By Valeriy Dzutsev (the 11/12/2013 issue of the CACI Analyst)
In a surprise move, Dagestan’s President Ramazan Abdulatipov has decreed to divide the republic into four sub-regions, each of which will have a plenipotentiary representative of the republican president. While Abdulatipov reassures the public that the move will strengthen Dagestan's unity, there is also a risk that it may worsen the conflict in the republic and increase demands for its actual division. The government’s decision to substitute substantive reforms in Dagestan with an administrative reshuffle is unlikely to resolve the conflict-prone republic's pressing problems.
By Valeriy Dzutsev (the 13/11/2013 issue of the CACI Analyst)
One by one, the North Caucasian republics are declining direct elections of governors, instead sticking to the appointment procedure by the President of Russia. Moscow appears to be orchestrating the process to ensure that completely loyal governors are in place in the restive region. Their loyalty, however, comes at the price of greater volatility and lower predictability in the region. Moscow’s policies in the North Caucasus illuminate the crisis of the highly centralized system of governance in Russia. Ironically, regions of Russia that are most adversely affected by the lack of a participatory political system are further deprived of popular voting mechanisms.
by Emil Souleimanov (06/26/2013 issue of the CACI Analyst)
On June 1, Makhachkala’s mayor Said Amirov was arrested and transported to Moscow by a military helicopter. The unexpected arrest of the controversial politician, referred to by many as Dagestan’s godfather, has raised questions both inside and outside this North Caucasian republic about the true motive behind a move that was certainly approved by the Kremlin authorities. Does Amirov’s arrest imply a significant change in Moscow’s strategy toward the region’s most volatile republic, or it is rather the outcome of a tactical move without far-reaching consequences for Dagestan’s politics and security?
by Valeriy Dzutsev (06/12/2013 issue of the CACI Analyst)
Hopes for improvement of the security situation in Dagestan gradually dissipate as attacks intensify in the republic. In spite of an anti-corruption campaign introduced by Dagestan’s new acting president, harsher government tactics appear to be matched by more exasperated attacks by the militants, while new anti-insurgency jamaats are formed to avenge the casualties of terrorist attacks. As an impressive administrative reshuffle ensues in the volatile republic, few substantive reforms are promised that could improve the situation in the long run, such as granting the Dagestani public more influence in the republic’s government.
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.