Military Review

Yana Amelina: North Ossetia, Dagestan, Ingushetia, Chechnya - "Equalization to Georgia"?

Yana Amelina: North Ossetia, Dagestan, Ingushetia, Chechnya - "Equalization to Georgia"?Georgian influence in the North Caucasus: interim results

After Tbilisi unilaterally abolished the visa regime (from 13 in October 2010 - for residents of the North Caucasus, from 29 in February 2012 - for all citizens of the Russian Federation) the attitude towards Georgia in the public consciousness of the inhabitants of the region significantly improved. Georgia began to be perceived as an example to follow, not only in the socio-economic, but also in the socio-political sphere. Local politicians, businessmen, lawyers, civil activists, and, most worryingly, ordinary citizens are talking about this openly and on their own initiative. This process was most clearly manifested in the past six months, and so far there is no reason to believe that this trend will reverse.

In the different republics of the North Caucasus, "alignment with Georgia" has its own nuances.

North Ossetia. It is here that the only official land checkpoint across the Russian-Georgian border ("Kazbegi - Upper Lars") is located. About 9 of thousands of Georgians live in RNO-A, while in Georgia there are about 32 of thousands of Ossetians, mostly Georgian. More than 60 thousands of Ossetians fled from Georgia as a result of persecution on a national basis in the early nineties - mid-two thousand years, approximately 25-30 thousands left South Ossetia as a result of the Georgian-Ossetian conflict. Most of them moved to North Ossetia, significantly increasing the burden on the republican budget and social infrastructure. In this republic they know firsthand about the critical moments that accompanied the Ossetian-Georgian relations for at least the last twenty years.

However, after the abolition of the visa regime, the flow of people leaving the Russian-Georgian border increased significantly. In March 2012, the number of visitors from Russia increased threefold, and in April four times. In May, the number of visitors from Russia increased even more (by 99,2% compared to the same period last year). In general, after Georgia canceled the visa regime with the Russian Federation, the number of visitors from Russia increased by 85% (1). On weekends, dozens of cars sometimes pile up on the border. Most visit relatives residing in Georgia. Among the wealthy residents of the RNO-A, short pleasure trips to the restaurants of Tbilisi, to the ski resort in Gudauri, etc. are becoming increasingly popular.

Visitors to Georgia note the benevolent attitude of the population and law enforcement agencies. At the same time, dozens of cases are known where Georgian border guards, without giving reasons, refused to allow Ossetians who lived or had relatives in the villages of the formerly predominantly Ossetian-populated frontier Kazbegi region of Georgia (2) to pass through. Employees of the Georgian special services are trying to recruit individuals from across the border, asking about what is happening in the North Caucasus.

Despite these nuances, over the past year, the standard topic of conversation with a client of North Ossetian taxi drivers changed from the statement "We need Stalin!" on "in Georgia everything is not as we are told on TV." According to numerous interlocutors from different segments of the population, the problem of corruption has been solved in Georgia, beautiful roads have been built, the police "do not cling to drivers," "reforms are underway," etc. Comparing the situation with the Russian realities, they make an unequivocal conclusion in favor of Georgia. At the same time, pointing to the achievements of the ruling Georgian regime, residents of North Ossetia are not inclined to idealize the personality of Saakashvili himself (some explain: "although he was a freak, he did a lot for his people").

It is characteristic that the majority of those who advertise the Georgian achievements have never been to Georgia personally, but they trust the information received from relatives and friends. If we turn to absolute numbers, they are striking in their insignificance. Thus, according to the information and analytical department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia, in January-February 2012 (the visa-free regime was valid only for residents of the North Caucasus), the Kazbegi-Upper Lars checkpoint was used by 13,6 thousand people. 7760 or 57% of them were citizens of Russia, 3529 (26%) - Armenia, 1559 (11%) - Georgia, 458 (3%) - Azerbaijan, 226 (2%) - Ukraine, and 84 or 1% - citizens of others States. In January-February of the current year, the checkpoint crossed 1976 from North Ossetia, 80 from Dagestan (however, it should be noted that many Dagestanis travel to Georgia via Azerbaijan), 78 from Chechnya, 66 from Kabardino-Balkaria, 34 - from Adygea, 32 - from Ingushetia and 23 - from Karachay-Cherkessia (3). Thus, the main role in promoting Georgian achievements in North Ossetia for a long time played the transfer of information "word of mouth".

