The Moscow Airport Bombing, which killed 35 people on Monday and injured over 100, provides evidence yet again that the Kremlin’s security policies continue to fail.
Why are Russia’s security forces unable to protect their people? Gerstle supplies one reason:
As I wrote in my story about Chechnya and Ingusetia in the Guardian Weekly, many moderate believers in peace in the Muslim Caucasus region would be happy to support efforts to take on radicals and reduce violence, except that they fear bringing information to the authorities will be met with violent over-reaction.
I’ve experienced this personally. I was working with Chechen and Ingush humanitarians to help rebuild and restore stability in the war-ravaged region when co-workers told me a refugee camp had been attacked by the government. Ingush government security forces acting on Kremlin policy pursued a lone suspected militant into the [camp, which was inhabited by the elderly, women, and children. . . . When the suspect hid in a family shelter, security forces locked all the civilians in the camp into a laundry and washroom and then began raining mortars and bullets onto the shelter until the suspect was dead.
Enlisting civilian aid in halting terrorism isn’t only a problem in the Middle East. Apparently, forced to choose between the disease or the cure, Russians, too, are likely to choose the former.