Abazinia, Abazashta or Abaza is a historical country at the northern mountainside of the Caucasus Major, now the northern part of Karachay–Cherkessian Republic, Russia. Abazinia is a home of the Abazins, a people related to the Abkhaz people and speaking the Abazin language.
Abazinia once was a part of the Kingdom of Abkhazia. The ancestors of the Abazins were the Sadz, lived at the Black Sea, but forced to resettle to the mountains under the Ubykh pressure. In 16th-18th century Abazinia was a part of Kabarda and was often raided by the Crimeans. Since the 19th century Abazinia is a part of the Russian Empire. During the rule of Kabardians, Crimeans and Russians some Abazins were forcibly resettled from their homeland.
The Soviet power was proclaimed there in 1918. On April 1, 1918 Abazinia was made a part of the Kuban Soviet Republic. On May 28 of that year it was made part of the Kuban-Black Sea Soviet Republic. From July 5-December 1918 it was in the North Caucasus Soviet Republic. On January 20, 1921 it was made a part of the Mountainous ASSR. Then on January 12, 1922 it was made a part of the Karachay–Cherkess Autonomous Oblast, South-Eastern Krai. On April 26 in that same year it was made a part of the Cherkess Autonomous Oblast, Stavropol Krai. Beginning on January 9, 1957 it was a part of the recreated Karachay–Cherkess Autonomous Oblast, Stavropol Krai.
In 1990-1991 the Abazin national movements Adgylara («Адгылара») and Apsadghyl («Апсадгъыл»,) as well as the Congress of Abaza and Circassian people claimed a national region for the Abazins. Circass-Abazin and Nogai-Abazin Republics were proposed to produce a region without Karachays dominance. However the government of Russia did not take this course of action.
At the congress of the Abazin deputies in November 1991 the Abazin Republic was proclaimed with the capital in the aul of Psyzh. The republic wasn't recognized by the authorities of the RSFSR. Instead Abazinia remained a part of Karachay–Cherkessia, which gained a republic status on November 30, 1990.
In January 1995 the congress of the Abazin people claimed an autonomous Abazi region within Stavropol Krai. At June 27, 2005 a Special Congress of the Abazin People bound the head of 13 Abazin auls, situated in 5 different districts of Karachay-Cherkesia to leave this districts to emerge to Abazinsky District. At December 25, 2005 referendum 99% of Abazinia population voted for the establishment of this district. July 1, 2006 the premier-minister of the Russian Federation decreed the district with center in Inzhich-Chukun. Municipalities Psyzh, Elburgan, Inzhich-Chukun, Kubina and Kara-Pago was passed from the Prikubansky District, Ust-Dzhegutinsky District and Khabezsky District. Abazinsky District will be eventually formed at January 1, 2009.
According to the 2002 census, there were 37,942 Abazins in Russia. An Abazin diaspora exists in Turkey, Jordan, Syria, Egypt (which features the Abaza family, one of the wealthiest and most powerful families in Egypt)Abaza family, and other Islamic countries, most of which are descendants of refugees (muhajirs) from the Caucasian War with the Russian Empire.
There is a significant Abazin presence in Turkey. An estimated number of 150,000 Abazins live in the provinces of Eskişehir, Samsun, Yozgat, Adana and Kayseri-Uzunyayla (the long plateau). Most of them belong to Ashkharua clan that fought against the Tsarist army and emigrated to Turkey after losing the battle of Kbaada (Krasnaya Polyana in today's Sochi), whereas the Tapanta clan fought with the Russian forces.