#2 - JRL 2009-168 - JRL Home
RIA Novosti
September 9, 2009
Expert: The threat of Russia's disintegration has been eliminated in the ten years since the explosions in Buinaksk, Volgodonsk, and Moscow

(RIA Novosti interviews First Vice President of the Center of Political Technologies Alexei Makarkin)

QUESTION: What has been done in the ten years since the explosions in Buinaksk, Volgodonsk, and Moscow?

ANSWER: Russia has restored its control over the Chechen Republic. I think this is the main achievement.

The federal government lost control of the territory beginning in the spring of 1991. The self-proclaimed Republic of Ichkeria emerged there, which was not recognized by any country. In August of 1999, the territory launched an invasion against Dagestan, which threatened to spread to other regions.

This republic was unable to become a fully-fledged state, because it was torn apart by strong contradictions between the nationalists, who wanted to be independent of Russia, and the Islamic fundamentalists, who viewed Ichkeria as a bridgehead for attacking Russia.

By August of 1999, the radicals prevailed, at which point Russia launched its counterterrorist operation in Chechnya. As a result, bases of the militants in the republic were liquidated, which was the main objective.

Large-scale acts of terror were stopped, albeit not without heavy losses and tragedies, such as the hostage crises of Nord Ost in the Dubrovka Theater Center and at the school in Beslan in North Ossetia. There have been no major terrorist acts since Beslan. I think this is a very great success.

What problems still exist? The terrorist underground in the North Caucasus has not been eliminated, and even has become more active as of late. The terrorists have changed their tactics. Now they are attacking people who support the federal government in the region. The terrorists want to destroy or intimidate these people. There has been an assassination attempt on Ingush President Yunus-Bek Yevkurov, Dagestan's Minister of the Interior Magomed Tekirov was murdered, there was an explosion at a police department in Nazran, and Dagestan policemen have been killed.

In other words, terrorists are trying to undermine support for the federal government in the regions. They understand that they will not achieve this goal overnight, and that there will be no second Buddenovsk, but they are hoping to destabilize the situation gradually. A number of factors are working in their favor, such as poor social and economic standards, massive unemployment, and corruption.

QUESTION: The explosions that we discussed coincide with the appearance of Vladimir Putin on the political Olympus. What could you say about his role in restoring constitutional law and order in Russia in the past ten years?

ANSWER: Putin came as a military leader, and managed to win back respect for the federal government.

In the 1990s, federal officials were not respected in the North Caucasus. Under Putin, the prestige of the federal government was restored in the region. As Prime Minister and President, Putin proved the government's ability to make decisions... The bridgehead for terrorism in Chechnya was eliminated over these last ten years...

QUESTION: From a historical perspective, what has been achieved over this period?

ANSWER: Russia's disintegration was prevented. There used to be various separatist and extremist centrifugal forces, when the regions lived according to their own laws and rules that did not conform to the federal ones. This situation has been eliminated...

QUESTION: What was Putin's historical role during these ten years?

ANSWER: Obviously, historians will assess his role more accurately. Putin gave people the confidence and hope for a better life. It is indicative that even despite the current financial and economic crisis, the level of trust in the authorities is very high, and this trust is highly personified.

Bookmark and Share - Back to the Top -        


Bookmark and Share

- Back to the Top -        

  Follow Johnson's Russia List on Twitter