The North Caucasus
March 31, 2011
Continued violence and unrest in the North Caucasus have created a major area of instability for the Russian Federation. Although Chechnya is relatively more stable, for now, under the brutal dictatorship of Ramzan Kadyrov, neighboring republics including Ingushetia, Dagestan, and others have experienced significant increases in the frequency of violence. The entire region is plagued by extreme poverty, high unemployment, and corrupt and often incompetent governance. Additionally, the prevalence of radical Islamic influences as well as growing competitive nationalist identities further increases the challenges for governance and stability.
The Russian federal government seeks to insulate the rest of the country from the overflow of violence in this volatile region, but terrorist attacks in the past year on the Moscow Metro and again on the train between Moscow and St. Petersburg demonstrate how hard this is to manage. Kuchins, Malarkey, and Markedonov examine the socioeconomic trends in the region, the role of Islam and rise of radicalism throughout the Caucasus, nationalism and growing ethnic tensions, and the external factors influencing the North Caucasus.