Russia

Violence in the North Caucus: 2009, A Bloody Year

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2009: An Uptick in Lethal Force

CSIS staff track, on a daily basis, incidents of violence occurring in the North Caucasus. Our previous reports have focused on four month periods, the last of which illustrated the region's violent summer months.

In this report, we present our data from the entire year 2009, a year of escalating violence, and we provide a comparison with data from 2008.

Definition of Terms

"Incidents of Violence":

Incidents of violence include abductions of military personnel and civilians, bombings*, assassinations of key civilian and military leaders**, rebel attacks, police or military operations against suspected militants, destruction of property by militants, and the discovery of weapons.

"North Caucasus":

The database primarily tracks incidents occurring in Chechnya, Ingushetia, Kabardino-Balkaria, North Ossetia,

and Dagestan.

* Includes failed detonations

** Includes unsuccessful assassination attempts

Main Findings

In 2009:

- There were more than 1100 incidents of violence compared to 795 the previous year;

- Many of these incidents were deadly, with over 900 fatalities compared to 586 in 2008;

- One third of all incidents in the North Caucasus occurred in the Nazranovskii and Sunzhenskii districts of Ingushetia;

- The number of suicide bombings in the North Caucasus nearly quadrupled from 2008, with the majority occurring in Chechnya.

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