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During the first part of the fellowship year I focused mainly on accumulation of information related to my research, final specification of its goals and directions, research questions to be answered.


1. The main focus of my work was upon collection and systematization of available statistical information related to drug-trafficking and narcotism in Russian regions adjacent to borders and in other provinces (for comparison). The procession of huge volume of collected information is not finished yet. But according to my preliminary conclusion, the situation of a province near a boundary or at a major drug-trafficking route is not so key determinant of drug consumption level and drug-related criminal rate as living standards and socio-economic situation. It can bring to a conclusion that the main counter-trafficking efforts should be focused not on borders but on cities and regions which mentioned conditions favor to increase of demand.

During my future research I’m planning to continue to make the main focus on the about-mentioned statistical data. One of the main key tasks of my future paper will be the well-reasoned critique of the “number game” that now is been played by Russian officials who during the last year increased the official estimation of drug addicts’ number from 2 to 6 million persons. It can be done not only for mobilizing public support and additional resources but also in order to call for extraordinary measures that can contradict democratic freedoms.


2. During the first stage of my work the situation in the Caucasian region was also in the focus of my attention. This work was combined with my contribution to the project “Transnational Criminal Activities through Russia’s Borders with Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Georgia” (supported by Transnational Crime and Corruption Center, American University, Washington, D.C., USA). Making the research on the situation at Russia’s Transcaucasian boundaries I’ve learnt that this direction is increasingly important rout for smugglers of raw opium which in Russia is converted to heroin. Taking into account other challenges to Russia’s national security at the “Caucasian direction” (especially smuggling of explosives and penetration of terrorists) and the mountainous landscape of this area, it seems that, unlike other cases, strengthening Russia’s Caucasian borders’ regime can one of the most effective “receipts” of the struggle against transboundary drug-trafficking.


3. The third key point of my research was the event analysis of the cases of discovered drug-trafficking attempts through Russia-Kazakhstan, Russia-Azerbaijan, Russia-Georgia and partially Russia-Ukraine borders. It was held by means of systematical procession of information about the mentioned cases; this information was found in Internet by search engines and other means. One of the most interesting findings derived from the combination of the analysis of statistical data, expert estimations and event analysis has been in that the estimated quantity of heroin brought to Russia annually and the character of typically revealing smuggling hasn’t corresponded to the widespread opinion that Tajik-dominated criminal groupings play evidently decisive role in the delivery of drugs into Russia from Central Asia. Indeed, the number of Tajik migrants entering Russia is not sufficient to provide the estimated supply while in the vast majority of known cases the volume of drugs confiscated from Tadjikistani smugglers was far from to be huge. Therefore, the question about the main ways of smuggling requires more detailed investigation by expert survey and event analysis.


4. In April of 2005 I took a monthly trip to Kazakhstan (at the expense of several sources other than IPF). This trip allowed me to collect very precious information including reports of Kazakhstani state agencies (Public Prosecutor Office etc) and results of related researches.


5. During my stay at Slavic Research Center (Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan) I participated in the Summer International Symposium “Regional and Transregional Dynamism in Central Eurasia: Empires, Islam and Politics” (6-7 July, 2005) and delivered a report “Drug-Trafficking through Russia-Kazakhstan border: Challenge and Responses”. The fellowship of SRC (July-August, 2005) also gave me a possibility to familiarize myself with the project-related resources of Hokkaido University which will be very useful for the formation of the theoretical part of my research.  


6. As it was mentioned before, apart from IPF the main institutional partners for my research-related activities during the reported period were Transnational Crime and Corruption Center (TRACCC) and Slavic Research Center (SRC). The project-related activities in cooperation with these centers will be continued: I’ve prepared applications for grants that could be very helpful to work together with these institutions in the fields related to IPF-supported project. For example, I submitted an application “Between Restriction and Reduction: Russia’s Search for Response to Transboundary Drug-Trafficking in the Light of the American Experience” for a short-term grant of the George Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies. The success would allow me to visit Washington, D.C. in February of 2006, to work with the resources of TRACCC and the Library of Congress. It could improve essentially the quality of my final research paper.

7. I was also invited by TRACCC to the conference about drug-trafficking issues which will be held in the city of Chelyabinsk at the very end of November. I hope that participation in this conference will be a good chance both to collect additional information and to test my ideas proposing them to discussion with qualified scholars and officials.



1.            The article “Drug-Trafficking through Russia-Kazakhstan border: Challenge and Responses” has been submitted for publication in the collection of materials of the Summer International Symposium “Regional and Transregional Dynamism in Central Eurasia: Empires, Islam and Politics” that will be published by the Slavic Research Center in the spring of 2006.


2. The collective report “Transnational Criminal Activities through Russia’s Borders with Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Georgia” (that is edited by me) will be published in Autumn of this year in Volgograd. In my contribution I used results obtained during researches supported both by TRACCC and IPF.




I am working on a policy project  Drug-Trafficking as a Challenge for Russia's Security and Border Policies

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