Friday, May 9, 2014

‘Ethno-Religious Organized Crime’ Now Threatens North Caucasus, Moscow Says

By Paul Goble

The Russian Procuracy has told the Federation Council (upper chamber of parliament) that “the greatest threat to security and stability in the North Caucasus region comes from organized criminal formations of a religious-extremist direction, which have formed diversionary groups” (

Moscow officials clearly intend this to be a sign of progress in their fight against the militants, an indication that militant groups are no longer receiving as much funding from abroad as they did, and that the militants are having to return to methods they used in the early 1990s to finance their operations. But the situation is more complicated than that, and the convergence of criminal and militant groups in the North Caucasus may make it more difficult for the authorities there to root out either. Indeed, this symbiosis could lead to a new growth in both.

While Moscow’s latest statement is little more than a combination of charges Russian officials have made against the militants in the North Caucasus in the past, it calls attention to three new developments, each of which bears watching.  First, it suggests that the militants now have an increasingly effective way of financing themselves domestically even if Moscow is able to cut off their funding from abroad.  Indeed, the report says that one of the most common kinds of criminal-militant interaction is the use of stolen or lost bank cards to funnel money to anti-Russian groups in the countryside.

Second, the new terminology suggests that Russian officials now plan to charge at least some “ordinary” criminals with links to those Moscow identifies as terrorists.  That would significantly increase the sentences of anyone so charged.  Russian prosecutors clearly believe that this will act as a deterrent against the willingness of any criminal to cooperate with militants.  But the result could be exactly the opposite: If ordinary criminals are likely to face such charges, they may have good reason to link up with militants who may be in a position to provide them with some protection against judicial overreach.  Indeed, such a change in Russian prosecutorial behavior could lead to the growth of militant groups rather than the reverse.

And third, this new term suggests that Moscow now faces a far more deep-rooted problem than it did in the past. If criminal groups and militant ones are linking up in the ways that the prosecutors say, then the Russian authorities face a far more difficult challenge in the North Caucasus than they have been claiming in recent years. That such a conclusion is justified is suggested by the report itself: it says that given what is taking place, the authorities must set up “a reliable organization of operational-investigative activity directed in the first instance at uncovering criminal intensions and also at the identification and location of persons involved in the preparation and carrying out of crimes of a terrorist character.”

At the very least, this suggests that, today, Russian law enforcement bodies are, in fact, very much afraid that they face an enemy who is stronger than in the past.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Aspirants,
    Direct Admission 2014, Management Quota, NRI seats For MBBS, BDS, and MBA
    We are the most preferred education counselor for admission in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Maharshatra and some north indian states. Get assistance to decide the best undergraduate/post-graduate for all courses like B.Tech, M.B.B.S, MBA and others institutions across INDIA
    We offer courses both Regular and Distance.
    call Shilpa 7795730501
    **Career counselling and Admission Guidance for 2014**
    Admissions for B. Tech in top ranking colleges in India like:
    1. NIRMA University Ahmedabad
    2. BIT Mesra, Ranchi
    3. RV College Of Engineering, Bangalore
    4. Ramaiah College of Engineering Bangalore
    5. PESIT, Bangalore
    6. BMS, Bangalore
    7. SRM, Chennai
    8. DayanandSagar, Bangalore
    9. Don Bosco IT, Bangalore and many more
    ***We have no donation colleges also*** Government Universities like: Bundelkhand University, Jhansi, Rajasthan Govt Colleges
    Admissions for MBA in top ranking colleges in India like
    1. Christ College, Bangalore
    2. Alliance college, Bangalore
    3. Jain College, Bangalore
    4. Ramaiah, Bangalore
    5. PES College of Management, Bangalore
    6. BIT and many more
    St John’s, Bangalore
    Ramaiah, Bangalore
    KIMS, Bangalore
    MVJ Medical College, Bangalore
    VIMS, Bangalore
    Father Muller
    DY Patil, Pune
    Bhartiya Vidyapeeth
    Adichunchungiri Institute of Medical Sciences
    and many More.
    Contact for admission in GERMANY, CHINA and Philippines for M.B.B.S courses.
    For further information about MBBS, B.Tech & MBA admissions in top ranking colleges Interested candidates please call - Shilpa Ghosh 7795730501
    For Student's Interested in Fashion and Media, we are the authorised admission centre for seats of WHISTLING WOODS INTERNATIONAL (Run by Subhash Ghai)
    Follow us on Facebook and be in touch with us for any guidance or query -
    Mail Us @ Shilpa Ghosh 7795730501


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.