Category Archives: Terrorism

Russian Security Fear Citizens Joining ISIS More than Ukrainian Separatists

Map of Area Spanning Portions of Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, highlighting military engagements against ISIL

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – June 22, 2015) More than 1,000 Russian citizens are believed to be fighting alongside the Islamic State, but Moscow is unable to stem the flow of militants to the terrorist group, nor the flow of “volunteers” to separatist forces in eastern Ukraine, a top security official said in an interview published Monday. […]

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Experts Downplay Trend of Russians Joining Islamic State

Map of Area Spanning Portions of Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, highlighting military engagements against ISIL

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber – June 18, 2015) Reports of Russian citizens taking up arms for the Islamic State terrorist group have dominated headlines in recent days, sparking debate about the cause of the apparent trend. Andrei Novikov, head of the Commonwealth of Independent States’ (CIS) Anti-Terrorism Center, told the Interfax news agency Wednesday that according to […]

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Remembering Budyonnovsk

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(opendemocracy.net – Svetlana Bolotnikova – June 15, 2015) Svetlana Bolotnikova is a Russian journalist and correspondent for KavPolit, an online publication specialising in political developments in the Caucasus. I was in Budyonnovsk on 14 June 1995, when Chechen separatists raided the town and took hostages, killing 129. Twenty years later, this town in southern Russia is still known as the […]

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NEWSLINK New York Times: Dutch Foreign Minister Reports Progress in Inquiry Into Downing of Malaysian Jetliner

Ukraine Air Crash Scene with Uniformed Security Personnel, Flames, Smoke

NATO officials have said Russian-backed Ukrainian insurgents firing a Russian-made missile were responsible for downing the jetliner on July 17. Russia has blamed Ukrainian forces and denied responsibility in the disaster, which caused shock around the world and played a role in the worsening of relations between Russia and the West over the past year. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/29/world/europe/progress-reported-in-malaysian-plane-shootdown-inquiry.html

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NEWSLINK The National Interest: ISIS on the Move: Russia’s Deadly Islamist Problem

Caucasus Map of Chechnya and Caucasus Environs

Killings of leaders of the ongoing insurgency in Russia’s North Caucasus no longer make front page news in either Moscow or foreign capitals, and the recent violent death of Emirate Caucasus’ emirAliskhab Kebekov is no exception. But regardless of whether such deadly news is buried in the inside pages or not, the North Caucasus insurgency, whose representatives not only regularly […]

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NEWSWATCH Interfax-Ukraine: All terrorist attacks in Ukraine coordinated by Russian special forces – Nalyvaichenko

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

[“All terrorist attacks in Ukraine coordinated by Russian special forces – Nalyvaichenko” – Interfax-Ukraine – April 1, 2015] Citing a published account by the “Den” (Day) newspaper, Interfax-Ukraine reports on declarations by the head of Ukraine’s SBU security service that Russian special forces are coordinating terrorist attacks out of headquarters in Luhansk and Donetsk. Russian special forces and their representatives have […]

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Why the Jihadi Threat to Russia Is Getting Worse

Caucasus Map of Chechnya and Caucasus Environs

More jihadi fighters come from Russia than any country outside the Middle East and North Africa. What happens when they come home? (Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Carol Matlack – March 30, 2015) The deadly terror attacks in Paris in January underscored the risk facing Western Europe as jihadis return home from fighting in Syria and Iraq. But the place that […]

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NEWSLINK: Nemtsov’s Murder: Islamist Footprint?

Boris Nemtsov file photo

The origins of the murder of Yaroslavl Oblast assembly deputy and Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov are still unclear and may be forever. We are, after all, talking about Russia. However, news reports and the chief suspect’s own statements indicate that an Islamic/Islamist motive may have prompted the killing. …

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Gorbachev: Nemtsov murder a scheme to provoke political trouble in Russia

Boris Nemtsov file photo

(Interfax – February 28, 2015) Former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev has expressed confidence that Friday night’s assassination in the center of Moscow of opposition politician Boris Nemtsov is a scheme to “provoke aggravation, and maybe even destabilization, of the situation in the country, increase the confrontation.” “It’s hard to say now which side is responsible for this. One mustn’t hurry […]

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Experts See Dark Plot in Spate of Mystery Bombings in Ukraine

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Allison Quinn – February 26, 2015) As the latest blast in a recent string of mysterious bombings in eastern Ukraine claimed another victim Wednesday, experts warned that there would be more to come – and they could spread the conflict further from the front lines. A Donetsk grocery store became the latest scene of carnage […]

