Fear and confusion has started to spread in the ruling elite of the North Caucasus and it is growing more and more. A reason for this became searches that were carried out in houses and work premises of the high-rank officials of Kabardino-Balkaria on June 7th. And this lead to a sudden arrest and immediate transportation to Moscow of the following persons - head of the administration of the leader of the republic, the second most influential man of the republic Vladimir Zhamborov, state property minister Habdulsalam Logidov and head of the federal service of the post office Ruslan Zhamborov.
This "special operation" was carried out by a large team of the general department of economic security and anti-corruption of the ministry of internal affairs of Russia that secretly arrived from Russia. The process of operative and investigative activities was protected by a special force unit of 100 especially sent from Moscow.
The public was astonished at seeing ambitious head of the Kabardino-Balkaria Arsen Kanokov making a statement before journalists with a trembling voice that he had first learned about all this from the Moscow media.
We can only see it as irony that Arsen Kanokov, who for years have declared distrust to local personnel of the law enforcement agencies and on behalf of the republican parliament even appealed to the leaders of the legislative and executive authorities of Russia to fill law enforcement agencies with personnel from Russia’s other regions. In response, then Minister of Internal Affairs of Russia Rashid Nurgaliyev appointed federal official – “growing professional" Sergei Vasiliev as their minister of internal affairs. While a new Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev fulfilled Konokov’s old request and did not consider it unnecessary to notify the head of the republic about the sending of the team of 100 people to conduct searches his administration and arrest of influential officials.
Such attitude towards Arsen Kanokov upset not only the Kabardino-Balkaria officials but also representatives of the ruling circles of other North Caucasus republics, since they are well aware that what is happening today in Nalchik is their future too. Loyalty and work of Arsen Kanokov has not been appreciated by Moscow; was not appreciated also his active participation in the plan, developed jointly with Alexander Khloponin and Victor Basargin that aimed at relocation of local able-bodied population into Central Russia and abroad, and bringing Russian-speaking Cossacks in their stead; was not appreciated also the fact that, together with the Russian security services he used to form armed druzhinas and terrorist organization "Black Hawks“ designed to organize pogroms of families of militants, nor the fact that he called the Balkarian elders that were fighting for their rights and holding hunger strikes in Moscow West-bribed agents, and the fact that after appointment as president of the republic he dismissed from their posts many honourable, but unnecessary for Moscow officials and so on.
Moscow's security service will probably remind Arsen Kanokov a confirmed fact that in the first years after coming to power he paid tribute or so-called Zakat the then leader of the Kabardino-Balkar rebel underground Anzor Astemirov and forced other businessmen to do this too.
Neither can be forgotten that killings of religious and public figures and attacks on persons undesirable for Arsen Kanokov committed during his rule remain unsolved to this day.
The leader of Kabardino-Balkaria, to a certain time, has been successfully reflecting these challenges with the help of their patrons in Moscow, with whom he generously shared much of huge financial and material income. With their help he was able also to keep his already much shaken position for second term.
The official cause of Moscow‘s sudden attack on the administration of Kanokov of June 7, 2012 was named one of the corrupt deals. With the help of Arsen Kanokov and his closest circle sister of the spouse of the head of the republic, well-known fashion designer Madina Khatsukova who is in the Circassian national dress business, purchased the state Philharmonic building estimated at 20 million on the balance of the ministry of culture for a million rubles .
In other situation, Moscow probably would have refrained from carrying out such a noisy operation, but in this case two factors played the role: first - that new Russian Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev let the North Caucasian leaders feel his coming into the system, and the second, and most important factor that has shaken the position of Arsene Kanokov and nullified all chances to get away with it, concerns the problem of return of Syrian Circassians to their historic homeland. It is known that the Russian government, which is taking all measures to keep the current authorities of Syria in power, is trying its best to prevent the return Circassian population of this country to their historic homeland. Head of the Adyghe republic Aslan Tkhakushinov who is known for his particular loyalty to Moscow, has completely ignored the request of Circassian community organizations to assist Syrian nationals of Circassian origin. Moreover, he disappeared and did not receive the delegation that arrived in Adygea from Syria to study this issue even for few hours.
Less "careful" was the leader of Kabardino-Balkaria Arsen Kanokov. At the price of personal risk, he gave asylum to one group of refugees from Syria and made a statement that he would take care of others as well. Since the central government did not allocate even a ruble for immigrants, Arsen Kanokov organized a fund to raise money for their compatriots among local businessmen and those living abroad. He provided refugees with shelter and created more or less normal living conditions for their families.
Despite the fact that Moscow has not officially mentioned such attitude towards Arsen Kanokov’s actions regarding Syrian Circassians, it is obvious that this step was perceived as confrontation to the strategic policy of the federal centre. And this has become the real reason for such "punishment".
In connection with this event it should be interesting to know an opinion of view of Kabardino-Balkarian public figure Ibrahim Yaganov. He believes that Madina Khatsukova is a well-respected person, serves great national cause and the Philharmonic building should be granted to her. According to him, the real value of the old Philharmonic building of Nalchik is much lower than the costs that were spent on sending trip of the group of one hundred people from Moscow to Nalchik.
Yaganov wondered: how could it be that Interior ministry of the public has not received any information that an armed detachment of one hundred people arrived at the military airfield in Mozdok at dawn and quietly drove 120 km to Nalchik, surrounded houses of several high-ranking officials and then stormed the building of administration of the head of the republic?
And if they were terrorists, or the army of Genghis Khan, maybe even then the Interior Minister Sergei Kolokoltsev would have been unaware of this, – the Kabardian public figure cannot hide cynicism.
The future will make many more things clear, but one thing is definitely obvious - Moscow forgives no one for independent, uncoordinated steps.