Processes that are taking place in North Caucasus in recent times are in the centre of attention of Russian authorities. Moreover, this region is considered a cornerstone of maintaining of Russian unity – a question of its existence.
When addressing the State Duma of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev dedicated an entire section of his speech to situation in the North Caucasus and to threats for the country that might be coming from this region. Together with need for improvement of social and economical conditions Medvedev also stressed importance of question of cadres. Namely, he mentioned an issue of introduction of a post of a special presidential representative in this region.
Sergey Mironov, Chairman of the Federation Council said in his speech: "obvious social differences between regions are really jeopardizing the unity of the country". This problem was analyzed on the basis of Chechnya and Ingushetia.
President of Chechnya Ramzan Kadirov blamed difficult social and economic and crimoinogenic situation in the North Caucasus on the west and said that security services of tens of countries which had unlimited financial resources and personnel specialized in subversive activities had planned mass disorders and instigation of confrontation between religions in Chechnya. And that eventually would have aimed at weakening of Russia and start of its collapse. According to Kadirov, Chechen people with help from Russian authorities successfully averted these attacks of the west. But he did not rule out repetition of such dangers.
Aiming at improvement and stabilization of the situation as well as prevention of subversive activities of "the west" billions are being allotted to the region from the federal budget. As a result of daily attentions the North Caucasian military District has been turned into the most elite, numerous, well-equipped and all-around provided division of the Russian army. Local population is used to form military formations that are well-paid and spoilt with benefits. Also there are processes of raising of political, religious and military leaders that are loyal to Russian authorities and creation of comfortable conditions for them.
Persons of high hierarchy of the Muslim faith are not only supported materially but they are provided with big wages as well as bodyguards by the state.
These methods have been used by the Russian Empire along the entire 150 year period of its presence in the region. The list so far does not include an institution of united governor of the North Caucasus that was called Vice Roy then. Today it can be introduced as a special presidential representative of the Russian President in the North Caucasus or with some other title. This issue is being widely discussed and opinions vary both in the centre and on the places. The issues discussed and argued are those about status, powers and specific persons. Some of them are of the opinion that local rabbit is easier to catch with local hound and therefore they think it would be beneficial to employ a local official on this post. But President of Ingushetia Yanus-Bek Yevkurov believes that this person should definitely be Russian as only such person will be unbiased, neutral and defender of interests of all northern Caucasian republics.
Today among all candidates Russian authorities would probably choose Sergey Borisovich Ivanov. He is a colonel general of security services and a former minister of defence. He has several other advantages. Sergey Ivanov is from Saint Petersburg. He used to study and later work for a long time in the structures of security committee with Vladimir Putin. Putin trusts him immensely.
In case of introduction of a post of a special presidential representative it is not just the North Caucasus that will be entrusted to him. Russian authorities realize that without revising results of the events that took place in Tskhinvali region in August 2008 and correction of the mistakes that were made it would be difficult to achieve stability in the Caucasus. This will require experienced, intelligent cadres that will be well acquainted with current situation.
Is it possible to appoint one of loyal to the Kremlin local officials on this post? Probably this is impossible as President of Chechnya Ramzan Kadirov, given his growing ambitions, cannot bear any of North Caucasians on this post. He might even get into armed confrontation with the person. And, Moscow will refrain from Ramzan Kadirov’s candidacy given his not so great reputation in the North Caucasus and, what’s more, because of his past. Fifteen years ago he together with his father Haji Akhmad Kadirov with was fighting against the federal forces and he had jihad announced against Russia then. Northern Caucasians when assessing the past of father and son Kadirovs used to compare them to a famous literary character of Leo Tolstoy Haji Murat and used to say ambiguously: “Neither Haji Murat nor Haji Akhmad Kadirov considered themselves traitors despite their transfer to the side of the sworn enemy”.
But taking into account Ramzan Kadirov’s vanity Russia cannot ignore him and his current capabilities. An appropriate place in the governing elite of the North Caucasus will probably be found for Ramzan Kadirov - a member of the bureau of the supreme committee of party Edinaya Rossia, a hero of the Russian Federation, President of Chechnya and head of Chechen armed forces that consists of several tens of thousands of members and who was awarded a title of general major of police just a few days ago.
The governing body of the North Caucasus will also include a hero of the Russian Federation President of Ingushetia Yunus-Bek Yevkurov, as well as former director of Rosneft Mikhail Gutseriev and a businessman from Dagestan Suleiman Kerimov. In this context, it would be interesting to make a little detour in history. Caucasian viceroy in the Caucasus used to have broad powers. He used to unilaterally decide any issue of any sphere that did not demand new acts of law. Viceroy used to appoint and dismiss officials, used to award them with titles, awards, and pensions and in case of necessity used to raise an issue of their responsibility. As a rule, viceroys were members of nobility and had a military rank. They simultaneously served as commander-in-chief on territories that was entrusted to them as well as used to lead inner military operations and in case of start of military actions all kinds of armies of the Caucasus against Turkey and Iran as well.
Since Russia entered the Caucasus in 1800-1817 viceroys of the Caucasus were: General Karl Von Knorring, General of Infantry Prince Pavel Tsitsianov (Tsitsishvili), General Ivan Gudovich, General of cavalry Count Alexander Tormasov, General Field Marshal Philip Paulich, General Grigory Rozen, General Evgeny Golovin, General Prince Alexander Neirgart, General Count Mikhail Vorontsov, General Count Nikolai Readi, General prince Alexander Bariatinsky, General Mikkhail Romanov, General prince Alexander Dondukov-Korsakov, General of Infantry Grigory Golitsin, General Count Illarion Vorontsov-Dashkov and Nikolai Nikolaevich Romanov.
Each of them played their role in adding one or the other regions to Russia and in russification of people of these regions. The biggest goal of every each of them was to expand and strengthen the Russian Empire and they used to realize this using various methods.
Many laws, instructions and decisions that had been taken by them were fully implemented and were in operation for a long time.
Department of all Muslims of the Caucasus that was created in 1872 on the basis of instruction on managing of Muslim population of the Caucasus and their religious leaders is successfully functioning in the Caucasus even today and they are fulfilling all the tasks that the Kremlin is giving them.
Today's Russian authorities decided to restore a link of power that was a solid defender of interests of the Empire in the south for a century.