Publication: Monitor Volume: 4 Issue: 3

In other remarks to the press, Russian deputy premier and interior minister Kulikov said yesterday that the most dangerous sectors of Dagestan’s border with Chechnya will be put under additional guard. He said it has already been decided to increase the number of policemen in the republic by one thousand to carry out this task. (RTR, January 6) But Kulikov said there is no need to create self-defense detachments in Dagestan.

A few months ago, Dagestani Security Council secretary Magomet Tolboev advocated creating armed self-defense detachments of Dagestanis living in the districts along the Chechen border. In December, this proposal was approved by the members of the Dagestani Security Council. For a long time, however, there was no official reaction from the Kremlin to this initiative. It seems probable that Moscow feared that, in multi-ethnic Dagestan, such detachments could be transformed into ethnic micro-armies which would inevitably come into conflict with one another. At the same time, taking into account the explosive nature of the situation in Dagestan, Moscow did not want to refuse Makhachkala’s initiative and preferred to delay its answer.

From all indications, Kulikov’s statement is Moscow’s official, albeit belated, answer to the initiative of the Dagestani authorities.

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