Growing Insurgency in Russia

There has been yet another IED attack in Russia on the rail system. After Afghanistan and Iraq, Russia is one of the ‘hottest’ place for IED attacks and yet many go unreported in the mainstream news. Most target critical infrastructure such as oil and gas pipelines or transportation.

My immediate thought is whether the future of Russia may one day look like Nigeria. With dozens of ethnic groups, religions and a history of separatism and Islamic extremism it’s not unthinkable. Combine that with the country’s increasing reliance on its oil and gas industries for both economic and political power, and key elements are there for such a campaign.

About Chirol

Sir Ignatius Valentine Chirol (1852 - 1929) was a journalist, prolific author, world historian, and British diplomat. He began his career as a foreign correspondent and later became editor of the London Times. After two decades as a journalist he joined Her Majesty's Foreign Ministry as a diplomat and was subsequently knighted for his distinguished service as a foreign affairs advisor. Additionally, he wrote a dozen books on foreign affairs including The Far Eastern Question (1896), Serbia and the Serbs (1914), The End of the Ottoman Empire (1920) and The Egyptian Problem (1921). He is generally credited with popularizing "Middle East" in reference to the Arabian Peninsula with his book The Middle Eastern Question (1903). "Chirol" is a US citizen and graduate student studying Defense and Strategic Studies and government contractor. As with the historical Chirol, he has traveled to over two dozen countries and lived abroad for many years. Chirol speaks English and German fluently with basic knowledge of manyl of others.
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12 Responses to Growing Insurgency in Russia

  1. tdaxp says:

    A good thing. Better have a random source of violence in the world than a state-level enemy of NATO and the EU.

  2. Curzon says:

    Yeah, but one injured and disrupting rail service for several hours — not quite the same as an Iraqi female suicide bomber blowing herself up in a crowd of Shia pilgrims and killing dozens and injuring scores more.

  3. Oliver says:

    Russia would crack down as hard as necessary.

  4. Thomas says:

    Americans tend to forget that Europe is, across the board, a less safe place than the USA as far as terrorism and ethnic upheaval go.

    Germany, Spain and the UK, not to mention the Balkans have lived with the possibility of random explosions for decades. Baathists, RAF, IRA, UFF have all contributed to the net instability a number of European nations. The real question is whether these attacks in Russia are more similar to those that rendered the Balkans and that are endemic across much of Africa or if they are of the sort more common to Russia’s western neighbors.

  5. kurt9 says:

    True. Europe had all of those left-wing terrorist groups during the 70′s and even 80′s. Bader-Meinhauf gang, Italian Red Brigades, Direct Action, and the Basque ETA. The Brits, of course, had the IRA, which had a nasty habit of putting bombs into rubbish bins in the train stations (which is why Victoria station had no rubbish bins when I passed through there in ’91) among other nefarious deeds.

    Now they have the radical Islamic groups to deal with. Presumably they got enough practice in dealing with the lefty groups in the 70′s and 80′s that they should have no problem dealing with the Muslims today. Russia’s terrorism is probably no different, except that Russia is much poorer with a huge land area. So, they don’t have the military and law enforcement resources to go after them like the Western Europeans do. Despite its size, Russia’s military is actually quite weak.

    European terrorism in the 70′s was ideologically driven. I think Russia’s today is ethnic/tribal driven under a thin veneer of Islamism.

  6. spandrell says:

    As Oliver said, Russia will kill the bastards if necessary.
    Russians are still a big majority of the population, and they have the will and resources to crack down. Nothing like any African or Middle eastern hellhole

  7. Chirol says:

    I realize this incident is small. However, the fact that these types of attacks are continuing is what I’m focusing on. Each one varies with some causing major damage and others minor, but the fact that Russia is so big, that its impossible to secure such infrastructure, and that it has plenty of disgruntled groups is what I wanted to point out. It would also be the key for smaller states wanting to fight Russia, as John Robb has pointed out several times.

  8. Mark Brueschke says:

    Maybe I’m ignorant of Russia since I focus on Israel, Iraq and Afghanistan, but to me the future of Russia seems to be trending towards city-states whose corporate interests control the wealth out in the hinterlands.

    I know from what the Russians did in Lebanon, the government won’t take kindly to hostage taking and they aren’t squeamish about civilian casualties while rescuing Russian civilians.

    Their military isn’t adverse to casualties either, heck they’d rather take casualties than lose equipment.

  9. Pingback: Recommended Reading (2010-02-04) « Automatic Ballpoint

  10. Bob says:

    Sounds like a good “What if graphic novel.”

  11. RichL says:

    There isn’t a great deal of wealth in the hinterlands. Any person with anything on the ball in Russia moves to Moscow or St. Petersburg. That’s why there are so many pretty and tall women in these cities.

  12. M. N. Silva says:

    Russia is highly centralised more cohesive and not as dependent on foreign bodies as Nigeria.

    The same will not happen.