It is home to the Caucasus Mountains, which contain Europe's highest mountain, Mount Elbrus. Politically, the Caucasus region was separated between northern and southern parts. The southern parts consisted of independent sovereign states, and the northern parts were under the jurisdiction of the Russian Federation.
The region was known for its linguistic diversity: aside from Indo-European and Turkic languages, the Kartvelian, Northwest Caucasian, and Northeast Caucasian language families were local to the area. There were more than 50 ethnic groups living in the region.