Recently, the FSB has broken up and arrested several terror cells plotting attacks on Russian soil,. one example of which, includes the arrest of five ISIS members in the city of Yaroslavl on May 3-4. Sputnik quotes the FSB’s public relations center as saying:
“The Russian Federal Security Service detained five members of the Daesh terrorist cell, who had been plotting terrorist acts on the territory of a number of Russian regions.”
“During the searches, we confiscated an arsenal of improvised explosive devices, explosives, firearms and ammunition from the detainees,” the FSB stated.
The FSB also reported the neutralization of two leaders of Islamic extremists in Nevinnomyssk, in the Stavropol oblast, southern Russia, stating they found explosives, munitions, and weapons at the site.
It is at this point when it is worth reminding everyone how very close Russia is to Syria and the Middle East. While many find the US involvement in the Middle East unjustified for several reasons, one often cited by Americans is that their country is located so far away, Middle East affairs are “none of their business”. While this argument can be understood, the same can NOT be said about Russia. Russia and Syria are practically neighbors, this is something many people don’t realize.
Russia shares a border with the Middle East. Many Russian cities in the south, are located geographically closer to Syria, Turkey, and Iran, then they are to Moscow, or certainly Saint Petersburg. As a result, the wars in the Middle East are literally occurring in Russia’s back door. As one of the closest Christian countries to the (formerly entirely Christian) Middle East, Russia would be a prime target for Islamic terrorists stupid enough to attack the nation which buried the Mongolian Empire, Napoleon, and Hitler.
To be fair, attacking Russia is the definition of suicide, but the biggest issue with these types of radicals, is that they don’t fear death. As a result, by intervening in Syria, Russia is not simply meddling in a foreign countries affairs (which she could not do anyways, as she is legally invited by Syria), she is not simply helping her comrade, she is safeguarding her future.
This is why it can be very difficult for Russians to hear certain people imply that Russia is not fighting ISIS enough, Before any smug armchair experts lecture Russia about the “War on Terror” they should educate themselves about Russia, and her people.
Russians know what terrorism feels like first hand. She fought and destroyed the Nazi war machine, the most evil and murderous in human history. And no, that picture above, is not from WW2, though you could mistake it for Dresden, that is from Grozny, Chechnya, from the wars which raged in the 90s. That was a reality Russians lived with, in recent, clear as day memory. The experience the Russian people have fighting terrorism, and their memory of it, is not isolated tragedies, or from tales of loved ones fighting wars thousands of kilometers from the borders. Russians were the people who lived through wars of terror in the not so recent past. Russians saw terror in Grozny…and Russia raised it to the ground. But Russia was also the country which rebuilt Grozny, and all Chechnya.
For this reason, Russia has more experience than perhaps any country in the world at fighting terrorism. She knows how to destroy it…but more importantly, she knows how to rebuild afterward, improving the people’s lives, and preventing future acts of terror against Russia, by a community focused approach to counter-terrorism. Russians did not just bomb a country into the stone age, and walk away and declare “Mission Accomplished”.
How will that reflect on the psyche of everyone involved? The difference in how Russia handled the situation in Grozny, to the way the US handles Iraq or Afganistan, is telling. The main source of Islamic threats against Russia now, in 2018, come from abroad, as the FSB noted, from outside Russia…from the countries which the West bombed into the stone age. The country where Russia fought her “War on Terror” was (mostly) tranquilized.
Grozny, on the other hand, is a beautifully rebuilt city, thanks to Russia, and the children of Chechnya will remember who rebuilt it. Now, Chechen security forces are working with Russian federal officials, and their comrades in Syria to root out terrorists before they execute their plans. The West should really be taking Counter-Terrorism notes from Russia. A picture is worth one thousand words they say.