The problem of the North Caucasus’s image in Russia and the world is one of main topics for discussions on inter-ethnic relations and other problems of Russia.
Alexei Pilko, Director General of the Eurasian Communicational Center, thinks that “the image of the North Caucasus, evaluation and interpretation of events which are happening in the North Caucasus play a huge role in Russia’s image in the world. The position of foreign, especially Western mass media, toward events in the North Caucasus is a targeted information campaign on the destruction of a positive image of the region. It is targeted media work against the efforts which Russia undertakes to develop the North Caucasus. Any events which happen there have a huge multiplicative effect. They are studied in details immediately and strike the image of Russia in general.”
According to Pilko, that is why it is so difficult to organize media work on the North Caucasus: “We should remember that nobody will give us a chance to organize it on an empty territory, from scratch. There are certain forces which do their best to destabilize the situation in the North Caucasus. The struggle for revival of the region, for development of the region, and for the North Caucasus to continue being an integral part of our country has not only an economic, but also information sense.
We have to do a lot to prevent wrong interpretations and fight the information threats which the Russian policy faces in the North Caucasus; we should fight for a positive image of the North Caucasus. It is a serious work, but if we fail to do it, the information war against the Russian policy in the North Caucasus will continue.”
Andrey Areshev, Editor-in-Chief of the website of the Scientific Society of Caucasiologists, sets a rhetoric question “Does Russia need the Caucasus?” “One of the positive trends of 2013 is that such talk has found its marginal place,” Areshev believes.
“Due to various reasons – historical, geopolitical, economic – it is impossible to imagine Russia without the Caucasus and the Caucasus without Russia. We have already seen it in the early and mid 1990s when weakness of the Russian state power led to disasters and suffering of the North Caucasus people and the whole Russia. But 2013 was characterized by positive tendencies in the security sphere, in the sphere of struggling against corruption and economic development of the region.
Of course, there are problems which cannot be solved at once, but they will be solved, and it will improve security in the region and contribute to social integration of the federation’s constituents which are included into the North Caucasus Federal District; their social, economic and cultural development is impossible without it.”