Saturday, August 1, 2020

Moscow Names More Russian Outsiders as Minders for North Caucasus

Paul Goble

            Staunton, July 30 –Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin has named two more outsiders to oversee developments in the North Caucasus, Andrey Kharin, a deputy governor of Nizhny Novgorod, and Oleg Melnichenko, a senator from Penza.  The number of “Moscow minders,” thus rises, Anton Chablin says; but there is no reason to believe they will add to effectiveness.

            Both men have been added to the governmental commission on the social-economic development of the North Caucasus Federal District even though they lack expertise and experience in working with that region, the longtime observer of the North Caucasus says (

            Melnichenko’s appointment is more explicable than Kharin as the former worked between 2013 and 2017 as deputy to Mikhail Babich, the presidential plenipotentiary for the Volga region, whom Mishustin has put in charge of supervising the restive region for the central government.

            Babich himself has been anything but effective, Chablin say, noting that the Moscow official said a few days ago that “up to now” no one has a clear picture about the problems of water supplies and sewage in the region, thus raising questions not only about his focus but about the failure of earlier minders to do their jobs.

            Meanwhile, investigations into the killing of a Russian Guard officer in Ingushetia have expanded. Officials say that three men were involved and that they are now looking for them in the region where the attack occurred (, and

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