WRITENET IS A NETWORK OF RESEARCHERS ON HUMAN RIGHTS, FORCED MIGRATION AND ETHNIC AND POLITICAL CONFLICT. WRITENET IS SUBSIDIARY OF PRACTICAL MANAGEMENT (UK)
Dagestan is a republic within the Russian Federation, about the size of Scotland and counting approximately two million inhabitants. It is one of the most ethnically diverse regions in the world, counting 30 ethnic groups and 80-odd nationalities.1 These communities often live intermixed with a great deal of animosity between them, which is why the republic is a potential theatre for inter-ethnic conflict. In spite of this, the inter-ethnic clashes that occurred between 1989 and 1992 were limited in scope and there has been no similar violence since.
In December 1994, Russian federal troops transitted through Dagestan en route to Chechnya, to confront the separatist government of President J.Dudaev. The attack provoked an outcry of indignation all over the Caucasus. Thousands of Dagestanis, Avars, Chechens, Lak, Dargins and others formed human blockades to stop the advance. Army units were shot at while passing through Dagestan, leaving several dead. This massive popular reaction caused anxiety that the war in Chechnya would be the start of an all-Caucasian war and would upset the delicate inter-ethnic balance in Dagestan.
Dagestan shares the same problems that are felt all over the former Soviet Union: the development of an complex balance of political, economical, ethnic and criminal interest groups, lack of investment, a legacy of distorted economies that serve local needs inadequately, corruption at all levels of society, a failing judicial system, acute shortage of administrative and political skills, a spectacular rise of organized crime, lack of employment, and easy access to arms.
The main factor dividing ethnic groups in Dagestan is the distribution of power, wealth and land along ethnic lines. The feeling that security can only be found within the ethnic group and under a system of self-government dominated political developments in 1989-1991. The political elite has succeeded, however, in keeping nationalist ambitions in check. They were helped by the fact that the mountainous and ethnically diverse nature of Dagestan renders irrelevant any idea of an independent state based on the concept of a single nation. In addition, local and national leaders act with great restraint out of fear of possible inter-ethnic violence.
Dagestan is situated in the North-East of the Caucasus mountain range. It borders the Caspian Sea in the East, the Chechen Republic and Stavropol Territory in the West, the Kalmukya Republic in the North, and Azerbaijan and Georgia in the South. The republic measures 50,300 square km and had 37.5 inhabitants per square km in 1989.2
The Dagestani landscape changes from high mountains in the South to flat steppe land in the North. Because there is no easily accessible pass over the Caucasian mountains, the coastal plain of Dagestan, bordering the Caspian Sea, is an important North-South passage. The mountainous areas are still extremely isolated, notably in winter.3
In 1989, according to the USSR census, Dagestan had 1,802,188 inhabitants. At present, the population is estimated at 2 million.4 By far the largest ethnic group, the Avars, make up just over 25 per cent of the population.
The above table mentions only ten out of two dozen Dagestani ethnic-linguistic groups that were considered nationalities by the Soviet Union. Still other groups were considered ethnographic groups, although some of them have retained their linguistic, social and cultural specificity.7
Except for the Kumyks and Nogai, the Dagestani peoples are indigenous and traditionally mountain dwellers. They speak Caucasian languages and are related to other Caucasian peoples like the Chechens, Cherkessians, Kabardins, Adyghe and Abkhaz. The Kumyks and Nogai originate from the Central Asian plains. They traditionally live in the steppe regions and speak Turkic languages.
Each Caucasian ethnic group is divided into tribes, clans, sub-clans and village communities. The basic unit in rural areas is the village community, corresponding to one or several clans divided into sub-clans, usually counting approximately 100 people descending from the same ancestor. A council of elders regulates relations between the clans and sub-clans. Loyalty to the sub-group is stronger than to the nationality as a whole.8
This contributes to a sitution whereby the peoples of Dagestan live ethnically segregated from each other, particularly in the rural areas. Daughters are generally not allowed to marry outside their own ethnic group. Mountain people who have settled in the plains tend to stick together. Even sovkhozes (state agricultural farms) are often de facto divided between the different ethnic communities that are employed.9
Between 1979 and 1989, the natural population growth in Dagestan as a whole was 10 per cent, while the mountain peoples increased by 14 per cent. By comparison, the Russian population decreased by 12 per cent between 1979 and 1989, mainly through emigration.10
In 1989, there was a 628,000-strong Dagestani diaspora registered in the former Soviet Union outside Dagestan.11 All Caucasian peoples are part of a wider diaspora, both because of labour migration and as a result of the deportations of the late 19th century and in 1944. Because of the economic crisis in the Soviet successor states, many members of the diaspora have returned to Dagestan over the past years. There are, however, no reliable figures available on this migration.
The traditional economy in the mountainous regions of Dagestan was based on sheep-breeding. In summer, the flocks grazed the alpine meadows, and in autumn they were brought to winter pastures in the northern territories of the Caspian lowlands. Small terraces in the valleys provided grain and other crops. The northern lowlands were mainly used for cattle-breeding.
Dagestan shares in the general decline of the Russian economy. Additionally, it struggles with the legacy of being one of the poorest regions of the Russian Federation. Dagestan is badly connected with the outside world and has no important natural resources, while foreign investment is negligible and federal investment has declined since 1991. The weak economic infrastructure can be illustrated by the fact that 56 per cent of the population live in scattered villages.12 The return since 1990 of tens of thousands of migrant workers to Dagestan has added to existing pressures on the labour market.13
Not unlike elsewhere in the Russian Federation, successful new entrepreneurs are more often found in trade than in manufacturing. Nevertheless, the new private sector is dynamic and compensates partially for the economic decline, but lack of statistics makes it impossible to determine its real importance. The Dagestani industry is mostly defence related and suffers from acute lack of orders. Industrial contraction does not only affect the cities, but also mountain villages, where a number of high-tech military plants are located.
Agriculture suffers from lack of investment, no reliable transport and trading system, and uncertainty about landownership. There is a shortage of agricultural land in the mountains, and, except for the dry steppes in the North, the lowlands offer only limited opportunities. Only a negligible part of the agricultural acreage is privately owned.14
In 1992, Dagestan was the fifth most heavily subsidized republic of the Russian Federation, paying 3,742 million rubles in taxes and receiving 22,939 million rubles in subsidies.15 The 1994 federal budget foresaw a quarterly subsidy "to equalize the level of social protection for the population" for Dagestan of 146,417 million rubles, the third highest in the Russian Federation, only comparable to some northern Siberian districts and the overcrowded republics of North Osetia and Ingushetia.16
Many of the 1.5 million speakers of Dagestani languages live in the mountainous areas. Linguists distinguish 29 different languages in Dagestan, which are mutually unintelligible. The most important is Avar, with approximately half a million speakers.17 The smallest Dagestani language is Hinukh with only 5,000 speakers in 1994, half of them living in the village of Hinukh, the other half forming a community near Makhachkala.18 Nine of Dagestan's indigenous languages have a literary tradition - Avar, Dargin, Kumyk, Lezgin, Tabasaran, Nogai, Azeri, Tat and Lak.19
The Russian language serves as the lingua franca in Dagestan. It is the language of communication in the plains and in the national administration. Russian is compulsory in primary and secondary school. Avar also often serves as a lingua franca between different Dagestani peoples. In order to prevent controversy, the Government of Dagestan in 1991 declined to make a decision on an official state language.20
"Multi-lingualism is common throughout the Caucasus but can take formidable proportions in Dagestan, where it has been noted that denizens of the highest areas usually speak the language of the group living beneath them, and so on down to the lowlands."21 Because in the mountain villages there are few occasions to speak Russian or Avar, only those who frequently trade and travel or have followed higher education have a good command of these languages.22
Dagestan has been a centre of Islamic learning since the late Middle Ages. Eighty-eight per cent of the population of Dagestan belong to traditionally Muslim peoples. Despite the fact that only a handful of mosques survived the mass-destruction of the late 1920s and early 1930s, Islam has retained a central role in social life. In virtually every village in Dagestan there is a new mosque being built or one just constructed. Classical Arabic and Koran reading has been taught in schools since 1992.23 Nevertheless, ethnic allegiances are stronger than the idea of Islamic unity, as is shown by the fact that Islamic organizations strictly follow ethnic lines.24 The only sizeable non-Muslim community in Dagestan is that of the Russians.