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Interfax: Terrorism in Europe rooted in Middle East policy – diplomat

Russian Foreign Ministry Building Tower file photo

MOSCOW. Feb 18 (Interfax) – The ongoing surge of terrorism in Europe is rooted in the European policy in the Middle East and North Africa, Director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Department on New Threats and Challenges Ilya Rogachev said. “This is a consequence of the policy, including that of the Europeans, in the Middle East and North Africa,” he […]

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Putin Now has His Storm Troopers and Pogroms Will Surely Follow, Ganapolsky Says

Vladimir Putin

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, January 23, 2014) Putin’s Russia has crossed a Rubicon: it now has sanctioned the Anti-Maidan Movement, a domestic version of Hitler’s storm troopers, and thus created a monster that almost certainly will engage in pogroms against one group or another in the future, according to Moscow commentator Matvey Ganapolsky. Despite Putin’s ratings […]

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Interfax: Making people choose between terror, blasphemy wrong – Russian church official

Archpriest Vsevolad Chaplin file photo

(Interfax – January 14, 2015) Forcing people to choose between terrorism and blasphemy is dangerous, public relations chief of the Russian Orthodox Church Vsevolod Chaplin has said. He was speaking on the Russian Orthodox Church TV channel Spas on 14 January, as reported by Russian privately-owned news agency Interfax. A week after the deadly attacks in Paris, today the French […]

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RIA Novosti: Russian diplomat calls for renewed cooperation with West against ISIS

Map of Area Spanning Portions of Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, highlighting military engagements against ISIL

(RIA Novosti – January 13, 2015) The Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) poses just as much of a threat to Russia as it does to the West, the director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s department of new threats and challenges, Ilya Rogachev, was quoted as saying by RIA Novosti (part of the state-owned International News Agency Rossiya Segodnya) on 13 January. “ISIL […]

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‘Top 15 Russian Fears for ’15’ — a ‘Versiya’ Checklist

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, January 14, 2015) Russians face so many problems and have so many fears that it is often a daunting task to ensure that one is keeping track of all of them. As a guide for the perplexed, Kseniya Veretennikova provides a checklist of the “top 15 fears” Russians have about the year […]

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In Implicit Criticism Of West, Russia’s FM Calls For ‘More Serious’ Fight Against IS

Map of Middle East and North Africa with Inset Map of Holy Land

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Joanna Paraszczuk – January 13, 2015) Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has called for a “more serious” fight against the Islamic State (IS) group, amid reports that the militant group is present in Afghanistan and is expanding elsewhere. “‘Islamic State’ is a structure that calls for a great deal more attention and a more serious reaction. […]

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Putin’s Backing Allows Kadyrov Free Reign for Open Threats, Analysts Say

Ramzan Kadyrov file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Allison Quinn – January 13, 2015) Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov has embarked in recent days on a marathon of threat-laden spats with prominent public figures, making statements so brazen they would be unimaginable coming from any other regional leader. Analysts interviewed by The Moscow Times attributed Kadyrov’s recent bout of brashness to the unyielding trust […]

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In Russia, Tears and Jeers After Charlie Hebdo Massacre

Paris, France, View from Eiffel Tower

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber – January 12, 2015) A mixture of genuine grief, petty political pandering and condemnation of a vaguely defined notion of blasphemy have dominated a broad array of Russian reactions to the massacre at French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo that left 12 dead. As much of the world commiserates with France in the aftermath […]

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NEWSWATCH: In 2015, Vladimir Putin may witness his empire’s death knell

Vladimir Putin

[“In 2015, Vladimir Putin may witness his empire’s death knell” – Strobe Talbott – Reuters – Dec. 16, 2014] Strobe Talbott predicts that a third Chechen War could break out in 2015, sounding the death knell for Russia’s current geographic configuration. Indeed, Talbott comments that Russia could break apart by the end this century, and that the policies of Russian President […]

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Moscow Times: Russians More Afraid of U.S. Than Islamic Terrorism, Survey Shows

File Photo of Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama Seated Before Russian and U.S. Flags

(Moscow Times – moscowtimes.com – Allison Quinn – October 22, 2014) Nearly a quarter of Russians believe that the United States poses a bigger terrorist threat to their country than radical Islamists, a survey published Tuesday showed. Twenty-two percent of respondents to the poll by the state-run All-Russia Public Opinion Research Center (VTsIOM), titled “Terrorist Threats Against Russia: New Sources,” […]

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NEW BOOK: The Caucasus Emirate Mujahedin: Global Jihadism in Russia’s North Caucasus and Beyond

