Transport hub: why Dagestan protesting truckers

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In the Republic used that economic protests usually end with a dialogue with the authorities. But the “Plato” was introduced at the Federal level, which reduces the chances of compromise

Protests Dagestan truckers who do not agree with the introduction of “Plato”, is firmly established in the first lines of the Federal news media. But spectacular images of rallies by the side of the highways is not always possible to understand what is really happening, and what threats bears events. To understand this it is important to ask why the visible centre of the protests was the Dagestan Republic.

Profession “kamazist”

The first and most obvious reason is the geographical position of the Republic on a major traffic artery connecting Russia with Azerbaijan. In other regions of the country carry not only vegetables and fruit from the Caucasus and Dagestan, but also, for example, the Iranian consumer goods, is actively supplied to the flea markets of the Russian South. The demand for the services carriers in the Republic is great. Although the Dagestanis in this market are actively competing drivers from the same Azerbaijan, profession, truckers, or “kamazist”, as they call it themselves Dagestan, in the Republic one of the most common.

Another reason the particular vulnerability of Dagestan prior to raise tolls for truckers is that in the region from the traffic conditions depend not only drivers. The “multiplier effect” of any changes in this area of Dagestan, apparently, more than in many other parts of the country.

The fact that a considerable percentage of the Dagestan truckers are embedded in the economic chain, from the smooth operation which in addition to the carrier itself depend on dozens of other workers and their families in Dagestan, for example, in the suburbs. In agriculture of the Republic is quite common scheme, when the farmer, who established a sale somewhere in Central Russia, has there own database for storing vegetables or supplementary feeding of livestock. Such farmers hire permanent truck drivers (and in some cases, and gets his own truck) for transportation between his Dagestani land and point in another region. The higher fees from carriers, the lower the cost-effectiveness of such inter-regional farms.

But in a risky position are not the only ones. There is near Makhachkala, for example, a village with more than 5 thousand inhabitants, most of whom are engaged in artisanal production of flour. Large consumers that their products are not interested in, but dozens of local and, for example, Rostov truckers regularly go to the village for a product, then wholesale to sell it in the markets. Obviously, change the system of fees first to suffer large transport company, and these are the “free agents”. And their withdrawal from the market threatens the well-being of entire villages.

The habit of dialogue

However, special activity of the truckers in Dagestan is not only a damage to the business due to the new transport conditions. Another reason is that in Dagestan the population of great skill public protests. Is the experience when behind the protests should be dialogue between the parties.

Of course, it is not always. For example, demonstrations of Dagestanis who claim that their relatives have suffered from illegal actions of the security forces, are held in the main square of Makhachkala regularly, but not always, the protesters receive from the authorities the answers. But when protests involve large population groups, such as residents of the village, from which authorities “cut off” part of the territory, or market workers, which the mayor’s office is going to close, shouting into the void such protests more often than not over. For acute phase, where the horizon may seem and the security forces, a confrontation usually turns into a phase of compromise.

Why the authorities of Dagestan, despite the change of leaders of the region and their political style, still were inclined to negotiate with the participants of these protests? There are several reasons. One of them is preserved in the Republic of non-state socio-political media, providing publicity of mass actions. The other reason — specific to local “elitist democracy” in which at the top there is a complex system of checks and balances between people from different parts of the Republic, representatives of different informal unions officials and entrepreneurs. In this situation, any large group of protesters with a high probability the government will find someone who will not be able to step back from the conversation with them. For example, because it represents the same nationality, and the protesters, or is someone from them in a relationship.

However, whatever the origins of these traditions in local politics, the action of the truckers will give them a serious test. She has a lot of “complicating” features compared to other similar protests in Dagestan. First, the problems with which it is associated, mainly in the competence of Federal and regional authorities. Second, attempts to link the purely economic protest to the recent political actions in Russian cities can lead to the fact that officials are afraid to seek points of convergence with the protesters.

But if the dialogue does not succeed, threatened economically important mechanism, which largely ensured, which was postponed earlier times from the dangerous features of this very poor and internally conflicted region.

The authors ‘ point of view, articles which are published in the section “Opinions” may not coincide with ideas of editorial.

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