As the Washington Post reports this morning, a suicide bomber blew himself up at the funeral for a slain Russian policeman
in the southern city of Rostov on the Don. Seven people were killed and at least twelve badly injured.
According to reports in Russia, the slain policeman had been killed in the troubled Russian Caucasus republic of Ingushetia. The attack was the latest incident in a wave of violent attacks on police and on Shiites in southern Russia.
Although we have had some home grown attacks, for most Americans terror is a foreign policy problem. For Russia, the threat of massive internal violence is very real.
There are a lot of things about President Putin’s government that Americans generally dislike, but this should not blind people in either Moscow or Washington to the huge importance of cooperating in the shared struggle against fanatical terror. We’ve written earlier on Via Meadia about the way that Russia’s concern about domestic violence helps shape its attitude toward what it sees as a “Sunni surge” in Syria. Those fears are not entirely unfounded, and in the wake of the fall of the Assad regime Russia could well find more arms and fighters being smuggled across its borders.
While accepting that the two sides will never agree about everything, Russia and the US need to think hard about how we can cooperate on some vital issues that affect us both.
Correction: The AP report on which the Washington Post story is based is somewhat misleadingly phrased. The original version of this post assumed the attack took place in Rostov on the Don. The attack actually took place in Ingushetia. Thanks to VM reader Larry for the catch.