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

At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level 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.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid