Friday, September 13, 2019
More than Half of North Caucasians Say Their Lives Became Worse in 2019, New Poll Finds
Staunton, September 9 – Fifty-six percent of the residents of Kabardino-Balkaria, Ingushetia and Daghestan say their lives have become worse in 2019. Only 33 percent said their lives had become better, a gap of 23 percent and one that is far larger than the difference of six percent found in a similar poll in 2017.
The poll of 1200 people selected as a representative sample in Kabardino-Balkaria, Ingushetia, and Daghestan by the Medium Orient Agency for the Prague-based Caucasus Times strongly suggests that North Caucasus residents believe their lives are getting worse (caucasustimes.com/ru/opros-bolee-poloviny-zhitelej-severnogo-kavkaz-stali-zhit-huzhe-v-2019-godu/).
According to the pollsters, who conducted a similar survey in the region two years ago, the share of those who think their lives are becoming worse has increased by 15.8 percent while the fraction saying their lives have been improving has stayed almost the same.
Given that the North Caucasus is one of the poorest regions of the Russian Federation and one that suffers from a variety of other problems including armed resistance movements in the mountains, these new economic figures suggest that Moscow is likely to face more rather than fewer challenges there in the future.
Among these are likely to be Islamist and nationalist groups who will certainly have a larger audience for their suggestions that Moscow and its policies are harming the peoples of the North Caucasus in particular. While complete impoverishment may reduce activism, the sense that things are getting worse expressed here is likely to have the opposite effect.