Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 9

Cossack atamans and Chechen government officials are meeting in Stavropol today to discuss ways of restoring calm following the recent killing of 26 Cossacks in Naursky district in northern Chechnya. The Cossacks were murdered and their houses were set ablaze. The incidents provoked Cossack protests along the border between Chechnya and neighboring Stavropol krai. Today’s meeting will be chaired by President Ruslan Aushev of Ingushetia. According to Chechen presidential candidate Movladi Udugov, the murders were a provocation aimed at sparking armed conflict between Chechens and Cossacks, the aim of which is to undermine Chechnya’s upcoming elections. The chairman of the Duma’s Defense Committee, Lev Rokhlin, is also in Stavropol krai to attend tomorrow’s council of atamans of southern Russia in Pyatigorsk. The Cossacks are calling for three Cossack-inhabited districts on the left bank of the River Terek in northern Chechnya to be transferred to Stavropol krai in the event that Chechnya becomes independent. They are also demanding the right to bear arms and to patrol the border with Chechnya. (Itar-Tass, Interfax, January 13)

Risks and Rewards in Russia’s Regions.