Europe // Comments

16 november 2015

We cannot completely rule out the possibility of terrorist attacks in Russia

Andrey Kortunov Director General of the Russian International Affairs Council, RIAC member

According to the information available, the Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the Paris attacks. Its goal is to push France out of the US-led coalition operating in Syria and Iraq.

Yes, it was a terrorist act. But a special one – a series of well-planned and coordinated attacks on several sites at once. Overall, they say, there were six or seven attacks, involving different numbers of attackers and organized in different ways – yet clearly coordinated. In fact, we can talk about a war declared not on a single entity or agency, but on everyone.

This has put the French leadership in a very uncomfortable situation. Its political opposition – the right-wing coalition led by Sarkozy – is quite likely to try and take advantage of these terrorist attacks. But it all will depend on how the Hollande government responds to the attacks. Everyone is waiting for news on the additional security measures that President Hollande will propose.

We cannot completely rule out the possibility of terrorist attacks in Russia either. Yet, it can be argued that Russia has more experience in preventing such acts than France does, especially considering the fact that migration control is tighter in Russia, while the flow of immigrants from the Middle East and North Africa is much smaller.

Source: Valdai Club

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Andrey Kortunov, “We cannot completely rule out the possibility of terrorist attacks in Russia,” Russian International Affairs Council, 16 November 2015,

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Date: 23 november 2015

Author: Brian Frydenborg

I do worry for the Russian people. In the U.S., we have a pretty content Muslim population that is small, and two oceans protecting us. Russia is far closer to these problems and has much greater concerns. Europe as well. Perhaps Russia will focus more on ISIS now and less on the non-ISIS rebels that are more of a threat to Assad. In particular, Russia needs to be careful about empowering ISIS when it attacks ISIS's rival rebels. I wish the Russia people luck and safety and no people deserve terrorism, but I also see Putin's heavy hand in Chechnya as a bad example to follow and I fear the likelihood of more attacks against Russian civilians.

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