Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 209

About 500 people demonstrated on the outskirts of Khasavyurt to protest the worsening crime situation in the areas of Dagestan bordering Chechnya. According to Dagestan’s Security Council secretary, Magomet Tolboev, the protesters’ main demands were to make the border regime as tough as possible and to guarantee the security of local residents. Tolboev said the protesters intend to go to Makhachkala and to hold a meeting in front of the State Council building. Tolboev noted that such a turn of events is "undesirable for the government; representatives of the republican Security Council and the Ministry of Nationalities are therefore trying to explain things to the protesters in Khasavyurt." Makhachkala police have been put on alert and additional security measures are being taken in the capital in anticipation of the protests. (Russian agencies, November 6)

"Of all the regions bordering Chechnya, Dagestan has suffered most from criminal elements from Chechnya, who infiltrate into our republic’s territory. The patience of Dagestanis is not boundless. The population has already begun to arm itself. If we and the federal authorities do not succeed in stopping armed provocations from the Chechen side soon, the situation in Dagestan could get out of control," Tolboev told the Monitor.

Against this background, the authorities in Dagestan have apparently decided to dig a trench along the administrative border with Chechnya. In the words of Dagestan’s deputy interior minister, Magomed Omarov, the government has already allocated the required money and equipment, and work is soon to start in the Khasavyurt, Kizlyar, Nogai, Babayurt, and Novolak districts of the republic. Omarov claimed that the measure is being taking to counter the deteriorating criminal situation on the Dagestani-Chechen border. He said the trench will be patrolled by mobile MVD groups, who will have the right "to use force ruthlessly to prevent any attempt to cross the border illegally." (Russian agencies, November 6)

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