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 Valeriy Dzutsev (the 22/01/2014 issue of the CACI Analyst)
As the attacks of the North Caucasian insurgency appear to move closer to the region of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, the government further increases the security precautions. Apart from the failings of the Russian security services, the attacks highlight the growing support for the insurgents among the general population in the North Caucasus. Nearly extreme measures taken by Moscow to shield the Olympics from the North Caucasian insurgents further contribute to the isolation of this region from the rest of Russia and the rise of ethnic tensions. The situation around the Olympics looks increasingly odd as the sport event appears to be destined to take place in an area surrounded by a war zone.
By Emil Souleimanov (the 08/01/2014 issue of the CACI Analyst)
On the eve of the New Year's celebrations, two subsequent terrorist attacks hit Volgograd, located around 900 kilometers southeast of Moscow and around 650 kilometers northeast of Sochi. Leaving at least 34 dead and dozens injured, the Volgograd bombings raised questions regarding the ability of Russian intelligence and security services to properly anticipate and forestall terrorist attacks, and doubts about their capacity to ensure the security of the upcoming Winter Olympics. Additionally, the Volgograd bombings indicated a certain evolution of Russia's Jihadist underground that might have repercussions for the nation's security in the years to come.
By Emil Souleimanov and Megan Ouellette (the 27/11/2013 issue of the CACI Analyst)
On October 11, word spread through social media about the murder of a 25-year old Russian by a suspect from the Caucasus during a street clash in Moscow’s southern periphery, an event that prompted anti-immigrant riots in Moscow accompanied by attacks on foreigners’ properties as well as foreigners themselves. The alleged murderer was arrested a few days later by Russian police, yet the scope of the riots and the authorities’ subsequent response signaled that much more was behind the incident than a simple, yet tragic, homicide.
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.