Autonomous republic of S Russian Federation.
area 50,300 sq km/19,421 sq mi
physical E of the Caucasus, bordering the Caspian Sea. Mountainous, with deep valleys
industries engineering, oil, chemicals, woodworking, textiles, and agriculture (wheat and grapes), sheep farming, and cattle breeding
Over 30 ethnic groups, with a wide variety of languages
history annexed 1723 from Persia, which strongly resisted Russian conquest; an autonomous republic from 1921.