Among the mountain populations, Islam is of especially great importance in social life. Virtually all adult males are members of a wierd, one or other of the secret Sufi brotherhoods. Membership of the brotherhoods often follows the lines of membership of sub-clans. The brotherhoods regulate the religious life of their members and take care of the rituals that accompany important events in life like birth, marriage and death.25 Religious leaders mediate between clans and individuals and thus play a crucial role in the on-going process of palaver and peacemaking that accompanies a complicated society like that of Dagestan, but religious groups as such do not play an important role in politics.26
From the 5th century B.C. Dagestan was part of Caucasian Albania. In the 7th century A.D. it came under Arab domination and its population was converted to Islam. The Arabs were succeeded by Seljuk Turks in the 10th century, followed in the 13th century by the Mongols and the Golden Horde, of which the Nogai are descendants. The Ottoman Empire came to dominate the region in the 16th and the Persians in the 18th century.27
Even though nominally subject to foreign rulers, the people of Dagestan always retained a virtually independent position. Their own local leaders were extremely powerful, which partially explains the ferocious resistance that the mountainous peoples put up against the Russian Empire when it tried to impose effective political dominance.28 After the Napoleonic Wars, the Russian Empire tried to extend its influence to the Caucasus. The ensuing Caucasian War (1816-1856) is the most celebrated period in the history of Dagestan, especially of the Avars. Under their charismatic leader Imam Shamil, the Caucasians resisted the Russian advance in a bloody and often heroic war. By the end of the 19th century, millions of Caucasians had either been killed or forced to emigrate to the Ottoman Empire. The subsequent immigration of Russians and other Christian peoples radically changed the inter- ethnic balance in most Caucasian regions.29
During the Russian Revolution, the Caucasian peoples of Dagestan actively supported the Bolsheviks. Vladimir I. Lenin's promises of autonomy for ethnic minorities appeared more attractive to them than the Russian nationalism of General Anton Denikin and his mainly Cossack White Army. The routing of the anti-Bolshvik ("White") forces in 1919 brought a bloody suppression of Cossacks, in which bands of Chechen, Avar and other Caucasian fighters sometimes voluntarily assisted the Red Army Commissars.30 Later, in 1920-1921, an anti-Bolshevik uprising, mainly supported by Avars, was brutally crushed.31
In 1921, the Dagestan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic was proclaimed (DASSR). The DASSR was formed out of the former Tsarist Dagestan plus the Kumyk district of Terskaia region, later subdivided into Khazbekov, Novolaksky and Khasav Yurt districts. In 1922, the republic was extended to the north with former Terek-Cossack lands and parts of Stavropol Territory and Astrakhan Province, now called Kizlar, Tarumovsky and Nogaisky districts. In 1938, all the land north of the Terek river was returned to the Astrakhan Province. Lands west of the Kizlar district, formerly belonging to the Grebenovsky Cossacks, were added to Dagestan in 1923 and attached to Chechnya in 1957.
Under Communist rule, government posts were judiciously divided according to nationality, often with no regard to professional ability. Power and resources were distributed according to a complicated system of ethnic quotas.32
In 1990-1991, a movement for national independence emerged in Dagestan. This movement reached its peak in April 1991, when 39 out of 54 regional soviets supported a resolution to create a sovereign Dagestan Republic. The regions that voted against the resolution were those dominated by national groups that wished to secede from Dagestan, i.e the Kumyks, the Nogai and the Lezgins.
In 1990, the Confederation of Mountainous Peoples of the Caucasus (CMPC) was founded by representatives of most Caucasian nations. The Confederation considered the actual territorial division of the whole Caucasus region artificial, constructed by and in the interest of Russian imperialism. The CMPC considered the unification of the Caucasian peoples a prerequisite for their survival. The organization received much attention when, during the Abkhaz-Georgian war in 1992-1993, it channelled sizeable North Caucasian military assistance to the Abkhaz.33 The ideas of the CMPC are shared by many Caucasians, but its reliance on the Government of Chechnya as well as its failure to play any role in the Chechen war has eroded its political relevance.34
Like in most other regions in the Russian Federation, the current leadership in Dagestan is largely made up of former communist nomenclatura, supplemented with successful businessmen. The national movements that emerged during 1989-91 were mostly led by second echelon politicians. They directed their activities against each other and the Supreme Soviet of Dagestan, the main forum of the republic's leaders, but never succeeded in challenging the incumbent elite. If successful in building a strong following, new leaders were absorbed by the established elite. One of the reasons for the failure of the national movements to play a leading role in Dagestan politics was that Dagestan society is characterized by strong bonds of loyalty to local clanleaders, and interest in national politics is low.35 Another factor is that the old communist party had been infiltrated by the clan-system. As most present-day national leaders come from the old power structures, ethnic interests are already represented in the government.36
By the mid 1990s, the nationalist movements that emerged in the late 1980's have lost much of their political relevance. Election results in 1990, and most likely, in 1995 too, were manipulated, but this did not arouse much popular indignation.37 Today, a mixture of old nomenclatura and new businessmen effectively maintain the internal peace.
Conflicts of interest in Dagestan are generally settled behind closed doors. The main political conflicts are about the distribution of power and money, rather than ideological or ethnic issues. The distribution of federal subsidies is one of the dominant issues in Dagestan politics. All inter-ethnic controversies in Dagestan are linked to economic issues like possession of land, distribution of jobs, and housing.38
Nevertheless, the political leadership of Daghestan is aware of the importance of fair representation of Dagestan's ethnic groups in local and national politics. The 26 July 1994 constitution was designed to achieve this. The borders of the constituencies have been drawn in order to prevent mono-ethnic units and promote cross-nationality voting. Informal arrangements between national groups should guarantee proportionality. If this is not achieved, the Electoral Commission can allocate certain seats to members of one national group.39
The Government can intervene directly if the outcome of local elections is undesired. In the June 1994 elections for the City Council of Makhachkala, Avars obtained 50 per cent of the seats while only constituting 20 per cent of the electorate, while the Dargins obtained 30 per cent with only 10 per cent of the population. Ethnic Russians obtained no seats at all, although they constitute about 20 per cent of the population. To counter this imbalance 10 new seats were created in the City Council and no Avars or Dargins were allowed to stand for these.40
Part of the Dagestan Supreme Soviet is elected by general suffrage, the remainder is appointed by the districts. The 14 members of the State Council are elected by the Supreme Soviet. No nationality can have more than one member on the State Council and in order to be elected candidate for the State Council, one must be among the three representatives of one's own ethnic group who has gained the most nominations from the whole Supreme Soviet. Both at the local and the national level, the need to obtain votes from other than one's own nationality, keeps radicals and leaders of national movements away from positions of power.41
Partially as a result of these electoral arrangements, members of the former Communist Party still dominate politics in Dagestan. The country has kept its Soviet symbols intact. A bronze statue of Lenin stands firm in the centre of Makhachkala. Although Communist Party structures here are weak, members of the party won 50 per cent of the vote during the all-Russian parliamentary elections of December 1993. Other explanations for the electoral success of the communists range from fear of economic change and aversion to the collusion between organized crime and state institutions, to a conscious choice of an internationalist ideology as an alternative to the threats of nationalism.42
The importance of informal arrangements in Dagestan politics fosters the development of an oligarchy. The parliamentary elections of March 1995 saw the rise to power of a number of successful businessmen, some of whom are allegedly involved in criminal activities, at the expense of economically unsuccessful members of the former nomenclatura.43 But they did not bring any fundamental changes in the composition of the ruling elite.44
The emergence of criminals in Dagestan's national politics was illustrated by brutal attacks on leading politicians during the summer of 1995. On 14 August a grenade was fired at the home of Prime Minister Abdurazak Mirzabekovand on 23 August 1995, State Duma Deputy and candidate for the post of secretary of the Communist Party, Sergei Reshulsky, was badly wounded by unknown assailants .45
The emergence of businessmen and clanleaders in national politics can be viewed in different ways. On the one hand, it may be said that they do not advance the development of a transparent democracy, and that they turn the state into a source of personal enrichment. On the other hand, they have introduced a new type of leadership, which leaves greater personal freedom to the population, and they are more open to the needs and complaints of the population than the former nomenclatura.46 However, at the same time it is true that national movements lacking influential and rich leaders are politically marginalized. It is generally assumed that an important part of the electorate is guided by gratitude to a certain candidate for favours rendered, rather than by political considerations.47
While understanding the need for mutual compromise, the leaders of the ethnic and business interests groups that dominate Dagestan politics suppress any trully democratic opposition. In August 1995, a group of Duma members of different parties, including Russia's Choice, sent an open letter to President Boris Yeltsin in which they denounced the denigration and persecution of democrats by local leaders. They noted several cases of criminal proceedings against democrats who had publicly expressed their views, as well as cases of dismissal and denial of access to the media. The letter mentions the Government of Dagestan among the six most oppressive local regimes within the Russian Federation.48
Relations between the Dagestani and Federal Governments are mainly good. The Dagestani leadership is generally convinced that it cannot afford any serious friction with the Federal Government. As Bagaudin Akhmedov, the vice-chairman of the Dagestani parliament, put it: "Without Russia, we are unable to survive; 80 per cent of our budget is financed by Moscow".49
The mountainous regions have always had a population surplus, but until the 1950s, migration to the lowlands was limited due to the occurence of malaria. Since malaria has been brought under control, migration to the plains has been a dominant feature of Dagestan's social evolution.