Caucasus Mountains Satellite Image

Subject: Book announcement Date: Sat, 18 Oct 2014 From: GORDON HAHN <gordon-hahn@sbcglobal.net> My most recent book – The Caucasus Emirate Mujahedin: Global Jihadism in Russia’s North Caucasus and Beyond – has been published by McFarland Publishers. It is available for purchase from the publisher and Amazon. The Caucasus Emirate Mujahedin: Global Jihadism in Russia’s North Caucasus and Beyond Gordon M. […]

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Interfax: Most Russians unaware of ISIL, others see it as threat to peace, Russia – poll

Map of Iraq

MOSCOW. Oct 9 (Interfax) – Only 13% of Russians are aware of the existence of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and 54% learned about it during a poll held by the Public Opinion Foundation. Another 26% of 1,500 respondents polled in 43 regions on September 28 had heard something about the ISIL, and 7% failed to […]

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Islamic State Grooms Chechen Fighters Against Putin

Map of Iraq

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Michael Winfrey – October 9, 2014) When the Islamic State commander known as “Omar the Chechen” called to tell his father they’d routed the Iraqi army and taken the city of Mosul, he added a stark message: Russia would be next. “He said ‘don’t worry dad, I’ll come home and show the Russians,’” Temur Batirashvili said […]

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RIA Novosti: Fears of Radicalization Among Muslim Youth Rising in Russia

Russian Mosque File Photo

MOSCOW, October 1 (RIA Novosti) – There is an increasing risk of radicalization among Muslim youth in Russia, Russian News Paper Kommersant reported on Wednesday. A large group of Muslim youth attacked a police bus on September 26, as the police arrested a man, who drove into an officer, after being told to move his car, parked in a no-parking […]

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Russia Calls for Joint Effort With U.S. to Fight Islamic State

Map of Iraq

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – September 29, 2014) Russia’s deputy foreign minister on Monday called for a joint effort between Moscow and Washington in fighting the radical group Islamic State, but appeared to play down fears of a high number of Russians in the group. “The Americans say terrorism represents a direct threat to their national security. I think the […]

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Business New Europe: MH17 report – The how, but not the who

Ukraine Air Crash Scene with Uniformed Security Personnel, Flames, Smoke

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Nikolai Holmov, OdessaTalk – September 10, 2014) Today saw the release of the preliminary findings of the downing of the MH17 flight over eastern Ukraine. To be blunt, these preliminary findings confirming very much what everybody suspected – no crew error, no mechanical failure, no flying in unauthorised airspace etc. “Based on the preliminary […]

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Business New Europe: Last minutes of MH17 flight not recorded by Nato Awacs spy planes

Ukraine Air Crash Scene with Uniformed Security Personnel, Flames, Smoke

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – September 9, 2014) The last minutes of the MH17 flight downed over East Ukraine July 17 were not recorded by NATO Awacs “eye in the sky” planes, according to Germany’s Der Spiegel. As a result, the German government has no “certain knowledge” that the plane was shot down by a surface-to-air missile, the government […]

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Decade After Beslan, Questions Remain Unanswered

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – September 1, 2014) The children who set off for their first day of school 10 years ago in the small Caucasus town of Beslan, North Ossetia, will graduate from high school this coming academic year – at least, those who survived will. On Sept. 1, 2004, a group of 32 armed terrorists […]

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Islamic State to Putin: We Are on Our Way to Russia

Syria Map

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Allison Quinn – September 4, 2014) Members of the Islamic State, a violent group of extremists presently terrorizing Iraq and Syria, have released a video threatening President Vladimir Putin and vowing to wage war in Russia’s restive North Caucasus. Message to Putin A video released by Al Arabiya and reportedly filmed in a seized airport in […]

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Moscow Times: Ukraine Says Rebels Mistook Doomed Flight MH17 for Aeroflot Plane

Ukraine Air Crash Scene with Uniformed Security Personnel, Flames, Smoke

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – August 8, 2014) Ukraine has claimed that pro-Moscow separatists downed Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 after mistaking it for a Russian Aeroflot plane that they supposedly wanted to shoot down to provide Moscow with a pretext for invading Ukraine. The latest theory in an array of conflicting claims about the possible causes of […]

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Russian Billionaires in ‘Horror’ as Putin Risks Isolation

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Henry Meyer, Irina Reznik, Ilya Arkhipov – July 21, 2014) Russia’s richest businessmen are increasingly frantic that President Vladimir Putin’s policies in Ukraine will lead to crippling sanctions and are too scared of reprisal to say so publicly, billionaires and analysts said. If Putin doesn’t move to end the war in Ukraine in the wake of […]

