Radical Islam in Russia: the case of Tatarstan

Security issues in Eurasia

  • Liana Hayrapetyan American University of Armenia
Keywords: Russia, Tatarstan, Islam, Radicalism, Wahhabism


The spread of Radical Islam among Russian Muslim is a central issue for the authorities of Russia. The first conflict in Chechnya facilitated the radicalization of Islam in the North Caucasus. Chechen warlords became involved in terrorism and organized terror bombings in Moscow in 1999, thus making terrorism a domestic issue for Russia. Hence the second Russian military campaign in Chechnya was labeled as counter-terrorism operation. In Volga-Ural region the situation was stable. However, Tatarstan has been encountering the issue of the radicalism since the beginning of the 21st century. During the 2010s there were several Islamic jamaats, which were involved in terror attacks in the territory of Tatarstan (mostly bombing pipelines), international Wahhabi organizations are active in Tatarstan. The terror attack in Kazan in July 2012, when the Mufti of Tatarstan was injured, indicated the strong presence of radicals in the region. The attack made the authorities of Tatarstan take severe approaches towards the radicals. The law enforcement bodies operate professionally: those who are suspected to have radical views are immediately caught and imprisoned. The active propaganda of traditional Islam in which the state is also involved is another way to prevent the radicalization of the region. Though the Wahhabi presence remains, the situation in Tatarstan is stable due to the work of the law enforcement bodies.

Author Biography

Liana Hayrapetyan, American University of Armenia


Liana Hayrapetyan

MA in Political science and international affairs, American University of Armenia. The main fields of research are the foreign policy of Russia, conflicts of the Middle East, security dynamics in the Caucasus.