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    Chechen Republic (Chechnya)

Geography

The Chechen Republic is located on the northern slopes of the Greater Caucasus and in the adjoining Chechen plain and Terek-Kuma lowlands. The total land area of Chechnya is about 15,000 sq km (about 5,800 sq mi).The highest peak in Chechnya is Mount Tebulosmta (4,493 m/14,741 ft). In the north are plains and lowlands consisting of sandy ridges and hills. The Terek and Sunzha valleys of western Chechnya are the republics agricultural centers. Chechnya has hot summers and cold winters. Temperatures are typically lower and precipitation levels higher in the mountain areas.

Chechnya's main mineral wealth is oil. All in all, the republic has about 30 oil fields, which in November 2002 were yielding up to 4,000 tons of oil a day. The locals have used this black gold for domestic needs and medicinal purposes since ancient times, extracting it from oil springs and specially dug wells.

At the beginning of last century, commercial oil was produced at only three fields. The Soviet authorities ordered detailed studies to be made of the geological structure of the Grozny oil province, which discovered a string of new oil deposits.

Special mention should also be made of the many mineral springs with great therapeutic properties. The availability of mineral water sources of various chemical compositions and temperatures could allow a wide network of spa treatment facilities to be established here. In Soviet times, a resort called Sernovodsk was open in Chechnya. The republic is also rich in woods. The most widespread species is beech, which is used to make furniture, music instruments, plywood and parquet. Hornbeam, oak, ash, maple, elm and linden are also used for commercial purposes.

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