Terrorism

   While the Soviet Union escaped the wave of terror that gripped Europe from the late 1960s until the early 1980s, the Russian Federation has not been so lucky. During the first Chechen War, Chechen nationalism and radical Islamism combined, resulting in a homegrown terrorist threat to Russia, both in the North Caucasus and the capital, Moscow.
   On Boris Yeltsin’s watch, the guerilla leader Shamil Basayev began a terror campaign that would span more than a decade. In 1995, he took 1,500 hostages at a hospital in Budyonnovsk, Stavropol Krai; 166 people died during fighting to free the captives. The following year, 2,000 people were taken captive in Kizylar, Dagestan, resulting in the deaths of two dozen civilians. In 1999, a series of apartment bombings in Moscow killed roughly 300 people just a few months before Vladimir Putin took office as president. Two years later, a bomb blast in Moscow’s Byelorusskaya metro station wounded 15 people. In 2002, Victory Day (9 May) celebrations in the Dagestani city of Kaspiisk were marred by a bomb explosion that killed 42 and injured more than 130 people. On 19 October 2002, a bomb killed one person outside a Moscow McDonald’s restaurant. Four days later, 42 heavily armed men under the leadership of the Chechen guerilla leader Movsar Barayev took over the Dubrovka theater where the play Nord-Ost was being staged. In the ensuing gas attack on the Moscow theater and raid by Russian Special Forces (Spetsnaz), all the terrorists were killed, along with 130 hostages. 2003 was a particularly bloody year; in May, dozens died in bombings in Chechnya. On 5 July, 15 people were killed by a bomb attack on a Moscow rock concert by female suicide bombers, an event that was dubbed the “Black Widow” bombings by the Russian press. Later that summer, explosions killed more than 50 people in a North Ossetiya hospital and seven people on a train in southern Russia. In December, another train bombing in the south claimed nearly 50 lives and a blast in Moscow killed six. On 6 February 2004, a bomb in the Moscow metro left 41 dead. The bombings of two domestic flights claimed 90 lives on 24 August, and on the last day of the month a suicide bomber killed 10 and injured 30 at a northern Moscow metro station.
   The next morning, the Beslan hostage crisis began when terrorists stormed School Number One during opening day celebrations; when it was over, 344 civilians were dead, the majority of whom were children. In 2005, Chechen rebels attacked federal buildings and police stations in Nalchik, Kabardino-Balkariya; the conflict took the lives of 137, including 92 guerillas. Since 2005, however, Russia’s counterterrorism efforts, aided by the de facto end to the second Chechen War, have paid off. In recent years, there have been few terrorist attacks, with the exception of several minor bombings in Sochi, the site of the 2014 Winter Olympiad.
   As president, Putin took dramatic steps to eliminate the terrorist threat, including putting severe restraints on media coverage of ongoing terror-related events, increasing federal security personnel in the North Caucasus, and instituting the appointment, rather than election, of regional governors to strengthen the vertical of power. Putin also increased security precautions in Moscow, particularly in the metro, tourist sites, and shopping areas, and in the vicinity of government buildings. Despite the deaths of nearly 1,000 Russian citizens from terror attacks during his administration, Putin retained the support of the people due to his tough talk and drastic measures to combat the threat of Islamic radicalism.
   See also Electoral reforms of 2004–2005.

Historical Dictionary of the Russian Federation. . 2010.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • terrorism — ter·ror·ism / ter ər ˌi zəm/ n 1: the unlawful use or threat of violence esp. against the state or the public as a politically motivated means of attack or coercion 2: violent and intimidating gang activity street terrorism ter·ror·ist / ist/ adj …   Law dictionary

  • terrorism — 1795, in specific sense of government intimidation during the Reign of Terror in France (1793 July 1794), from Fr. terrorisme (1798), from L. terror (see TERROR (Cf. terror)). If the basis of a popular government in peacetime is virtue, its basis …   Etymology dictionary

  • Terrorism — Ter ror*ism, n. [Cf. F. terrorisme.] 1. The act of terrorizing, or state of being terrorized; a mode of government by terror or intimidation. Jefferson. [1913 Webster] 2. The practise of coercing governments to accede to political demands by… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • terrorism — [ter′ər iz΄əm] n. [Fr terrorisme] 1. the act of terrorizing; use of force or threats to demoralize, intimidate, and subjugate, esp. such use as a political weapon or policy 2. the demoralization and intimidation produced in this way terrorist n …   English World dictionary

  • Terrorism — Terrorist redirects here. For other uses, see Terrorist (disambiguation) …   Wikipedia

  • terrorism — /ter euh riz euhm/, n. 1. the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, esp. for political purposes. 2. the state of fear and submission produced by terrorism or terrorization. 3. a terroristic method of governing or of resisting a… …   Universalium

  • terrorism —    by Rex Butler   Baudrillard s response to the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center on 11 September 2001, The Spirit of Terrorism , was published in Le Monde on 2 November. In his article, Baudrillard urges us not to rush to conclusions …   The Baudrillard dictionary

  • terrorism — noun the calculated use of violence (or the threat of violence) against civilians in order to attain goals that are political or religious or ideological in nature; this is done through intimidation or coercion or instilling fear • Syn: ↑act of… …   Useful english dictionary

  • terrorism —    Apart from small, professedly left wing groups like FRAP and GRAPO, the main terrorist organization in Spain since the late 1960s is ETA, which has been responsible for by far the largest number of deaths and injuries. The peak of ETA activity …   Encyclopedia of contemporary Spanish culture

  • terrorism — noun ADJECTIVE ▪ urban ▪ global, international, transnational (esp. AmE) ▪ cross border ▪ state, state sponsored …   Collocations dictionary

  • Terrorism —    One of the more important factors shaping political life in Israel has been the ever present threat of terrorism. The prestate Yishuv was confronted with extended periods of violence perpetrated by elements of the local Arab community in… …   Historical Dictionary of Israel


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.