There are signs of intensifying and escalating conflict in the Caucasus. Recent statements by Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov have spotlighted a potential fissure inside the Russian government that pits Kadyrov against Russian federal security elements in the North Caucasus. As the bellicosity is ratcheted upward, questions mount as to what exactly underpins the ongoing power struggle between the Chechen leader and the security services headquartered in Moscow.
Meanwhile, the curiosities continue in the South Caucasus as well. The integration treaties that Moscow has signed with Georgian breakaway territories Abkhazia and South Ossetia have altered the power dynamic in the past 12 months. Tension inside the Georgian government has been exacerbated by provocative Russian military exercises in neighboring Armenia.
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