||The Russian Federation is subject to a high degree of terrorist activity because the instability of the North Caucasus region makes it a breeding ground for terrorism. The main contemporary threat to the Russian Federation is terrorism linked to the North Caucasus. This thesis is based on Russian counter-terrorism policy in relation to public perceptions of the September 2004 tragedy of Beslan (North Ossetia). In September 2004, a school in Beslan was seized for three days by North Caucasian terrorists which resulted in a massacre with an extremely high number of hostages (1300), fatalities (372) and injuries (747). The Beslan tragedy is considered to be the Russian 9/11 and could, due to its magnitude and impact, theoretically be a turning point in counter-terrorism policy and public perceptions in the Russian Federation. However, the Beslan event has not been a significant turning point in Russian counter-terrorism legislation and laws, despite certain changes and amendments. Furthermore, despite relatively small reforms in the security services, these reforms have been considered to be primarily cosmetic and have not yielded significant results. Also, the perceptions of terrorism and the government’s efforts to combat terrorism among Russian citizens have not improved since Beslan. The rhetoric by the media and government seems to focus primarily on the ostensible success of its counter-terrorism approach. However, despite the qualification of Beslan as the Russian 9/11 and the changes in policy following the event, terrorist activity remains a serious part of daily life within the Russian Federation and any potential improvements in the near future are considered to be unlikely.
Russia, North Caucasus, Beslan, Terrorism, Counter-terrorism