An Agence France Press Report published in Hurriyet on Saturday reported on a Russian news broadcast that Dagestan rebels were being financed by supporters in Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan and the United Arab Emirates. Interesting that Georgia was included in an otherwise Islamic country list and may be just gratuitous, although Georgia does have at its disposal some very wealthy individuals. Georgia also has some justifiable grievances against Russia. Nevertheless, this appears to be part of a growing Kremlin campaign to solidify and set the stage for extending its position in the Caucuses even if it is a legend. But,even if true, the distinction made between funding by a country and its citizens does not change the Russian paranoia of foreign interference in an attempt to dismantle or neuter the Federation. Last week, for example, the Kremlin's installed leader of Chechnya called for the liquidation of Ukraine and Georgia referring to the collapse of the Soviet Union as foreign sponsored.
Putin may be using these statements to gauge public and international reactions. An adverse, reaction would allow the Kremlin to disavow any reported plans and distance itself from the 'liquidation' remarks made by the murderer currently in charge in Chechnya. However, regardless, these statements seem to be warning to Turkey and Azerbaijan not to press their foreign policies too independently in the Caucuses.
As I suggested in my post below, Russia will seek to solidify and expand its control over the Caucuses in the coming year. Saturday was the first stage - control the message.