In the 19th century, as part of the effort to subdue the mountain peoples, Tsarist Russian troops destroyed many of the terraces constructed to make high altitude agriculture possible. This policy was continued under Soviet rule and in the 1930s a system of collective farming was imposed, forcing 39,000 families to move to newly formed Kolkhozes (collective agricultural farms) in the plains. In the years immediately following 1944, another 17,740 families were forcibly resettled.50
From the early 1960s until the mid 1970s, it was the Government policy was to resettle mountain peoples in the plains. The resettlements involved all Caucasian ethnic groups, but the Avars, Chechens and Lak in particular. This "voluntary" migration was accompanied by an aggressive propaganda campaign and a virtual end to the financing of public services in the mountains.51
The migration to the plains has led to the domination of both urban society and much of the rural lowlands by mountain peoples. Mountain dwellers settling in the lowlands have introduced intensive cultivation techniques to areas traditionally inhabited by pastoral peoples.52 The situation of the pastoral peoples has deteriorated seriously since the beginning of the last century when the Kumyks still dominated the coastal areas. Some of the current inter-ethnic controversies result from the fact that the mountain peoples' agricultural practices and attitudes clash with those of cattle-breeding Nogai and Kumyks.53
Without development of the mountainous areas, there will be continued migration to the lowlands. The competition over scarce resources and jobs that accompanies the migration process carries the danger of aggravating inter-ethnic tensions.
The Avars are subdivided into 17 sub-groups, each speaking their own dialect. They form the largest ethnic group in Dagestan. Their traditional territories in the mountainous districts of south-west Dagestan are almost exclusively populated by Avars. The Avar elite, together with Darghins, are firmly entrenched in the Dagestan state structures.54
The Avar national movement is the People's Front Imam Shamil, led by Gadzi Makhachev.55 The front never gained much significance. In 1992, it announced a moratorium on any activity unless other national movements were to challenge them.56
There are 45,000 Avars in the Belakan and adjoining districts in Northern Azerbaijan. On several occasions since 1991, local Avar leaders have expressed their hope that the Avar villages in the north-west of the district could be joined with Dagestan. The Avars' wish is supported by dubious Russian historians who claim that Belakan belongs to Russia.57 In June 1995, the press in Azerbaijan accused unspecified Russian circles of encouraging separatism among the Avars.58
On 11 July 1994, troops of Azerbaijan clashed with armed locals in the village of Gabakchel in the Belokanskii rayon of northwest Azerbaijan after the seizure of arms. The armed groups were reportedly linked with separatist Avars active in the regions bordering Dagestan.59
The Dargins are subdivided into three groups, Dargins, Kubachins and Kaitags. They live mostly in Central Dagestan. Like the Avars and the Laks, they are relatively well represented in the Dagestan state structures. The establishment of the Dargin national movement Tsadesh (Unity) in 1991 was not aimed at undoing perceived injustices, but at countering the ambitions of other ethnic groups. Tsadesh has never shown much activity. According to one observer Dargins "follow everything that the Laks do".60
The origin of the Kumyks is not clear, but it seems probable that they are rooted in an intermingling of indigenous Caucasian elements with Turkic-speaking tribes who migrated to Dagestan in the 10th century.61 Once dominating the Caspian lowlands, the Kumyks have become a minority of only 22 per cent in their homelands by the early 1990s, owing to massive migration of mountain peoples, principally Avars, Laks and Dargins. The wanton destruction of mountain villages and farming lands by the Soviet authorities has made this migration irreversible.62
The collectivization and the forced resettlement of mountain peoples to Kumyk territory destroyed the Kumyk's traditional settlement pattern and deprived them of half of their arable land.63 They have a high proportion of city-dwellers.64
In 1990, the newly formed national movement of the Kumyk, Tenglik (Equality), led by Salav Aliev, announced its intention to create a Kumyk national state. Referring to their past as the dominant group along the Dagestan coast, the advocates of Kumyk independence argued that only through full cultural sovereignty could the Kumyk language and culture recover after decades of russification and Soviet culture influence. It remains unclear what the culturally sovereign Kumyk national state should look like, considering that the Kumyk form such a tiny proportion of the population in their traditional territories.65
According to Tenglik, the Kumyk are under-represented in the state structures and economically underprivileged.66 The organization is opposed to what it consideres Avar over- representation in leading functions. It became the favourite target of the Avar national movement, Shamil.67
In November 1990, the Congress of People's Deputies of the Dagestan Autonomous Republic voted to create a Kumyk republic within Dagestan, but the Kumyk representatives considered the level of autonomy envisaged insufficient.68
In October 1991, Tenglik mobilized virtually the whole of the Kumyk population in protest against the dominant political position of the Avars in regions with important Kumyk presence, as well as to express dissatisfaction with the ongoing resettlement of mountain people in traditional Kumyk territories. The movement subsided when the Government of Dagestan nominated an ethnic Kumyk as Minister of Justice. Tenglik has not displayed much activity since.
In 1994, the Kumyk National Congress was formed. It is less radical than Tenglik, and is believed to be an initiative of the Government of Dagestan meant to counterbalance the radicals within Tenglik.69
The Lezgins are predominantly Sunni Muslims living in the south-east of Dagestan and the north-west of Azerbaijan. 376,000 ethnic Lezgins were officially registered in 1989, 205,000 in Dagestan and 171,000 in Azerbaijan. The disintegration of the USSR has transformed internal administrative boundariess into international borders, threatening the unity of the Lezgins.
