Physical evidence withdrawn during special operation in Northern Caucasus.  Photo: http://nac.gov.ru/files/5284.JPG

04 February 2015, 08:13

In Northern Caucasus, conflict declines mainly due to movement of combatants to Middle East

The spread of the influence of the Islamic State and the tough measures against the armed underground in most parts of Northern Caucasus are the reasons behind the decline in number of victims to the conflict in the region. However, the return of combatants from the Middle East, the deterioration of the socio-economic situation, and the response to the pressure of law enforcers can explode the situation again. This opinion was expressed by experts interviewed by the "Caucasian Knot".

In 2014, in all regions of Northern Caucasus, except Chechnya, the number of victims to the armed conflict decreased. In total, in the territory of the North-Caucasian Federal District (NCFD), 525 people were killed and wounded. Of them, 341 people died and other 184 were injured. During the year of 2014, the total number of victims to the conflict was reduced by 46.9%. These are the results of the calculations run by the "Caucasian Knot" based on its own materials and information from other open sources.

According to Alexander Cherkasov, the Chairman of the Board of the Human Rights Centre (HRC) "Memorial", the decrease in the number of victims to the conflict can be explained by the outflow of a considerable number of militants to Syria. "However, it is also connected with ideology. The new Emir of '"Imarat Kavkaz" (Aliaskhab Kebekov, note of the 'Caucasian Knot') urged to refrain from violence against civilians, unlike Dokku Umarov. Then, the return of members of the Islamic State, which is much more rigid in its methods, is a serious threat," Alexander Cherkasov has told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent.

Alexei Malashenko, a member of the Scientific Council of the Moscow Carnegie Centre, believes that the unstable situation in Chechnya does not allow to predict its further development. "Much will depend on three conditions. First of all, how will the Chechen society will react to, for example, eviction of families (of suspected militants, note of the 'Caucasian Knot'). Secondly, how great the effect of the Middle East and the Islamic State may be. And the third condition is the economic crisis, which will reduce the subsidies going to Northern Caucasus. If the vectors of the above problems are the same, then that will lead to the deterioration of the situation," said Alexei Malashenko, when commenting on the situation to the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent.

The expert predicts the year of 2015 as tense. "I see no reason for decrease of tensions," concluded the member of the Scientific Council of the Moscow Carnegie Centre.

Orhan Cemal, a "Forbes" journalist, sees the reduction in number of victims to the conflict as general trend irrespective of the specificity of the different regions in Northern Caucasus. "There are two common reasons. The first one is the opening of the so-called Syrian front and the outflow of radicals in that direction. And the second reason is in hyper efforts of the law enforcement bodies, which during the year of 2013 cleared the territory on the eve of the Sochi Olympic Games," said Cemal in his comments to the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent.

Orhan Cemal foresees the year of 2015 as unfavourable. "The deteriorating economic and social situation will only worsen everything. The positive effects of forceful pressure have their limits, and reaching of the above limits can provoke an escalation," Orhan Cemal believes.

Full text of the article is available on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’.

Author: Magomed Tuayev; Source: CK correspondent

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