Some residents of Ossetia learn about what is happening in Georgia from the materials of the Tbilisi propaganda television channel PIK (First Caucasian Informational), which can be watched for free on satellite television. At the end of 2011 - the beginning of 2012, a new trend emerged: some residents of the republic begin to trust PIK information about the situation in Russia as a whole, which is submitted in an exclusively anti-Russian and anti-Putin vein. As one of the respondents put it, “in Georgia, over several years of reforms, they have been able to achieve significant changes in the economy, in politics, and in the social sphere, while in our country nothing has changed for decades.”

A number of representatives of the intellectual elite of the RNO-A propagandize on the Internet and the media the point of view that Georgians are the people closest to the Ossetians, therefore the search for compromises and ways of reconciliation with Georgia is necessary. Confirming that the recent opinion that “one should focus on Georgia” has ceased to be marginal among the ordinary population, some Vladikavkaz scholars call one of the reasons for this situation the rejection of the slogan “Stop feeding the Caucasus!” By the Ossetians. They believe that against the background of the growth of such sentiments in Central Russia, Georgia is really beginning to be perceived in the Caucasus as a European state, as a country that gives an opportunity to “join Europe”, which is the official goal of Georgian policy in the region.

By the way, a separate section is devoted to science in the draft state strategy of Georgia’s relations with the peoples of the North Caucasus. It states the importance of systematic implementation of joint projects of Georgian and North Caucasian scientists, promises "to promote the use of archives, repositories, archaeological monuments and libraries in Georgia" for purposes of scientific research by immigrants from the North Caucasus. Tbilisi will also promote the publication and translation of works and articles of North Caucasian scholars in Georgia in Georgian and foreign languages, believing that "cooperation and close relations with Caucasian experts working in Western countries are of great benefit." In addition to linguistics, the Georgian state intends to support the development of archeology, folklore studies, ethnology, architecture, historiography and social and political sciences (4).

As for South Ossetia, the situation there is completely different. In most of the republic’s territory, the main Georgian TV channels are freely received, being a source of information about what is happening in Georgia. However, the apparent bias of Tbilisi, which is also manifested in the terminology used (RSO is called the "so-called state", "Tskhinvali region", etc.), as well as a distorted description of the processes occurring in the republic, causes distrust of reports not only about the North Caucasus , but also about the "prosperity" of Georgia itself.

In the border villages of the South Ossetia Republic, trade with Georgia is carried out, but business contacts do not lead to a change in the general attitude towards the country. The August 2008 war and previous experience of Ossetian-Georgian relations remain a powerful antidote against the Georgian information influence (in the North of Ossetia this factor is not so significant: some, mentally separating themselves from the South, claim that "we did not fight with the Georgians"). As she noted, commenting on the total absence of pro-Georgian sentiments in the republic, one of the residents of South Ossetia "comes to the point that we forget not only about" beautiful "Georgia, but also about the threat it carries."

Dagestan. Increased interest in Georgia in this republic is different than in the RNO-A, the way. Representatives of the intellectual stratum of the population (students, journalists, teachers, scholars, etc.) who are dissatisfied with the growing Islamization and who regard Georgia as an alternative platform for professional self-realization are looking mainly towards Tbilisi. This process has not yet become widespread, but we can talk about at least a dozen Dagestan intellectuals who have moved to live and work in Tbilisi. The Georgian capital seems to them more attractive than, for example, Rostov-on-Don or Moscow. The reason for this, in addition to the high cost of living in major Russian cities and the illusion of joining the "world civilization" through Tbilisi, is all in the same anti-Caucasian sentiment, the manifestation (or rather, an exaggerated idea of ​​which) seriously reduces the quality of life.