The Lezgins live mainly in rural areas. Their national organizations estimate their actual number in Azerbaijan between 600,000 and 700,000, instead of the official 171,000. They explain the disparity by saying that the majority of Lezgins had registered themselves as Azeris during the Soviet period, due to social and political pressure.70
The Lezgin national movement Sadval (Unity) was founded in July 1990 in the town of Derbent in Azerbaijan. It is led by General Kochimanov and Ruslan Ashuraliev. Sadval is aiming at the unification of the Lezgin people. In December 1991 the All-national Congress of Lezgins even called for the creation of a "national-state formation Lezgistan".71
In 1991, a rival Lezgin national organization, Samur, was established in Azerbaijan. This organization opposes any revision of state borders and advocates integration of Lezgins in Azerbaijan. In July 1992, this was followed by the establishment of the Lezgin Democratic Party of Azerbaijan, which holds similar views. Both organizations are sponsored by the Government of Azerbaijan to counter the percieved threat posed by Sadval.72
In April 1995, a new political party, Alpan, was founded in Dagestan, which has as its main objective the unification of the Lezgin territories in Azerbaijan with Russia. The secretary of Alpan, Amiran Babaev, stated in an interview that Azerbaijan continues to suppress the rights of the Lezgins and other minorities living there. Observers believe that Russia is using the dissatisfaction of the Lezgin minority to increase pressure on Azerbaijan.73
The Russians in Dagestan consist of two groups. Cossacks, who settled on the left bank of the Terek river from the 16th century, and 19th and 20th century immigrants, who mainly settled in the cities. The latter group is by far the largest as a result of the severe repression that the Cossacks suffered in 1919-1920 and because of the 20th century immigration of Russians.74
The traditional Cossack territories on the left bank of the Terek river roughly coincide with the present Kizlar region. In the 1960s, non-Russians still formed a small minority of less than 15 per cent in this region. Because of their higher birth rate and the migration of mountain peoples to the plains, non-Russians now make up an estimated 50 per cent of the population in the Kizlar region. Russians are under-represented in the local administration, e.g. constitute less than 10 per cent of the region's police corps.75 At least 40,000 people in Stavropol and Dagestan claim to be Terek Cossacks.76 In 1990, the Cossacks formed the Low-Terek Cossack Association, led by Ataman Alexandr Elson, which strives for the unification of all Terek Cossacks and the recovery of traditional Cossack territories. The Association is a member of the Vladikavkaz based Terek-Cossack Host. Russian-speakers were also organized in the Slav Movement of Russia, led by Sergei Sinitsin. In July 1994, a new organization, Russian Community (Russkaia Obshchina), was registered in Makhachkala. It claims to represent 200,000 Russian speakers and its main declared task is the "protection of the rights of the Russian-speaking population of Dagestan".77 Its establishment is seen by some observers as an attempt by the Federal Government to increase its influence over Dagestan internal politics.78
The Cossacks and Russians are politically under-represented in the higher echelons of the state and believe that they therefore profit relatively little from the economic reforms and privatization, in which patronage by powerful politicians is often a prerequisite for success.79
Cossack organizations are trying to revive the tradition whereby a Cossack line of defence in the northern Caucasus protected southern Russia. The emigration since 1989 of hundreds of thousands of Russian speakers from North Caucasian republics, notably Chechnya, Ingushetia and Dagestan, served as a catalyst for the formation of Cossack defence units, while the establishment of these armed forces created unrest among the other ethnic groups.80 The Cossacks do not push their claims in Dagestan, however, and links with the more radical Vladikavkaz based mother-organization are often strained.81
In February 1944, within a period of two weeks, the entire Chechen population of the Caucasus was deported to the deserts of Kazakstan. An estimated quarter of the deportees died during the first five years of exile.82 Among the deportees were approximately 30,000 Chechens from Dagestan.83
Subsequently, about 15,000 Laks, who lived in a high mountain region in the centre of Dagestan, were forced to resettle in traditional Chechen territories, mainly in the Auskovsky district, which was renamed Novolaksky district.84
In 1957, First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Nikita Kruchev denounced a number of policies of his predecessor, Joseph Stalin, and rehabilitated most deported peoples, including the Chechens.85 About 25,000 Chechens returned to Dagestan during 1957-1958, only to find that they had been dispossessed and were forced to resettle in the Khasav Yurt district, on the border with the newly formed Chechen-Ingushetia Republic. As a result, most of Dagestan's 62,000-plus Chechens currently live in the Khazbekov and Khasav Yurt districts.86
In 1991 conflict arose with the Laks and Avars, when the Chechen National Council of the Republic of Dagestan demanded the recovery of their former territories and the re- establishment of the pre-1944 Auskhovsky district.87 The Avars were opposed to the Chechen demands. They did not accept that a number of mixed Chechen-Avar villages in Khazbekov district would join the Novolaksky/Auskovsky district.
The Chechens in Dagestan have refrained from active involvement in the Chechen war. After a December 1994 appeal to all Caucasian peoples from President Dzokhar Dudayev to start military action against Russian federal forces in Dagestan, the Chechen National Council of the Republic of Dagestan adopted a decision to suspend contacts with him. They stressed that it would be unacceptable for the conflict to flare up in Dagestan. The separatist Chechen Government failed to obtain any public support from Chechen organizations in Dagestan.88
The Lak traditionally live in the mountainous Koshu region and use lands in the northern steppe and north of Makhachkala as winter pastures. They are well represented in the urban centres and there is a considerable Lak diaspora in Moscow89. The Lak possess greater cohesion than the other nationalities in Dagestan, which partially explains their relative importance in society.90 Being the most educated and cosmopolitan of the people of Dagestan and speaking Russian rather than Lak at home, many of them fear the disappearance of their ethnic identity.91
The Lak national movement, Tsubars (New Star), was established in 1990. It mainly focuses on the development of Lak culture and national identity. Its chairman is Hirytdin Khadziev, at present Minister of Agriculture. Another important leader of the Lak national movement is Magomed Khachilaev. The Laks are well integrated in Dagestan's political elite and are staunch supporters of an undivided Dagestan.92
Beside Tsubars, the Novolak Popular Front was established in August 1991 in reaction to the activities of the Chechen organization Vainakh. It has been dormant ever since the 1992 agreement on the resettlement of the Laks from Novolaksky district. President of the Novolak Popular Front is Ismailov Dalgat.93
The Nogai descend from the Golden Horde. Their historical territory, the once huge Nogai steppe, includes the northern part of Dagestan and the eastern part of Stavropol Territory. Most Nogai live in dispersed communities on the steppes that form the Nogai, Babaurt, Tarum, and Kizlar districts of Dagestan, the adjoining Neftekumsky district of Stavropol Province, and Sholkovsky district in Karachay-Cherkessia. There are also several Nogai settlements in the north-east of Chechnya.94
Living mainly in the rural areas and forming small minorities in all these three republics, ethnic Nogai occupied hardly any leading positions during the Soviet era and their cultural development has been stunted. In Chechnya and Kabardino-Balkaria, the Nogai have lost much of their ethnic cohesion while in Dagestan the Nogai live more compactly and have greater cultural and political autonomy. They form a 75 percent majority in the Nogai region of Dagestan, the only place where Nogai language education is offered in secondary education.95
Other peoples have settled on the Nogai steppe over the past thirty years, notably Avars, Laks and Darghins. The state supports these settlements with cheap credit and the distribution of land ownership rights. The newcomers build villages and compete with the Nogai for good pasture. Only 20 per cent of the Nogai steppe is still in use by the Nogai themselves. They rate this development as a kind of annexation. Their grievances are aggravated by the fact that the newcomers live in permanent houses while the Nogai consider the steppe collective property and traditionally live in movable houses, called cutan. It is expected that the Nogai will be a minority on the steppe by the end of this century, but they lack the power to counter this process.96
The Nogai national movement Birlik (Unity), led by K. Balbek and B. Kildasov, has existed as a cultural organization since 1957 and was transformed into a political movement in December 1989, when it spoke out in favour of an autonomous Nogai republic separate from Dagestan and which would include include parts of Chechnya. Its main goal was to undo the breaking up of their territories between three different administrative entities in which they form insignificant minorities. They considered a concentration of the remaining Nogai essential for the preservation of the Nogai people and hoped that such a republic would attract other Nogai from the North Caucasus.
