The Russian North Caucasus during the Ukraine War
The Russian North Caucasus has played a special role in the invasion of Ukraine. Journalists estimate that at least 60 men from Dagestan died fighting for Russia by March 23, indicating that this republic had lost more soldiers, by far, than any other region in Russia. In terms of public messaging, Chechen ruler Ramzan Kadyrov has been one of the loudest cheerleaders for the “special operation,” rattling his saber at every opportunity and declaring the seizure of Ukrainian territories before it’s actually happened.
Across the North Caucasus, one of the most crucial factors when it comes to military service is the absence of alternatives. Unemployment is higher in this region than anywhere else in Russia. It’s the highest of all in Ingushetia, where it exceeds 30 percent.
To find out more about the war’s impact here, The Naked Pravda turned to Ingush journalist and activist Izabella Evloeva and independent political and security analyst Harold Chambers. (Also, Meduza extends a special thanks to journalist Katie Marie Davies for her assistance with dubbing parts of this episode.)
Timestamps for this episode:
- (3:26) How does unemployment affect support for the war?
- (4:37 and 9:15) How regional leaders have responded to the invasion
- (6:39) The felony “disinformation” case against Izabella Evloeva
- (11:11) The colonial relationship between Russia and Ingushetia
- (12:13) Popular attitudes about the war
- (13:54) Could the war go so badly for Russia that it creates unrest back home?
- (15:00) Ramzan Kadyrov’s changing public image