The fact that the Russians are not that welcomed in the Caucasian North is quite exagerated. There is no one from the Federation in that region whose blood is not Russian in a 50, 60 and 70%. Of course, there was the war in Chechen in which the local power and the Federals made a lot of mistakes, unforgetable mistakes. What is happening in Daguestan is a war. The Chechen influence and that of its armed groups there is important.
That war in Chechen is linked to many aspects, although not only internal ones, but externals too. Those who support the Chechen opposition know what they are doing very well. If Basáyev had no support abroad, he wouldn’t have remain in power. Let’s see the Babitsky case, how he got there? Who let him do it?
I think this idea of enlarging regions is good. My view is the following: nowadays, there are 89 subjects in the Federation and I believe that after the reforms only 50 would be ‘alive’. We still don’t know what regions are going to be added but I think North Ossetia, Kabardino-Balkaria and Adiguey for they are already a flank of Russia in the Caucasus.
“ Там хрен знает что натворили”, by Kim Tsagolov, Gazeta, August 15, 2005. Text adapted from an interview.