The example of “immigrants” is significant for the new generation of intellectual youth in Dagestan, especially since North Caucasian students already enjoy certain privileges when studying at Georgian universities, while the draft state strategy of Georgia’s relations with the peoples of the region pays special attention to education. "Georgia welcomes the study of students of the North Caucasus in higher educational institutions of Georgia and will help increase the number of such students," the document says. "The goal of Georgia is to become an important center for higher education for young people in the North Caucasus." Tbilisi intends to promote the creation of special programs for the study of the Georgian language in Georgian universities, so that North Caucasian students can make full use of their educational potential. In addition, Georgia will contribute to the continuation of studies of North Caucasian students "in high-level universities in North America and Europe." Other areas include the scientific and practical study of the languages ​​of the peoples of the North Caucasus and the development of relevant curricula, "increasing Georgian knowledge of the North Caucasus and vice versa", as well as training North Caucasian students in short-term training courses, summer schools and trainings in Georgia ( 5).

Ingushetia. In general, the Ingush do not have much interest in visiting Georgia. The majority of those who have been there over the last year are associated with the car hauling business. They also note the achievements of Georgia in the fight against corruption, the politeness of the police, the lack of bias towards the residents of the North Caucasus. The emotional coloring of Georgia is rather positive in their views. Tbilisi recently discussed the topic of recognition of the so-called. "Ingush genocide" does not find a response in Ingushetia.

Chechnya. The official Grozny, of course, does not raise and does not support the theme of the "Vainakh genocide", but interaction with Georgia is developing through the NGO line. So, 27-29 on April 2012 in Tbilisi hosted a forum of Georgian and Chechen journalists. From the Russian side, more than ten journalists from Chechnya, human rights activists and officials participated in it, and from the Georgian side, media representatives working on the North Caucasus, including PIK employees. The event was organized by the Georgian NGO Foundation of the Caucasus (6). The forum participants discussed issues of cooperation and strengthening ties between Georgia and Chechnya, the possibility of implementing joint projects, and also visited Mtskheta and the Pankisi Gorge (7).

The successes of Georgia in the North Caucasus, albeit very illusory, relating mainly to the PR sphere, are nevertheless impressive, as is the pace of their achievement. If, however, the plans described in the last section of the state strategy project of relations with the peoples of the North Caucasus are embodied - it is about the arrival of North Caucasians in Georgia for treatment and providing them with “full service in the hospitals and hospitals in its territory” (8) then the position of Tbilisi in the region with time may gain quite real weight.

List of links:

1. Statistics on the number of visitors in May. Official website of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia, June 2, 2012
2. Bimbolat Albegov. Ossetians are not allowed. Caucasian Politics, April 12 2012
3. Most often, the Kazbegi-Verkhny Lars checkpoint is used by Russian citizens. IA "News-Georgia, March 2, 2012
4. Draft state strategy of Georgia relations with the peoples of the North Caucasus. Caucasus Online, 5 May 2012 g. Http://
5. Draft state strategy of Georgia relations with the peoples of the North Caucasus. Caucasus Online, 5 May 2012 g. Http://
6. It’s enough to read about the direction of this organization at least this:
7. Chechen journalists in Georgia. TC "PIK", April 29 2012 g. Http://
8. Draft state strategy of Georgia relations with the peoples of the North Caucasus. Caucasus Online, 5 May 2012 g. Http://

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  1. AIvanA
    AIvanA 19 June 2012 08: 00
    Everything is so sweet in Georgia, someone would try to say that everything would not be quite right away the democratic saber would whistle, but with another US state, only a low-grade one, everything is clear, the guys are preparing an invasion through the Caucasus, including and before that there is massive propaganda in any form, starting from official channels and ending with rumors, valiant Georgians are afraid to start without preparation, and the battalion "Vostok" is in their nightmares, and so look and propagandize and everyone will run to get settled in great Georgia, or they just won't shoot at them when democracy will be carried to Kvkaz. After all, if you remember history, the West, and in particular Britain, only did that it stirred up and set the peoples of the Caucasus against each other, against Russia and calmly had its own tambourine interest, and everyone thinks that something has changed, but the methods have been corrected and that's it.
    1. 755962
      755962 19 June 2012 15: 55
      Quote: AIvanA
      guys are preparing an invasion and through the Caucasus including

      US Helps Georgia Develop Air Defense
      The US will help Georgia to develop tracking and air defense systems, as well as to modernize the helicopter fleet, the US Department of State said in a statement.

