With 37 dead from blasts in the Lubyanka and Park Kultury metro stations this morning, apparently from two female suicide bombers, it is still too soon to say anything authoritative or definitive about the tragedy. Inevitably — and I’m sure correctly — this has been linked with the North Caucasus insurgencies and, combined with the November 2009 Nevsky Express train bombings, it suggests a return to terrorist attacks outside the troubled region itself. This may be true, and it would certainly meet self-styled ‘Emir of the North Caucasus’ Doku Umarov’s assertion that “Blood will no longer be limited to our cities and towns. The war is coming to their [Russians’] cities.” However, a key question will be where these attacks originated. Although Chechnya is hardly pacified, Kadyrov’s brutal methods have managed to shatter the rebel movement. Instead, the main focus of terrorist insurgency has shifted to other North Caucasus republics, most notably Daghestan and Ingushetia. However, the movements there are more nationalist than jihadist, Islamist to be sure but not the particularly virulent form that tends also to be associated with suicide attacks on purely civilian targets (indeed, if anything they have recently sharpened their focus on those they deem enemy combatants: police, soldiers and government officials). If these bombers prove not to have been Chechens or inspired and supported by the remaining Salafist jihadist elements within Chechnya, then this might be a worrying sign of a radicalisation of the other North Caucasus insurgent movements.
First thoughts on 29 March 2010 Moscow metro bombings
Posted by Mark Galeotti on March 29, 2010
This blog's author, Dr Mark Galeotti has been researching Russian history and security issues since the late 1980s.
Educated at Cambridge University and the LSE, he is now a senior researcher at the Institute of International Relations Prague and coordinates its Centre for European Security. He is also the director of the consultancy firm Mayak Intelligence. Previously he has been Professor of Global Affairs at New York University, head of the History department at Keele University in the UK, an adviser at the British Foreign Office and a visiting professor at MGIMO (Moscow), Charles University (Prague) and Rutgers (Newark), as well as a visiting fellow with the ECFR.
His books include the edited collections 'The Politics of Security in Modern Russia' (Ashgate), 'Russian & Soviet Organized Crime' (Ashgate) and 'Spetsnaz: Russia's Special Forces' (Osprey) and he is a regular contributor to Jane's Intelligence Review, Oxford Analytica and many other outlets. He is a contributing editor to Business New Europe.
- Become An Expert Fact Checker and Hoax Buster Online @TOL_edu course for those wanting to fight anti-disinfo fight! toleducation.org/courses/online… 23 hours ago
- RT @transcrime: How about spending 4 days in Milan next July? Check out our #SummerSchool bit.ly/SummerSchoolOn… @Unicatt @TNO_Research ht… 1 day ago
- The site of the British military mission to Georgia during the Russian Civil War in which my grandfather served... https://t.co/YAvJ9hW4Im 1 day ago
- RT @LarryIsaacLloyd: A must listen to report from @PowerVertical and @MarkGaleotti on the Kremlin's soft power capabilities. https://t.co/1… 2 days ago
- RT @IlvesToomas: The Power Vertical Podcast: All The Kremlin's Mafioso Made Men. With Russian organized crime expert @MarkGaleotti. https:/… 3 days ago
Forthcoming Books and Projects
THE MODERN RUSSIAN ARMY, 1992-2016 (Osprey, forthcoming February 2017_
VORY (A history of Russian organised crime)
- Book Review
- Central Asia
- Central Europe
- Czech Republic
- Interior Troops (VV)
- Investigative Committee
- Military – Russia
- North Caucasus
- Organized Crime – Russia
- Organized Crime – Transnational
- Police Reform
- Prosecutor General
- Russian History
- Russian Military
- Russian Politics
- Russian Prisons
- Soviet History