Some ethnic Russians with nationalistic leanings see natives of the North Caucasus as aliens, not compatriots. One program aims to change that by starting a grassroots movement that would help such people discover something about their “enemies”.
The program, appropriately called Dialogue, is meant for leaders of non-formal youth movements like football team fan clubs. They are offered a trip into the very heart of Russia’s southern republics, where they can see the lives of its people with their own eyes.
In this way they can hopefully dispel some of the stereotypes about the Caucasus and those who live there – and do the same for their counterparts in the region.
“Young people in Russia and in the North Caucasus have a warped perception of each other. That was the starting point for our program. A lot of people do not venture outside of their region, and base their opinion on the information they find in mass media and on the internet,” explains Sultan Khamzaev, the program’s founder.
Learn more about the Dialogue program in this report by RT’s Irina Galushko.