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Karachai-Cherkassia Republic of the Russian Federation in the n Caucasus Mountains; the capital is Cherkessk. It was a autonomous region within the Soviet Union (1926–43) until Stalin deported much of the Muslim population. In 1957 Karachai-Cherkassia was established as an autonomous region. In 1992 it became a republic of the Russian Federation. Area: 14,100sq km (5442sq mi). Pop. (2000 est.) 434,700.