The Russian Parliament has recently allowed the use of ground troops in Syria in order to support its air operation over ISIS targets. Russia’s involvement there is as much foreign policy as it is internal policy- Russia has suffered at the hands of terrorists in the past. Chechnya has long been a contentious autonomous region, suffering two civil wars in the 1990s.

The Russian government is concerned about any Russian nationals (from Chechnya, other predominantly Islamic regions, or those converted to radical forms of Islam) fighting on the side of the terrorists in Syria, then coming home to roost.

Today, any sign of religious extremism in Chechnya is quashed with the iron fist of Chechen President, Ramzan Kadyrov. He has been quoted as saying; “In 1999, when Chechnya was in the hands of these devils, I, as a Muslim, a Chechen and a patriot of Russia, vowed to devote all my life to fighting [the terrorists] everywhere. I ask for permission for us to go to Syria and take part in these special operations there.”

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