Russia and the North Caucasus: The Challenges of Integration

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While levels of violence across the region have declined significantly, multiple challenges remain to integrating the North Caucasus sustainably and peacefully within Russia.


Since the official termination of the Russian counterterrorist operation in April 2009, following nearly twenty years overshadowed by two bloody armed conflicts in Chechnya (1994-1996 and 1999-2009) and wider regional instability, Moscow has sought to stabilise the North Caucasus. The process of ‘normalisation’ has involved adopting a set of federal policies towards the region including a continuing focus on military and law enforcement operations, co-optation of local elites, extensive financial support, and development programming. These targeted policies aim to build regional peace but also to promote broader political, economic, and cultural re-integration of the region into the Russian Federation.

Presenting the work of Dr Elena Zhirukhina, RUSI-FES Russia Visiting Fellow 2021, the discussion will focus on Russian federal policies towards the North Caucasus and the extent to which current integration efforts are sufficient to achieve long-term stability and development.

  • What is Moscow’s vision for the integration of the North Caucasus in Russia?
  • What policies should be prioritised to support peace, stability, and development in the region?
  • What are the remaining gaps and problems that require federal attention and allocation of resources?
  • How do the communities of the North Caucasus view Moscow’s integration efforts?

Speakers

Dr Elena Zhirukhina, RUSI-FES Russia Visiting Fellow 2021 and Senior Lecturer, the OSCE Academy, Bishkek

Dr Domitilla Sagramoso, Senior Lecturer in Security and Development, King’s College London

Chaired by Dr Neil Melvin, Director International Security Studies, RUSI

The RUSI-FES Russia Visiting Fellow programme is made possible with the generous support of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, Moscow.

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