A View from the South: Reflections on Dagestan

Map of Russia Highlighting Dagestan

(Kennan Institute – wilsoncenter.org/program/kennan-institute – EDWARD C. HOLLAND – July 31, 2017) Edward C. Holland is Assistant Professor of Geography in the Department of Geosciences at the University of Arkansas. His research interests range across a variety of topics, including political violence, religion, and critical geopolitics, and are generally focused on the Russian Federation. He has recently published on these […]

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Kremlin Aide Lists Moscow’s Five Biggest Concerns in North Caucasus

Caucasus Map of Chechnya and Caucasus Environs

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, June 23, 2017) Magomedsalam Magomedov, the former head of Daghestan who is now deputy head of the Russian Presidential Administration, told the leaders of the republics in the North Caucasus that Moscow currently has five major concerns about developments in their region that they must address. In remarks to the annual conference […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Repressing Islam in Russia. Salafis mustered. A crackdown drives Dagestan’s Muslims towards Islamic State.”

Map of Dagestan, Georgia and Environs

Since last autumn, the authorities in Dagestan have ramped up pressure against Salafis. They have reason to worry: as Moscow launched air strikes in support of Syria’s government, the Islamic State (IS) declared a holy war on Russia, took credit for downing a Russian passenger jet over Egypt and released a video threatening “a sea of blood” in Russia itself. […]

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Can the North Caucasus adapt to political change?

Caucasus Map of Chechnya and Caucasus Environs

Amid a crumbling and fragile system, central and regional elites gear up for a new power struggle in Russia’s North Caucasus. (opendemocracy.net/RBC – Denis Sokolov – January 25, 2016) Denis Sokolov is Senior Research Fellow at the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration. If 2015 was the year of purges of regional elites for the North Caucasus, […]

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NEWSWATCH AP: “Chechnya Holds Classes to Counter IS Propaganda”

Caucasus Map of Chechnya and Caucasus Environs

AP covers Chechnya’s difficulties with Islamic terrorist recruiting. Authorities in Russia’s predominantly Muslim republic of Chechnya have organized classes to stave off Islamic State recruitment. Thousands … have joined IS in Syria … some have taken senior positions. Islamic militancy has engulfed Russia’s North Caucasus … nearly 1,000 people are believed to have left Dagestan from Syria, the number of […]

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Russia’s Female Suicide Bombers: Well-Organized and Hard to Stop

Map of European Portion of Former Soviet Union

MOSCOW, October 24 (Nabi Abdullaev, RIA Novosti) – Investigators say that moments after Naida Asiyalova, a wan 30-year-old from Russia’s violence-plagued republic of Dagestan, boarded a public bus one afternoon this week in the city of Volgograd, the bomb she was carrying exploded, claiming six lives. The apparent attack serves as another reminder of the grim effectiveness of female suicide […]

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Russian Suicide Bomb Spurs Terror Alert as Putin Meets Muftis

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Henry Meyer and Ilya Arkhipov – October 22, 2013) Russian investigators probed yesterday’s suicide bombing that killed six bus passengers in Volgograd as the southern region was placed on high alert hours before President Vladimir Putin met Muslim clerics. The suspected female suicide bomber arrived from the capital of the mainly Muslim region of Dagestan, disembarking […]

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Research report on the Boston Marathon attack

Boston Bombings Suspects File Photo Adapted from FBI Image

From: “Hahn, Gordon M.” <ghahn@miis.edu> Subject: Research report on the Boston Marathon attack Date: Tue, 18 Jun 2013 ANNOUNCEMENT A special 25-page research report on the Boston Marathon attack: ‘The Caucasus Emirate Comes to America: The Boston Marathon Attack’ will soon be available.   For a copy please send an email request to gordon-hahn@sbcglobal.net. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY What I have been warning […]

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Russia Wants Tourism, Not Terrorism, for Embattled Caucasus

Map of Dagestan, Georgia and Environs

(Voice of America – James Brooke – June 6, 2013) A foreign correspondent who has reported from five continents, Brooke, known universally as Jim, is the Voice of America bureau chief for Russia and former Soviet Union countries. From his base in Moscow, Jim roams Russia and Russia’s southern neighbors. Car bombs and shootings make Dagestan the leader in political […]

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Arrest of Makhachkala Mayor Seen as Sign of Changing Tide

Map of Dagestan, Georgia and Environs

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – June 4, 2013) As the fallout from the arrest of the leader of Dagestan’s capital continued on Monday, experts agreed that the event would likely send tremors throughout all of Russia. Makhachkala Mayor Said Amirov, 59, was detained Saturday with the help of special forces sent by Moscow, who blocked all of […]

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Radicalization of Tsarnaev Brothers Likely Did Not Occur in Chechnya

