Although the two former Soviet Union districts are standing side by side along each other, they largely differ by their diverse cultures and physical geography. We can explain their distinction in terms of the centripetal force and centrifugal force with Russia. Dagestan represents the where Chechnya represents the latter. The conflict of Chechnya traces back to World War 2 where the entire Chechen population was deported to Siberia and northern part of Kazakhstan by the Soviet Union government.
The movement rose up Chechnya’s distaste towards the Soviet rule and rebellion took place in hope of seeking independence from USSR. Another centripetal force is religion. Unlike most of the Russian, majority the people living in Chechnya are Muslims. A close relationship is therefore drawn to the near Islamic empire. It also creates a resistance force on the political control of Russia. In contrast, the physical geography and cultural impact of Dagestan is so different from Chechnya.
Chechnya is located at the remote mountain region and steep valleys. The lowland is extremely dry and provided poor basis for farming. But in Dagestan, in increasing altitude brings from the Caspian Sea brings moisture and green grass suitable for farming. The Russian language is a centripetal force helping to Dagestan to the Russian Federation. Most of people from Dagestan claim Russian their official languages and speak their own ethnic languages at the same time. By contrast, 90% of Chechen speak Chechen.
The difference in cultural values and community push Chechnya further away from the Russia’s central capital. Another centripetal factor holding Dagestan to Moscow is economy. Dagestan is among the poorest region where resources are very rare. Without support from the Russian government, the community simply can’t survive with the remote resources. But as long as they work with Moscow, they are able to improve their economy and remain peaceful in their traditional homes.