Survey: 41% of North Ossetian respondents blame Beslan tragedy on federal center's policy in Caucasus
On September 27-30, the Caucasus Times and Prague Watchdog conducted a survey of the inhabitants of the North Ossetian towns of Beslan and Vladikavkaz using its correspondent network in the North Caucasus region. 100 men and women (50 in Beslan and 50 in Vladikavkaz) of varying ages and occupations were interviewed. Conducting this survey was complicated due to the people’s reluctance to discuss any issues that related to the Beslan tragedy.
Results showed widespread feelings of dissatisfaction with both the local and federal authorities. The majority of respondents were highly critical of the officials’ behavior during that tragedy - 75% believed this was the main cause of the Beslan events. More specifically, 41% of the respondents indicated that the federal center's policy in the Caucasus was the main reason for this tragedy, while 34% felt it was negligence on the part of local authorities. Another 19% connected Beslan with the war in Chechnya.
Of those interviewed, 66% were very critical of the actions taken, describing them as "a complete failure"; 22% thought the authorities were unprofessional; and 11% stated that they were not quick and resolute enough.
As far as security in the Northern Caucasus is concerned, expectations are very low. Almost all the respondents (92%) expect a turn for the worse in the near future, and the remaining 8% feel it will remain at the same level.