Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 5 Issue: 43

Chechen State Council Chairman Taus Dzhabrailov on November 19 called for the merging the existing republics of the North Caucasus into a single territory with its capital in Vladikavkaz, which is currently the capital of North Ossetia. Novye izvestia on November 22 quoted Aleksei Malashenko of the Moscow Carnegie Center as saying that the Kremlin administration was behind the idea as part of its overall plan to build “a vertical of power” and eliminate “small regions by means of creating big ones.”

Malashenko told the newspaper that the idea of merging Chechnya with Ingushetia, which was voiced by the late Chechen President Akhmad Kadyrov about a year ago, was simply a “trial balloon” in this plan. He added, however, that consolidating the republics of the North Caucasus into one big republic with Vladikavkaz as its capital would not work given that “Vladikavkaz is the capital of the only North Caucasian republic in which Christians are the majority” and this would “grate upon local Muslims.”