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Kremlin's reshuffle in North Caucasus shows force trend in policies, experts say

The appointment of Sergey Melikov to the post of the presidential envoy in the North-Caucasian Federal District (NCFD) suggests that the Kremlin attaches more importance to the use of force in the region, Russian experts express their consensus opinion.

Let us remind you that on May 12, the Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the establishment of the Ministry for Development of North Caucasus within the structure of the Government of the Russian Federation. It is headed by Lev Kuznetsov, a former Governor of the Krasnoyarsk Territory. President Putin has also announced a change of the presidential envoy in the NCFD. Alexander Khloponin is replaced by Sergey Melikov, the Commander of the United Military Grouping in North Caucasus.

The strengthening of the force component in the policy in North Caucasus had been expected and predicted by experts, said Akhmet Yarlykapov, a senior fellow at the Centre for Ethno-Political Researches of the Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS).

Alexei Malashenko, a senior researcher at the RAS' Institute of Oriental Studies, believes that the increasing military pressure on North Caucasus is caused by an attempt to neutralize the residual activities of the armed underground.

North Caucasus is seeing a change of teams from liberal reformers to law enforcement officers in the format of the middle years of the first decade of the 21st century, agrees Orhan Cemal, an observer for the "Izvestia" newspaper. According to his version, the newly created Ministry will be more of control than of development.


Caucasian Knot


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