Head of department, Institute of Oriental Studies
Russian Academy of Sciences Ph. D (History)
If one should believe assessments of Moscow and foreign press in recent months (the summer of 2005), Russia is on the verge of a social explosion in Daghestan1 . It is a common view of observers of differing orientations. Though some of them ascribe the wave of assassinations of Daghestan militiamen, officials and politicians to the Islamist "rebel army", while others refer to "illegal armed gangs", this does not change the essence of their reports. These assessments surely have an element of exaggeration. At any rate, there was still no civil war in Daghestan in early September of 2005. Nevertheless, there is no reason to heave a sigh of relief, and the Russian custom of "trusting to luck" can hardly help in this case.
Of late, the federal authorities have decided to stabilize the situation in the region through the use of force. After the USSR's
disintegration, Russia's southern border has been shifted to Daghestan, which considerably raised the status of the republic. There have been numerous indications of the increased attention to Daghestan - in the autumn of 2004 construction of an army garrison started in Botlikh; Daghestan's borders with Azerbaijan and Chechnya are being reinforced, for which 12 billion roubles have been allocated from the budget; on July 15, 2005, Vladimir Putin presided over the meeting in Derbent that was devoted to security of Russia's South. Special force units are being deployed to the republic. Since August 30, militiamen in the republic have been confined to barracks. Besides, there is an ongoing transfer from elections of heads of republics (including Daghestan) by popular vote to their appointment from the center.2 It may be likely that Daghestan will get its first President from Moscow in the summer of 2006. What may it lead to?
Signs of crisis in Daghestan
In order to assess the probable consequenc ... Читать далее