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Thread: The North Caucasus: Chechnya, Dagestan and Ingushetia

  1. #101
    Council Member bourbon's Avatar
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    Default Chechens Never Forget...

    Russia's only war criminal Yury Budanov assassinated in Moscow, by Fred Weir. The Christian Science Monitor, June 10, 2011.
    Russia's only convicted war criminal, former army Col. Yury Budanov, was fatally shot in downtown Moscow Friday in what police called a contract killing, possibly motivated by vengeance on the part of Chechens or a "provocation" aiming to stir up ethnic strife in Moscow.

    The former artillery officer, who had asked for police protection after receiving threats but had been refused, was shot several times by a gunman who escaped by car with an accomplice, police said.

    Most Russians appear to have forgotten about Budanov, whose case caused a bitter split in Russian society after he was arrested a decade ago and charged with kidnapping, raping, and murdering an 18-year-old Chechen girl, Elza Kungayeva, near the Chechen village of Tangi-Chu, where he was stationed during the second Chechen war.

  2. #102
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    The Economist: Film in Georgia
    Hollywood's take on the Russia-Georgia war
    Jun 21st 2011, 14:34 by G.E. | TBILISI



    http://www.economist.com/blogs/easte...6/film-georgia

  3. #103
    Council Member bourbon's Avatar
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    Author Q&A: ‘The Insurgency in Chechnya and the North Caucasus’, by C. J. Chivers. NYT.com, January 20, 2012.
    Today, for those who follow the North Caucasus or who keep up with books on conflict, we have a treat: a guest appearance on the blog from Lt. Col. Robert W. Schaefer, a Green Beret specializing in the Russian-speaking world.

    Colonel Schaefer gave himself a task when he set out to research and write his first book, a deep dive on a long-running and inadequately covered war. It was this: He wanted to lift the latest Chechen war above the common descriptions that have defined it — as Exhibit A of an upstart population seeking independence from post-Soviet Russia, or as Exhibit B of a separatist struggle made toxic by a latter-day brand of militant Islam, or as Exhibit C in a war that had smoldered into dormancy. It is not that these descriptions do not contain elements of fact; it is that they are incomplete. They misapprehend the war by looking back only a few decades. Colonel Schaefer’s book, “The Insurgency in Chechnya and the North Caucasus: From Gazavat to Jihad,” (Praeger, 2011) places the war within the broader cyclical history of Chechen-Russian conflict, a history that goes back 400 years. In this, his book succeeds.
    This book has gotten great reviews; looking forward to reading it.
    “[S]omething in his tone now reminded her of his explanations of asymmetric warfare, a topic in which he had a keen and abiding interest. She remembered him telling her how terrorism was almost exclusively about branding, but only slightly less so about the psychology of lotteries…” - Zero History, William Gibson

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    About a dozen years ago, Robert D. Kaplan wrote Eastward to Tartary about his travels from, if I recall correctly, Bulgaria to Turkmenistan. He wrote some about Armenia and a good deal about Azerbaijan. The book's theme was mostly about different parts of the former Ottoman and Russian empires, and how they are developing (socially, economically, politically, etc.). As usual, Kaplan mixed in good deal of history with his current impressions.

  5. #105
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    Quote Originally Posted by jkhutson View Post
    About a dozen years ago, Robert D. Kaplan wrote Eastward to Tartary about his travels from, if I recall correctly, Bulgaria to Turkmenistan. He wrote some about Armenia and a good deal about Azerbaijan. The book's theme was mostly about different parts of the former Ottoman and Russian empires, and how they are developing (socially, economically, politically, etc.). As usual, Kaplan mixed in good deal of history with his current impressions.
    I'll second "Eastward to Tartary"- its a mid-90s book, but pretty good.

    The Central Asia and Caucasus Institute have some good analysis on the AO.(Added links:http://www.sais-jhu.edu/centers/caci/ and this offshoot or independent Sweden-based place:http://www.ca-c.org/infoe.shtml )
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 04-24-2012 at 09:27 AM. Reason: Links added

  6. #106
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    Default The Russian COIN campaign in North Caucasus

    The Russian COIN campaign in North Caucasus

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  7. #107
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Government — the main source of instability in the northern Caucasus

    The sub-title or opening reads:
    As violence in the north Caucasus hits the headlines again, Alexander Cherkasov sees the roots of the problem in the Russian government’s wilful misunderstanding of local issues and lack of strategy for dealing with them.
    The first paragraph:
    In the course of the armed conflict that has been alternately flaring up and smouldering in the north Caucasus over the last two decades, the two sides have not only infringed human rights, but denied their existence as a basic human value. The methods used by the Russian government in its war with an armed underground – ‘terror against terror’ – are not only unlawful and criminal by definition: they are also counterproductive, since they simply encourage a constant renewal of these guerrilla forces. The use of ‘death squadrons’, who abduct people, hold them in secret prisons, torture and execute them without trial, certainly produces an effect, but is ultimately useless.
    Some of the examples cited are staggering.

