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Russia/North Caucasus

CrisisWatch Russia/North Caucasus

Unchanged Situation

Concerns continued to grow over tensions within Ingushetia and with its neighbouring republic Chechnya over controversial Sept 2018 border delineation deal between the two republics. After late March mass protests in Ingushetia against border deal, during which reports emerged of clashes with police and some police refusing to stop protests, security forces reportedly searched homes of five Ingush activists, members of NGO Ingush Congress of National Unity, 3 April, and detained two activists. Several activists also fined or jailed early April over March rallies; eight reportedly sent to Kabardino-Balkaria regional capital Nalchik for pre-trial detention; arrests continued throughout month. Protesters planned more demonstrations, but authorities denied permits. Chechnya and Dagestan 16 April announced they had suspended ongoing negotiations over border delineation in light of unrest in Ingushetia. Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) 23 April detained five suspected members of Islamic State (ISIS) in Dagestan and Chechen capitals, alleged to have been planning terrorist attacks including one involving a drone, and seized arms, ammunition and bomb components. National Antiterrorism Committee 3 April reported that police had shot dead two suspected militants in Kabardino-Balkaria who refused order to stop their car and opened fire on police.  Russian Security Council head Nikolai Patrushev 19 April reported that in 2018 security services had killed 64 alleged militants and detained and convicted 285 in North Caucasus, and disrupted 37 terrorist cells. U.S. imposed travel ban on Chechen PM Muslim Khuchiyev, citing “credible information” that he “was involved in torture”; Moscow said decision reflected “further deteriorating” bilateral relations and said it would “not be left unanswered”.

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Reports & Briefings

In The News

11 Sep 2018
[Russia is] targeting the [African] regimes that do have not have very good relations with the west or who are dissatisfied with west like Sudan, Zimbabwe and CAR. The Guardian

Thierry Vircoulon

Former Senior Consultant, Central Africa
27 Aug 2018
[The rapprochement between Russia and Turkey] demonstrates a striking level of pragmatism in this relationship. Associated Press

Anna Arutunyan

Senior Analyst, Russia
6 Aug 2018
The current situation does not contribute to the post-war reconciliation [between Russia and Georgia] - it only fuels conflict with an increasing feeling of injustice for [people] living near the dividing line. Al Jazeera

Olesya Vartanyan

Analyst, Eastern Neighbourhood
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

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Anna Arutunyan

Senior Analyst, Russia