On January 2, the Forum on Early Warning and Early Response released a lengthy report concerning the situation in Chechnya. The organization had organized a roundtable, held in Piatigorsk on December 15-16, which was attended by leaders of Chechen communities in Russia as well as representatives from Russian federal ministries and from international organizations. Particularly noteworthy are the three “scenarios of possible developments” for Chechnya which the forum identified.
The “most probable” of these, the forum maintained, “is an on-going, protracted war, sooner or later followed by a setback for the federal forces and negotiations with the separatists.” A second “less probable” scenario sees “rebel activity increasing, with the seizure of Gudermes, Djohar and other important Chechen settlements,” while terrorist and diversionary acts in neighboring regions of Russia are possible. Such terrorist acts would serve, in turn, to generate “xenophobic and ‘Chechenophobic’ campaigns” within Russia itself. Under a third “less probable” scenario “the conflict may escalate, with its geographic scope broadening and spilling over to other regions of the North Caucasus… This scenario is fraught with the possibility of a large-scale Caucasian war and the disintegration of Russia’s southern regions.”