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May 2006

The Caucasus region

The Caucasus region

Caucasus (KAW-kuh-zus), region and mountain system, Southeast Europe, Russia, Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan; extends c.750 mi/1,207 km from the mouth of the Kuban River on the Black Sea Southeast to the Apsheron Peninsula on the Caspian Sea.

As a divide between Europe and Asia, the Caucasus has two major regions - North Caucasia (Russia) and Transcaucasia (Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan). The two areas are connected by the military roads and railroads. Persians, Khazars, Arabs, Huns, Turko-Mongols, and Russians have invaded and migrated into the Caucasus and have given the region its ethnic and linguistic complexity. Today, over 40 languages are spoken by the 100 ethnic groups here.

CIA World Factbook; Columbia Gazetteer, 1994, 2005