18 June, 2021

Dagestan’s Riposte

The spectre of Islamic counter- terrorism stares Russia in the face

Dagestan’s Riposte

AS a series of bomb blasts rocked Russian cities over a week, killing over 300 people, the feeling that the trail leads to the war- torn North Caucasus is gaining hold. On September 16, a truck exploded outside a nine-storey apartment block in the southern city of Volgodonsk, near the volatile mountain region of Dagestan where Russian troops are fighting Islamic rebels. At least 13 people were killed, over 115 injured and many trapped inside the debris.

The biggest strike came on September 9 and 13, when about 210 Muscovites were killed in their sleep as explosives tore into two residential blocks. Days earlier, a blast ripped apart a building in Buinaksk, Dagestan. "Terrorism in Russia has entered a new phase: it’s come to big cities," says Sergei Solodovnik, research fellow with the Institute of International Relations. "It will continue as long as no solution is found to the problem of Islamic insurgency in Russia."

The third blast was in Moscow’s outlying ‘dormitory’ district, in Soviet-era apartment blocks. Most of these...

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