Experts say the country would have a better chance of ending the upsurge in attacks if the Kremlin used a different approach.
“The government have been relying on standard measures of counter-insurgency to date, with the brief exception during [President Dimitri] Medvedev’s time when he tried to address the underlying root causes such as poverty, political and economic inequality,” Dr Greg Simons, crisis management expert at Swedish National Defence College, told Al Jazeera.
Dr Simons pointed out that Putin achieved some successes in the mid-2000s when he had two rebel leaders, Maskhadov and Basayev, killed. However, he does not think Putin’s policy will to be able to reach a long-term solution as long as the root causes fuelling the insurgency remain. New recruits can easily fill the boots of assassinated rebel leaders.
“There needs to be something more done other than body counts, weapons captured, terror acts prevented. Otherwise, you get stuck in a game of perpetual catch-up and stuck in a reactive posture,” Simons said.