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Russia's Syria policy linked to Chechnya, terrorism

The United States and Russia cooperate to combat terrorism in Syria.
Investigators work at the site of an explosion at the entrance to a train station in Volgograd December 29, 2013. A female suicide bomber blew herself up in the entrance hall of the Russian train station on Sunday, killing at least 13 people in the second deadly attack in the space of three days as the country prepares to host the Winter Olympics. REUTERS/Sergei Karpov (RUSSIA - Tags: CRIME LAW CIVIL UNREST TRANSPORT TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) - RTX16WBP
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When the first of two terrorist bombings hit the Russian city of Volgograd, a wave of commentary and accusations spread across the Russian blogosphere. Many blamed Saudi Arabia, although it is unclear on what basis they did. According to them, Saudi Arabia is behind the Islamic underground in the Northern Caucasus, and the terrorist acts were revenge for Russia’s principled and consistent stand on the Syrian issue. One of the most popular commentaries gave a more detailed explanation: Allegedly, Riyadh was vexed by two failed visits to Moscow by the head of Saudi intelligence, Prince Bandar bin Sultan. He was not able to buy the Kremlin, so now the Saudis were making a point.

No evidence to support such speculation was offered, and no official pronouncements from which one might draw such an inference were ever made. True, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs reminded us that the explosions in Volgograd and the Middle East were organized by the same people. But that pronouncement was more likely made along the lines of establishing “international terrorism” as a phenomenon, which was common in the discussions of 10 years ago. So the rumors of Saudi Arabia’s participation were never confirmed. In other words, those rumors do not reflect reality, but rather how it is perceived. The Russian collective consciousness and internal processes, especially those related to the threat of Islamic extremism, are closely connected to foreign events.

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