North Caucasus has trend towards ethnic, religious separatism

Radical Islam and other extremist trends have become a long-term factor of North Caucasian destabilization, which adds to the crime rate, Russian Deputy Prosecutor General Viktor Grin said in an interview the Prosecutor magazine would publish.

"We can see that extremist feelings have become a long-term factor, which has an effect on the crime rate in the North Caucasus. Illegal armed units continue to operate in a number of constituents of the North Caucasian Federal District; there are still attacks on officials, public figures and law enforcers," he said.

"There are attempts of active interference in the revival of the traditional religion of the region - Islam - by members of various radical Islamic groups based abroad," Grin said. As a result, the terrorist crime rate in the North Caucasus grew by more than 7% last year.

"Regional instability breeds latent inter-ethnic conflicts and trends towards the spread of ethnic and religious separatism," Grin said. "In the absence of an official ideology [which the former Soviet Union had], spiritual revival, religious upbringing and promotion of traditional values amongst the young may help solve these problems," he said.

"However, it is important to prevent the promotion of alien and frequently radical ideas and values under the disguise of spiritual revival. Spiritual and moral development must not substitute, but organically add to the state efforts in raising the younger generation," Grin said.

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