Staunton, June 30 – In what Israeli analyst Avraham Shmulyevich says is part of Moscow’s effort to prepare the Russian population for a new war in the North Caucasus (facebook.com/groups/418134964913502/permalink/2379889652071347/), the Nezygar telegram channel says Islamist radicals have penetrated even KBR interior ministry.
Moscow has been working overtime to provoke Circassians in that region into violence so that it will have the kind of justification that will allow it to move against them without much fear of criticism from the West or from Russian opposition groups. (On this, see windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2019/06/moscows-efforts-to-provoke-circassians.html.)
The Nezygar telegram channel comment (t.me/russica2/17666 about Islamist penetration clearly suggests that Moscow wants to be in the position to use force against the Circassians, although it is of course possible that this report overstates Kremlin intentions, represents an effort by some to push Moscow in that direction, or is intended only as an act of intimidation.
“The Salafis in the Caucasus have dragged under their influence ever more varied strata of the population. These already include officials, judicial workers, procurators, officers of the interior ministry, businessmen and others,” a suggestion that if true means Islamist groups have a far larger network than most acknowledged and that Russian powers is at greater risk.
“In the Kabardino-Balkar Republic,” the telegram channel continues, “the Salafis are attracting new support from the Kabard (Adygey-Circassian) population on account of the active use and rapid replenishment of the real national themes but with the addition of religion and a militant past.”
And the Salafi version of Islam with such support quickly moves to create a duplication of state functions, leading people not to pay taxes or obey laws. One sign of this is the spread of Islamic stores which sell goods from the Arab world and then use the money to promote structures which reduce the importance of state ones.
Not only does this arrangement create problems for the economy, Nezygar says; it represents “the quiet and peaceful formation of an alternative state on the territory of the Russian Federation, that is, separatism,” the greatest of all sins in the Putin codex and the most unanswerable basis for the use of force to stop it.