News / Europe

Analysts Concerned Over Impact of Closer US-Russia Anti-Terrorism Cooperation on Caucasus

Closer US-Russia Anti-Terrorism Cooperation Could Hamper Democracy in North Caucasusi
X
May 03, 2013 8:28 PM
Whether the Boston Marathon bombing suspects acted alone or were involved with extremist groups in the North Caucasus region of Russia, it has brought new attention to terrorism in that war-torn part of the world. VOA’s Brian Padden reports both the U.S. and Russia recognize the need to increase security and intelligence cooperation, but there is concern that the price of cooperation may be accepting Russia’s heavy-handed tactics and abuses.
Brian Padden
Whether the Boston Marathon bombing suspects acted alone or were involved with extremist groups in the North Caucasus region of Russia, it has brought new attention to terrorism in that war-torn part of the world. The U.S. and Russia recognize the need to increase security and intelligence cooperation, but there is concern that the price of cooperation may be accepting Russia’s heavy-handed tactics and abuses.

In the 1990s, Russian security forces killed tens of thousands of Chechens and displaced hundreds of thousands more to end two separatist wars for independence, which Russia labeled terrorism. Both sides have been accused of committing serious human rights abuses, including the killing of civilians.

Ali Tepsurkaev, a Chechen refugee now living in the U.S. says he and his brother, a journalist, were targeted by a Russian paramilitary group. 

“My brother got [it] worse, I would say. He had a few bullets in the stomach, gunfire. And, as I said, we weren’t able to leave the village at night, especially, so he pretty much bleed [bled] out in my hands and died there,” he said.

Chechnya has since stabilized under a dictatorship closely allied with Russia. But Andrew Kuchins, a Russia analyst with Center for Strategic and International Studies, says in part because of the brutal crackdown on dissent, opposition groups in that region have become more extremist. 

“Many of the Chechens who initially were nationalists, some of them had become quite radicalized and identified themselves more as Islamists,” he said.

In the last decade Chechen Islamist rebels took hundreds of Russians hostage, first in Moscow at a theater in 2002, and then in 2004 seizing a school full of children in the North Ossetia region. Russian security troops used deadly force to end these sieges, but many civilians were killed in the process. 

Journalism professor Nicholas Daniloff, at Northeastern University in Boston, has been instrumental in helping Chechen dissidents find asylum in America.

He says before it became known that the Boston Marathon bombing suspects Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev were ethnic Chechens, U.S. anti-terrorism cooperation with Russia had been tempered by concerns over human rights abuses and the suppression of legitimate opposition groups. Now, he worries that any independence movements in Chechnya and the North Caucasus will lose public support.

“And what has happened now with the Tsarnaev brothers is that they have revived all those negative feelings about the Chechens, and it will be a very long time, I think, before the general population forgets or at least comes to understand better what the situation is,” said Daniloff.

While the Boston bombings have highlighted the need for closer anti-terrorism cooperation between the U.S. and Russia, Daniloff hopes it will not come at the expense of support for democracy in the region.

You May Like

Video Analysts: Beijing Parade a 'Bazaar' of Stolen Technology

Show commemorating victory over Japan in World War II involved long, medium and short range missiles, a range of tanks and 200 fighter aircraft More

Bernie Sanders Surge Reflects US Shift on Socialism

Although most analysts say it is unlikely he will get the Democratic nomination, Sanders' campaign opens up questions and issues that are otherwise marginalized More

Video On IS Frontline, Kurdish Fighters Ready for Offensive

Peshmerga soldiers say although they need more heavy artillery, they are poised to take the fight to the Islamic State extremists on their turf More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Anonymous
May 04, 2013 10:44 PM
Chechen had that independence for a few years after the first war with Moscow. It didn't serve them very well as they turned their country into muslim radical breeding ground, people's kidnappings became state business. And then they started a holy war to create great chechen pan islamic state which would include a bit of other republics of russian federation.
Not a very good plan, was it?
I think Chechen should be independent if they want, but how to achieve that without creating another taliban like goverment?
In Response

by: CHRIS from: us
May 19, 2013 12:45 AM
Chechnya has never been truly independent even in those three years of truce. It was a victim to Russian air blockade and Russian Secret Service meddling into Chechnya's internal affairs. Russia sponsored kidnapping and in many cases encouraged it in Chechnya through their agents in Chechnya, and by lavishly rewarding them with cash. The clandestine work of Russian Secret Service was directed at damaging the reputation of Chechens as noble and valiant freedom fighters. The reputation they earned in the first war by releasing hundreds of Russian POWs and treating them humanely. Russian secret service blew up their own apartment building in Moscow and other towns of Russia to blame Chechens and launch a new war. (watch on youtube: Assassination of Russia). The campaign to discredit Chechens has now been effectively moved to the US as I really doubt that Russians would let Tsarnaev in and out of Russia without messing with him, The people (Russian rogue wahabies) who might have brainwashed him in Dagestan to do what he did in Boston will be conveniently killed in a Russian operation. There is more than meets the eye in the Boston marathon bombing and I hope the US will not fall for KGB style tricks.

