The year 2009 was marked with unbelievable events of terrorism, subversive acts, abduction of people and other criminal activities in the North Caucasus. Georgian people have never been indifferent to processes that take place in lives of their neighbouring nations. This was not only caused by our positive attitude towards them. The Caucasus is one whole sensitive entity and both negative and positive changes in any of its parts are simultaneously reflected on the entire region. First of all, this concerns Georgia and that is preconditioned by its geographical, historical, ethnic, and religious and most of all with geopolitical situation that is in the region today.
Politicians, political scientists and experts of various directions analyzed, summarized and assessed facts and events that happened in the North Caucasus in 2009. Some explained these facts with activization of geopolitical forces that are interested in weakening of Russia. Some blamed world economic crisis, unemployment of population, previous mistakes, and traditional Caucasian clan system and so on. The fact is that thousands are being killed and tens of thousands are becoming devastated. Large number of such facts of violence, brutality and injustice questions an image of the Caucasus and all Caucasians.
Northern Caucasian law enforcement agencies were carrying out with ferocity tens of military and anti-terrorist operations in order to reveal and destroy so-called militants who - as it became known later - were in one way or the other connected to the Caucasus Emirate and its leaders. Information about this organization and its current leadership is mixed. Some see behind them western security services and interested Islamic circles that are taking advantage of religious fanaticism of certain authoritative persons and their self-interest. Some want to present this movement as patriotic force that is fighting for unification of small Caucasian nations and for restoration of their identity, and in many cases at the expense of their own lives.
Based on existing materials and without giving our comments in the article below we will make short review of so-called the Caucasus Emirate, their leaders, goals and capabilities, their allies, sources of financing and so on.
"The Caucasus Emirate" began its existence in October 2007 when the President of Ichkeria Doku Umarov had proclaimed an Emirate in the Caucasus and declared himself as Emir of Caucasian Mujaheds thereby abolishing the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria and its presidency. According to him the Emirate is the only legal authority in the North Caucasus and its geographical coverage consists of Dagestan, Chechnya, Ingushetia, part of Stavropol Krai, North Ossetia, Kabardino-Balkaria and Karachay-Cherkessia. Doku Umarov considered the above mentioned geographical names as illegal and introduced new names: the Republic of Dagestan was named as Villayat Dagestan, the Chechen republic – Vilayat Noxciyco, Ingushetia and North Ossetia became Vilayat Galgayco, the joint Vilayat of Kabarda, Balkar and Karachay and Vilayat of Nogay steppe was added to it. But according to Umarov these are temporary borders and later they will be extended into Tatarstan, Bashkortostan and Buryatia that are populated with Muslims. Doku Umarov established the Sharia law on the entire territory of the Caucasus Emirate and abolished a post of the president and substituted it with that of Vali. Mejlis-ul-Shura (the council of rebel field commanders) was established which included emirs of vilayats and heads of Jamaats. .
Among other functions Mejlis-ul-Shura has a right to choose another emir in case of death or murder of the head of the Emirate.
Foreign Affairs of the Caucasus Emirate are included in duties of a body called Vekalat. The supreme court of the Caucasus Emirate is the supreme Sharia Court. Current head of this court is Anzor Astemirov, top rebel leader from the Kabardino- Balkaria who in 2005 was an organizer of the attack of Islamic militants on city of Nalchik.
Wahabism and Jihad are declared as ideological foundations of the Caucasus Emirate.
Some politicians and observers consider the Caucasus Emirate a figment of imagination of Doku Umarov and a virtual entity. Some think that it is a real and well-organized force that should be reckoned with and that it can give a serious resistance against armed forces of security services and even military units.
Doku (Dokka) Khamatovich Umarov also called Umran Khamadi kant Dokka was born on April 13th 1964 of the Mulkoy teip in a village of Kharsenoi of the Shatoysky district in Chechnya. His wife is a daughter of David Akhmadov, a prominent field commander and comrade of Jokhhar Dudaev with whom he has six children. He graduated from the construction faculty of the Oil Institute in the Chechen capital Grozny with a high education degree as a construction engineer.
