Day: July 21, 2009

Developing situation in Russia and N. Caucasus

  1. Caucasian Knot reports that Natalya Estemirova’s body was found at the same location in Ingushetia where the fatally wounded Magomed Yevloyev was found on August 31, 2008, indicating a carefully pre-planned action.
  2. As of today, Russia’s police, FSB and six other law enforcement agencies will be permitted to open letters and packages and obtain personal data from the postal service. The change in the law will also allow the opening and reading of email correspondence, which is already closely monitored by the authorities.
  3. Jamestown analyst Valery Dzutsev notes that

    It is important for policymakers and experts to understand that even though the situation in the North Caucasus depends very much on what is going on in Moscow, the region de facto is already a different territory, with rules of behavior distinctly different from the rest of Russia. The North Caucasus is a no man’s land for journalists and rights activists in which the Kremlin’s cliques exercise overwhelming control over the flow of information. This means that the North Caucasus in practice should be treated as a territory under totalitarian state control. Even though Russia as a whole still cannot be referred to as a totalitarian state, the North Caucasus is already there – a relatively new development in the territory’s recent past.