    Link:http://www.opendemocracy.net/od-russ...thern-caucasus
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  8. #108
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    Default Suicide Bombing: Chechnya, the North Caucasus and Martyrdom

    Thanks to Cerwyn Moore, the author of this article, which is on-line for a limited period. From the opening:
    This essay analyses Chechen-related suicide attacks, locating them within the historical and political context of the anti-Russian insurgency in the North Caucasus and the different factions of the anti-Russian armed resistance movement in the period between the first and second Russo-Chechen wars. The core of the essay is an analysis of the different character of two waves of suicide operations, (2000–2002) and (2002–2004). The first wave was linked to nominally Islamist groups, whereas the second set of attacks were linked to Operation Boomerang devised by Shamil Basaev. Finally, the essay considers other attacks that do not fit into either of these two waves of terrorism.

    (It ends with) the analysis in this essay serves to debunk many of the myths, often repeated in popular studies, associated with Chechen-related suicide attacks.
    Link:http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/...36.2012.718421
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 12-04-2012 at 09:11 PM. Reason: Moved here
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    ICG, 19 Oct 12: The North Caucasus: The Challenges of Integration

    Part I: Ethnicity and Conflict
    Europe’s deadliest conflicts are in Russia’s North Caucasus region, and the killing is unlikely to end soon. The state has fought back against attacks, first claimed by Chechen separatists, now the work of jihad-inspired insurgents, that have hit Moscow, other major cities and many Caucasus communities. But its security-focused counter-in#sur#gen#cy strategy is insufficient to address the multiple causes of a conflict fed by ethnic, religious, political and economic grievances that need comprehensive, flexible policy responses. Moscow is increasingly aware of the challenge and is testing new approaches to better integrate a region finally brought into the Russian Empire only in the nineteenth century and that has historically been a problem for the Russian state. Diversity in religion, ethnicity, historical experience and political allegiances and aspirations complicate efforts to alleviate local tensions and integrate it more with the rest of the country. Understanding this pluralism is essential for designing and implementing policies and laws that advance conflict resolution rather than make differences more irreconcilable.
    Part II: Islam, The Insurgency, and Counter-Insurgency
    Armed conflict in the North Caucasus is the most violent in Europe today. Insurgents seeking a regional political unit founded on Sharia (Islamic law) attack Russian officials and security forces, whose main response till recently has been a tough focus on eradicating the insurgency with a massive security presence, leaving little room for dialogue. While this policy has had successes, some 574 insurgents, security forces and civilians have died through September 2012, and there are almost daily attacks in the region and, occasionally, as far afield as Moscow. A dialogue with moderate Salafis and efforts to reintegrate insurgents who surrender has started, especially in Dagestan, but is challenged by opponents of soft power measures among security services and the insurgency. The root causes of violence are as much about ethnicity, state capacity and the region’s poor integration into Russia as about religion. To succeed in conflict resolution, Russia needs to design and implement a long-term comprehensive approach joining ethnic policies, intra-confessional dialogue, institution building and reintegration of ex-fighters.

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    Default The Russian Counterinsurgency Operation in Chechnya Part 1: Winning the Battle, Losin

    The Russian Counterinsurgency Operation in Chechnya Part 1: Winning the Battle, Losing the War, 1994 – 1996

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  11. #111
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    Default The Russian Counterinsurgency Operation in Chechnya Part 2: Success, But at What Cost

    The Russian Counterinsurgency Operation in Chechnya Part 2: Success, But at What Cost? 1999 – 2004

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  12. #112
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Jihad in Russia: the Caucasus Emirate: IISS Strategic Comment

    A useful reminder by IISS on what is happening in the region; where the insurgents have caused everyone a few surprises in the past:http://www.iiss.org/publications/str...casus-emirate/

    Russia's counter-terrorism effort has assumed greater urgency since the 2014 Winter Olympic Games were awarded to Sochi, a popular resort city in the North Caucasus......(much later)...the Olympic Games have in the past proven to be a highly valued terrorist target, and the 2014 Sochi venue is probably seen by the CE as an opportunity to make its mark on the global stage.
    Useful to see where the insurgents have spread and launched attacks, some pre-empted.

    Personally I think there has been much hype around the terrorist threat to the Olympics Games.

    In due course I will merge this into the main thread on the region and Chechnya.
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    Photo serie about Russian troops raid against insurgents.

    http://hardingush.livejournal.com/14425.html

  14. #114
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    I am not convinced that the CE wants to “make its mark on the global stage”.