      The statement was made one and a half weeks after the meeting of the US-Georgian Commission on Strategic Partnership, in which the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton took part. The meeting was held in Batumi on June 5.

      The meeting discussed options for assisting the Georgian side in the development of airborne tracking equipment, as well as surveillance equipment in the coastal strip. The United States also expressed its readiness to help Georgia with the modernization of general-purpose helicopters, reports BBC.

      In addition, at a meeting of the United States, they again emphasized that they consider Abkhazia and South Ossetia the territories of Georgia.

      Recall that Russia has repeatedly opposed the supply of US military equipment to Georgia.
      1. Dmitry23RUS
        Dmitry23RUS 19 June 2012 19: 03
        Local politicians, businessmen, lawyers, civic activists speak about this openly and on their own initiative, and, most alarmingly, ordinary citizens.


        And where are the names of these very people?
        Or is it like with our opposition? 0,2% of society rallies, and in the foreign press they write that all the people are against Putin.
        The campaign here is the same.
    2. Isr
      Isr 19 June 2012 18: 16
      My friends traveled around Georgia on bicycles, they really liked it, inexpensively, they can settle in a minute, clean rooms with breakfast, nature is a fairy tale, people are smiling, they speak English. No wonder the neighbors also want this. In Russia, they tried to rip off three skins from them, as if from foreigners, and the police still demanded some kind of press, certificates, they lagged behind only after giving 50 dollars. Everyone wants independence, and not be a Russian colony.
      1. Vasilenko Vladimir
        Vasilenko Vladimir 19 June 2012 19: 31
        Quote: Isr
        they really liked it, inexpensively, they can find accommodation in a minute, clean rooms with breakfast, nature is a fairy tale, people are smiling, they speak English

        they probably forgot, but it’s not a flyer and there’s no point in agitating here, to say nonsense that all of Georgia speaks English without exception, why ???
        I think that in most hotels in the Russian Federation they were answered in both German and English and offered clean rooms and made registration as it should according to Russian law, so leave idiotic sarcasm
    3. Dmitry23RUS
      Dmitry23RUS 19 June 2012 19: 05
      Recently relatives went to Georgia.

      So many poor, dirty people have not seen no where in Russia.
  2. volcano
    volcano 19 June 2012 08: 37
    This is called not washing, so skating.
    In fact, a rather hackneyed reception, when someone got a tinsel, he suddenly begins to show that he is not at all what you thought.
    The Georgians themselves would never have thought of this, because their Mishka is exclusively a specialist in "tie fabrics."
    This is the Amer proposed.
    I think the similarities are obvious (USSR and the West). They are benevolent and sincere to us, secretly trying to recruit every second person, but what about PIK, why not Voice of America?
    This is all an attempt to win over, first the border areas, and then the entire Caucasus.
    Well, then think over the Lord.
    Unfortunately, history teaches us nothing. In the 19th century, when Russia found itself in the Caucasus, English and Turkish "advisers" were already in full force there, who were able to turn the peoples of the Caucasus against Russia.
    Now we need to resolutely suppress all kinds of agitation. If necessary, then jam this PIK too. Unfortunately, our Caucasian republics are not an example of loyalty to Russia. I do not want to offend anyone, but it is foolish to deny that there are quite a few Anti-Russian sentiments in the Caucasus, and Russia is perceived exclusively as "something that is pouring huge amounts of money into their republics. Local elites are still satisfied with this.
    So if we want to leave the Caucasus behind us, we must act.
    1. Ross
      Ross 19 June 2012 10: 10
      Very well noticed, a big plus! Reminiscent of the decomposition of the USSR by Americans, one handwriting. Urgently need to look for an antidote. It is necessary to constantly monitor such attempts and create counter services.
      DEMENTIY 19 June 2012 11: 01
      Well, as you wanted - this is an informational one, but also a war. And it must be dealt with seriously - here the game of war will not work. we do not live in the last century, we will not stretch out on "caviar".
      1. volcano
        volcano 19 June 2012 13: 30
        I agree with you completely Dementy
    3. ars_pro
      ars_pro 19 June 2012 17: 02
      volkan +
      Indeed and it is not at all as strange as the "friends" want to show,
      Let it sound like bragging, but we still didn’t have a captured American air defense)
      I watched the article under the link, I think the article should be made under the title like "Georgia took free Chechen journalists prisoner", and now they need to be urgently rescued and evacuated from there.
      This is also called "Proactive Actions", so that they would not have time to think, but in the Caucasus already Ours. I think it will be more profitable for the local elites.
  3. Odessa
    Odessa 19 June 2012 09: 29
    ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, ,,,,,,,
  4. Trailer
    Trailer 19 June 2012 09: 42
    Police do not snoop
    All roads are like a string
    Borders, well, zai,
    No fake wine!

