Understanding Russia and Terrorism

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


On the May 7th 2012 Vladmir Vladirmovich Putin was re-elected as President of Russia. Putin had a long history of involvement in the wider fields of politics and security, having trained as a member of the KGB in the 1970s. He rose to power – drawing on a small coterie of supporters from St Petersburg - in the 1990s, before succeeding Boris Yeltsin as Russian President from 2000-2008. Putin stayed in politics as Prime Minister from 2008 until 2012, consolidating his influence and links to Russian business and the power ministries, known as the Siloviki. The history of Russia has been shaped by periods of political upheaval, conflict and social change. Russia itself covers a vast area. It includes cities – such as Moscow and St Petersburg - in the West, huge mountain ranges such as the Urals, and the Russian Steppe. Russia has large land borders with Kazakhstan, China and Mongolia, and it also has a considerable Artic and ‘coastline’, presenting a range of strategic interests in East Asia. As part of the programme of economic reform – shaped by the Putin administration - the Russian authorities have sought to balance welfare and security, while also embracing a limited nostalgia as a ‘great power.’ There has been modernization and some economic stability – although corruption – especially combining business and security interests through the siloviki continues to blight Russia. The Putin administration has overseen an aggressive posture on external security issues – in order to maximize diplomatic leverage. But Russia has also witnessed a number of major terrorist incidents – including the 1999 Russian apartment bombings – which led to the re-invasion of Chechnya. More recently, Russia has suffered from attacks claimed by ISIL – including the bombing in Derbent (one of only a handful of attacks which they have claimed), and the downing of a Russian flight from Egypt.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRoutledge Handbook of Terrorism and Counter Terrorism
EditorsAndrew Silke
ISBN (Print)978-1138819085
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2017

Bibliographical note

Centre for Research Evidence on Security Threats (CREST), Department of Political Science and International Studies (POLSIS), Muirhead Tower, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 2TT, UK. Email: c.moore.1@bham.ac.uk


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