On 5 February, Vladimir Vasilyev, the acting head of Dagestan republic in southern Russia, dismissed the regional government following the arrests of Dagestan’s Prime Minister Abdusamad Gamidov and two of his deputies the previous day.
These individuals and their accomplices were charged with embezzlement of funds amounting to USD1.7 million. Dagestan is one of Russia’s 22 republics, established to protect the cultural autonomy of the country’s ethnic minorities. Dagestan has a very diverse population, with 14 major ethnic groups, and is majority Muslim, with ethnic Russians comprising a small minority and inter-ethnic relations often. It has been ruled by local elites from the major Avar, Dargin, and Kumyk ethnic groups since the early 1990s.
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