New Wave of Islamic Extremism Adds to Putin’s Troubles

03 Nov 2020

(Eurasia Daily Monitor) The series of terrorist attacks in France, in late October, attracted much attention in Russia, sharply dividing public opinion and leaving President Vladimir Putin in an awkward limbo. The Kremlin leader excels at positioning himself as a counter-terrorist champion when the issue is clear and solvable by military means—such as when it came to obliterating the so-called Islamic State. In the current crisis, however, his readiness to explicitly condemn, for instance, the deadly October 29 knife attack in Nice, as he did in an official telegram to French President Emmanuel Macron, is mixed with implicit readiness to trample over freedom of speech in the quest to defeat such terrorism (, October 29). The Kremlin insists that offending the feelings of believers was unacceptable and unlawful, so in Russia such crimes were unthinkable (Izvestia, October 30). [...]

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