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Putin Sets Out New Strategy For North Caucasus

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (file photo)
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has outlined new initiatives to boost economic development in the restive North Caucasus, where Russia is fighting a growing Islamist insurgency fueled by poverty, unemployment and corruption.

Speaking in Kislovodsk, in Russia's southern Stavropol region, Putin called on local leaders to attract private investment and reduce unemployment to bring peace to the North Caucasus.

He even told them to listen more to human rights activists in the region where he said disgruntled local residents "often run against a wall of indifference, a conspiracy of silence and bribery."

compiled from agency reports