    At the very least, Russia greatly benefits from conflating the CE with the Global Salafi Jihad; and frankly I would not be surprised if they have cynically used jihadis to subvert and undermine the Chechen Independence movement, trading the occasional mass atrocity attack in Russia for territorial integrity in the North Caucasus.
    “[S]omething in his tone now reminded her of his explanations of asymmetric warfare, a topic in which he had a keen and abiding interest. She remembered him telling her how terrorism was almost exclusively about branding, but only slightly less so about the psychology of lotteries…” - Zero History, William Gibson

  15. #115
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    Default Casting a long shadow

    Almost a month ago Dr Cerwyn Moore, an expert on the regional conflict, in response to the Boston bombings, wrote an article 'Analysis: Chechnya Casts a Long Shadow Over the Boston Marathon Bombings'. It is a quick summary and worth a read:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worl...-Bombings.html
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  16. #116
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    Default Dagestan after Boston

    A long - for the BBC - article on this often forgotten country, until the Boston bombings. The opening:
    Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the younger Boston marathon bombing suspect, will appear in court in just over two weeks. In Dagestan, the Russian republic where the brothers lived before emigrating to the US, few believe he is guilty. But an Islamist insurgency has been under way for years here - and it's all too easy for young men to become radicalised.
    Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-23004244
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  17. #117
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    Default Guerillas back in the mountains

    A pre-publication alert for 'Fangs of the Lone Wolf. Chechen Tactics in the Russian-Chechen Wars 1994-2009' by Dodge Billingsley & Lester Grau. From the publishers summary:
    Books on guerrilla war are seldom written from the tactical perspective and even less seldom from the guerrilla's perspective....These are the stories of low-level guerrilla combat as told by the survivors. They cover fighting from the cities of Grozny and Argun to the villages of Bamut and Serzhen-yurt, and finally the hills, river valleys and mountains that make up so much of Chechnya. The author embedded with Chechen guerrilla forces and knows the conflict, country and culture. Yet, as a Western outsider, he is able to maintain perspective and objectivity
    Link to Amazon (US): http://www.amazon.com/FANGS-LONE-WOL...Wars+1994-2009 and Amazon (UK):http://www.amazon.co.uk/Fangs-Cheche...+the+lone+wolf
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  18. #118
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    Default The Volgograd Bombings: the Latest Chapter in Putin’s War in the Caucasus

    As the Winter Olympics loom closer in Sochi, a Black Sea city in the Russian Federation, rather close to the Caucasus, has long been expected to be a target for Islamist groups based in the Caucasus.

    There is an older thread, with no updates since late 2011 'Terrorism in Russia' at:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ad.php?t=10058

    Dr Cerywn Moore, University of Birmingham (UK), is one of the few here who watches the region through the terrorism prism and following recent attacks has a backgrounder via RUSI:http://www.rusi.org/analysis/comment.../#.UtxHn9LFJkh

    In summary:
    The latest bombings in Russia is part of an ongoing war between Putin and Islamist rebels who feed upon a anti-federal, pan-Turkic and pan-Islamist narrative.
    There is another RUSI commentary 'The Volgograd Bombings and the Winter Olympics' at:http://www.rusi.org/go.php?structure...8#.UtxLItLFJkg

    The regional Islamist leader, Doku Umarov, was again IIRC declared as killed in action this week, going on some Twitter traffic. The BBC has nothing to support this.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 06-25-2016 at 03:34 PM. Reason: 4,879v before being merged into main thread.
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  19. #119
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    Default Dagestan: Russia’s hottest spot

    An Open Democracy article on this little known Russian republic by a local reporter (also works for Radio Liberty:
    Asked to name Russia’s most troublesome region, most people would plump for Chechnya. But its neighbour Dagestan is now officially the most dangerous part of the Federation. In this republic of three million people there are sixty different ethnic groups, and not a week goes by without clashes between the police and insurgents, anti-terrorist special forces raids and explosions. It is also one of its least developed regions, with most of its financial needs met by subsidies from the centre. And its level of corruption is one of the highest in Russia as well.
    Link:http://www.opendemocracy.net/od-russ...s-hottest-spot
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    ….Dagestan is now officially the most dangerous part of the Federation…
    For those that follow the region, this is old news. Dagestan has accounted for more than half of all casualties of violence in the North Caucasus for a few years now, with a spike in the second quarter of 2012 that saw it account for just over two-thirds of such casualties. For those who like metrics, the Caucasian Knot offers victim stats; it also serves (the unabridged Russian version of the site) as one of the primary sources for the Open Source Center's tracking of incidents in the region.

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