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Russia/North Caucasus

CrisisWatch Russia/North Caucasus

Unchanged Situation

Month saw another series of security operations in Chechnya, including large-scale operation against armed group allegedly affiliated with Islamic State (IS) in outskirts of Tsotsi-Yurt village, Kurchaloy district 10-12 Jan. Four suspected group members reported killed and one arrested during operation, two national guard members killed. Police arrested group’s alleged commander in Grozny 14 Jan; two other members arrested same day in Nalchik. At same time as 10-12 Jan Tsotsi-Yurt operation, law-enforcement officials detained dozens of people displaying visual symbols of adherence to Salafism in seven other villages nearby. Addressing local law-enforcement forces 14 Jan, Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov called them “ideological fighters”, urged them to expel families of fighters from their villages. Gathering of residents in Tsotsi-Yurt 14 Jan decided not to expel family members of insurgents killed in recent security operation, but ruled collective punishment would be enforced in future. Kadyrov claimed security services had followed armed group, which had been planning attacks since summer 2016, said over 50 members arrested. Three Counter Terrorist Operations (CTOs) conducted in Dagestan, killing at least four suspected militants. Month also saw rise in attacks on security and police forces throughout N Caucasus: some two dozen suspected militants reported killed, mostly in Dagestan and some in Chechnya; seven law enforcement officials killed in Dagestan and Chechnya; one civilian killed in Kabardino-Balkaria. “Memorial” human rights centre confirmed extrajudicial killing on 20 Dec of Madina Shakhbieva, suspected of being part of group that carried out attacks on police in Grozny 17-18 Dec. Kadyrov 24 Jan confirmed Chechen men are among Russian forces fighting alongside regime against rebels in Syria.

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Reports & Briefings

In The News

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

Project Director, Russia & North Caucasus
2 Nov 2016
[The Kremlin hopes] to promote Kadyrov as a brand, as someone who turned the war-torn republic into a peaceful and affluent place, who is loyal to the Putin regime and who promotes conservative values. Slate

Ekaterina Sokirianskaia

Project Director, Russia & North Caucasus
30 Jul 2016
They have a reputation for being pretty fearless fighters, which is why they move quite quickly up the hierarchy The Telegraph

Ekaterina Sokirianskaia

Project Director, Russia & North Caucasus

Our People

Ekaterina Sokirianskaia

Project Director, Russia & North Caucasus