Russia and ISIS: A New Phase of the Old Conflict?
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ISIS has been very successful in recruiting Russian citizens into its ranks. According to the federal Interior Ministry, as of March 2016, 3417 people had joined the organisation. Why has ISIS propaganda turned out to be so appealing to the Russian Muslims? How does the prior history of armed conflict in the North Caucasus come into play? What is the Russian government doing in terms of prevention and exit programmes, and how to make these efforts effective? The chapter will address these questions, offering insights of an analyst and practitioner based on over 200 interviews with family members of foreign fighters; government officials; religious, community and civil society leaders; and former radical individuals.