He has singled out strife in the North Caucasus as Russia’s most serious domestic problem. So, after this week’s suicide attacks there and on the Moscow metro, Dmitry Medvedev’s surprise visit to the region was a chance to toughen the tone. Bomb plotters, he said, would be destroyed.
In Dagestan, the Russian President told security chiefs and regional leaders that all states fighting terrorism must consider the methods available. It seems the list of such measures must be bigger, he said, “and the measures themselves not only more effective but also harsher.”
A Chechen rebel leader has claimed responsibility for the Moscow metro blasts that killed 39 people on Monday. The FSB secret service says the two female suicide bombers have now been identified. And, after the twin-explosions in the Russian capital and subsequent deadly attacks in Dagestan, a number of suspects have been detained.
As the dead are buried, fears are intensifying that Islamist militants will wage a prolonged and bloody bombing campaign in Russia’s heartland. In an atmosphere of increasing tension, Moscow and St Petersburg both suffered bomb scares on Thursday.