Sunday, March 29, 2020

Chechens Want Muslims of North Caucasus to Pressure Daghestan to Restore Their Autonomy

Paul Goble

            Staunton, March 26 – Chechens from Daghestan met with Mufti Khozh-Akhmed Kadyrov, head of the Council of Alims of the North Caucasus, to seek his help in their campaign to restore the Aukhov District, the Chechen district that existed in Daghestan before the 1944 deportations, by raising the issue at the next meeting of the Council.

            The Chechen leader, who happens to be a close relative of Ramzan Kadyrov, agreed after the Chechens of Daghestan told him they had not been able even to get the attention of Makhachkala, let alone secure a justice resolution of this territorial issue (

            Bringing in the traditional clanic leaders of the Muslim republics on the Chechen side further elevates the temperature in what has been a long-running but recently much-exacerbated issue. (For background, see,  and

            Adam Machayev, leader of the Daghestani Chechen group Aukh, tells KavkazR journalist Renat Altayev that in the 1990s, there had been an agreement between the Chechens and Avars of Daghestan to restore the Aukhov District and to arrange things so that no one would have to leave when Chechens earlier forced out returned. But that agreement was never honored.

            All the Chechens in Daghestan are Muslim believers, Machayev says; and it is a principle of Islam that if the civil authorities cannot or will not address a problem, Muslim leaders should be invited to try. That is what is happening in this case although he added that the Aukh movement would continue to seek discussions with Makhachkala.

            He takes this occasion to dismiss as fake assertions that his group wants to restore the Aukhov District as a first step to its transfer from Daghestan to Chechnya. That is not true, Machayev says. His group’s only goal is to restore the Chechen district within Daghestan.  Given Ramzan Kadyrov’s aspirations, however, few in Daghestan are likely to believe that.

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