Birlik never acquired much political muscle. Being dispersed and traditionally nomadic, the Nogai cannot claim any region as their historic homeland. Furthermore, the Nogai are lagging behind in education attainment and lack a powerful elite that would be capable of organizing its people. It is questionable whether a large proportion of the Nogai is aware of the programme of Birlik.97
After the deportation of Chechens from Auskhovsky district in 1944, the then Soviet Government forced 15,000 Laks to move into what was renamed Novolaksky district. They came from traditional high mountain villages, which the Soviet administration wanted to clear and found the Chechen villages fully intact. They have lived in Novolaksky district since and their present prosperity is mostly the fruit of their own labour. Laks and Chechens generally agree that their quarrels are a result of Soviet divide-and-rule policies and that they have nothing to blame each other for.
Chechens are determined to return to their ancestral lands. In 1992, radicals placed signs along Novolaksky's border, saying "Auskovsky district". Encouraged by their local committee, thousands of Chechens moved into Novolaksky district and threatened not only to oust the Laks, but also to move into two Avar villages. In September 1992, groups of Chechens clashed with Laks and Avars, martial law was imposed, and special armoured police units of the Russian OMON (Otriady Militsyy Osobogo Naznacheniya, attached to the Interior Ministry) were brought into the region. The authorities of the Chechen Republic expressed their strong support for the Chechen demands, creating fear of a widening of the conflict.98
However, the crisis was quickly averted. The Government of Dagestan made a series of concessions to the Chechens, including the abolition of legislation hampering the registration of Chechens in Novolaksky district, payment for property that was lost in 1944, and promises that funds would be made available for the resettlement of Laks.99
The Laks agreed to leave Novolaksky district, provided they were resettled on equally attractive land and fully compensated. They accepted resettlement on Kumyk territory in Khazav-Yurt and north of Makhachkala on condition that significant investment was made to compensate for what they had to leave behind in Novolaksky district. The Government promised to make these investments, but only token amounts were actually spent on the resettlement. No more than a dozen families left Novolaksky district.100
All parties are trying to profit as much as possible from the agreement. The Chechens claim their ancestral homes, while keeping their present property in Kasav Yurt. The Laks want spacious houses and an infrastructure at least as good as that in Novolaksky district. They demand that their villages are moved as a whole. Individual Laks have until now refused all houses offered to them on the grounds that they are inferior to the ones they would leave behind.101
The difficulties between Laks and Kumyks are a direct result of the allocation in 1992 of Kumyk territory to the Laks from Novolaksky district. Kumyk irritation is intensified because the Laks require large lots of land, larger than the Kumyks themselves generally dispose of. In July 1992, when a small group of Laks from Novolaksky district was relocated in Kumyk territory north of Makhachkala, Kumyks plead armed guards around the area. The situation was defused after Lak and Kumyk elders and religious leaders agreed that the first group of Laks would return to Novolaksky district.102
The number of Laks that have left for Kumyk land is negligible because the Government of Dagestan Government has so far failed to invest in the Lak resettlement. As long as the implementation of the 1992 agreement is not seriously pursued, there is no risk of conflict between Laks and Kumyks.103
Relations between Cossacks and Avars are often tense, and were especially so in 1990-1991, when Cossacks vehemently opposed proposals for the loosening of Dagestan's ties with the Russian Federation, an idea that the Avars in general supported. Instead, Cossacks wanted recognition as a military caste inside the Russian Federation. They threatened to transfer their settlements to the Russian Republic in the event that Dagestan should declare full sovereignty.104 The establishment of an unofficial Terek Cossack Army in 1990 in Vladikavkaz worried their neighbours. The Terek Cossack Army, heavily engaged in the war in North Ossetia in 1991, remained essentially an affair of more western Cossack communities, and never obtained the support from the Federal Government of Russia it had hoped for.105
Relations with the Chechens in Dagestan also took a turn for the worse during this period. Like so many North Caucasians, Chechens tend to confirm that Cossacks belong to the region's indigenous peoples when speaking in public, but privately often regard them as intruders.106 Not unlike in Chechnya and Ingushetia, Cossack cemeteries in Kizlar region were frequently vandalized in the late 1980s and the early 1990s.107
The proportion of Russians in the total population of Dagestan is decreasing, both because of low birth rates and because of emigration. The latter, for which no reliable figures are available but which is believed to exceed 500 individuals each month from Kizlar region alone, can be explained by several factors. The Russians are overrepresented in industry, a sector currently in steep decline, and the Avars and Dargins that dominate the state structures allegedly favour their own ethnic groups when it comes to investment, privatization and the issuing of concessions and licenses. There are no complaints of discrimination against them as state policy.108
A decree of 9 August 1995 signed by Russian President Boris Yeltsin, ordering the incorporation of 20 Cossack units into the regular Russian Army and promising restitution of territory to the Cossacks, was not matched by concessions to peoples - Caucasian and Turkic - to whom the Cossacks show a hostile attitude.109
While the border between Azerbaijan and Dagestan was only a nominal one, when the two countries formed part first of the Russian Empire and later of the Soviet Union, after the disintegration of the Soviet Union it became a frontier separating two sovereign states. Lezgins herd sheep on both sides of the border and family and trade relations cut across borders. Border controls would greatly interfere with the Lezgins' way of life.110
The Lezgins have never complained about any cultural or other repression in Dagestan. On the other hand they accuse the Government of Azerbaijan of suppression of the Lezgin language and culture.111 They claim that they have been forced to lie about their ethnic identity for fear of job-discrimination or worse. The desire to secede from Azerbaijan was intensified when Lezgin men started to be forcibly recruited for military duty in Nagorno-Karabakh, a war that the Lezgins consider an Azeri-Armenian conflict that does not concern them. Another grievance is the resettlement in 1989 of Meskhetian Turks from Uzbekistan on Lezgin territory.