The list of biographical facts is quite extensive for a of 46 year-old person. He was fighting against Russian forces during the first Chechen war under the command of Ruslan Gelayev. Starting from 1994 he was a commander of a unit of militants. In 1996 he was promoted to a rank of general. He served as the head of Chechen Security Council and later as the head of the office of coordination of fight against crimes in the government of Aslan Maskhadov.
During the second Chechen-Russian war in January 2000 Umarov sustained a serious wound as he was leaving a surrounded Grozny and was being treated in hospital abroad. After recovery he became a commander of killed Gelayev's militant unit. In 2002 Maskhadov appointed him on the post of the commander of Southwestern Front, and later the head of national security service. In 2002 the president of Chechnya Abdula Sadulaev appointed him as Vice President and after his death in 2006 he became the president of the unrecognized Chechen republic. Then Umarov appointed notorious Shamil Basayev as his Vice President who later received a rank of generalissimus. Doku Umarov is considered religious, political and military leader of the Caucasus Emirate.
Umarov was declared wanted by Russian authorities in 1992 for murder, robbery and kidnapping of people for ransom remains so. In 1994 he took part in abduction of General Genady Shpigun, special representative of Russia to the North Caucasus, as well as in attack on the building of Nazran Department of Interior Ministry in Ingushetia and blowing up of train in Kislovodsk , torture and killing of workers of law enforcement agencies, raids into Dagestan and so on.
Russian security services abducted and killed Umarov's father and his two brothers. His other relatives were also detained various times.
After special operations authorities announced seven times information about Umarov's death. The last information of this kind was published on November 13th 2009 but it was not confirmed. According to the latest information of the current President of Chechnya seriously ill Doku Umarov is hiding in inaccessible places of Southern Chechnya and directing operation of militants from there.
Movladi Udugov - the second leader of the Caucasus Emirate and main ideologist - was born on February 9th 1962. He graduated from the faculty of journalism of St. Petersburg University. During his student years he was wanted for fraud and therefore he changed his name Temishchev and took his mother's maiden name Udugov.
At various times he was Information Minister of Chechnya, Deputy Prime Minister, and Minister of Foreign Affairs. In 1994 he was promoted to a rank of brigade general. In elections of January 1997 he was taking part for the post of the president of the republic.
Creation of terrorist organization Congress of People of Chechnya and Dagestan is linked to his name.
In 1999 he actively participated in preparation of the raid of Chechen militants into Dagestan. After failure of this raid he left Chechnya and as reports suggest he should be hiding in Turkey or Bahrain.
A concept of future actions that was jointly prepared by Doku Umarov and Movladi Udugov obliges the Caucasus Emirate to liberate territories that are populated by Muslims from "infidels", to create Islamic state based on Sharia rule, to destroy local nationalist-traitors, Russian military criminals and Zionists.
Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Chechnya Akhmed Zakayev who is now in exile is against this concept. He characterized it as a big provocation for Chechen statehood and considers that it plays into hands of the Kremlin.
Another controversial issue is declaration of Wahabism as an ideological foundation for the Caucasus Emirate. Wahabism is a state religion in Saudi Arabia while in other countries it is a sect of the Islamic religion. But in Russia (especially in the North Caucasus) and Azerbaijan it is considered to be a hostile sect to the traditional Islam and it is equated with terrorism and fight is declared against it.
A short history of the existence of the Caucasus Emirate, goals and ambitions/tasks drawn/set by its leadership, past path ans d results of their deeds give us a ground to suppose/draw a consclusion/cponclude that whther this unit is a real force that shouls be reckoned with or just a temporary tactical move sand a virtual unit/enetity in tythe hands of certain inteerested forces.