Vladimir Kara-Murza writes about Putin´s failed anti-terrorist programme in the World Affairs Journal:
Another year, another terrorist attack in Russia. On January 24, a suspected suicide bomber detonated an explosive device in the arrivals zone at Domodedovo, Moscow’s busiest airport. Thirty-five people were killed and more than a hundred were injured. As Vladimir Putin prepares for this year’s parliamentary “elections” and a possible return to the Kremlin in 2012, his “pacification” of the North Caucasus has once again been proven a failure. Not that more proof was needed after last year’s attack on Lubyanka metro station – literally under the nose of the FSB, Russia’s Federal Security Service.
A decade ago, the Kremlin rejected a political track in favor of the “shithouse” strategy. Chechen leader Aslan Maskhadov, whom Mr. Putin himself called “the lawfully elected president, whether we like it or not,” was branded a “terrorist” and killed. Any reference to him or his associates still stirs the Kremlin’s wrath, as was shown last week by the Russian Foreign Ministry’s protest over an event in Washington featuring Ilyas Akhmadov, Mr. Maskhadov’s former foreign minister. What had been a classic separatist movement in Chechnya was hijacked by Islamist fundamentalists and spread out to neighboring Ingushetia and Dagestan. For this transformation, Mr. Putin’s heavy-handed and cynical approach to the Caucasus bears a direct responsibility.
Read the entire article here.