Since 1990 the Azerbaijan authorities have been accusing Russia of stirring up the Lezgin question using it as a leverage against Azerbaijan.112 In 1992, a working group within the federal State Committee for Nationalities issued a report on conditions in the Caucasus. The report concluded that there is a "high probability" that an armed conflict would take place on the Russian-Azerbaijan border because of Lezgin activism. Such a situation, the report concluded, "could seriously destabilize not only Dagestan but the entire North Caucasus".113
In June 1992, Russian President Boris Yeltsin issued a decree on the establishment of an international frontier between Azerbaijan and the Russian Federation. The Lezhin national movement, Sadval, organized rallies in both Dagestan and Azerbaijan, which were attended by tens of thousands of Lezgins.114 In an effort to defuse the situation, the Russian Federation decided to introduce customs controls only. Pressure of Dagestan authorities led to special arrangements for residents of the border regions, which calmed down the situation.115
The Government of Azerbaijan Government has tried to resolve various Lezgin issues at the Consultative Council of Small Nations which is headed by a state counsellor to the President of Azerbaijan and which works closely with the Samur Cultural Centre in Baku. Samur is a more moderate Lezgin movement, often at odds with Sadval, and its foundation is generally believed to have been initiated by the Azerbaijan authorities to counter the separatism of Sadval.116 Samur, whose chairman is Ali Musaev, advocates integration with Azerbaijan.117
In October 1993, a group of Dagestan elders met with President Geidar Aliev of Azerbaijan. During the meeting, the President conceded that the border had only a conditional character because for centuries, Azeris, Avars, Lezgins, Kumyks and Dargins had mingled across it. He agreed to proposals to make the border a "zone of security, stability and cooperation", which de facto created transparent borders.118 Nevertheless the Federal Government decided in December 1993 to temporarily close the border between the Russian Federation and Azerbaijan. The official explanation was the rise in smuggling, but the closure happened against a background of deteriorating relations between Russia and Azerbaijan.119
During his visit to Dagestan in April 1994, the Russian Counterintelligence Service chief, Sergei Stepashin, signed a protocol setting up border and customs posts on the Azerbaijani-Russian border, thus definitively nullifying Baku's idea of a stability zone. He had apparently concluded that Russia could deal with the Lezgins without making any concessions to them. During his visit, violent clashes broke out in Derbent between Lezgins, local Azeris and the police, leaving a number of people dead.120
On 14-15 June 1994, Lezgins who protested against the drafting of Lezgins to fight in Nagorno-Karabagh, clashed with police in the Azerbaijan region of Gusar. Two people were killed. President Geidar Aliev decided to form another state commission to investigate relations with the Lezgins. The commission has not yet issued any public statements. In September 1995, several hundred young Lezgins crossed into Dagestan to evade service in the Azerbaijan army.121
Due to the war in Chechnya the border between Azerbaijan and Dagestan was sealed off in December 1994 to prevent the Chechens from receiving assistance from Azerbaijan. The closure has only been lifted temporarily since. Russia is Azerbaijan's main trading partner and it is assumed that the Russian Federation uses the closure of the border to pressure Azerbaijan to accept that the future pipeline for Caspian oil will run through Russia. The closure causes the Lezgins great inconvenience.122
Although the Russian Federation's attack on Chechnya has quieted the Lezgins for the time being, the closure of the border and the continuing problems concerning the draft in Azerbaijan have renewed radicalism among the Lezgins. Only an improvement in the relations between the Russian Federation and Azerbaijan could create the conditions for a settlement.
The traditional manner of conflict resolution in the Northern Caucasus requires that if a person has done damage to a member of another clan, the leaders of the their clans will meet and try to find a resolution by which the damaged party is compensated and the guilty party's honour is saved. In the negotiating process, the elders appeal to common values like hospitality, moderation, manly dignity and generosity. In tackling inter-ethnic rivalries, Government officials make use of these traditions. They invite the community leaders and facilitate the negotiating process. If necessary, they offer compensation to the parties that feel disadvantaged.123 This approach may be successful because the Government's ethnic policy is sufficiently balanced and no Dagestani ethnic group profoundly distrusts the Government.
The authorities do not act as neutral peacemakers only, but take sides when convinced that one of the parties is wrong. The Government's first priority is to uphold the law and maintain public order. It tends to favour moderate groups over radical ones. Sometimes, weaker groups are forced to give in to stronger groups if this seems an effective way to overcome a crisis.124
However, these attempts by the ruling elite to defuse inter-ethnic tension in Dagestan can be successful only because the population at large feels the need to find peaceful rather than violent solutions. Informal leaders of the communities play a key role in the negotiation process. They use their personal authority to convince people under their influence of the necessity to accept compromise.
The war in Chechnya has had little effect on the internal politics of Dagestan. In December 1994, the transit of Russian troops passing through Dagestan was interrupted, but further public acts of protest have been effectively suppressed.
Immediately after the incursion of Russian troops in Chechnya, the Government of Dagestan expressed its understanding for the offensive and has been cooperative in suppressing pro- Chechen groups. During the first months of 1995, the federal and local authorities effectively repressed individual citizens and organized groups in Dagestan who expressed opposition to the war. Criminal proceedings were initiated against the Chairman of the Parliament of the Confederation of the Caucasian Nations, Ali Aliev, and his deputy, Dengi Hamidov. Publication of the newspaper 'Islam's Way' was suspended pending criminal proceedings against the editor-in-chief, Fatulla Jamalov, for publishing President Dzokhar Dudayev's appeals.125
The suppression of pro-Chechen groups was facilitated by the fact that Dagestanis, although shocked by the brutal Russian intervention, had suffered from the break-down of law and order in Chechnya. Many Dagestanis suppose that the Chechens provoked the intervention by their militant separatism.126 Rregular hold-ups of the vital Moscow-Makhachkala train connection and the spread of armed robberies in the districts bordering Chechnya have created popular resentment against the Chechen Government. When in December 1994 President Dzokhar Dudayev appealed to the Dagestanis "to unite with us at this difficult time for the Chechens and not allow Russia to strangle freedom in the Caucasus", there was almost no reaction.127
Another factor explaining the absence of open support for the Chechen struggle is that expressions of open support from the relatively few Dagestani Chechens would not make any difference in the war, while without active engagement they are able to deliver supplies and offer refuge to wounded and exhausted seperatist fighters.128
The large number of refugees from Chechnya that poured into Dagestan starting December 1994 has put a severe strain on the western regions of the republic. According to the Federal Migration Service, the number of registered refugees in May 1995 was 110,000, but the total number probably exceeded 150,000.129 By September 1995, more than half of the refugees from Chechnya had already left Dagestan, partially because of increasing pressure from local administrations. The remaining refugees are expected to stay. The Minister for Nationalities of Dagestan, Magomedsadykh Gysaev, expressed his concern over this group of about 70,000 people and declared that his Government wants them to leave the republic. The Minister complained of a lack of funds for relief operations and blamed the refugees for an increase in the crime rate.130
People have become more pragmatic. The re-emergence of trade and property ownership has made them less inclined to put their life or even their comfort at risk because of vague collective ideas, so the role of nationalism is declining in the political life of most of these new states [in the Caucasus].131
All North Caucasian Republics are extremely dependent on the centre, and they are fearful of not getting anything from Moscow if they do not show loyalty.132
These two citations reflect the two main facets of the situation in Dagestan today. The ethnic conflicts that emerged in Dagestan in 1990-1991 have lost most of their political relevance by 1995. The national movements failed to develop programmes to deal with the economic crisis. Nor have they been successful in obtaining their goals or allowing radical leaders to penetrate Dagestan's political leadership. The decline of the national movements has been accelerated by the dramatic decline in economic security and living standards since 1990. This has made people concentrate on their individual well-being, rather than on ethnic or political issues.
The war in Chechnya has had surprisingly little impact on Dagestan. The initial outburst of popular anger quickly gave way to prudence. Inter-Caucasian solidarity proved to be much weaker than fear of war and the dangers of internal instability.
The Dagestan political landscape is remarkably stable. The Head of State, Magomedali Magomedov, a Dargin, has retained his position since the late 1970s. Only a radical change in the political power balance in Dagestan could bring ethnic issues to the foreground again. This could be brought about by radical changes within the leadership of the Russian Federation or by a collapse of the communist "partocracy" within Dagestan.
Possibly, the significance of national movements was exagerrated from the start. In Dagestan, few people care passionately about their own nationality, and those who do might have gained excessive coverage because outspoken views generally attract more attention than moderate ones.133 Some observers even contest the view that the national movements in Dagestan reflect genuine national feelings. They regard the radicalism in the programmes of organizations like Sadval and Tenglik merely as a means in the hands of minorities and local politicians to obtain privileges and subsidies from the central authorities.134
Dagestan's dependence on federal subsidies is expected to decrease in the coming years. In August 1995, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Oleg Soskovets told the Association of the North Caucasian Republics that they must develop their economies without expecting much help from Moscow.135 Declining subsidies coincide with declining taxes paid to the central authorities. This process will lessen the importance of Dagestan's Government in the economy and increase the role of local leaders. To compensate for decreasing subsidies, the Federal Government is considering granting Dagestan the status of a free economic zone.136
Despite the relativily balanced inter-ethnic situation in Dagestan, outbursts of internal conflict are not to be excluded in the long run, as existing inter-ethnic and inter-clan feuds are contained rather than solved. Currently, the unresolved problem of the division of the Lezgins between Dagestan and Aerbaijan is the most precarious. Future developments in this question depend largely on the evolution of Russian-Azerbaijan relations.
