The Chechen Republic of Ichkeria is located in the southeastern part of the North Caucasus (partially in Eastern Europe). It is on the northern slopes of the Greater Caucasus and in the adjoining Chechen plain and Terek-Kuma lowlands. The total land area of Chechnya is about 19,300 sq km. Chechnya is surrounded on nearly all sides by the Russian Federation. In the west, it borders North Ossetia and Ingushetia; in the north, Stavropol Krai; in the east, Dagestan; and to the south, Georgia. The capital of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria is Dzhokhar Ghala (Grozny).
Chechnya can be divided into four parts: plains, foothills, mountains and highlands. In the northern and north-eastern parts of Chechnya there are sandy steppes. Northwestern, western, central and eastern parts of the Chechnya lands are covered by plains and foothills. The southern and southeastern parts of Chechnya lie in the Greater Caucasus mountain range, forming a series of valleys.
The highest peak in Chechnya and also the Eastern Caucasus is Mountain Tebulosmta at an elevation of 4,493 meters (14,737 feet) above sea level. The mountain is located on the border of Chechnya and Georgia to the east of Mount Kazbek. The glaciers of the mountain are not large (the total combined area of all of the mountain’s glaciers is 3 square kilometers).
The Terek and Sunzha valleys of western Chechnya are the republic’s agricultural centers. Chechnya has hot summers and cold winters; temperatures are typically lower and precipitation levels higher in the mountain areas.
Chechnya’s main mineral wealth is oil. All in all, the republic has about 30 oil fields, which in November 2002 were yielding up to 4,000 tons of oil a day. The locals have used this black gold for domestic needs and medicinal purposes since ancient times, extracting it from oil springs and specially dug wells.
At the beginning of the last century, commercial oil was produced in only three fields. The Soviet authorities ordered detailed studies to be made of the geological structure of the Grozny oil province, which uncovered a string of new oil deposits.
Special mention should also be made of the many mineral springs with great therapeutic properties. The availability of mineral water sources of various chemical compositions and temperatures could allow a wide network of spa treatment facilities to be established here. In Soviet times, a resort called Sernovodsk was opened in Chechnya. The republic is also rich in woods. The most widespread species is beech, which is used to make furniture, musical instruments, plywood and parquet. Hornbeam, oak, ash, maple, elm and linden are also used for commercial purposes.
- Area: 19,300 sq km
- North Ossetia-Alania
Chechnya is located in the Moscow Time Zone (MSK/MSD). UTC offset is +0300 (MSK)/+0400 (MSD).