Armed conflict in the North Caucasus, which has seen ebbs and flows of violence since the mid-90s, has now significantly quieted. The armed insurgency first emerged as the militant wing of a post-Soviet separatist movement in Chechnya, it gradually transformed into a regional jihadist project that was consolidated by Imarat Kavkaz (IK) in 2007, and in June 2015 experienced its third reincarnation. In the third wave, the remaining militant groups overwhelmingly swore allegiance to the socalled Islamic State of Iraq and Levent (ISIL or ISIS) and by 2016, roughly 3,000 radicals from the region joined jihadists in Syria and Iraq, precipitating a steady decrease in the number of victims and violent incidents in the North Caucasus. However, most experts and community leaders in the North Caucasus share concerns that the reprieve in violence could only be temporary. The risk of re-escalation is real, therefore the Russian federal and regional authorities should increase the effectiveness of their efforts that are aimed at preventing new waves of radicalization into jihadist violence.
Will new waves of radicalization in the North Caucasus be prevented? Conflict Analysis and Prevention Center.
by Dr. Ekaterina Sokirianskaia
Conflict Analysis and Prevention Center. 1 February 2019