The Jamestown Foundation put out a report recently that Russia began moving interior troops from Chechnya to Dagestan in March, and put the number of troops moved around 20,000. It calls the situation in Dagestan “the most worrisome in the North Caucasus.”
Dagestan is plagued by attacks on security forces, organized crime and a general sense of lawless in a gun-saturated environment. There is very little attention paid to a lot of the Northern Caucasus, even by the Russian public, who has security forces stationed there; other than anti-Caucasian sentiment which is fairly pervasive.
Recently, a terrorist attack was reportedly prevented, but again, all news coming from Dagestan should be taken with a grain of salt as the media is likely biased or muffled – journalists are known to be killed there as well, along with local leaders, security forces, police, activists and Islamic militants:
The police and military have prevented a terrorist attack and defused three bombs in the Kizlyarsky District of Dagestan, ITAR-TASS reports. A bomb was found at a road near the Krasny Voskhod Village. It was made out of a 10-liter bucket, filled with ammonia nitrate and aluminum powder with projectiles and 250 meters of wires. The police found two more similar bombs in a forest near the village. They also encountered a three-liter can with explosives, 18 detonators, 20 kg of ammonia nitrate and aluminum powder, 1.5 kg of plastid, a fire extinguisher with cutoff top.
Jamestown also reports that Dagestani men, along with Chechnyan men, are excluded from conscription in the Russian army. This is troubling for Russia (though not as much for Dagestan) because, as the report states:
Today, people in Dagestan joke that, thanks to the abolition of the draft into the Russian army, the rebel Caucasus Emirate army has been able to increase its recruits (http://gereev.blogspot.fr/2012/01/blog-post_31.html). In all likelihood there may be an element of truth to this joke. At a time when Russia’s demographic growth faces rapid decline, the manpower pool for the insurgents is increasing, and Moscow is deliberately shunning this valuable source of recruits.
Dagestan’s news agency can be found here.