Boston Bombings Suspects File Photo Adapted from FBI Image

(Eurasia Daily Monitor – Volume 10, Issue 88 – Mairbek Vatchagaev – Jamestown Foundation – jamestown.org – May 9, 2013) The role of the brothers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in the Boston bombings is assessed differently on either side of the Atlantic. In the United States, few doubt they are terrorists and that the youngest son, Dzhokhar, who remains alive, […]

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Why Tamerlan Tsarnaev Is Outside of Chechen Mentality

Boston Bombings Suspects File Photo Adapted from FBI Image

(Eurasia Daily Monitor: Volume 10, Issue 83 – Mairbek Vatchagaev – Jamestown Foundation – jamestown.org – May 2, 2013) Why did Tamerlan Tsarnaev­ – one of the alleged April 15 Boston Marathon bombers who died in a shoot-out with police on April 18 – ­not demand an end to the bloodshed in Dagestan, but was instead interested in what happened […]

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Boston Bomb Trail Leads Into Heart of Putin’s Own War on Terror

Boston Bombings Suspects File Photo Adapted from FBI Image

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Ilya Arkhipov & Henry Meyer – May 1, 2013) Six blocks from the Caspian Sea, on Kotrova Street in central Makhachkala, sits a mosque being watched by undercover Russian agents charged with preventing acts of terror. As worshipers spill out into the streets, American investigators are watching now, too, as they try to reconstruct the events […]

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Tsarnaev Case Highlights Communication Breakdown Between Daghestani Agencies

Boston Bombings Suspects File Photo Adapted from FBI Image

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Liz Fuller – April 30, 2013) The Boston Marathon bombings have served to corroborate many observers’ previously unsubstantiated hunch that one reason for the Russian security services’ inability to contain the North Caucasus insurgency is that the various agencies responsible fail to share information among themselves. In this particular case, Daghestan’s Center for the Struggle Against […]

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Russian Security Services Offer Surprising Revelations About Boston Bombings

Boston Bombings Suspects File Photo Adapted from FBI Image

(Eurasia Daily Monitor: Volume 10, Issue 80 – Jamestown Foundation – jamestown.org – Valery Dzutsev – April 29, 2013) On April 27, the Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta published an article on the dead Boston bomber suspect, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, based on information it received from the Russian security services. It cited officers of the Dagestani Center for Combating Extremism who said […]

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Boston Bombers Reflect Specific Experiences of Some North Caucasians in Soviet and Post-Soviet Times, Moscow Analyst Says

Boston Bombings Suspects File Photo Adapted from FBI Image

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, April 29, 2013) The two brothers who carried out the horrific Boston bombing are not simply Muslims who were inspired by radical websites or Chechens who were continuing their struggle against Moscow by other means, as many in both Russia and the West have insisted, according to a Moscow analyst. Instead, Konstantin […]

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Tsarnaev did not contact Islamic radicals while visiting Dagestan in 2012 – official

Boston Bombings Suspects File Photo Adapted from FBI Image

(Interfax- Moscow/Makhachkala, April 24, 2013) Dagestani Interior Minister Abdurashid Magomedov has denied allegations that Tamerlan Tsarnaev, one of the two men suspected of committing bomb attacks at the Boston Marathon, started practicing radical Islam during his stay in Dagestan in 2012. “According to our information, Tamerlan Tsarnaev did come to Dagestan in 2012 in order to have his Russian passport […]

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FBI and FSB probe Boston bombers links in Caucasus

File Photo of Boston Bombings Aftermath with Ambulance and Security Personnel

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Olga Doronina, special to RBTH  – April 25, 2013) The investigation into the Boston Marathon bombing has led U.S. authorities to the North Caucasus to look for links that the Tsarnaev brothers may have had with extremists there. Experts are convinced, however, that the brothers acted alone and had no links to any […]

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Reassessing the Caucasus after Boston explosion

Boston Bombings Suspects File Photo Adapted from FBI Image

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Sergei Markedonov, special to RBTH – April 24, 2013) The bombing during the Boston Marathon brought Chechnya back to the attention of the West, but the public, the press and the politicians fail to realize the situation there has changed ­ and the threat is greater. Sergey Markedonov is a visiting research fellow […]

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Boston Suspects’ Russian Parents to Visit US

Boston Bombings Suspects File Photo Adapted from FBI Image

(RIA Novosti – MAKHACHKALA, April 24, 2013) ­ The Russian parents of the two suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings have agreed to visit the United States to assist in the ongoing investigation into the crime, a police source said on Wednesday. A team from the US Embassy in Moscow has arrived in Russia’s southern republic of Dagestan to speak […]

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Daghestani Insurgency Denies Any Role In Boston Bombings

