Southern flank is not calm
2017 October 08 ( Sunday ) 18:43:08
The Russian authorities are stepping up efforts to neutralize transnational threats, which are rapidly being modified in the context of geopolitical confrontation and international challenges. The main threats to the national security of Russia are called IGIL and cyberwar, which has been launched in the world information web.
An analysis of the agenda of annual events and statements in the field of national security shows the Kremlin's high level of concern over the expansion of the IGIL terrorist network in Russia, the use of the Internet space for the spread of Islamic radicalism, the expansion of the protest electorate, and the implementation of large-scale cyberattacks on the country's information resources.
IGIL threat number 1
At a meeting of high-ranking representatives of the BRICS countries, overseeing security issue on July 28, 2017 in Beijing, secretary of the Russian Security Council Nikolai Patrushev called the terrorist group "Islamic State" the source of the greatest threat to national security.
Russian secret services came to the conclusion that in response to Russia's military operations in Syria, IGIL will reformat its activities, and has practically started implementing a plan to increase its presence in various parts of the world, including Russia, and carry out terrorist retaliation actions on its territory.
"Successful actions by government and international forces in Syria led to a change in the strategy of terrorists, forced them to look for "spare areas" in various parts of the world, to intensify efforts to maintain a high level of financial provision, first of all by diversifying sources of funds and channels for their transfers "After the return home, the militants create an organized underground, in addition, there is a merger of extremist groups with criminal structures," Patrushev stressed in Beijing.
Practically the same said Alexander Bortnikov, head of the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation, at the Moscow Conference on International Security on April 26, 2017: The intelligence services have data on the negotiations of the Islamic State (IS) terrorist organization with other groups for the purpose of uniting.
"Our forecasts, which we repeatedly presented at various forums and meetings, are confirmed with regard to real threats to the world community by Islamist terrorist groups and foreign militants. We see how the militants, after being ideologically trained in combat in the zones of armed conflicts, having acquired a circle necessary links and skills of concealing criminal activity, return to the countries they come from, or move to other parts of the world that were not previously threatened with a terrorist threat. The activity of these terrorists become more sophisticated, propaganda is more aggressive, the goals of attacks and ways to accomplish them are more diverse," Bortnikov said. Particularly vulnerable to Russia is called the southern flank, which is in contact with the Islamic world.
The terrorist threat is increasing at the southern borders of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), said Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Sergei Istrakov in Bishkek after a meeting of the Committee of the Chiefs of Staff of the CIS armed forces on September 12, 2017.
Coordination of the work of secret services and authorities made it possible to prevent the commission of terrorist acts in the Southern Federal District (SFD) in 2016. At the same time, law enforcement agencies registered more than a hundred crimes of a terrorist nature, Patrushev said at an outreach meeting in Astrakhan on March 14, 2017.
The threats to Russia from the space of the world information web are classified as follows:
1. Use of the Internet and information technologies to spread the ideology of the Islamic state, recruit new supporters, create criminal communities and carry out terrorist acts, etc.
2. Use of external Internet resources to build up protest moods among the population.
3. Cyberattacks on state information resources.
Terrorists use more than 10 thousand different sites on the Internet and several hundred thousand accounts in social networks, said Alexander Bortnikov, Director of the Federal Security Service of Russia, speaking at the 16th meeting of the heads of special services, security agencies and law enforcement agencies in Krasnodar on October 4, 2016.
According to Bortnikov, the FSB stands for the ban on the circulation of anonymous sim-cards and anonymity in Internet messengers.
He recalled that in July 2015, laws were enacted in Russia obliging the organizers of the dissemination of information on the Internet, using encryption of messages, to provide key departments with the keys to decipher this type of traffic, and the communication operators are charged with storing and transmitting, at the request of law enforcement agencies, user metadata.
Bortnikov notes the threat of retargeting terrorists from cyberattacks to state information resources on critical infrastructure facilities.
"We estimate as a high probability that international terrorist organizations will redirect the vector of cyberattacks from state information resources to critical infrastructure facilities in order to provoke technogenic accidents and environmental disasters," said the FSB director.
On April 26, 2017, at the opening of the Sixth Moscow Conference on International Security, Patrushev announced the threat of acts of information aggression on the part of individual countries, hinting at the Western community.
"Acts of information aggression on the part of individual countries are a particular threat to international security: fraud of facts and falsification of data have become the calling card of those who, on the basis of fabricated information, allow themselves to encroach upon the sovereignty and territorial integrity of independent states," said the Security Council Secretary.
According to him, these same forces strive at all costs to maintain unilateral advantages in managing the global information infrastructure and oppose efforts to create an international information security system under the auspices of the United Nations, within which the national interests of all countries would be taken into account.
May 25, 2017 at the international conference on information security in Zavidovo, Russia initiated two documents: the adoption by the UN General Assembly of the resolution "On the rules of responsible behavior of states in cyberspace" and the draft UN convention "On cooperation in the field of countering information crime."
In the first document it is supposed to emphasize that the principles of national sovereignty and non-interference in the internal affairs of states extend to the virtual environment.
Secondly, in particular, it is proposed to solve one of the most acute problems in the field of combating cybercrime - to create a mechanism for criminalizing hacking. Russia considers it necessary to prohibit states from introducing hidden codes and undeclared functions (so-called bookmarks) into the IT products produced on their territory.
Azerbaijan in the security strategy of the Kremlin
The above-mentioned subjects were continued during the visit to Baku of Patrushev on September 29-30, 2017.
TASS reported that "the issues of regional security, the improvement of the legislative framework for combating religious extremism and terrorism, as well as the issues of bilateral cooperation in the sphere of international information security were considered."
During the meeting with President Ilham Aliyev, Putin's chief adviser, as noted in expert circles, said that Russia and Azerbaijan can together withstand "new challenges" in the region.
This was Patrushev's second visit to Baku in six months with such an agenda. On April 10, he discussed with Aliyev the problem of cooperation in the field of regional and international security. The latter then noted that the situation in the region makes it necessary to further strengthen cooperation between Azerbaijan and Russia in the sphere of security.
In the spring of this year, the analytical American center Stratfor noted that in order to cope with the consequences of a series of terrorist attacks recently committed in Russia, Moscow is working to strengthen security cooperation with the near abroad, in particular with Azerbaijan.
The recent decisions of the Kremlin on Dagestan show, this southern section represents an increased interest in the issue of security. In Dagestan the military grouping is strengthened and the retired Interior Minister Vladimir Vasiliev is heading the most troubled Caucasus republic. He became the first non-ethnic leader of Dagestan in the past almost 50 years.
This shows that the Kremlin sees it important to strengthen cooperation with Azerbaijan, which borders on Dagestan and is a transit country for potential people who can get to the south of Russia, leaving Syrian and other expanses.
In addition, it should be added that the parties have a lot in common in such approaches as counteraction to Western democracy, neutralization of protest public sentiments, protection from cyberattacks.
The topic of Patrushev's talks in Baku was confirmed at the seventh regional expert consultations of representatives of the security, intelligence and law enforcement agencies of the CIS member states and the plenary session of the Scientific Advisory Council under the Anti-Terrorist Center of the CIS member states that were held in Baku on October 5.
The existing problems, the intensity of events and meetings show that cooperation between the security structures of the two countries should be increased in the upcoming medium-term period, and especially in 2018, when in both states traditionally ambiguous presidential elections must be held.