    Yeast population
    It grows every hour
    You can speak freely -
    Do not kill carbon monoxide!

    President chewing things
    Your trustworthy friend
    Like a prince - Oleg the Prophet,
    Knows all the enemies around!

    No shed in a country with debts,
    Pensions - Wow!
    With friend Joe all the way
    We bring good to the world of others!

    We are Swiss Singapore, and,
    Malaysian Roterdam!
    Our Misha - do not smoke dope,
    Our nonsense goes to the enemies!

    I love Borjomi (it is not forbidden here), but I do not like the frantic propaganda of the country - a model for life!
  5. Cadet787
    Cadet787 19 June 2012 10: 55
    And what can be opposed on our part? There is an information war and we again lag behind.
    1. Trailer
      Trailer 19 June 2012 11: 05
      Forget about Georgia as a country and not pay attention to it in all spheres of life and economy!
  6. pribolt
    pribolt 19 June 2012 11: 06
    Georgia brings Western propaganda to the North Caucasus, and since Sahak did not succeed in the war, now he will defile the Caucasian youth in his educational institutions (with his history), and we know how Sahak sees the story, but for us there is an old Russian saying "How many don't feed the wolf anyway looks into the forest "
    1. sergo0000
      sergo0000 19 June 2012 11: 12
      And still it was necessary to go to Tbilisi! And judge this tie-eater in The Hague!
  7. FiremanRS
    FiremanRS 19 June 2012 11: 12
    A rather disturbing article. Trends are clearly visible and our hands need to do something about it, in 2008 you won’t spend much time .....
  8. Pilot200809
    Pilot200809 19 June 2012 11: 13
    Not everything is there as beautiful as they say. I periodically communicate with an old-school person from Tbilisi. Tells a different story
  9. Roman 75
    Roman 75 19 June 2012 11: 18
    Well, in general, this propaganda is by no means groundless, I must admit.
    It cannot be denied that corruption (at least at the grassroots level) in Georgia is strongly crushed, the volume and speed of construction are simply unrealistic for such a small and poor country, law enforcement agencies and government officials treat citizens (at least outwardly) differently with us, Georgia is becoming increasingly attractive to tourists ...
    And all this has been done in some eight years, and without crazy petrodollars ...
    1. Dmitry23RUS
      Dmitry23RUS 19 June 2012 19: 08
      There Kadyrov also rebuilt Chechnya, so that no one would be equal to him. for with a bunch of other people's money, anyone becomes an Effective Manager.
      Just to do business in Georgia is sad, in fact, as in Chechnya.
      And by the way, here, for comparison, the GDP of the Krasnodar Territory and Georgia with the same population is higher than in Georgia. And the Krasnodar Territory is just a piece of Russia to which no one just sends lards in such a way as compared to Georgia.
      1. Roman 75
        Roman 75 19 June 2012 20: 15
        Quote: Dmitry23RUS
        ... to which no one just sends lards in comparison with Georgia.

        The price of oil has not budged in ten years, probably?

        Quote: Dmitry23RUS
        There Kadyrov also rebuilt Chechnya, so that no one would be equal to him. for with a bunch of other people's money, anyone becomes an Effective Manager.

