Since the late 1990s, Russia has been among the countries most painfully affected by terrorism and President Putin has shown little doubt and even much enthusiasm in joining the U.S.-led "war" against terrorism. Intertwined as they are, counterterrorism and Chechnya are still significantly different matters in Russian security policy, and this article aims at examining how the struggle against terrorism shapes essential features of Russia's foreign and domestic policies during Putin's first presidency. Internally, the struggle against terrorism provides for a sufficient mobilization of the dysfunctional society around the "mutant" regime that has consolidated its control over mid-term political agenda. Internationally, high-profile counterterrorism strategy has helped Russia to secure for itself a more prominent role than the sheer size of its "assets" would justify. This war is fundamentally not about victory; it is about many "collateral" benefits for the regime that Putin is presiding over.
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