LIVE UPDATES: Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton has accused Russia of hacking her campaign computers. ISIS has released a new video calling for jihad in Russia.
Welcome to our column, Russia Update, where we will be closely following day-to-day developments in Russia, including the Russian government’s foreign and domestic policies.
The previous issue is here.
Recent Analysis and Translations:
– Russian Elections Round-Up: Parnas List Accepted; Party of Pensioners Forced to Remove Candidates
– âWhat Would Boris Do?â Opposition Struggles with In-Fighting on Eve of September Elections
– NATO Got Nothing From Conceding To Russia In the Past, Why Should It Cave To The Kremlin Now?
– Who is Hacking the Russian Opposition and State Media Officials — and How?
The blast at at the Layli Banquet Hall was the result of the ignition a gas leaking from a cylinder in the basement, not a terrorist attack, RIA Novosti reports, citing the Emergencies Service (translation by The Interpreter):
“According to preliminary data, the reason for the accident was the explosion of consumer gas. Investigative authorities are determining what caused the explosion.”
— Catherine A. Fitzpatrick
ISIS, the terrorist movement seeking to build an Islamic caliphate, has released a new video calling for jihad in Russia and threatening President Vladimir Putin, Reuters reports. According to Reuters, the video was released yesterday, July 31 in Russian:
“Listen Putin, we will come to Russia and will kill you at your homes … Oh Brothers, carry out jihad and kill and fight them,” a masked man driving a car in the desert yelled while wagging his finger in the last couple of minutes of the video.
The video with subtitles showed footage of armed men attacking armored vehicles and tents and collecting arms in the desert. “Breaking into a barrack of the Rejectionist military on the international road south Akashat,” read one subtitle.
It was not immediately possible to independently verify the video but the link to the footage was published on a Telegram messaging account used by the militant group.
Russian media published brief excerpts of the video which showed the man yelling threats as he drove a car.
Meanwhile, today August 1, an explosion has occurred in Makhachkala, the capital of Dagestan in which at least 23 people have been injured, Gazeta reports, but no details are yet available and it is not known if ISIS has taken credit.
Gazeta reported that in the ISIS video, which has not yet been verified by experts, a man speaking Russian threatens Russians with murder and warns that ISIS fighters will “soon come to Russia.” The video is believed to have been motivated by an increased cooperation between Russia and the USA in combating ISIS and Al Qaeda, says Gazeta.
Last week on July 26, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met with US Secretary of State John Kerry to discuss the war in Syria and agreed to ensure the distinction between “normal opposition members” and fighters from ISIS and Jabhat al Nursa. Last week Jabhat al-Nusra announced the end of operations linked to Al Qaeda, but this was not seen as a guarantee they would no longer be bombed.
Earlier this year as we reported, President Vladimir Putin said that “2,000” fighters from the North Caucasus had been killed on the battlefield in Syria.
Last November, ISIS released a video in Russian in which they vowed to begin attacks on Russian territory. Since then there have been a number of terrorist bombings or shootings for which ISIS has taken credit. On October 31, ISIS took credit for the downing of Metrojet Flight A321 which killed 224 people on board..
The following headlines were taken from 7:40 na Perrone, Reuters, Meduza, Gazeta, The Independent, RBC, Novaya Gazeta and Ekho Moskvy
— Catherine A. Fitzpatrick