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RIA Novosti: West Suspends Fighting Terrorism, Drugs With Russia Over Ukraine

File Photo of Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama Seated with Flags Behind

MOSCOW, July 16 (RIA Novosti) The pause in NATO’s collaboration with Russia in fighting terrorism and drug trafficking because of Moscow’s position on the Ukrainian crisis “punishes” primarily the people of the involved territories and points out the shortsighted approach of a range of Western countries, Ilya Rogachev, director of the department of new challenges and threats at the Russian […]

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Moscow Opens Terrorist Training Base in Crimea, Cemilev Says

Map of Western CIS/FSU and European Environs

(Eurasia Daily Monitor: Volume 11, Issue 119 – Jamestown Foundation – jamestown.org – Paul Goble – July 1, 2014) Ukraine’s intelligence service has identified five centers within the Russian Federation where Moscow is recruiting and training mercenaries and diversionists to work against Ukraine in the eastern portions of that country and perhaps further west as well (Newsru.ua, June 28). Even more worrisome, […]

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Russia warns of new wave of collapse of states in Middle East

Middle East Map

(Interfax – Moscow, June 21, 2014) Terrorism, which is the most dangerous threat in the Middle Eastern region, could lead to a new wave of collapse of states, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov announced following his visit to Saudi Arabia. According to Lavrov, during his meetings with the leadership of the kingdom, the conflicts in Syria, Libya and Iraq, as […]

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Russian officials reject US allegations over Boston bombing suspect case

Boston Bombings Suspects File Photo Adapted from FBI Image

(RIA Novosti – April 10, 2014) The allegations that the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) declined to provide its American counterparts with comprehensive information about Tamerlan Tsarnayev, one of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects, is another manifestation of “anti-Russian hysteria”, Igor Korotchenko, the editor in chief of the Natsionalnaya Oborona (National Defence) magazine and a member of the public council […]

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Vigilant Eagle 2014 first planning conference gets underway in Colorado Springs

Fighter Jets in Joint Counterterrorism Exercise

(Interfax – February 12, 2014) This year’s first planning conference of Vigilant Eagle 2014, the command post antiterrorist exercise involving Russia, the United States and Canada, has begun in the city of Colorado Springs (the state of Colorado, the U.S.), Eastern Military District (EMD) spokesman Lt. Col. Alexander Gordeyev told Interfax-AVN on Wednesday. “The Russian side is represented at the […]

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Sochi Security Gets High Marks

Sochi 2014

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Yekaterina Kravtsova, Ivan Nechepurenko – SOCHI – February 11, 2014) Security concerns over terrorist attacks have declined since the Sochi Winter Olympics kicked off over the weekend, and visitors say they have not been inconvenienced by security measures despite the presence of thousands of law enforcement officers. The issue of security dominated international headlines in […]

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RIA Novosti: Ukraine On Terror Alert Amid Explosion Threats

Ukraine Map and Flag

KIEV, February 9 (RIA Novosti) – Ukrainian security agents are on high alert following reports of planned explosions in the country that could cause mass casualties, the national security service said Sunday. A warning has been issued concerning high-risk facilities across Ukraine, including nuclear and hydro power plants, international airports, railway stations and bus stations, cross-country pipelines and weapons storage […]

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57% of Americans Think Sochi Terror Attack Is Likely, Poll Says

Sochi 2014

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – February 6, 2014) More than half of Americans think that a terrorist attack is likely at the Sochi Winter Olympics, set to open Friday, despite assurances by the White House that the Games will be safe, a recent poll indicates. Fifty-seven percent of respondents said they thought a terrorism act at the […]

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Sochi Spotlights Weakness as Caucasus Remains Restive

File Photo of Sochi Olympics Banner Near Highway in Warm Weather with Vehicle and Cyclicsts Nearby

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – February 4, 2013 – Ilya Arkhipov and Stepan Kravchenko) The Sochi Olympics, designed to trumpet the strength of Vladimir Putin’s Russia, also shines a light on its weaknesses. As skiers, hockey players and figure skaters arrive this week at the games that cost about $50 billion, the North Caucasus region remains unruly more than 14 years […]

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RIA Novosti: Terrorist Attack Possible at Sochi Olympics – Experts

File Photo of Sochi Olympics Banner Near Highway in Warm Weather with Vehicle and Cyclicsts Nearby

MOSCOW, February 3 (RIA Novosti) – Holding this month’s Winter Olympics in the Russian city of Sochi and developing resorts in the neighboring North Caucasus region risk increasing tensions in the already unstable area, a research group has warned in a report. The International Crisis Group presented a new study Monday titled “Too Far, Too Fast: Sochi, Tourism and Conflict […]

