Ossetia is pro Russia and is Christian and hence safe. The others are Muslim and hence are influenced by fundamentalism that is sweeping the world assisted by the fact that during Stalin's time a large number of the Muslim population were relocated elsewhere so as to change the demography and have now been allowed to return but find that their properties have been usurped! It will be hard to visualise that Russia will take it kindly to attempts that further shrink its borders. These areas apart from tourist income are also areas with mineral deposits. While Karachaevo-Cherkessia may become a new hotspot, Russia's heavy hand will visit them and no human rights will be able to do anything about it. No matter how much of 'democracy' or 'reforms' erstwhile Communists indicate they are pursuing, old habits die hard. Stalin and Mao still lives on!