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Russia/North Caucasus

CrisisWatch Russia/North Caucasus

Unchanged Situation

Amid ongoing security operations against militants, month saw continued tensions over land deal between Chechnya and Ingushetia and increased human rights violations. Despite 18 Jan submission to Kremlin of petition signed by more than 51,000 Ingush residents demanding cancellation of controversial Oct 2018 border deal, speakers of Chechen and Ingush parliaments 22 Jan held first meeting of new border commission and agreed to clarify “historical boundaries”. Russian LGBT Network human rights group 14 Jan reported that Chechen authorities have resumed large-scale arrests and torture of gay men and women with some 40 detained and two killed since Dec, sparking fears of renewed crackdown. Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov oversaw return of 30 Russian children from Iraq 30 Dec, marking resumption of efforts to repatriate family members of insurgents fighting for Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria as part of broader deradicalisation strategy; the 30 children are out of total of 115 expected to be returned soon. In Dagestan, authorities 11 Jan reported law enforcers shot dead three suspected militants who attacked patrol post in Karabudakhkent district. In Ingushetia, gunfire on car of head of Ingush Centre for Combating Extremism in Sunzha district left one policeman dead. In Kabardino-Balkaria, four assailants reported killed in attack on police post 24 Jan, one policeman injured. Elsewhere in Russia, speculation grew that 31 Dec explosion in Magnitogorsk which killed 39 was work of ISIS despite official denials.

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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
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

Latest Updates

“Nobody Wants Us”: The Alienated Civilians of Eastern Ukraine

With living conditions worsening, and crossfire still claiming casualties, people residing in eastern Ukraine’s conflict zone feel increasingly abandoned by the central government. Reintegrating the area requires Russian withdrawal, but in the meantime Kyiv can and should better protect civilians and meet humanitarian needs.

Also available in Українська

Prospects for a Deal to Stabilise Syria’s North East

Much of north-eastern Syria has been safe during the civil war. But in the event of U.S. military withdrawal, a mad scramble for control could be unleashed. Washington and Moscow should help their respective allies in Syria reach a decentralisation deal for the area.

Also available in العربية, 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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Anna Arutunyan

Senior Analyst, Russia
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