Frequent flights: Moscow - Mineralnye Vody. Much less frequent: Moscow to Nalchik direct. Also, St Petersburg to Mineralnye Vody.
A busy road follows the NE edge of the plain (steppe) where it abuts the Central Caucasus, is served by various express and local bus routes. Mineralnye Vody- Nalchik, 106km. Nalchik Alagir, 103km. Alagir - Ordzhonikidze (Vladikavkaz), 44 km. Notes about these and other to and villages are given in the valley data.
In Russia the bulk of this area consists of the so-called autonomous regional "republic" of Kabardino-Balkaria. Then the patchwork of ethnic groups becomes more unstable. Adjoining to the E is smaller similar region of North Ossetia, centred on the Urukh and Ardon valleys. Another region claiming "independence" further E, Checheno-lngushetia, is separated by the Terek river, Vladikavkaz in a sort of no-mans-land.