Kabardino-Balkar Republic was established in January, 1991. Nalchik is the administrative center of the republic. Its territory covers 12470 square kilometers: 100 km from the north to the south and 175 km from the west to the east. According to the Population Census of 2002 the population of the republic is 902 thousand people. Kabardino-Balkaria is a multinational republic, represented by more than 100 ethnic groups. The Republic consists of 10 administrative-territorial districts, 8 cities and towns, two of them are under republican's jurisdiction, 4 semi urban centers. There are also 113 rural settlement administrations.
The republic is situated on the northern flank of the central part of the Caucasus and adjoining Kabardian plain.
Kabardino-Balkar Republic borders Georgia, Stavropol region, the Republic of North Ossetia-Alania and Karachay-Chercess Republic.
The republic is rather peculiar due to natural contrasts, original relief that combines dry steppes and semidesert zones in the north and floriferous plains of foothills, luxuriant alpestrine meadows and mountains, cliffs and unapproachable glaciers covered with everlasting snow in the south. There is a number of unique natural complexes and sights on the territory of Kabardino-Balkaria. Cascaded waterfalls in Chegemskoe gorge, famous Golubye Lakes, dolines and caves of the Malkinskoe gorge, etc. Mountains cover half of the territory of the republic with the highest Mt. of Europe Elbrus (5642 metres).