        But the matter is not in the manager and not in the origin of the money.
        So that monstrously corrupt state structures will be put in order, not money is needed, but something else. Saakashvili could do it ...
    2. Vasilenko Vladimir
      Vasilenko Vladimir 19 June 2012 19: 33
      Quote: Roman-75
      no crazy petrodollars

      but not for my money
  10. vladimir64ss
    vladimir64ss 19 June 2012 14: 33
    as well as a distorted description of the processes taking place in the republic, causes distrust of reports not only about the North Caucasus, but also about the "prosperity" of Georgia itself .------------- this is all that was worth reading.
  11. Oleg0705
    Oleg0705 19 June 2012 17: 39
    While there is a financial flow to Georgia, but it is not small everything will continue and so go on how long ???? And where?? Of course the USA. It is necessary to organize counteraction, both informational and financial. And do not make hasty conclusions in the Caucasus; there are enough republics that will remain satellites of Russia and especially Ossetia, where the population mainly communicates on the great and mighty, and most have Slavic names.
  12. kostya
    kostya 19 June 2012 19: 55
    what if everything is so wonderful in Georgia, then why do Georgians go to Russia to earn money for a construction site, of course they’re not doing very well, but cheaper than Russian builders
  13. V world
    V world 19 June 2012 21: 08
    Everything is done according to the plan of the Powerful of this World!
    The US State Department sowed the grain of "Democracy" in Georgia and a tree grew ... And in a number of the Caucasian republics, radical movements are already quite developed! Chechnya here is rather an exception to the rule. But when the Winter Olympics will end and when all the pro-Western "Democrats" will officially arrive in the Caucasus, equipped with all the necessary stuffing, just like to see the Olympics ... Then very drastic changes may happen ... another Caucasian war may begin. Dagestan, Karachay-Cherkessia, Kabardino-Balkaria and some others are already on this path ... Especially Dagestan with its huge number of nationalities is a hidden "mine" of the entire Caucasus and not only ...
    And it is very dangerous for Russia!
  14. baton140105
    baton140105 19 June 2012 22: 30
    Guys, as Ossetians declare, the article is complete nonsense !!!! There are actually a lot of Georgians in Ossetia and now they are more willing to go to their relatives (because now it has become easier), which is why the flow of people crossing the border is increasing, plus the ferrying of cars, etc. There are no "scientists and intellectual elite" among us who "love Georgia" and advertise it in the eyes of the people, I do not answer for the Chechens, Ingush and Dagestanis, but I also strongly doubt it ...
    1. V world
      V world 19 June 2012 22: 55
      I agree in part. The majority of the population of any Caucasian republic (as elsewhere) are ordinary people and are far from any political and reactionary views. But it is enough to form a group of reactionary fanatics, reinforced by ideological views, mastering the tricks of working with the masses ... and several provocative terracottas (which, incidentally, is constantly happening in Dagestan!) Backed by financial support, etc. and suddenly the impression of a particular nationality changes. There is a conflict ... And the technologies for fomenting such conflicts are developed professionally! The main thing from Russia is to conduct a very wise, subtle, very attentive and respecting particular lifestyle of a particular nationality!
      There is currently one main Enemy! and everyone should unite against it, not paying attention to religion and nationality!
  15. Vlaleks48
    Vlaleks48 19 June 2012 23: 06
    The worst thing about this halo of just power of "dzhorzhiks" fanned in the North Caucasus is that really ordinary people believe
    And all this against the background of our Evsyukovs, Kushchevsky, distant other, other, other.
    And all the ongoing reforms of everything and everything. From below you can always see who has ... shit in the shit. The people have not believed their fraudsters for a long time
    1. V world
      V world 19 June 2012 23: 34
      No need to summarize all the news in one theory of bad power, bad Putin, etc. Everything that we read ... and draw conclusions based on this .... apart from the Russian authorities, the pro-Western media also writes. Even, in all of us familiar, the Russian media, long bought by the West, and with which even Putin can do nothing! And we are all used to it - we read it, we made a conclusion - Power is to blame! Under Yeltsin, they sold everything, still not return!
      In the Dalny branch, by the way, everything was not so much as they presented us ... from the words of the locals ... And now in Kazan, not reactionary Muslims, but organized groups ...