Southern Russia or the South of Russia (Russian: Юг России, Yug Rossii) is a colloquial term for the southernmost geographic portion of European Russia generally covering the Southern Federal District and the North Caucasian Federal District.
The term does not conform to any official areas of the Russian Federation as designated by the Russian Classification on Objects of Administrative Division (OKATO).
The Caucasus has been inhabited for millennia. Eastern Slavic tribes, like the Antes, inhabited Southern Russia at least from the 3rd century. Southern Russia played an important role in the influence of Byzantine culture on Russia. Persian culture has also left its traces in Southern Russia. At the beginning of the second millennium, between Volga and Don, Turkic tribes established in the South of Russia Tatar states. According to historical sources, the Russian lands in Southern Russia adopted the Islamic faith after contact with the Mongols.
During the Russian Civil War (1917–1922), a territory called South Russia briefly existed from 1919 to 1920, which spanned the southern parts of the Russian Empire, including portions of Ukraine. In Soviet historiography, it also was referred to as "White South" in reference to the White Army that fought the Bolsheviks there along with the Armed Forces of South Russia and the Volunteer Army.
Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, the area of Southern Russia approximately spans two of the nine federal districts of Russia, which contain a combined 15 federal subjects of which two are disputed with Ukraine:
In relation to the official economic regions of Russia, most of Southern Russia is included in the North Caucasus economic region, with the exception of the Astrakhan Oblast, the Republic of Kalmykia and the Volgograd Oblast, which are part of the Volga economic region.