Beslan ( _ru. Бесла́н; Ossetic: unicode|Беслӕн) is a town located in the Republic of North Ossetia-Alania, Russia. It lies about fifteen kilometers north of Vladikavkaz and is the administrative center of Pravoberezhny District. Beslan is the third largest town in the republic behind Vladikavkaz and Mozdok. Its population as of the 2002 Census was 35,550 (up from 32,469 recorded in the 1989 Census).

Important features

Beslan is an important railway junction, situated on the main line between Rostov-on-Don and Baku, and is the starting point of a branch line to Vladikavkaz. It is an industrial-agricultural town dominated by a large corn processing plant established in the 1940s.


The town was founded in 1847 by migrants from elsewhere in Ossetia and was named "Beslanykau" ("the settlement of Beslan") after a local lord, Beslan Tulatov. In official use, though, the town was known after Tulatov's surname as "Tulatovo" or "Tulatovskoye". It was renamed "Iriston (Ossetia)" in 1941 and in 1950, when the rapidly industrializing town was unified into a single municipality, it was renamed as Beslan.

Beslan school hostage crisis

On September 1, 2004, Beslan's Secondary School Number One was seized by a group of at least 32 terrorists related to the Second Chechen War. The siege ended on September 3 with a bloody shootout between the terrorists and the Russian security forces. According to official data, 334 civilians were killed, 186 of them children, and hundreds more wounded.

Ethnic groups

Ethnic groups in the town (2002 data):
*Ossetians (81.77%)
*Russians (13.51%)

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