federation (see Russia ). In 2005 the violence in nearby Chechnya spilled over into the republic when militants with ties to the Chechen rebels mounted coordinated attacks in Nalchik, and in subsequent years the region experienced fighting between Islamic militants and security forces.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: CIS and Baltic Political Geography