Аџач Валтежіш Ефішіеље Вепсаітча • Adźać Valteźiś Efiśieĺe Vepsaitća • Official Website of the Adzhatian State

The history of Adzhatia is somewhat complicated, as the physical country (the archipelago in the Barentsz Sea; the island of Valya and its surroundings) and the Adzhatian people didn't share their histories until around 1940. Around that year, the larger part of the Adzhatian people was moved from their homeland in western Russia to Valya. What prompted the move is not entirely clear. Some say that Stalin had a weak spot for the Adzhatians and their culture as the Adzhatian way of living resembled the ideal communism very closely. Others say that high ranking Adzhatians in Moscow brought up the idea of moving the entire people to Valya to build a more significant population on the island and create a workforce there for the contruction of submarines and other sorts of military vessels.

In the period between 1940 and 1990, much was done to make the Adzhatians get use to their new environment and to the indigenous Finno-Ugric people. The Adzhatians used to be a small agricultural, not very intellectual society, but now the pride of the Adzhatian people (within the Soviet Union) was boosted, state symbols created and the (written) language modernised. Much to thank for was the popular first Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Adzhatian A.S.S.R., Miheĺ Iĺicśŭn, who ruled (with one small interruption) from 1950 to 1986. He paved the way for Adzhatia to become an independent republic without too much trouble in 1991. The history of Adzhatia after 1990 is therefore one of a political somewhat chaotic, but societally coherent country.

History of the Adzhatian people
Originally the Adzhatian people inhabited the region that is now southeastern Belarus, northern Ukraine and the bordering regions of Russia; they were part of the Russian empire and after that of the Soviet Union. The highest concentrations of Adzhatians lived in the triangle of Gomel or Homieĺ (Belarus), Sumy (Ukraine) and Bryansk (Russia). They were a mostly agrarian society, although Homieĺ (Adzhatic: Ħŭmeĺ) had a large amount of urban Adzhatians. Other settlements with high concentrations of Adzhatians were Pocheb (Adzhatic: Pućei, now in Russia), Pogar (Adzhatic: Pugăŕ, now in Russia), Chausy (Adzhatic: Cvestei, now in Russia), Kholmy (Adzhatic: Ħŭlvei, now in Ukraine) and Shchors (Adzhatic: Śħureź, now in Ukraine). The number of ethnic Adzhatians was estimated on 22,000 in 1936. A few years later however, Soviet authorities ordered the massive involuntary relocation of the Adzhatians to the island of Valya in the Barentsz Sea, where they would get new lives in building and reparing military sea vessels, warships, submarines etc. For most Adzhatians however the forced move to the north meant surival, because many of the few Adzhatians that managed to stay behind, were killed during the War between Russia and Nazi-Germany. The population in the original region of the Adzhatians was estimated on something between 500 and 2000 in 2010. Most of them are in an advanced process of assimilation with Russians, Belarusians and Ukrainians (depending on where they live) and the Adzhatic language is dying out in this region as the youth is increasingly unable to speak it. The number of Adzhatians in the Adzhatian A.S.S.R. however grew significantly in the fifties and the sixties. The government stimulated families to have many children, in order to expand the work force. In 1981, the highest population rate was reached with slightly less than 800,000 inhabitants. After that, the population began to decline.



History of Valya
The largest island that is now part of the Adzhatian State is called Vaalo or Vaalon Saar in the Tansa language (Tansakeli), the most important local Finno-Ugric language on the island. In Norwegian and Swedish the island is known as Valø resp. Valö. In Russian it was first known as Валя ('Valya') or Вальски Остров ('Valski Ostrov'), later as Иличшунски Остров ('Ilichshunski Ostrov'). In Adzhatic the current official name of it is Valaze Saŕ / Валазе Саʀ. The most frequently used name in English is 'Valya'.

Although the first settlers were Sami people, the language became closer to Karelian and Finnish when the Tansa people (Tansalaen) came to Valya in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. In the summer of 1594, Valya was visited by the Dutch explorer Willem Barentsz during his first voyage to Novaya Zemlya. Although in later centuries there were also some settlers from Germanic origin (mostly Norwegians), the island was never officially claimed, until the Russian empire did so in 1874, after which the island was colonised by Russian administrators. The first town founded by Russians was Креста Город ('Kresta Gorod'), present-day Kercei.

Valya was however regarded as a remote and inhospitable corner of the empire, and only in the thirties and fourties of the twentieth century the Soviet authorities found a 'suitable' goal for it by moving the Adzhatian people there.