3. Chechnya, which is part of Russia, has seen violent conflict between the Russian government and the Chechen separatist movement
The First Chechen War began in 1994 as Russian forces entered the area to try and oust rebels from control. A 1996 ceasefire ended the devastating war, with thousands of Russian troops killed, an estimated 17,000 Chechen troops killed or missing, at least 161 Russian civilians killed in related terrorist attacks, and between 50,000-100,000 Chechen civilians killed in the war.
A Second Chechen War involving Russia started in 1999, after a radical Islamist group invaded nearby Dagestan. Though the battle phase ended in 2000, since then, terrorist attacks have routinely killed civilians in Russia.
4. Syria and The Caucasus are pretty close to one another
5. The conditions in Chechnya have given rise to extremism and terrorism
This includes a devastating attack in September 2004, when Islamist Chechen separatists took over a school in neighboring North Ossetia.
More than 1,100 people were held hostage, and in the ensuing standoff, more than 334 hostages were killed – including 186 children.
7. So, imagine you’re Russia.
This incredibly helpful analysis comes from Matthew Rojansky of the Kennan Institute.
8. You want stable countries in the Middle East who will be a bulwark against Islamism, weapons trafficking, and the spread of jihadi terrorists.
13. And you probably aren’t comfortable that those countries will be stable partners agaisnt Islamism, weapons trafficking, or the spread of terrorism.
15. Again, remember how close Syria is to Russia and the explosive Caucasus region
It’s not difficult to imagine an increased flow of terrorists and weapons from Syria into the Caucasus.
17. …which is completely understandable, given how close Sochi is to both the Caucasus and Syria
18. So you want Syria to be stable. Uncertainty isn’t good for you in this case.
19. That’s why Russia has made the calculation that their best option in Syria is to support Assad.
This post was created by a user and has not been vetted or endorsed by BuzzFeed's editorial staff. It is also not paid advertising. BuzzFeed Community is a place where anyone can post awesome lists and creations. Learn more or post your buzz!
- Confused refugees question what's next as French authorities begin to clear out the Calais "Jungle" camp.
- Donald Trump keeps questioning polls and insisting he's winning — even as most show him behind nationally.
- At least 59 people were killed in an overnight militant attack at a police center in Quetta, Pakistani officials say.
- These parents came up with maybe the best dirty Halloween couple's costume ever. Parents ftw 😂👏