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mountain range between Europe and the Middle East, from Latin Caucasus, from Greek kaukasis, said by Pliny ("Natural History," book six, chap. XVII) to be from a Scythian word similar to kroy-khasis, literally "(the mountain) ice-shining, white with snow." But possibly from a Pelasgian root *kau- meaning "mountain."
Note: Oil is its major resource. In World War II, the Germans tried to seize or neutralize this resource but were driven back by the Soviets.