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Multiple unconfirmed reports have suggested that Russia is sending between 20,000 and 25,000 federal troops to its southern region of Dagestan.The reports come from Moscow-based analyst group Caucasian Knot and Dagestan-based news group Chernovik, who cited local police officials and reports of a large convoy seen en-route.
Official sources are confirming a smaller movement of troops.
The move is officially a response to renewed terrorist threats in the troubled region, which has a brutal history of attacks from a strong separatist Islamic movement — A recent “black widow” suicide attack caught international attention, for example.
However, its possible that the troop movement represents wider Russian concerns. A Bloomberg article on the troop movement is quick to note that Dagestan is only 124 miles north of Iran. Russia has good reason to suspect any conflict in that country could destabilize its Southern regions.
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