Estemirova Murder: a Sign of Thinly-Disguised Totalitarianism in the North Caucasus

Publication: Eurasia Daily Monitor Volume: 6 Issue: 139July 21, 2009 01:08 PM Age: 23 hrs
By: Valery Dzutsev

2 thoughts on “Estemirova Murder: a Sign of Thinly-Disguised Totalitarianism in the North Caucasus

  1. Valery — I just found your blog….. I’ll put it on my RSS reader.

    I’m curious how N. Ossetia fits into this system of ‘totalitarianism,’ as you call it. I wonder also how S. Ossetia (as you understand it) fits in this unfortunate situation. That Georgia is unpalatable to many Ossetians in S.O., esp. after last August, is clear. But what a rock and a hard place, if the N. Caucasus are as bad as you describe! Certainly the Abkhazians have a similar path to tread – although that leadership seems more reticent than the leadership of S.O.

    • Thanks, Julie
      In North Ossetia totalitarianism is definitely more subtle, than in other republics. Because there is no need to have greater degree of it. The North Ossetian specific degree has worked just as fine.

      In each republic the situation is unique and each has a different agenda. In a small article it is hard to address each republic’s twists of totalitarianism, but it is certainly there.

      There are commonalities of course, one of them is total state control of the media, except to certain degree Dagestan. New papers are prevented from coming out. There are two North Caucasus region wide papers published in North Caucasus, they are both under direct FSB control. And no one has been able to set up a regional paper without FSB’s consent.

      Media is only one aspect of the problem. No independent local political force is allowed to form, every single political movement is either prevented from functioning or put under direct control of the state, this apply to every republic in North Caucasus.

      State terror is used to govern most of the republics of North Caucasus, all except North Ossetia, where the existing measures suffice.

      South Ossetia has followed in the steps of North Caucasian republics. It is in many respects a hyper North Caucasian republic. However, the fact, that it has at least formal independence, provides it with opportunities to change in future.

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