Friday, March 9, 2018

North Caucasians Angry Moscow is Sending Their Sons to Fight for Syria’s Asad

Paul Goble

            Staunton, March 9 – Moscow has been concerned about the number of North Caucasians who have gone to Syria to fight for ISIS against the Asad dictatorship, but the Russian government may have even more reason to be worried by the objections of people in that region to their sons being sent to Syria to fight and in some cases die for Asad.

            One of the soldiers who died in the March 6th crash of the AN-26 military transit plane was an Ingush, and while regional officials have celebrated his heroism in various ways, his death has provoked some bloggers to express their outrage about his being sent there to die (

                One, who uses the screen name Desert Eagle 50 Caliber expressed his anger by asking “what was [the dead soldier] doing there?” and another, who uses the name Bogatyrev71 said pointedly “Our boys must be returned home. There aren’t so many of us, each Ingush matters, and our children must not die for some alien fratricidal civil war.”

            That is only one way Putin’s war in Syria is coming home to the Russian Federation. Another, which Dozhd TV reported yesterday, is growing anger among some in the North Caucasus that different republics there are treating those who are returning from fighting for ISIS are being treated (

                Chechnya is allowing those who return to reintegrate quickly into the life of the republic. Daghestan is charging them with crimes and putting them behind bars.  And fears of what the Ingush Republic government may do has so far kept anyone who fought in ISIS from seeking to return there.  Those differences, the independent TV channel says, are sparking discussions.

            Those discussions, of course, are not the kind Moscow wants to see. On the one hand, they open the question as to why people from the Russian Federation are choosing to fight for the Islamic state.  And on the other, they call into question the Kremlin’s constant refrain that it has established a common legal space in the country.

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