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Russia/North Caucasus

CrisisWatch Russia/North Caucasus

Deteriorated Situation

Several police injured in three attacks allegedly carried out by minors in Chechnya 20 Aug; knife attack on district police station in Shali town injuring two officers, carried out by two alleged perpetrators who were shot dead; alleged perpetrator blowing himself up at police post in Merker-Yurt village without injuring others; and vehicle used to hit police officers in capital Grozny, driver shot dead. At least five alleged attackers died during incidents; Chechen information minister told media that attackers’ ages ranged from eleven to sixteen years old, authorities said driver in latter incident was younger brother of convicted terrorist Khizir Akhmatkhanov. Islamic State (ISIS) claimed responsibility, Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov denied ISIS claim, saying group has no support in Chechnya. Police reportedly detained up to 200 teenagers in Shali for interrogation 23-25 Aug; Kadyrov pledged to collectively punish alleged attackers’ relatives. Thousands gathered in Geldagen village to attend burial of Yusup Temerkhanov, convicted of 2011 murder of Russian colonel who was convicted of murdering Chechen teenager in 2000; Temerkhanov died in prison in Siberia 3 Aug. Kadyrov 23 Aug said he would ban from region human rights activists, who have been travelling to Chechnya to attend trial of Oyub Titiyev, director of Chechnya office of Memorial human rights organisation, once trial is over, saying they were provocateurs like terrorists and extremists; international rights groups called on Kremlin to safeguard rights defenders’ access to Chechnya and ensure Titiyev’s release.

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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

Senior Consultant, Central Africa
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
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

Latest Updates

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Also available in Türkçe

Video: Russia and Turkey in the Black Sea and the South Caucasus

Crisis Group's Europe & Central Asia Program Director Magdalena Grono talks about the relations between Russia and Turkey as they reflect on the Black Sea and the South Caucasus.

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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.

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Ekaterina Sokirianskaia

Former Project Director, Russia & North Caucasus