- Terrorism in Russia
Terrorism in Russia has a long history starting from the times of
Russian Empire. Terrorism, in the modern sense, [See the "Etymology" section] means violenceagainst civilians to achieve political or ideologicalobjectives by creating fear. [cite news|last=Humphreys|first=Adrian|title=One official's 'refugee' is another's 'terrorist'|pages=1|publisher=National Post|date= 2006-01-17|url=http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/news/story.html?id=a64f73d2-f672-4bd0-abb3-2584029db496|accessdate=2007-10-11|quote=The divergent assessments of the same evidence on such an important issue shocks a leading terrorism researcher. 'The notion of terrorism is fairly straightforward — it is ideologically or politically motivated violence directed against civilian targets.'" said Professor Martin Rudner, director of the Canadian Centre of Intelligence and Security Studies at Ottawa's Carleton University.] . Terrorism tactics, such as hostage-taking, were widely used by the Soviet secret agencies, most notably during the Red Terrorand Great Terrorcampaigns, against population of their own country, according to Karl Kautskyand other historians of Bolshevism.
Starting from the end of 20th century, a significant terrorist activity took place in
Moscow, most notably as apartment bombings and Moscow theater hostage crisis. Many more terrorism acts have been committed in Chechnya, Dagestan, and other parts of the country. Some of them became a matter of significant controversy, since journalists and scholars claimed them to be directed by the Russian secret services, often through their Chechen agent provacateurs.
Russian terrorism in 19th century
German Social Democrat
Karl Kautskyand other authors trace the origins of Russian terrorismto the " Reign of Terror" of the French Revolution. [http://marxists.org/archive/kautsky/1919/terrcomm/index.htm Terrorism and Communism] by Karl Kautsky. Kautsky said: "It is, in fact, a widely spread idea that Terrorismbelongs to the very essence of revolution, and that whoever wants a revolution must somehow come to some sort of terms with terrorism. As proof of this assertion, over and over again the great French Revolution has been cited." (Chapter 1)] [ The Gulag Archipelagoby Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn] Others emphasize the role of Russian revolutionary movements of the 19th century, and especially Narodnaya Volya("People's Will") and the Nihilist movement, which included several thousand followers. "People's Will" organized one of the first political terrorism campaign in history. In March 1881, it assassinated the Emperor of Russia Alexander II, who twenty years earlier had emancipated the Russian serfs.
Important ideologists of these groups were
Mikhail Bakuninand Sergey Nechayev, who was described in Fyodor Dostoevsky's novel "The possessed" Edvard Radzinsky"Stalin: The First In-depth Biography Based on Explosive New Documents from Russia's Secret Archives" (1997) ISBN 0-385-47954-9 ] . Nechaev argued that the purpose of revolutionary terror in not to gain a support of masses, but to the contrary, inflict misery and fear on the common population. According to Nechayev, a revolutionary must terrorize civilians to incite rebellions. He wrote :
:"A revolutionary "must infiltrate all social formations including the police. He must exploit rich and influential people, subordinating them to himself. He must aggravate the miseries of the common people, so as to exhaust their patience and incite them to rebel. And, finally, he must ally himself with the savage word of the violent criminal, the only true revolutionary in Russia".
:"The Revolutionist is a doomed man. He has no private interests, no affairs, sentiments, ties, property nor even a name of his own. His entire being is devoured by one purpose, one thought, one passion - the revolution. Heart and soul, not merely by word but by deed, he has severed every link with the social order and with the entire civilized world; with the laws, good manners, conventions, and morality of that world. He is its merciless enemy and continues to inhabit it with only one purpose - to destroy it."
Terrorism, both political and agrarian, was central to the strategy of
Socialist-Revolutionary Party. The "SR Combat Organization", responsible for assassinating government officials, was led by Grigory Gershuniand operated separately from the party so as not to jeopardize its political actions. SRCO agents assassinated two Ministers of the Interior, Dmitry Sipyagin and V. K. von Plehve, Grand Duke Sergei Aleksandrovich, the Governor of UfaN. M. Bogdanovich, and many other high ranking officials. [ Anna Geifman. Entangled in Terror: The Azef Affair and the Russian Revolution, Wilmington, Scholarly Resources Inc., 2000, 247 pp. ISBN 0-8420-2651-7 ISBN 0-8420-2650-9 ]
The policy of
Red terrorin the Soviet Russia served to frighten the civilian population and exterminate certain social groups considered as " ruling classes" or enemies of the people. Karl Kautskysaid about Red Terror: "Among the phenomena for which Bolshevism has been responsible, Terrorism, which begins with the abolition of every form of freedom of the Press, and ends in a system of wholesale execution, is certainly the most striking and the most repellent of all.". Kautsky recognized that Red Terrorrepresented a variety of terrorismbecause it was indiscriminate, intended to frighten the civilian population, and included taking and executing hostages" [http://marxists.org/archive/kautsky/1919/terrcomm/ch08b.htm#s6] . Martin Latsis, chief of the Ukrainian Chekaemphasized that Red terror was an extrajudicial punishment::"Do not look in the file of incriminating evidence to see whether or not the accused rose up against the Soviets with arms or words. Ask him instead to which class he belongs, what is his background, his education, his profession. These are the questions that will determine the fate of the accused. That is the meaning and essence of the Red Terror." Yevgenia Albatsand Catherine A. Fitzpatrick. "The State Within a State: The KGB and Its Hold on Russia - Past, Present, and Future", 1994. ISBN 0-374-52738-5.]