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1. Scholars do not all give the same number of ethnic groups, nationalities and languages in Dagestan as some are more inclined than others to attribute a separate character to related groups and languages.
2. Nieuwe Rotterdamse Courant-Handelsblad, "De Regio's van Rusland", 9 October 1993.
3. Shirin Akiner, Islamic Peoples of the Soviet Union, 2nd ed. (London: Routledge & Keegan Paul, 1986), p. 123.
4. Robert Chenciner and Magomedkhan Magomedkhanov, "Dagestan Avoids Violence". Paper presented at the Conference on the Contemporary North Caucasus, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, 22-23 April 1993, pp. 12-13. Paul B. Henze, "The Demography of the Caucasus According to 1989 Soviet Census Data", Central Asian Survey, Vol. 10, No. 1-2, (October 1991), p. 161.
6. Average natural growth of the Dagestani peoples is 2.5 per cent per year. In order to calculate the actual population, one must add the tens of thousands of Dagestani workers who returned due to the economic decline in the former Soviet Union after 1989. In 1993, Moshe Gammer estimated the Avars at 665,000, 87 per cent of whom lived in Dagestan. His estimates are up to 20 per cent higher than Robert Chenciner's. See Moshe Gammer, "Unity, Diversity and Conflict in the Northern Caucasus". Paper presented at the Conference on the Contemporary North Caucasus, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, 22-23 April 1993.
5. Chenciner and Magomedkhanov, p. 12.
7. Akiner, p. 161.
8. Akiner, pp. 166-7.
9. Jrg Stadelbauer, "Zeitschichtliche Hintergr¸nde Aktueller Konflikte III: Die Konflikte im S¸den der Ehemaligen Sowjetunion: Der Kaukasus", Z¸rcher Beitrge zur Sicherheitspolitik und Konfliktforschung Heft No. 31 (1994), p. 30.
10. Henze, p. 161.
11. Chenciner and Magomedkhanov, p. 1.
12. Chenciner and Magomedkhanov, p. 1.
13. Gadisha T. Omarova, Helsinki Citizens' Assembly. Personal interview, Amsterdam, September 1995.
14. International Alert, "Dagestan Situation Assessment Report". Unpublished Second Draft, May 1995, pp. 24-26.
15. The Current Digest of Post Soviet Press [Columbus], 21 July 1993, quoting Segodnia, "The Distribution of Subsidies to Russia's Regions is Unfair", 25 June 1993.
16. BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Law on the 1994 Federal Budget", 9 July 1994, quoting Rossiskaia Gazeta [Moscow], 6 July 1994.
17. Rieks Smeets, "Introduction" in Rieks Smeets (ed.), The Indigenous Languages of the Caucasus, North East Caucasian Languages (New York: Caravan Books, 1995), Vol. 4, Part 2, p. 9.
18. Helma E. van den Berg, "The Tsezic Peoples and the Policy of Resettlement (with Special Reference to the Hunzib)", Annual for the Study of Caucasia [Chicago], Vol. 4-5 (1992-1993), p. 52.
19. Stadelbauer, p. 27.
20. Chenciner and Magomedkhanov, p. 6.
21. B.G. Hewitt, "The Caucasus" in The Times Guide to the Peoples of Europe (London: Times Books, 1994) p. 6.
22. Helma E. van den Berg. Personal interview, University of Leiden, August 1995.
23. Le Monde Diplomatique [Paris], "Les Mille et Une Guerres du Caucase", Vol. 41, No. 485 (August 1994), p. 20.
24. Chenciner and Magomedkhanov, p. 8. Jane Ormrod, "North Caucasus: Fragmentation or Federation?", Central Asian Survey, Vol. 11, No. 7, (July 1992), p. 465.
25. Magomed P. Magomedov, village elder. Personal interview, Karabulakh, April 1995.
27. Akiner, pp. 123-125.
28. Akiner, p. 124.
29. Moshe Gammer, Muslim Resistance to the Tsar: Shamil and the Conquest of Chechnia and Dagestan (London, Frank Cass Publishers, 1993), p. 135.
30. Russia Briefing [London], "The Terek Cossacks", Vol. 3, No. 5 (29 May 1995), p. 8.
31. Marie Benningsen-Broxup, "The Last Ghazawat: The 1920-1921 Uprising" in Marie Benningsen-Broxup (ed.), The North Caucasus Barrier: The Russian Advance Towards the Muslim World (London, C. Hurst and Company, 1992).
32. Eastern Europe Newsletter, "The North Caucasus", Vol. 6, No. 10 (11 May 1992), p. 4. Suzanne Goldenberg, Pride of Small Nations, (London: Zed Books Ltd, 1995), p. 203.
33. BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Caucasus Confederation Warned not to Interfere in Chechnya's Internal Affairs", 9 September 1994, quoting ITAR-TASS News Agency [Moscow], 7 September 1994.
34. Yusup Soslambekov, Speaker of the parliament of the Confederation of Mountainous Peoples of the Caucasus. Personal interview, Nunspeet, November 1994.
35. Rieks Smeets, Lecturer in Caucasian Languages, University of Leiden. Personal interview, July 1995.
36. Chenciner and Magomedov, p. 2.
37. Robert Chenciner, "The 1990 Elections in Daghestan", Central Asia and Caucasus Chronicle, Vol. 9, No. 4, p. 5.
38. Kasbek Ch. Magomedov, Editor in Chief of Ekho Kavkaza. Personal interview, Moscow, 5 July 1995.
39. International Alert, p. 41.
40. Ibid., p. 42.
41. Ibid., pp. 43-45.
42. Le Monde Diplomatique [Paris], "Les Mille et Une Guerres du Caucase", Vol. 41, No. 485 (August 1994), p. 20.
43. Gadisha T. Omarova, Helsinki Citizens' Assembly. Personal interview, Amsterdam, September 1995.
44. Open Media Research Institute Daily Digest [Prague], "Mafia Vs. Nomenclatura in Daghestan", 26 June 1995, quoting Bechernyaia Kazan, 30 May 1995 (electronic format).
45. Open Media Research Institute Daily Digest [Prague], "Duma Member Attacked in Dagestan", 24 August 1995, quoting Sovetskaia Rossia [Moscow], 24 August 1995, and Radio Mayak [Moscow], 15 August 1995 (electronic format).
46. Kazbek Ch. Magomedov, Editor in Chief of Ekho Kavkaza. Personal interview, Moscow, July 1995.
48. BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Reports of Persecution of Democrats in Russia's Regions", 14 August 1995, quoting Radio Russia [Moscow], 12 August 1995.
49. Le Monde Diplomatique, p. 20.
50. Stadelbauer, p. 33.
51. Yuri Kulchik, Head of the Moscow Institute for Social and Political Studies. Personal interview, Nunspeet, November 1994.
54. Helen Krag, and Lars Funch, The North Caucasus: Minorities at a Crossroads, (London: Minority Rights Group International, 1994), p. 20.
55. Aragil Electronic News Bulletin [Glendale], Issue 525 (24 November 1994) (electronic format).
56. Stadelbauer, p. 33.
57. For instance L. Petrushevsky, Dzhar-Belakan in the First Part of XIX Century, reprint (Moscow, 1995).
58. Azerbaijan Aydinlig Association [Berkeley], 12 June 1995, quoting Turan News Agency [Baku], 12 June 1995 (electronic format).
59. BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Reports of Police Clashes with Locals in Northwest of Republic", 16 July 1994, quoting Turan News Agency [Baku], 13 July 1994.
