42°37′04″N 47°15′33″E / 42.61778°N 47.25917°E / 42.61778; 47.25917

Karamakhi (Russian: Карамахи; Dargwa: Хъарамахи; Kumyk: Къарамахи юрт, Qaramahi yurt) is a rural locality (a selo) in Buynaksky District of the Republic of Dagestan, Russia.[1][2] Population: 4,537 (2010 Census);[3] 3,647 (2002 Census).[4]


In 1997–1999, Karamakhi (along with the village of Chabanmakhi) became a hotbed of radical Islamism. The majority of the villages' inhabitants accepted the ideology of the radical Jamaat movement, and the local Muslim community became a tiny Wahhabi republic, the advance guard of radical Islam in Dagestan. Young people in search of "pure Islam" flocked to these villages from all over Dagestan and other republics of the Northern Caucasus. Karamakhi became a heavily fortified militant stronghold.[2][5] Sharia law was put in force in the villages.[2] Muhajideen warlord Ibn Al-Khattab made Karamakhi the headquarters of his Islamic Army of the Caucasus.[6] In August 1998, the local governments of Karamakhi, Chabanmakhi and Kadar declared the three villages as "liberated Islamic territory."[7]

The village was the scene of heavy fighting during the Invasion of Dagestan, after Chechnya-based militants had launched an armed incursion to Dagestan from Chechnya.[8] In late August, the Russian military began aerial bombardments of Karamakhi.[2] These bombings were later mentioned by the Liberation Army of Dagestan and by Chechen leader Shamil Basayev as the reason for launching the 1999 Russian apartment bombings, as revenge.[9]


  1. ^ Государственный комитет Российской Федерации по статистике. Комитет Российской Федерации по стандартизации, метрологии и сертификации. №ОК 019-95 1 января 1997 г. «Общероссийский классификатор объектов административно-территориального деления. Код 82 211 848», в ред. изменения №278/2015 от 1 января 2016 г.. (State Statistics Committee of the Russian Federation. Committee of the Russian Federation on Standardization, Metrology, and Certification. #OK 019-95 January 1, 1997 Russian Classification of Objects of Administrative Division (OKATO). Code 82 211 848, as amended by the Amendment #278/2015 of January 1, 2016. ).
  2. ^ a b c d Roschin, Mikhail (October 2000). "Dagestan and the war next door". Institute for Study of Conflicts, Ideology and Policy. Archived from the original on June 25, 2011. Retrieved May 31, 2009.
  3. ^ Russian Federal State Statistics Service (2011). Всероссийская перепись населения 2010 года. Том 1 [2010 All-Russian Population Census, vol. 1]. Всероссийская перепись населения 2010 года [2010 All-Russia Population Census] (in Russian). Federal State Statistics Service.
  4. ^ Russian Federal State Statistics Service (May 21, 2004). Численность населения России, субъектов Российской Федерации в составе федеральных округов, районов, городских поселений, сельских населённых пунктов – районных центров и сельских населённых пунктов с населением 3 тысячи и более человек [Population of Russia, Its Federal Districts, Federal Subjects, Districts, Urban Localities, Rural Localities—Administrative Centers, and Rural Localities with Population of Over 3,000] (XLS). Всероссийская перепись населения 2002 года [All-Russia Population Census of 2002] (in Russian).
  5. ^ Koponen, Kalle (August 22, 1999). "HS pääsi kapinoivaan wahhabiittikylään "Olemme Jumalan sotureita"". Helsingin Sanomat (in Finnish).
  6. ^ Souleimanov, Emil (2005). "Chechnya, Wahhabism and the invasion of Dagestan". Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved May 31, 2009.
  7. ^ Murphy, Paul (2004). The Wolves of Islam: Russia and the Faces of Chechen Terror. Potomac Books Inc. ISBN 978-1-57488-830-0.
  8. ^ Pashin, Alexander. "Russian Army Operations and Weaponry During Second Military Campaign in Chechnya". Moscow Defense Brief. Centre for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies (3/2002). Archived from the original on May 1, 2014. Retrieved May 29, 2009.
  9. ^ Geoffrey York, "Guerilla chief links explosions, Dagestan". The Globe and Mail, September 17, 1999, p. A9.