The Dagestan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic
was an Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic
in the former Soviet Union
. This "Land of Mountains" was known also for having a "mountain of peoples," with more than 30 nationalities or ethnic groups indigenous to the territory. Although as part of its strategy to promote local languages, and to discourage pan-Turkic and pan-Islamic movements a half-dozen of these nationalities were provided with schooling in their native language at some point in Soviet history, Russian language became the most widespread second language and gradually the lingua franca, especially in urban areas.
A minor planet 2297 Daghestan discovered in 1978 by Soviet astronomer Nikolai Stepanovich Chernykh is named after Daghestan A.S.S.R.