The Caucasian War of 1817–1864 was an invasion of the Caucasus by the Russian Empire which resulted in Russia's annexation of the areas of the North Caucasus, and the ethnic cleansing of Circassians. It consisted of a series of military actions waged by the Empire against the native peoples of the Caucasus including the Chechens, Adyghe, Abkhaz–Abaza, Ubykhs, Kumyks and Dagestanians as Russia sought to expand. Among the Muslims, resistance to the Russians was described as jihad. Russian control of the Georgian Military Highway in the center divided the Caucasian War into the Russo-Circassian War in the west and the Murid War in the east. Other territories of the Caucasus (comprising contemporary eastern Georgia, southern Dagestan, Armenia and Azerbaijan) were incorporated into the Russian Empire at various times in the 19th century as a result of Russian wars with Persia. The remaining part, western Georgia, was taken by the Russians from the Ottomans during the same period.