Russia’s Minister of North Caucasus Affairs has accused the subjects of the North Caucasus Federal District of stealing gas and electricity and chronic non-payment. But many locals say the utility bills are beyond what they can pay.
Prisoners from the Caucasus in Russian jails receive a ‘special treatment’ of beatings, bullying, and torture from both prison authorities and their fellow inmates. But in the ‘green zone’ prisons, where Muslim inmates have developed a system of resistance — the North Caucasians are fighting back.
The Commission on adaptation of militants coming back from Syria to peaceful life has functioned in Kabardino-Balkaria for over 6 years. Despite its mandate to reintegrate former militants into society, a number of high-profile prosecutions has raised doubts over the authorities’ true commitment to peacefully returning them to civilian life.
While official statistics may say otherwise, many see unemployment in Kabardino-Balkaria and Karachay–Cherkessia as among the worst in Russia. Deindustrialisation, social alienation, and local corruption have all played a part in the region’s stagnation.
Despite the appearance of antiquity in Kabardino-Balkaria’s clan system, they are less a part of Circassian culture than a product of imperialism.
An atmosphere of impunity and poor funding for schools in Kabardino-Balkaria has led to state schools being run as businesses, with a teachers making money at the expense of parents and their children.
Inhabitants of Kabardino-Balkaria who were subjected to political repressions in 1930s and 1940s believe that Russia is returning to Stalin’s era.
Around 1,000 Christian Baptists live in majority Muslim Kabardino-Balkaria. One member of the community, Chechen man Ruslan Osmanov, told OC Media about how his new-found religion helped him to find his place and to break with a life of crime and addiction.
Young people from Kabardino-Balkaria have increasingly been leaving in droves. They move in search of better salaries and living conditions. In their place, more and more foreign labour migrants are arriving, but not all of them are welcomed with open arms.
Officials in Kabardino-Balkaria are using a complex, illegal scheme to seize agricultural land from local farmers. These powerful and connected people are lining their own pockets, and in the process depriving farmers of their basic means of making a living.