During recent conversations with people from the region, there was much concern about an eruption of conflict in the North Caucasus, notably Ingushetia, as a result of Russia’s invasion of Georgia and the selective approach of the Kremlin to “independence,” which in all cases means “incorporation into Russia,” whether it is Chechnya or Ingushetia in the North, or Abkhazia or South Ossetia in the South. It looks like it may have started: “Russians ambushed in Ingushetia.

2 Responses to “Trouble”

  1. It would be interesting to hear the host’s opinion on what is Russia to do in that part of the world.

    Seems that it has so far taken hands-off (libertarian?) approach allowing the situation to develop as it may. More likely than not, it has been done out of weakness rather than by design. I would like to hear some praises for strong government that reestablishes order, clamps down on violence and privatization of public institutions.

    Can libertarian approach be useful in this case or should the government used old and tested means to “make the trains run on time” in that part of the country?

  2. I don’t know Tom Palmer’s take on this (are you around, Tom?), but I think that Russia is going to start to crumble. Kremlin cronies and KGB officers are losing money hand over fist (look at the Russian stock market), meaning they have less dough to spend on patronage, and oil prices are falling, meaning less Kremlin money to pay off local pooh bahs and warlords. It may not be pretty, but I think that Russia is in line for civil war, secession, and crackup. Brutality can only go so far to keep a state in tact. And when there are no resources to pay for the electricity, it doesn’t really matter whether you’re brutal or not. The lights still won’t go on.

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