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Caucasus suffers from “colonial legacy”

Published time: September 03, 2009 15:08
Edited time: September 03, 2009 15:08

The Beslan tragedy is the worst ever terrorist attack in Russia, but it subsequently lent the security services greater powers, says journalist from the Christian Science Monitor Fred Weir.

Despite state efforts, the situation in the North Caucasus region remains unstable and there are many reasons why, according to Weir. Along with poverty and corruption, the journalist puts blame on the “colonial legacy”.

“These are territories with different ethnic religious and cultural groups of people who were forced into the Russian Empire in the 19th century after long guerilla wars, and they never really adjusted neither to the life in the Russian Empire nor the life in the Soviet Union.”

That is why, he says, the federation process in the North Caucasus is still unfinished and a lot needs to be done to further integrate these territories into the Russian federal entity.

“There is no doubt that enemies of Russia could use this internal situation as targets of opportunity, but the basic problems of the North Caucasus are domestic and internal. You cannot stir up people from outside if the dynamite is in the place already.”

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