File Photo of Boston Bombings Aftermath with Ambulance and Security Personnel

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Liz Fuller – April 22, 2013) The Daghestani wing of the North Caucasus insurgency has formally denied any role in the Boston Marathon bombings. In a brief statement posted on April 21 on the website vDagestan.com, its leaders stress that their primary enemy is Russia and they “are not engaged in military hostilities with the United […]

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Daghestan a Failed State and Must Be ‘Built Anew,’ Abdulatipov Says

Map of Dagestan, Georgia and Environs

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, April 24, 2013 – windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2013/04/window-on-eurasia-daghestan-failed.html) The government of Daghestan “has been completely destroyed and must be build anew with the participation of various political forces” including the formation of new political parties, according to Ramaan Abdulatipov, who is the current acting head of that North Caucasus republic. Confessing that the situation is […]

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The Boston Marathon Attack, the North Caucasus, and U.S.-Russian Relations

File Photo of Boston Bombings Aftermath with Ambulance and Security Personnel

(Center for American Progress – Cory Welt – April 22, 2013) Cory Welt is an Adjunct Fellow at the Center for American Progress and associate director of the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies at George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs –www.ieres.org. In the days following the dramatic manhunt in Boston for surviving terrorism suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, […]

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For Tsarnaev Brothers, Family Model Broke Down

Boston Bombings Suspects File Photo Adapted from FBI Image

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – April 23, 2013) As more details surfaced Monday regarding the complex family history of the Tsarnaev brothers, suspected of detonating deadly bombs at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, the traditions of Caucasian families became a focus of inquiry into why Tamerlan and Dzhokhar may have turned into terrorists. The Tsarnaev […]

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Risks Seen as U.S. Media Spotlight North Caucasus

File Photo of Groznya, Looking out Through Hole in Damaged Building at City Landscape in Daylight

(RIA Novosti – Christopher Boian – WASHINGTON, April 22, 2013) A week ago, most Americans had never heard of the North Caucasus. But the region in southern Russia has abruptly filled TV screens in US homes after it became part of the Boston Marathon bombing story, and experts warn such speed reporting on a complex subject can distort as much […]

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More About Tsarnaev Brothers And Their Ancestral Homeland

Boston Bombings Suspects File Photo Adapted from FBI Image

(RFE/RL – rferl.org  – April 19, 2013) Two ethnic Chechens, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, are suspected of having perpetrated the Boston Marathon bombings on April 15 that killed three people and injured 170 others. As information accumulated — and confusion swirled — about them, RFE/RL Central Newsroom Director Jeremy Bransten sat down with Aslan Doukaev, director of RFE/RL’s North Caucasus […]

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Profile of Tamerlan And Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

Boston Bombings Suspects File Photo Adapted from FBI Image

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Richard Solash, Claire Bigg – April 19, 2013) The young men identified as suspects in this week’s Boston Marathon bombing are brothers of ethnic Chechen origin with family ties in Central Asia, and at least of one of whom reportedly had taken an increased interest in Islam in recent years. The suspect who was captured alive […]

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Is Putin afraid of the Caucasus?

Map of Caucasus and Central Asia

(www.opendemocracy.net – Daniil Kotsyubinsky – February 4, 2013) Daniil Kotsyubinsky is Russian historian and journalist based in St. Petersburg Russian lawmakers have given preliminary approval to a law to allow governors to be appointed in the country’s 83 regions, reversing last year’s move to restore direct elections. As Daniil Kotsyubinsky reports, this issue is unimportant in itself, but it exposes […]

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Fear and loathing in Dagestan

Map of Dagestan, Georgia and Environs

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Anna Arutunyan – Dec. 10, 2012) Doctor Marat Gunashev didn’t even have time to change his slippers when masked law enforcement officials led him out of the surgery room on the morning of Nov. 28 and placed a bag over his head. The patient he was administering anesthesia to was left lying on the table. […]

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Daghestani Brothers Struggle To Bridge Religious, Political Divides

Map of Dagestan, Georgia and Environs

(RFE/RL – Uma Isakova – Nov. 28, 2012) An uneasy peace holds between Ruslan and Rustam Shapiyev in the Daghestani village of Komsomolskoye. Younger brother Rustam, who has taken the name Abubakar, says he loves and respects his older brother, who has adopted the name Magomed. “Of course, a brother is a brother. We are obligated to maintain kinship ties,” […]

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Daghestan Becomes Hotbed Of North Caucasus Insurgency

Map of Dagestan, Georgia and Environs

(RFE/RL – Tom Balmforth – November 05, 2012) MOSCOW — Suicide bombings in police stations. Muslim clerics gunned down in broad daylight. Shoot-outs between insurgents and security forces. These have become run-of-the-mill headlines in Russia’s troubled North Caucasus region of Daghestan. Last week, unidentified gunmen shot dead an imam and two of his male relatives as they drove to morning […]

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