Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Attacks on Officials Spreading from Eastern Portion of the North Caucasus to the West – and Republic Officials are Worried

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Apr. 22 – Most of the violence against officials in the North Caucasus has taken place in the three republics in the eastern zone of that region – Daghestan, Ingushetia and Chechnya – while the bi-national republics in the middle and the national republics in the west have remained relatively quiet.

             But there is growing evidence that violence against officials is now spreading into the middle portions of the North Caucasus, something that could trigger a new wave of unrest in the region and raise questions about the capacity of the local authorities and Moscow to maintain control there.

            After almost three years of quiescence, Karachayevo-Cherkessia, a republic dominated by the Turkic Karachays but with a significant Circassian (Cherkess) minority, saw on April 21 a deadly attack on a police outpost there (

            Two policemen were killed and a third sent to the hospital as a result of what the Russian media have referred to as “a bandit attack.” But more important as an indication of what is going on is how the authorities in Karachayevo-Cherkessia have responded with actions that suggest this is more than a one-off event.

            Republic head Rashid Temrezov has announced the introduction of what he calls the Siren Plan ( That “plan” has all the earmarks of the introduction of the kind of martial law that Russian officials put in place when they introduce a counter-terrorism regime in response to a terrorist attack without the fanfare such actions involve.

            Specifically, this plan involves “activating police to conduct special patrols, search for armed and dangerous criminals and prevent possible unrest” (, a clear indication that in the eyes of the authorities, what the media have dismissed as banditry represents a more serious challenge.


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