One of most common terrorist practices was
hostage-taking. A typical report from a Cheka department stated: " YaroslavlProvince, 23 June 1919. The uprising of deserters in the Petropavlovskaya "volost" has been put down. The families of the deserters have been taken as hostages. When we started to shoot one person from each family, the Greens began to come out of the woods and surrender. Thirty-four deserters were shot as an example"."Nicolas Werth, Karel Bartošek, Jean-Louis Panné, Jean-Louis Margolin, Andrzej Paczkowski, Stéphane Courtois, "The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression", Harvard University Press, 1999, hardcover, 858 pages, ISBN 0-674-07608-7 ]
Internal Soviet terror
The Soviet collectivization of agriculture was accomplished by terror against those peasants that resisted.Fact|date=March 2008
Great Purgerefers collectively to several related campaigns of political repressionand persecutionin the Soviet Unionorchestrated by Joseph Stalinduring the 1930s, which removed all of his remaining opposition from power.Lenin, Stalin, and Hitler: The Age of Social Catastrophe. By Robert Gellately. 2007. Knopf. 720 pages ISBN 1400040051] It involved the purge of the Communist Party of the Soviet Unionand the persecution of unaffiliated persons, both occurring within a period characterized by omnipresent police surveillance, widespread suspicion of "saboteurs", imprisonment, and killings. In the Western World, this was referred to as "the Great Terror".
Threat of Islamic terrorism
Islamic terrorism is considered a major threat to the security of the nation [http://newsfromrussia.com/politics/2001/10/02/16852.html State Duma Deputy: US Making strategic mistake] Pravda] with most
terroristactivity taking place in Chechnyaand Dagestan.The Russian government has banned seventeen terrorist organizations; the Highest Military Majlisul Shura of the United Forces of the Mujahedeen of the Caucasus, the Congress of the Peoples of Ichkeria and Daghestan, Al Qaeda, Asbat an-Ansar, Egyptian Islamic Jihad, Al-Jamaa al-Islami, Jamaat-e-Islami, Muslim Brotherhood, Hizb ut-Tahrir, Lashkar-e-Toiba, Taliban, Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, Society of Social Reforms (Jamiat al-Islah al-Ijtimai), Society of the Revival of Islamic Heritage (Jamiat Ihya at-Turaz al-Islami), al-Haramain Foundation, Junj ash-Sham (Army of the Great Syria), and the Islamic Jihad - jamaat of the mujahedeen. [http://www.arabtimesonline.com/arabtimes/kuwait/Viewdet.asp?ID=8534&cat=a 'Terror' list out; Russia tags two Kuwaiti groups] Arab Times]
Muslims and human rightsactivists have criticized the government's counter-terrorismoperations, saying they unfairly target Muslims. [http://www.rferl.com/featuresarticle/2005/10/d7c12f47-1570-40b4-97ab-22b5e3f1a1a9.html Russia: Rights groups say Muslims are unfairly targeted in fight against terrorism] RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty]
1999 Russian apartment bombings
Russian apartment bombingswere a series of bombings in Russiathat killed nearly 300 people and, together with the Dagestan War, led the country into the Second Chechen War. The five bombings took place in Moscowand two other Russian towns during ten days of September 1999. None of the Chechen field commanders accepted the responsibility for the bombing. Chechen president Aslan Maskhadovdenied involvement of his government.
The bombings had stopped after a controversial episode when a similar bomb was found and defused in an apartment block in the Russian city of
Ryazanon September 23. Later in the evening, Vladimir Putinpraised the vigilance of the Ryzanians and ordered the air bombing of Grozny, which marked the beginning of the Second Chechen War[Alex Goldfarb, with Marina Litvinenko "Death of a Dissident: The Poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko and the Return of the KGB", The Free Press, 2007, ISBN 1-416-55165-4 ] . A few hours later, three FSB agents who planted the bomb were caught by the local police. This incident was declared to be a "training exercise" by FSB director Nikolai Patrushev.
