Islamic State Does Not Threaten Russia

Over at Moscow Times, I took a look at the Moscow officials hyperventilating about Islamic State threats in Central Asia:

This fear has recently come to the fore among numerous officials and think tanks in Russia. Yevgeny Satanovsky, president of the Russian Institute of Middle Eastern Studies, led this rhetorical charge, stating that "all of Central Asia is within [the Islamic State's] reach." But he wasn't alone.

Stanislav Belkovsky, former director of the National Strategy Institute, noted that "all Islamic State threats are very real." Andrei Grozin, head of the CIS Institute's Central Asia department, said that "in the medium term, anything is possible" for the Islamic State in Central Asia. Alexander Konovalov, president of the Institute for Strategic Assessments, rounded out the hyperventilating by noting that "all threats from the Islamic State are more than serious" — and that this is somehow the greatest security threat facing Russia. The fascists steering Kiev are apparently on a break. ...

But overblowing the threat carries its own ramifications. Security structures tighten and expand. Moscow uses the Islamic State as a foil with which it can retain a relevancy in Central Asia — a region that has begun its inevitable shift toward China. The Central Asians forced to work as gutter-sweepers in Russia become more ostracized. Already maligned, millions of Central Asians suddenly see themselves painted in the colors of lurking Islamic State supporters, to be loathed even more.