60. Chenciner and Magomedkhanov, p. 7.
61. Akiner, p. 147.
62. International Alert, p. 22.
63. Krag, p. 22.
64. Alexandre Benningsen and S. Enders Wimbush, Muslims of the Soviet Empire (London: C. Hurst & Company, 1985), p. 170.
65. Moshe Gammer, "Unity, Diversity and Conflict in the Northern Caucasus", p. 8.
66. Ormrod, p. 464.
67. Stadelbauer, p. 37
68. Ormrod, p. 464.
69. Kasbek Ch. Magomedov, Editor in Chief of Ekho Kavkaza. Personal interview, Moscow, 5 July 1995.
70. Elizabeth Fuller, "Caucasus: The Lezgin Campaign for Autonomy", Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Research Report, Vol. 1, No. 41, (16 October 1992), p. 30.
71. Ormrod, p. 464.
72. Hewitt, p. 8; Fuller, p. 31.
73. Covcas Bulletin [Geneva], "Lezkis Demand Unification with Russia", 20 April 1994, quoting Yergir Daily [Yerevan], 6 April 1994.
74. Ormrod, p. 467.
75. Yuri Kulchik, Head of the Moscow Institute for Social and Political Studies. Personal interview, Nunspeet, November 1994.
76. Russia Briefing, "The Cossacks: Sabre-Rattling", Vol. 1, No. 2, (27 March 1993), p. 7.
77. BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "New Slavic Organization Set Up in Dagestan", 26 July 1994, quoting ITAR-TASS News Agency [Moscow], 18 July 1994.
78. Kasbek Ch. Magomedov, Editor in Chief of Ekho Kavkaza. Personal interview, Moscow, July 1995.
79. Yusup Soslambekov, Speaker of the parliament of the Confederation of Mountainous Peoples of the Caucasus. Personal interview, Nunspeet, November 1994.
80. The Current Digest of Post-Soviet Press [Columbus], "United Cossacks Intend to Defend Their Comrades in the Republics", 19 July 1993, p. 28, quoting Izvestia (Moscow), 14 July 1993. p. 4.
81. Russia Briefing, "The Terek Cossacks", Vol. 3, No. 5 (29 May 1995), pp. 11-12.
82. Helsinki Watch, "Punished Peoples" of the Soviet Union (Washington, September 1991), p. 23.
83. Svetlana U. Alieva, Tak Sto Vilo, Nationalnie Repressii V SSSR 1919-1952 Godi, (Moscow: Rossiisky Megdunarodnii Fond Kulturi "Insan", 1993), Vol. 2, p. 213.
84. Alieva, p. 214.
85. Alieva, p. 227.
86. Svetlana U. Alieva, Historian. Personal interview, Moscow, July 1995.
87. Ormrod, p. 465.
88. Analytica Moscow/Politica Weekly Press Summary, "Chechens in Dagestan Refuse to Side with Dudayev", 30 December 1994, quoting Rossiiskaia Gazeta [Moscow], 28 December 1994 (electronic format).
89. Benningsen, p. 165.
90. Akiner, pp. 167-168.
91. Personal interview with Lak residents of Khasav Yurt, July 1995.
92. Chenciner and Magomedkhanov, p. 7.
93. Yuri Kulchik, Head of the Moscow Institute for Social and Political Studies. Personal interview, Nunspeet, November 1994.
94. Ormrod, p. 466.
95. Ormrod, p.466.
96. Yuri Kulchik, Head of the Moscow Institute for Social and Political Studies. Personal interview, Nunspeet, November 1994.
97. Robert E. Chenciner, Lecturer in Caucasian Languages. Personal interview, London, March 1995.
98. Olga Vasileva and Timur Musaev, Severnyy Kavkaz V Poiskakh Regionalnoy Ideologyy, (Moscow: Progress, 1994), p. 36
99. Vasileva and Musaev, p. 37.
100. Robert Chenciner, Lecturer in Caucasian Languages. Personal interview, London, March 1994.
101. Personal interview with Lak residents of Khasav Yurt, July 1995.
102. Yuri Kulchik, Head of the Moscow Institute for Social and Political Studies. Personal interview, Nunspeet, November 1994.
104. Ormrod, p.468.
105. Russia Briefing [London], "The Terek Cossacks", Vol. 3, No. 5, (29 May 1995), p. 8.
106. Personal interview with Chechen residents of Khasav Yurt, July 1995.
107. Russia Briefing [London], "The Regional Terek Diaspora", Vol. 3, No. 5 (29 May 1995), p. 9.
108. Yuri Kulchik, Head of the Moscow Institute for Social and Political Studies. Personal interview, Nunspeet, November 1994.
109. BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Russia: More than 20 Cossack Units to be Formed in Army", 18 August 1995, quoting Interfax News Agency [Moscow], 16 August 1995.
110. Hewitt, p. 8.
112. Armen Halatian, Researcher at the Moscow Institute for Social and Political Studies. Telephone interview, 6 January 1995.
113. Prism [Jamestown], "An Ethnic Challenge to International Borders", Vol. 1, No. 6, Part 2, (2 June 1995) (electronic format).
114. Fuller, p. 31.
115. Gammer, "Unity", p. 9.
116. Foreign Broadcast Information Service Daily Report: Central Eurasia, [Washington], 9 October 1992, quoting Nezavisimaia Gazeta [Moscow], R. Batyrshin, "The Lezghian Question as Detonator of a Fresh Conflict: Will Azerbaijan and Russia Be Able to Avoid It?", 15 September 1992.
117. Hewitt, p. 8.
119. Prism [Jamestown], "An Ethnic Challenge to International Borders", Vol. 1, No. 6, Part 2, (2 June 1995) (electronic format)
121. Monitor [Jamestown], "Young Lezgins Said to Cross into Dagestan from Azerbaijan", 13 September 1995, quoting Interfax News Agency [Moscow], 11 September 1995 (electronic format).
122. De Volkskrant [Amsterdam], Thomas L. Friedman, "Olie Uit Baku Is Wel een Bom Waard", 15 September 1995.
123. Magomed Magomedov, village elder. Personal interview, Karabulakh, April 1995.
124. International Alert, p. 61.
125. Azerbaijan Aydinlig Association [Baku], 8 February 1995, quoting Turan News Agency [Makhachkala], 8 February 1995 (electronic format).
126. Personal interview with Lak, Chechen and Dargin inhabitants of Khasav Yurt, July 1995.
127. Covcas Bulletin [Geneva/Washington], "Russian Bombers Pound Grozny overnight", Vol. 5 No. 1. (4 January 1995), quoting Reuters, 23 December 1994 (electronic format).
128. Personal interview with Chechen separatist fighters, Makhketi, July 1995.
129. BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "More Than 370,000 People Flee Chechnya Since Mid-December 1994", 24 May 1995, quoting Interfax News Agency [Moscow], 22 May 1995.
130. Open Media Research Institute Daily Digest [Prague], "Dagestan Wants to Return Chechen Refugees", 26 September 1995, quoting Izvestia [Moscow], 26 September 1995 (electronic format).
131. Emil Pain, "The Long Legacy of Ethnic Engineering", War Report [London], No. 24, (June 1995) p. 25.
132. President Ruslan Aushev of Ingushetia, quoted in BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Aushev Urges Yeltsin to Stave Off Caucasus War", 6 February 1995, quoting Segodnia [Moscow], 4 February 1995.
133. Rieks Smeets, Lecturer in Caucasian Languages, Rijksuniversiteit Leiden. Personal interview, September 1995.
134. Kasbek Ch. Magomedov, Editor in Chief of Ekho Kavkaza. Personal interview, Moscow, July 1995.
135. Monitor [Jamestown], "Soskovets Tells North Caucasians Not to Count on Moscow Aid", 21 August 1995, quoting Russian Television, 19 August 1995 (electronic format).
136. Monitor [Jamestown], "A Fez for Daghestan", 18 July 1995, quoting Segodnia, 18 July 1995 (electronic format).