Crossfire War: Caucasus/Caspian Sea Region – Dagestan Breakdown


Night Watch: MOSCOW – “There are attacks on police, terrorist acts, attacks on deputies and ministers,” a statement from Saigidpasha Umakhanov, the ethnically Avar mayor of the town of Khasavyurt, who admitted the government is too corrupt to stop the war.

He was attempting to describe the chaotic situation in Dagestan, which borders the oil rich Caspian Sea region, the main front in World War III. He continued, quoted by Reuters, “The government has seized the whole republic, so as to divide up all the money for itself. Well, for the people that is a problem. The government is fighting the people.”

The article admitted the police have written off the region, no doubt reflecting the view of Moscow and those that provide Moscow with its hard currency, primarily Berlin. But they cannot afford to write off the raw materials so essential to the industrialized world. As long as London and Washington continue to march to Teheran’s agenda and chase the Jiahd around Iraq, their contribution will be negligible.

An analyst from the Moscow Carnegie Center think tank, Alexei Malashenko continued, “There is 60% unemployment, there is uncertainty about the government, there is tension between Avars and the Dargins, who are the two main peoples who want their representative (as local leader). The situation is just getting worse, in every way. This terrorism is a war against the police by the Islamist groups, who are getting bigger alongside their criminal allies.”

Dagestan is the size of Scotland but has 2 million impoverished inhabitants who speak 29 unintelligible languages. One of their unified, common complaints is that the representative to Moscow, Magomed Magomedov, in place since Soviet times, is a Dargin and representatives of rival peoples have long felt his relatives have a virtual stranglehold on power.

The largest nationalistic group in the Caucasus resistance is the Avar and they are inspired by strict Islamic beliefs, not at all alien to Teheran or the Wahhabis of Saudi Arabia. They have access to Chechen web sites and have just pledged to attack Moscow in a operation called “Stab the Pig in the Heart.”

In the most recent engagements, on Thursday a train was derailed by a bomb north of the capital Makhachkala, following a gun battle in the town center on Wednesday. Last Friday the explosion there killed 10 Russian soldiers. Police have admitted they have lost at least 28 officers this year while militant and federal forces have lost even more. Civilian losses are not even being taken seriously.

Industrial interests connected to the oil industry are also caught in the crossfire. Not to mention newly constructed oil and gas pipelines that are at extreme risks and will be until the industrialized world responds successfully to Iran’s effort to control the resources of the Caspian.

It will not take much more fighting for Moscow to have lost control over half of the North Caucasus, placing at risk any investment or projection in the oil-rich states to the south. That would overstretch Russia’s desperate military in the same way the US/UK are overstretched in Iraq.

However success in the Caucasus will be taken more seriously by Teheran-Ankara-Riyadh. Russia is making preparations to respond more effectively and with massive assistance from Berlin, the ones who found Putin, but it would probably take a couple of years to convince Teheran the Jihad will not be the final victor.

Night Watch Information Service

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Willard Payne is an international affairs analyst who specializes in International Relations. A graduate of Western Illinois University with a concentration in East-West Trade and East-West Industrial Cooperation, he has been providing incisive analysis to NewsBlaze. He is the author of Imagery: The Day Before.