by: Gennady from: Russia, Volga Region
May 03, 2013 8:41 PM
Professor Daniloff is absolutely right. With his direct involvement in two wars against freedom-loving people of Chechnya, his enchantment by J. Stalin (viewed by Chechens as a villain), Mr Putin will never be forgiven by Chechens and his collaborators. It would be detrimental for the USA’s image abroad to get involved in supporting heavy-handed tactics of rooting out democracy dreams of Chechen people at the expense of loosely defined antiterrorism fight. Motives of Tsarnayev brothers stay somewhat unclear as they may have been falsely associated with Chechen separatists.
In Response

by: serge from: london
May 04, 2013 9:42 AM
There are plenty of Caucasus time-ticking kamikaze in USA, it's up to USA to cooperate with Russians.

Don't forget that Tsarnaev went to Russia to learn some tricks or Allah only knows what his business was there, but he could go anywhere in middle east for that purpose.

But most revealing is, he did not bother any more with Chechnya and Russia, there is a new playground and that is USA.
Good LUCK to the YANKS.
Only TIME will reveal if it is true!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Drowned Migrant Toddler Photo Triggers European Outragei
X
Henry Ridgwell
September 04, 2015 11:36 AM
The harrowing picture of a drowned three-year-old Syrian boy washed up on a Turkish beach appears to have galvanized Europe’s leaders into doing more to address the refugee crisis. France, Germany and Italy issued a joint call Thursday for compulsory quotas of refugees for all EU states. But there were chaotic scenes in Hungary as police tried to force migrants off a train heading for Austria. Henry Ridgwell has more. And a caution, some of the images in this report may be disturbing.
Video

Video Drowned Migrant Toddler Photo Triggers European Outrage

The harrowing picture of a drowned three-year-old Syrian boy washed up on a Turkish beach appears to have galvanized Europe’s leaders into doing more to address the refugee crisis. France, Germany and Italy issued a joint call Thursday for compulsory quotas of refugees for all EU states. But there were chaotic scenes in Hungary as police tried to force migrants off a train heading for Austria. Henry Ridgwell has more. And a caution, some of the images in this report may be disturbing.
Video

Video Russians Observe 11th Anniversary of Beslan School Attack

This week, Russians have been observing the 11th anniversary of the attack by Islamic militants on a school in Russia's North Caucasus region that killed more than 330 hostages, including 186 children. The three-day siege and massacre that started on September 1, 2004 took place in Beslan, a town in the republic of North Ossetia, and is one of the bloodiest terrorist acts ever in Russia. VOA's Mike Richman reports.
Video

Video Native Americans Debate: Father Serra, Saint or Sinner?

Pope Francis will canonize an 18th century missionary to Spanish California during a papal visit to the United States this month.  But some Native Americans have criticized the elevation to sainthood of the missionary priest, Junipero Serra. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisis

Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Kurdish Fighters on IS Frontline Ready for Offensive

Finger on the trigger, the Kurdish Peshmerga soldier stared across the dust at a village taken over by Islamic State extremists. The Kurdistan’s Khazir frontline, just 45 minutes from the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul. And at this point, the militants were less than two kilometers away. VOA's Sharon Behn reports.
Video

Video China Announces Troop Cuts at WWII Parade

Chinese President Xi Jinping Thursday announced plans to cut the world’s largest military force by 300,000 troops. The announcement was made during a massive military parade to commemorate victory over Japan in World War II. The event was shunned by most Western leaders and for some is raising fresh concerns about China’s military ambitions. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Russia-Japan Relations Cool as Putin Visits China for WWII Anniversary

Russian President Vladimir Putin is in Beijing for commemorations of the 70th anniversary of China's WWII victory over Japan. Putin is expected to visit Japan later this year, but tensions between Tokyo and Moscow over islands disputed since the war, and sanctions over Ukraine, could pour cold water on the plan. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Yemen ‘on Brink of Disaster’ as Medical Shortages Soar

Aid agencies warn Yemen is on the brink of humanitarian disaster – with up to half a million children facing severe malnutrition, and hospitals running out of basic medicines. There are fears Yemen's civil war could escalate as the coalition led by Saudi Arabia tries to drive back Houthi rebels, who seized control of much of the country earlier this year. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Apps Helping Kenyan Businesses Stay Ahead of Counterfeiters

Counterfeit goods in Kenya cost the government as much as $1 billion each year in lost tax revenues. The fake goods also hurt entrepreneurs who find it hard to carve out a niche in the market and retain customers. But as Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi, information technology is being used to try to beat the problem.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.

VOA Blogs