The following article by Prof. Paul Goble appeared on his blog, Window on Eurasia.
Window on Eurasia: Moscow No Longer Views Clans as Stabilizing Force in North Caucasus, Analyst Says
Staunton, June 10 – Having long viewed clans in the North Caucasus republics as “a powerful stabilizing factor” and the basis of “authoritarian power ‘in the localities,'” Moscow now views them as a threat because their corruption and close ties with the criminal world is “harming the image of the federal authorities,” according to a Memorial analyst.
Ekaterina Sokryanskaya of the Memorial Human Rights Center argues that this shift in opinion at the center rather than concern about upcoming elections explains the recent arrest of two Daghestani officials, Said Amirov, the mayor of Makhachkala, and Nurmagomed Shikkhmagomedov, the head of the Tabasaran district (newizv.ru/society/2013-06-10/183758-ekspert-pravozashitnogo-centra-memorial-ekaterina-sokirjanskaja.html).
The North Caucasus expert points out that Amirov was someone on whom Moscow had long felt it could rely because “he would not go against the will of the Kremlin knowing the possible consequences” for himself if he did. Consequently, she argues, his arrest represents “the beginning of a large scale campaign against corruption and the criminal world” in the region.