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With Sochi Locked Down, Worries Arise of an Attack Elsewhere

File Photo of Sochi Olympics Banner Near Highway in Warm Weather with Vehicle and Cyclicsts Nearby

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Yekaterina Kravtsova – February 3, 2014) Amid unprecedented security measures by the authorities to secure Sochi for the Winter Olympics, observers have expressed concerns that other cities in Russia have been left unprotected, with law enforcement personnel and technical equipment needed to prevent terrorist attacks having been concentrated in the Olympic capital. Some Russian regions, […]

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Interfax: Terror threat at Sochi Olympics not greater than at other Olympics – Medvedev

File Photo of Sochi Olympics Banner Near Highway in Warm Weather with Vehicle and Cyclicsts Nearby

(Interfax – January 23, 2014) The security threats facing next month’s Winter Olympic Games in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi are not much more serious that those at the Olympic Games in other countries. “Frankly, I don’t think that the threat is greater at the Sochi Olympics than at other Olympics in other countries. We live in a […]

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RIA Novosti: Russians Doubt Authorities Can Protect Them From Terrorists

Kremlin and St. Basil's file photo

MOSCOW, January 22 (RIA Novosti) ­ After last year’s explosions in the southern Russian city of Volgograd, the majority of Russians doubt that the authorities can protect them from new terrorist attacks, an independent pollster said Tuesday. According to a poll conducted by Levada Center, only 29 percent of Russians are convinced that the authorities can protect them from terrorist […]

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Interfax: New anti-terrorism bills won’t harm citizens’ rights – Yarovaya

Russian State Duma Building file photo

MOSCOW. Jan 21 (Interfax) – The “anti-terrorist” package of bills will not restrict citizens’ rights and is aimed at preventing the financing of organized crime, Irina Yarovaya, chairman of the State Duma committee on security and corruption prevention, said. “Our logic is to propose additional measures for ensuring collective security measures. We want to disarm terrorists and deprive them of […]

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Interfax: Almost 80% of Russians see solution for terrorism in liquidating terrorists – poll

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

MOSCOW. Jan 21 (Interfax) – A total of 78% of Russian citizens think that the issues of terrorism should be resolved solely by liquidating terrorists, the All-Russia Public Opinion Research center (VTsIOM) said, citing a poll held in January. In 2002, 70% of respondents shared this stance. Only 15% of Russians think that it is necessary to negotiate with terrorists, […]

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RIA Novosti: US Offers Russia Security Support for Sochi Olympics

File Photo of Sochi Olympics Banner Near Highway in Warm Weather with Vehicle and Cyclicsts Nearby

MOSCOW, January 21 (RIA Novosti) ­ American military assets have been offered to bolster security for the upcoming Sochi Olympic Games scheduled to open in less than three weeks, the Pentagon said Monday. “Air and naval assets, to include two Navy ships in the Black Sea, will be available if requested,” press secretary Rear Admiral John F. Kirby said in […]

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Security Concerns Mount As Sochi Olympic Opening Nears

File Photo of Sochi Olympics Banner Near Highway in Warm Weather with Vehicle and Cyclicsts Nearby

(RFE/RL – rferl.org –  Robert Coalson – January 21, 2014) Security forces in the Black Sea Russian city of Sochi are looking for a woman from the North Caucasus whom they believe might be planning a terrorist attack during next month’s winter Olympic games. Officials are distributing photos of 22-year-old Ruzanna Ibragimova, reportedly the widow of an alleged North Caucasus […]

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Upsurge in Terrorism in Russia ‘Not Just about Sochi’ and Won’t End with Olympiad, Analyst Says

File Photo of Sochi Olympics Banner Near Highway in Warm Weather with Vehicle and Cyclicsts Nearby

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, January 20, 2104) Most commentaries in Moscow and the West have argued that the recent terrorist actions in Volgograd were undertaken to disrupt the Sochi Olympics, a suggestion that some in the Russian capital have invoked to justify even tighter security for that competition. But even if those behind the attacks are […]

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Terrorism Legislation in Russia Prompts Call for Review

Russian State Duma Building file photo

MOSCOW, January 16 (RIA Novosti) ­ Sweeping anti-terrorism legislation presented to Russia’s parliament this week is expected to undergo a first reading in February, but a government-linked rights watchdog called Thursday for a comprehensive review to ensure it does not violate any constitutional principles. Bills presented Wednesday to the State Duma, the lower house of parliament, include measures to broaden […]

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