A major reason that he is an exception almost certainly lies in the fact that despite being an ethnic Tabasaran from Daghestan, he fought on Moscow’s side in both post-Soviet Chechen wars and participated in the seizure of Maskhadov’s staff in 2000, an operation that was led by Maj. Gen. Vladimir Shamanov. (For a full bio of Muradov, see kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/330303/.)
Former Duma deputy Gennady Gudkov says that one rarely meets officers of North Caucasus nationality at the most senior positions in either the special services or the army. They may rise to the position of deputy commander on the basis of the professional and demonstrated loyalty but not to independent commands.
Muradov thus has probably risen as far as he can, to be deputy commander of the Southern Federal District. His boss will be glad to have his expertise on the local situation; but Moscow isn’t going to trust him with anything more senior or more independent, Gudkov suggests.
Other experts with whom Kavkaz-Uzel spoke agree. Sergey Goncharov, head of the Alpha Anti-Terror Veterans Organization, said it was useful to have the expertise of local people in advisory positions. And Aleksandr Perendzhiyev of the Experts Council of Veterans of Russia said Moscow won’t entrust the highest posts to an officer from the North Caucasus.