Former FSB officer
Alexander Litvinenko, Johns Hopkins Universityand Hoover Institutescholar David Satter,David Satter. "Darkness at Dawn: The Rise of the Russian Criminal State". Yale University Press. 2003. ISBN 0-300-09892-8. ] , Russian lawmaker Sergei Yushenkov, historian Felshtinsky, and political scientist Pribylovskyasserted that the bombings were in fact a " false flag" attack perpetrated by the FSB (successor to the KGB) in order to legitimize the resumption of military activities in Chechnya and bring Vladimir Putin and the FSB to power. [http://www.hudson.org/files/publications/SatterHouseTestimony2007.pdf] An official investigation of the bombings was completed only three years later, in 2002. It was conducted by the Russian FSB agency. Seven suspects were killed, six have been convicted on terrorism-related charges, and one remains a fugitive. According to the investigation, all bombings were organized and led by Achemez Gochiyaev- who as of 2007 remained at large.
Dumarejected two motions for parliamentary investigation of the Ryazan incident. An independent public commission to investigate the bombings chaired by Duma deputy Sergei Kovalevwas rendered ineffective because of government refusal to respond to its inquiries.Fact|date=March 2008 Two key members of the Kovalev Commission, Sergei Yushenkovand Yuri Shchekochikhin, both Duma members, have since died in apparent assassinations in April 2003 and July 2003 respectively. The Commission's lawyer Mikhail Trepashkinhas been arrested in October 2003 to become one of the better-known political prisoners in Russia.
Other notable terrorism acts
Former FSB officer
Aleksander Litvinenkoand investigator Mikhail Trepashkinalleged that Moscow theater hostage crisiswas directed by a ChechenFSB agent. [cite web
last = Lazaredes
first = Nick
title = Terrorism takes front stage — Russia’s theatre siege
publisher = SBS
04 June 2003
url = http://news.sbs.com.au/dateline/index.php?page=archive&daysum=2003-06-04#
accessdate = 2006-11-28 ] ru iconcite web
title = М. Трепашкин: «Создана очень серьезная группа»
publisher = Chechen Press State News Agency
1 December, 2006
url = http://www.chechenpress.info/events/2006/12/01/03.shtml
accessdate = 2006-12-01 ]
Yulia Latyninaand other journalists also accused the FSB of staging many smaller terrorismacts, such as market place bombing in the city of Astrakhan, bus stops bombings in the city of Voronezh, and the blowing up the Moscow- Groznytrain, [http://2006.novayagazeta.ru/nomer/2006/24n/n24n-s06.shtml Special services stage undermining activities] - by Yulia Latynina, Novaya Gazeta, 03 April, 2006.] [http://2005.novayagazeta.ru/nomer/2005/83n/n83n-s10.shtml The marketplace was blown up by photorobots] by Vjacheslav Izmailov, Novaya Gazeta, 07 November, 2005.] whereas innocent people were convicted or killed. Journalist Boris Stomakhinclaimed that a bombing in Moscow metro in 2004 [http://www.rferl.org/reports/corruptionwatch/2004/03/8-120304.asp The Moscow metro bombing] - by Roman Kupchinsky, RFE/RL Reports, 12 March, 2004] was probably organized by FSB agents rather than by the unknown man who called the Kavkaz Centerand claimed his responsibility. [http://zaborisa.marsho.net/?pg=7&item=35 Pay back for genocide (Russian)] - by Boris Stomakhin] Stomakin was arrested and imprisoned for writing this and other articles. [http://www.article19.org/pdfs/publications/russia-journalist-stomakhin-conviction.pdf ARTICLE 19’S Statement on the conviction of Russian newspaper editor Boris Stomakhin] , 23 November 200]
journalistsand workers of international NGOs were reported to be kidnapped by FSB-affiliated forces in Chechnyawho pretended to be Chechen terrorists: Andrei Babitskyfrom Radio Free Europe, Arjan Erkeland Kenneth Glack from Doctors Without Borders, and others. [http://2005.novayagazeta.ru/nomer/2005/06n/n06n-s02.shtml Special services of delivery (Russian)] - by Vyacheslav Ismailov, Novaya Gazeta27 January, 2005]
John Pilgerdescribed the alleged use of illegal "Vacuum Bombs" in Chechnyaas State Terrorism [ [http://www.newstatesman.com/200409200016 John Pilger hears Blair echo Mussolini] , " New Statesman" 20 September 2004] .
Major terrorist attacks
Beslan school hostage crisis(2004)
Russian aircraft bombings of August 2004(2004)
*Moscow metro bombing (2004)
Moscow theater hostage crisis(2002)
Russian apartment bombings(1999)
Budyonnovsk hospital hostage crisis(1995)
* [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Cheatsheet Terrorism by country]
Allegations of state terrorism by Russia
Terrorism in Central Asia
* [http://www.dsp.org.au/dsp/Terrorism/Terrorism.htm Terrorism: A Marxist Perspective] , By Dave Holmes
* [http://www.interfax-religion.com/?act=news&div=2397 Over 200 cases against Hizb ut-Tahrir activists opened in Russia]
* [http://www.interfax-religion.com/?act=news&div=2380 Khanty-Mansiysk Court confirms Hizb ut-Tahrir activist's sentence]
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/6358693.stm 'Big three' to hold Delhi talks]
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