Monday August 17, two days before the explosions in Baghdad, a suicide bomber drove a truck loaded with a ton of explosives into a local police station in Ingushetia, killing at least 25 people and injuring over 136 civilians, including women and children.
Ingushetia and Chechnya are Russian territories in the country's south-eastern corner. Their status is comparable to the one of an American state within the U.S. The heads of the Russian "states" are traditionally called governors, mayors, heads, and presidents. Many westerners make a mistake thinking, for example, that the President of Chechnya heads his own country. Since the war in Chechnya ended, terrorists had been laying low until half a year ago. Surprisingly, only the murders of human rights activists find their way into Western news reports. However, the list of terrorist activities over the past few months has been full with murders of local judges, heads of villages and towns, armed attacks against police, and kidnappings. These events have been completely ignored by Western mass media.
On June 10, at 8:40 am, the deputy chairman of the Ingushetia's Supreme Court Mrs. Aza Gazgireeva was gunned down in downtown Nazran. On June 13, former head of Ingushetian police Bashir Aushev was gunned down in his car near his home in Nazran. On June 22, a suicide bomber detonated his vehicle targeting the motorcade of Ingushetian president Yevkurov. Yevkurov was severely injured, survived, and just recently returned to his duties. On August 12, Ingushetian minister of development and construction Ruslan Amerhanov was gunned down in his own office in Moscow. During the summer 2009, two police platoons were attacked on the border of Ingushetia and Chechnya--dozens servicemen were killed and injured. In just the three winter months of 2009, when the terrorist activity was "relatively low," there were 19 explosions resulting in nine deaths and nine injuries; 38 armed attacks targeting military and police units took place, resulting in 12 deaths and 32 injured; at least 17 civilians were killed, three kidnapped; and 15 bombs found and rendered innocuous...
President of Chechnya Ramzan Kadyrov is protÃ©gÃ© of Valdimir Putin. President of Ingushetia Yunus-Bek Yevkurov is protÃ©gÃ© of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who recently fired the previous President of Ingushetia Murat Zyazikov after he was unable to stop the wave of terrorist attacks. Both Medvedev and Putin are justifiably upset about the situation as they had prided themselves with achieving peace in the Caucuses but have showed inability to stop the violence over the course of the last six months. The funding for Chechen Islamic extremists comes from the same place as does the funding of Taliban and other radical Islamic "establishments." One could speculate that the recent spike of terrorism was one of the factors in Russia's decision to grant the U.S. rights to transport its troops and weapons to Afghanistan via Russia.
Hopefully, Medvedev, Putin, and their multiple friends and advisors with military and intelligence background will find a way to bring peace to the region. Also, hopefully, the Western media and public pundits will find the murders of Russian top officials and common civilians as interesting and worthy of publicizing as they find the ones of select human rights activists. Recent events in Russia prove one more time that, despite certain disagreements, the U.S. and Russia need each other more than ever to succeed in a fight against common enemy.
When this article was being published, AFP reported:
NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen wrote to Medvedev condemning the "bloody terrorist attack." In the rare letter to the Russian leader, the NATO secretary general offered his condolences to the Russian people, saying "this tragic loss of life and suffering underscores yet again the grave danger that the terrorist threat poses to all of us," a spokeswoman for the alliance said.