Criminal mobs behind Karachayevo-Cherkessia crisis

Criminal mobs behind Karachayevo-Cherkessia crisis
Published: 19 November 2004

What is happening in the Russian internal republic of Karachayevo-Cherkessia is a crisis, President Vladimir Putin said in an interview with national television channels, a transcript of which has been made available on the presidential website.  "The developments in Karachayevo-Cherkessia are now in the focus of attention. What we see there is a crisis triggered by common crimes committed by mobs trying to grab more property," he said.

"We often say that certain things that work in other countries do not work or work poorly in this country. This happens because we still do not have a true civil society or a proper multi-party system, which would work as a melting pot for all ethnic, economic and religious differences," Putin said.  "But when we say that electoral divides are along ethnic lines, I am still confident that this is only superficial. What is really going on are turf wars between local or regional clans for spheres of influence, and for leverage for the redistributing of property. This is exactly what we see now in Karachayevo-Cherkessia," he said.

Seven shareholders in the Kavkaztsement cement company went missing and were probably killed in the environs of Cherkessk on October 11. This triggered riots in Cherkessk on November 9, when an angry crowd took over the offices of some officials in the governmental building.