Support The Moscow Times!

Prosecutor General: 3,500 Russians Have Joined Middle East Terror Groups

A fighter of the Islamic State holds and ISIS flag and a weapon.

Russia's Prosecutor General Yury Chaika has announced that 3,500 Russians have joined terrorist groups in the Middle East, the TASS news agency reported Wednesday.

“Many have received special training there. Now, under the threat of destruction and for other reasons, hundreds of militants are returning home,” Chaika said, TASS reported.

More than 1,000 criminal cases have been opened against Russians involved in terrorist organizations between 2013-2015, he said.

In December 2015, international strategic consultancy agency the Soufan Group reported that roughly 2,400 Russians were fighting alongside the Islamic State terrorist group in Syria and Iraq.

The Soufan Group's research shows that the number of Russian fighters has tripled over the past 18 months, the RBC news website reported.

The Islamic State is a terrorist organization banned in Russia.

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

As the only remaining independent, English-language news source reporting from Russia, The Moscow Times plays a critical role in connecting Russia to the world.

Editorial decisions are made entirely by journalists in our newsroom, who adhere to the highest ethical standards. We fearlessly cover issues that are often considered off-limits or taboo in Russia, from domestic violence and LGBT issues to the climate crisis and a secretive nuclear blast that exposed unknowing doctors to radiation.

As we approach the holiday season, please consider making a one-time donation — or better still a recurring donation — to The Moscow Times to help us continue producing vital, high-quality journalism about the world’s largest country.