Shifting Battlefields of the Chechen War

Journal article

Baev, Pavel K. (2006) Shifting Battlefields of the Chechen War, Chechnya Weekly 7 (16).

Chechnya Weekly

Pouring the “oil money” over the Caucasian troubles might gain Moscow some respite, but the Chechen detonator could trigger any of the conflicts that are currently being manipulated rather than managed. The constant stream of “small bad news” from Chechnya and the North Caucasus creates the impression of a stagnant local war and a region-wide condition of “stable instability,” with smoldering tensions only occasionally bursting into open hostilities—as in Nalchik in October 2005. This impression underpins the fatalistic conclusion about the intractable nature of the overlapping conflicts that can only be endured until they somehow exhaust their dynamics. Up to 59 percent of Russians now expect that the situation in the North Caucasus will remain unchanged in the next year (according to a Levada Center poll from mid-March), but the situation is in fact more fluid than most commentary suggests.

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