By Valeriy Dzutsev (05/21/2014 issue of the CACI Analyst)
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin is reshaping the administration of the North Caucasus and reshuffling his envoys to the region. The changes reflect Moscow’s frustration with the developments in this unstable territory, the declining financial resources of the central government, and a rebound of imperialist ideology in the Russian Federation. Previous attempts by the Russian government to use economic development as a policy tool to stop the violence and to assert greater control over the North Caucasus largely failed. Moscow’s fears of North Caucasian separatism still play a prominent role in the government’s policies in the region. Having crushed the large-scale insurgency, Russia still faces simmering conflict and has a profound lack of vision for the future of the region.
By Tomáš Baranec (the 19/02/2014 of the CACI Analyst)
On December 5, 2013, Patriarch Kirill publicly supported the plans of Stavropol governor Valery Zerenkov to resettle the Semirechensk Cossacks from Kyrgyzstan to the North Caucasus. This was the most recent in a series of signs showing the steady rise of official support for the Cossacks in the region. Initially this development was frequently attributed to the need for increasing the security of the upcoming Olympic Games in Sochi, highlighted by the recent terrorist attacks in Pyatigorsk and Volgograd. However, the amount of support the Cossacks have started to receive suggests that they may play a much more important role in the Kremlin's strategy.
By Valeriy Dzutsev (the 19/02/2014 of the CACI Analyst)
As the international community started to pay greater attention to the North Caucasus because of the Sochi Olympics, ethnic minorities’ complaints in the region significantly increased. In particular, the Circassians became highly vocal about their grievances. Given the authoritarian and increasingly nationalist regime in the Kremlin, the Russian government perceives the rise of activism among Circassians as a security threat. The Olympics served for Moscow as a certain type of litmus test that pointed to the areas of Russia’s vulnerability in the North Caucasus. Now, the aggrieved minorities and the central government appear to be entering a path of confrontation in already volatile region.
By Emil Souleimanov (the 05/02/2014 issue of the CACI Analyst)
Recently, frequent media reports of Azerbaijani citizens involved in the Syrian civil war have sparked a renewed interest in the possible impact of Arab revolutions on this post-Soviet country. Even though Azerbaijani authorities have sought to remain silent on the matter, news from both the South Caucasus and the Middle East suggest that Azerbaijani volunteers have increasingly been participating in the civil war hundreds of miles away from their homeland. Upon their return in Azerbaijan, they might pose a serious threat to the internal stability of the nation of nine million, located at the crossroads of Turkey, Iran, and Russia.
The Central Asia-Caucasus Analyst is a biweekly publication of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program, a Joint Transatlantic Research and Policy Center affiliated with the American Foreign Policy Council, Washington DC., and the Institute for Security and Development Policy, Stockholm. For 15 years, the Analyst has brought cutting edge analysis of the region geared toward a practitioner audience.