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2009 Country Reports on Terrorism - Russia

Publisher United States Department of State
Publication Date 5 August 2010
Cite as United States Department of State, 2009 Country Reports on Terrorism - Russia, 5 August 2010, available at: [accessed 16 December 2017]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

On November 27, an explosion derailed the Moscow to St. Petersburg express train. As investigators combed the site of the attack for clues the following day, a second explosion occurred injuring the chief of the Investigative Committee. Chechen separatists were the primary suspects in these incidents, which killed 26 and wounded 90. It was the deadliest such incident in Russia outside the North Caucasus since 2004.

Attacks continued in the North Caucasus, where ongoing regional violence has been most significant in Chechnya, Dagestan, and Ingushetia. According to the U.S. Center for Strategic and International Studies, there were 16 suicide bombings in Chechnya alone in 2009, compared to four in 2008. According to President Medvedev's Political Representative for the Southern Federal District, almost 800 terrorist acts occurred in the North Caucasus in 2009, an increase of 30 percent compared to 2008. However, many attacks were often difficult to differentiate from criminal acts motivated by greed or revenge. The Federal Security Service (FSB) claimed to have prevented 80 terrorist attacks and killed more than 500 militants in 2009.

Throughout the North Caucasus, groups have, for the most part, moved away from mass attacks on civilians in favor of targeted attacks on police, local interior ministry officials, and departments responsible for combating the insurgency. On June 5, a sniper killed the Dagestan Interior Ministry chief and on June 22, Ingush President Yevkurov was injured by a suicide bomber. In August, an attack on an Ingush police station killed 20 and wounded 90.

The 1998 federal law "On Fighting Terrorism" and the 2006 federal law "On Countering Terrorism" remained the main counterterrorism legal authorities. On January 11, President Medvedev signed amendments to the law "On Countering Terrorism" that abrogated jury trial for espionage and terrorism cases, although the law is now under review by the Constitutional Court. In April, Russia lifted an almost 10-year counterterrorism regime in Chechnya, in which counterterrorist operations were under the direct authority of the FSB, that had severely restricted civil liberties. When the regime was lifted, the local MVD under President Ramzan Kadyrov took over responsibility for counterterrorist operations. In July, the Ministry of Justice drafted a law on compensation for civilian victims of counterterrorism operations. The National Antiterrorism Committee, organized in 2006, is the main government body coordinating the Russian government's response to the terrorist threat. Interagency efforts to combat terrorism through anti-narcotics enforcement remained a challenge, particularly the use of financial intelligence to interrupt narcotics sales that provided revenue to terrorists.

Russia is a member of the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (FATF). It is also a leading member, chair, and primary funding source of a similar body known as the Eurasian Group on combating money laundering and financing of terrorism (EAG)[6]. Russia, through the EAG, provides technical assistance and funding towards improving legislative and regulatory frameworks and operational capabilities.

The United States and Russian Counterterrorism Coordinators met in November to advance cooperation within the context of the United States-Russia Counterterrorism Working Group. They agreed to work together in the multilateral arena to strengthen international counterterrorism norms and increase capacity building; focus on Afghanistan with particular regard to counterterrorism/terrorist finance issues; strengthen UNSCR 1267 sanctions; counter the ideological dimension of violent extremism; and work on improving the bilateral exchange of transportation security issues. Cooperation continued on a broad range of counterterrorism issues. U.S. and Russian law enforcement agencies shared substantive, concrete terrorism intelligence.

At the St. Petersburg G8 Summit in July 2006, the United States and Russia jointly announced the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism and invited other nations to join. The Initiative demonstrated Russia's effort to take a leadership role to combat nuclear terrorism. It now includes 75 partner nations that cooperate in a variety of ways, including safeguarding radioactive and nuclear materials, preventing nuclear smuggling, and sharing information. In July, President Medvedev joined President Obama in a Joint Statement, which pledged enhanced efforts to prevent WMD terrorism through international cooperation, citing the fifth plenary meeting of the Initiative in the Netherlands in June.

In June, Russia hosted the Eighth International Meeting of the Heads of Special Services, Security Agencies, and Law-Enforcement Organizations, which the FBI, CIA, DOE, and NCTC attended. The 2009 agenda included discussion of terrorist use of the Internet, efforts to counter radicalization, the development of an international counterterrorism database, and the prevention of WMD terrorism through UNSCR 1540 and other instruments.

Russia continued to work with regional groups to address terrorism, including the EU, NATO (through the NATO-Russia Council), the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and the OSCE.

Pursuant to an Agreement signed by Presidents Obama and Medvedev at their July Summit in Moscow, Russia now permits flights in route to Afghanistan carrying lethal materiel to support the ISAF to transit its airspace.

[6] The EAG members are Russia, China, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan.

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