Russian President Vladimir Putin has called the activities of international human rights organizations in the North Caucasus "anti-Russian" and called on the government to "adequately respond" to them.
Talking to the country's Security Council in Moscow on September 9, Putin said "the groundless reports" by some countries and their rights groups about the "so-called total violation of human rights in the North Caucasus" often go along with "inciting separatist ideas in the region."
He also said the fight against corruption and organized crime in the country's most volatile region should be implemented more effectively.
Russia's mostly Muslim-populated and ethnically mixed North Caucasus region has been plagued by violence tied to religious extremism and organized crime for years after two unsuccessful separatist wars in Chechnya in the mid-1990s and early 2000s.
Based on reporting by Interfax and ITAR-TASS