Situation of ethnic Russians in Daghestan [RUS32722.E]

No recent information on the situation of ethnic Russians in Daghestan could be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

However, a November 1995 Writenet country paper on Daghestan published on the UNHCR Website (REFWORLD) states that, according to the 1989 Census of the Soviet Union, the number of ethnic Russians in Daghestan was 165,940. The report also states that the Russians of Daghestan are made up of two groups: Cossacks who settled on the left bank of the Terek River in the 16th century and Russian immigrants, by far the largest group, who populated the cities in the 20th century. Both groups were under- represented in the "high echelons of the State" and did not benefit from economic reforms and privatization in Daghestan (ibid.). In the early 1990s, relations between Russian Cossacks and the Avars, the largest ethnic group in Daghestan, became very tense as Cossacks "vehemently" opposed the loosening of ties with the Russian Federation (ibid.). The Russian population at large was on the decrease in the mid-1990s due to low birth rates and emigration (ibid.). According to the report, there were no complaints of state discrimination against the ethnic Russians in 1994.

A November 1998 early warning report prepared by the London-based Forum on Early Warning and Early Response (FEWER), which describes itself as a "multi-sectorial and multi-disciplinary organisation [whose] goal is to draw together and support existing early warning networks to produce early warning reports containing analysis and policy recommendations," states that as a result of recent difficult economic conditions, worsening ethnic conflicts and a high rate of criminality, ethnic Russians were emigrating massively out of Daghestan.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


Forum on Early Warning and Early Response (FEWER), London. November 1998. Enver Kisriev. Region Early Warning Report: Daghestan.[Accessed 13 Sept. 1999]

Wesselink, Egbert. November 1995. The Russian Federation: Dagestan. Writenet Country Papers, Writenet et Country Papers, Writenet UK.[Accessed 15 September 1999]

Additional Sources Consulted

The Conflict Studies Research Centre (CSRC), Camberley, Surrey, UK. N.d.C.W. Blandy. Dagestan: The Gathering Storm. [Accessed 9 September 1999]

Electronic sources: Internet, IRB databases, LEXIS/NEXIS, WNC.

Human Rights Watch (HRW). World Report 1999. Internet

International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights (IHF). Annual Report 1999. Internet.

Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Website

Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) Website.

Russia Today Website.

Transitions Online Website.