The situation in the Russian North Caucasus has been complex for over 25 years now. A host of economic and social reasons, as well as the relations between this region and the federal authorities, and the mistakes made by both federal and regional politicians, have all contributed to the problem.

Alexey Malashenko
Malashenko is a former chair of the Carnegie Moscow Center’s Religion, Society, and Security Program.
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Although most experts consider the current situation in Russia relatively stable, it’s to a large extent contingent upon the Islamic factor—particularly upon the actions carried out by Islamic radicals, many of whom pledged their allegiance to the Islamic State.

ISIS has tried to gain control of Russian Islamists. While the insurgency organization didn’t have sufficient resources to intervene in Russia’s domestic affairs, its leaders hoped to bridge that gap with the help of local religious opposition. ISIS is especially active in Kabardino-Balkaria, and, to a lesser extent, in Chechnya.  The Caucasus Emirate (CE) has been operating there since 2007 and remains the most prominent local Islamist organization till this day...

This article was originally published on The Cipher Brief website.

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