North Caucasus Security Profiles

The North Caucasus goes by many names such as Russia’s Wild Southern Frontier or the badlands that separate Europe and Asia. It is a region of extreme natural beauty and hospitality but often contrasted with horror and danger. In the post-Soviet period, the region was modern Russia’s nightmare. Relentless civil war, terrorism, insurgencies, and banditry plagued the region making it an absolute no go region for decades and one of the biggest regional cities, the war torn Chechen capital of Grozny, being declared ‘the most dangerous place on planet earth’.

Stretching from the Black Sea to the Caspian Sea, the region boasts some of the best coastal and mountain scenery in the world, exceptional food and unrivaled hospitality from the locals, many of whom maintain tribal traditions from hundreds of years ago.

Security situation in the North Caucasus:

During the 1990’s and early 2000’s, travel to the region meant an enormous chance of kidnap or death. The three most critical republics being Chechnya, Dagestan, and Ingushetia which were wrapped in civil wars for decades. Today, the wars have been reduced to an insurgency and the region is heavily populated by Russian military and local militia forces keeping order. Travel to major cities such as Vladikavkaz, Grozny, and Derbent is deemed safe but travel into isolated and remote areas in the mountains is not recommended. It is not advised to travel through the region without security or conflict zone experience.

Access for filmmakers and journalists in the North Caucasus:

Entry to the region is not so difficult provided you have a good grasp of Russian. The largest airport is Vladikavkaz and is only a 2.5 hour flight from Moscow, train connections also run there from all over Russia. Pioneer Media have been operating in the region for the past five years and through our mixture of on the ground contacts, we can guarantee entry permits, journalist and film permits as well as access to local fixers. We will deal with all the bureaucracy and visa applications on the ground. Similarly, we can arrange film logistics within the country at ease. Staff and translators can be found for very affordable rates.