Brief: The Kremlin Keeps an Eye on the North Caucasus

The Kremlin is sending signals that it's watching the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Editor’s Note: The following is the first of a new content type we are calling Briefs. They are real-time updates on the world’s most pressing geopolitical events, broken down into a reader-friendly format. Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns. Background: The North Caucasus is a region of substantial concern for Moscow because instability there could pose a direct threat to the security of the Russian heartland. The recent unrest in the South Caucasus, particularly in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh, has drawn attention to this area, as there is a risk that the conflict there between Azerbaijan and Armenia could spill over into the North Caucasus – a threat that is constantly on the Kremlin’s mind. What Happened? Alexander Bortnikov, the director of Russia’s Federal Security Service, revealed at a meeting of the National Anti-Terrorism Committee on Tuesday that some 36 terrorism-related crimes, including 19 terrorist attacks, have been thwarted since the start of 2019 in the North Caucasus. He also said that 60 militants have been killed, 144 have been detained and 35 terrorist cells have been dismantled, though he added that international terrorist organizations continue to try to recruit supporters in the region. […]

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