One year and 13 days of existence of the Mountain Republic

One year and 13 days of existence of the Mountain Republic
One year and 13 days of existence of the Mountain Republic

Against the backdrop of the weakening and subsequent destruction of the Russian Empire at the beginning of the 20th century, new states began to emerge on its ruins. In 1918, the North Caucasian peoples proclaimed the creation of an independent Mountain Republic, consisting of seven national entities. In the short period of its existence, the country has been recognized by several states interested in weakening Russia.


With the strengthening of the revolutionary movement in Russia, and consequently the weakening of the central government, centrifugal tendencies intensified in the country. In May 1917, a congress of the North Caucasian peoples was held in Vladikavkaz, which announced the creation of the Union of United Highlanders of the North Caucasus and Dagestan. Which later became the forerunner of the creation of an independent Mountain Republic. The main efforts of the Union were focused on the creation of a pan-Caucasian state in the form of a confederation.

caucasian family

In the organization of associationsprominent representatives of the highlanders and other nationalities took part. Including the future leaders of the mountainous republic Abdul Mejid (Tapa) Chermoev (a Chechen) and Pshemakho Kotsev (a Kabardian) and its Foreign Minister Gaidar Bammat (a Dagestani).

The future head of Denikin's Chechnya, General Eliskhan Aliyev, and Nazhmudin Gotsinsky, who was later proclaimed mufti of the North Caucasus, actively participated in state building. The second congress was to be held in the Dagestan village of Andi, where not all the delegates arrived. And they failed to come up with a common solution. Some suggested creating a religious state similar to Imam Shamil's "Imamat", but others felt that the times were already different, and they needed to follow the secular path.

Foundation of the State

Map of the Mountain Republic

In the spring of 1918, against the backdrop of the unfolding Civil War, the mountain leaders began to seek support from Turkey, Germany and Austria operating in the Transcaucasus. In early May of the same year, the creation of the Mountain Republic was proclaimed at the Batumi Conference. The Highlanders' Union became the first government to be headed by the Chechen oilman Abdul Mejid (Tapa) Chermoev, the son of a general in the Russian army. Already next year, the delegation of the North Caucasian peoples, at a peace conference in Paris, make efforts to establish relations with various countries, including France, the United States, England, Italy and Japan. But to no avail.

Turkey, Germany and the Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan immediately officially recognized the new state. Some countriesopened their representative offices under the North Caucasian government. And Azerbaijan even allocated a loan in the amount of 8 million rubles for the development of the economy and the armament of the army, which was never returned.

Symbols of power

Republic leaders

During its existence (from May 1918 to May 1919), three leaders were replaced in the new republic. After Chermoev, the Kabardian Pshemakho Kotsev became the second, and then the Dagestani Mikhail Khalilov led the North Caucasian government.

The design of the flag of the Mountainous Republic was developed by the famous Dagestan artist Khalilbek Musayasul. It existed in two versions: with green or red stripes and stars in the upper left corner. The more famous first option is still used by emigrants from the North Caucasus. Many have noted the resemblance to the Stars and Stripes American flag. Some researchers think that the artist really deliberately copied the style, associating the United States with a free country.

First escape

Mountain government recognized in a relatively small area of ​​the North Caucasus. The main cities were under the rule of councils of deputies and local self-government, which received support from red Astrakhan and soldiers returning home from the front.

After the outbreak of the Civil War in the Caucasus and the aggravation of interethnic conflicts, the government finally lost power and actually collapsed. The remnants of the leadership fled to Georgia.

Disintegration of the Republic

Grave of Prshemakho Kotsev in Turkey

In May 1918,in Batumi, occupied by Turkish troops, the second government of the Mountain Republic was launched. Which announced the abolition of all decrees of the Soviet government, the return to the owners of their pastures, forests and water resources. Agreements were signed with the Cossack and White Guard units on a joint fight against the Reds, and the formation of their own army began.

However, in May 1919, the troops of General Denikin took control of the territory of the North Caucasus. General Khalilov announced his self-dissolution, for which many still condemn him. But 1.5 thousand poorly armed highlanders could not resist 5,000 white troops. The Mountain Republic lasted for one year and 13 days.

In the land of the Soviets

Constituent Congress

In January 1921, a founding congress was held in Vladikavkaz, at which the People's Commissar for Nationalities JV Stalin made a report on behalf of the Soviet government. Stalin said that they recognized the internal sovereignty of the mountain peoples, for which they had fought for centuries. And he proposed to create a Mountain Soviet Republic (socialist) with broad rights of autonomy. The congress agreed, on the condition that: non-interference of the central government in internal affairs be maintained; people will live according to Sharia and adat laws; the lands taken away by the tsarist government from the local population will be returned.

All conditions were accepted by the parties, some lands were returned to the Ingush and Chechens, part of the Cossack villages were resettled deep into Russia. The Congress established the Gorskaya Autonomous Soviet SocialistRepublic. It included the districts: Chechnya, Ingushetia, Ossetia, Kabarda, Balkaria and Karachay. Their population at that time was 1.286 million people. The Mountain Autonomous Republic lasted until 1924, when it was divided into national autonomous regions by decree of the Central Government.

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