The article analyzes the assessments and perceptions of the North Caucasus youth about the state of interethnic relations in the region. The North Caucasian region is distinguished by a high level of significance of confessional, ethnic and group identities, which creates the risk of conflict in interethnic relations. Significant differences remain in the degree of ethnic and confessional self-awareness among Russian and North Caucasian youth. The issues of compatibility of various value and socio-cultural foundations of the worldview of young people, the formation of unifying civil and cultural-civilizational foundations of the all-Russian identity are gaining importance. The purpose is to determine the conflict potential of interethnic relations in the North Caucasus in the perceptions of youth. Objectives are to identifying the causes of interethnic tension, determining the ethno-confessional factors of the conflict potential of inter-ethnic relations among young people, the degree of readiness to personally participate in ethno-confessional conflicts in the interests of their ethnic and confessional group, the significance of the main macro-identities: all-Russian, ethnic and confessional. When working on the research methodology, special attention was paid to modern Russian and foreign theoretical and methodological approaches to inter-ethnic conflicts, the role of ethno-political and economic factors of conflict potential and the determination of the causes of inter-ethnic tension in a multi-ethnic environment. Empirical data were obtained by a survey-questionnaire conducted in February-March 2023. 1,400respondents were interviewed– students of leading universities in the North Caucasus. A sub-sampling was carried out according to nationality and attitude to religion. The level of interethnic tension in the North Caucasus is assessed by the respondents as low. At the same time, the potential for conflict and the mobilization potential of ethnicity, their dependence on national identity, remains. Most of the respondents singled out socio-cultural reasons as the main reasons for interethnic tension in the North Caucasus: rejection of the culture and values of other peoples, hostility and prejudice towards other peoples. The all-Russian identity has been formed and is significant for all groups of respondents. Ethnic and confessional identities are also of great importance for North Caucasian youth. In the North Caucasus, there remain latent risks of conflict in interethnic relations among the youth, the mobilization potential of ethnic and confessional identity. The main causes of interethnic tension are of a value-ideological nature. In the minds of young people there is a high significance, along with the all-Russian, ethnic and confessional identity. There is a tendency for the "field of conflict" to flow from the ethno-political into the socio-cultural sphere. Emotional-psychological and socio-cultural reasons for young people are of greater importance than socio-economic and ethno-political ones.

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