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Russia/North Caucasus

CrisisWatch Russia/North Caucasus

Unchanged Situation

Four gunmen attacked Russian orthodox church in centre of Chechen capital Grozny 19 May, killing two police and one churchgoer, and injuring two police and another churchgoer; police shot dead all four suspected attackers. Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov said attackers were attempting to take hostages; Islamic State (ISIS) claimed it was responsible; Kadyrov said ISIS was not behind the attack because there were no ISIS members in Chechnya. Kadyrov 28 May said he was ordering DNA tests to help repatriate children born in Middle East to parents who left North Caucasus to join ISIS. French police reported that suspect in 12 May knife attack in Paris in which one person was killed and four injured was naturalised citizen born in Chechnya; ISIS claimed he was one of its “soldiers”. Chechen Supreme Court 4 May rejected appeal by Oyub Titiyev, director of Chechnya office of Memorial human rights organisation, against extension of his pre-trial detention.

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Reports & Briefings

In The News

5 Apr 2018
[The] assumption that [President Putin has] a grand evil plan only feeds the domestic myth of a Russia under siege. Newsweek

Anna Arutunyan

Senior Analyst, Russia
16 Mar 2018
Russia needs both the Syrian regime and Turkey. So it has to give a little bit to both and it has to ... make them equally angry, if that's what it wants. Rudaw

Joost Hiltermann

Program Director, Middle East and North Africa
9 Mar 2018
In the end [Moscow] will want a political solution in Syria, and economic reconstruction. For that they will need European input and money and investment. The Christian Science Monitor

Joost Hiltermann

Program Director, Middle East and North Africa
2 Mar 2018
After the nuclear deal, in 2015, Putin worried about rapprochement between Iran and the U.S. A lot has changed. Russia is now Iran’s most important and powerful ally. The New Yorker

Ali Vaez

Project Director, Iran
21 Nov 2017
[For the heads of state attending the Sochi summit], one of the principal [questions] is what form the Kurdish participation in Geneva will take. I do not see the Turks making progress on this point. AFP

Noah Bonsey

Senior Analyst, Syria
9 Feb 2017
[Local barons in Russia's republics often] consolidate their positions in ministries, place their friends and relations in important posts and use various corrupt practices to siphon off resources. Open Democracy

Ekaterina Sokirianskaia

Former Project Director, Russia & North Caucasus

Latest Updates

Keeping the Calm in Southern Syria

As the Syrian regime masses its forces to recapture the country’s south west from the opposition, another humanitarian disaster looms. The U.S., Russia and Jordan, which brokered a south-western ceasefire in 2017, should urgently extend that truce in preparation for a broader settlement.

Also available in العربية, עברית

What to Expect of President Putin’s Foreign Policy in His New Term

Many wonder what the world should expect now that Russia’s Vladimir Putin has been re-elected for what is supposed to be his final term. Understanding what motivates the Kremlin could help Western policymakers build an approach toward Russia that combines pressure with opportunities for engagement.

Peacekeeping in Ukraine’s Donbas: Opportunities and Risks

The prospect of a UN peacekeeping force in Ukraine's Donbas offers a rare opening to discuss how to resolve the conflict. But Moscow's diplomatic overtures also risk fueling political infighting in Kyiv in the run-up to next year's presidential and parliamentary elections.

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Ekaterina Sokirianskaia

Former Project Director, Russia & North Caucasus