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 Westgate Mall Attack Survivors Confront Painful Memories

On anniversary of terror attack, survivors discuss how they have coped with trauma they experienced that day More

Iraqi Kurdish Leader: Protect Syrian City

Islamic State fighters are besieging Kobani, also known as Ayn al-Arab, after seizing at least 21 surrounding villages in a major assault against city on Syria's northern border with Turkey More

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

Conservationists hail ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015 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.
Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calaisi
X
Lisa Bryant
September 19, 2014 5:04 PM
The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video CERN Accelerator Back in Business

The long upgrade of the Large Hadron Collider is over. The scientific instrument responsible for the discovery of the Higgs boson -- the so-called "God particle" -- is being brought up to speed in time for this month's 60th anniversary of the European Organization for Nuclear Research, known by its French acronym CERN. Physicists hope the accelerator will help them uncover more secrets about the origins of the universe. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid