Republic of North Ossetia-Alania

The Republic of North Ossetia-Alania shares a federal border with South Ossetia which is recognised by Russia and a few other states as an independent country, but most view it as part of Georgia. Both Ossetias make up the home of the Ossetians - a people who are descended from the Alans (hence the addition of Alania in the republic’s name) and speak Ossetian, a language belonging to the Iranian family of languages. The Ossetians are predominantly Orthodox Christian.

The republic’s capital is Vladikavkaz which was founded in 1784 as a Russian fortress during the Russian conquest of the Caucasus. Its name translates as ‘Lord of the Caucasus’.

Several Western governments advise against all but essential travel to the republic due to safety concerns and risks of terrorism.