Russia is a terrorist state. Let’s stop pretending it isn’t.

By Alexandra Chyczij. Published on May 12, 2021

‘Russia has proven, time and again, that it’s willing to flout international law, invade neighbouring states, target civilian aircraft, and use chemical and radioactive weapons, endangering the lives of hundreds of people.’

On Nov. 22, 2006, a man died an agonizing death three weeks after drinking tea in a London hotel. 

On July 17, 2014, a civilian airliner was shot down in eastern Ukraine. All 298 people on board died. 

On Oct. 16, 2014, an explosion occurred at an arms depot in Vrebtice, Czech Republic, killing two people. 

On March 4, 2018, a man and his daughter were poisoned in Salisbury, England. 

What do these four seemingly unconnected events have in common? The Russian government was behind all of them. 

The man who died on Nov. 22, 2006, was Alexander Litvinenko, a Russian dissident who was poisoned by polonium, a radioactive weapon, by the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB). 

The civilian airliner, Flight MH-17, was shot down by a Russian BUK-TELAR missile system of the Russian Armed Forces’ 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile brigade, in Russian-occupied eastern Ukraine. 

Czech authorities concluded two weeks ago that the 2014 explosion at the arms depot in the Czech Republic was carried out by agents of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces (GRU).

The man and his daughter, Sergei and Yulia Skripal, were poisoned by a military-grade nerve agent — Novichok, a chemical weapon — again, by GRU agents. 

These are the actions of a rogue regime that is a threat to world peace. 

Russia has proven, time and again, that it’s willing to flout international law, invade neighbouring states, target civilian aircraft, and use chemical and radioactive weapons, endangering the lives of hundreds of people. 

As this pattern of destruction wrought by Putin’s regime becomes clearer, one wonders how many more attacks the Russian government is responsible for that we don’t know about yet.

Most nations define terrorism as an act committed “in whole or in part for a political, religious, or ideological purpose, objective, or cause,” with the intention of intimidating the public “with regard to its security, including its economic security, or compelling a person, a government, or a domestic or an international organization to do or to refrain from doing any act.”

These four acts — the assassination and poisoning of opponents of the Russian regime, bombing an arms depot on foreign soil, the military invasion of a foreign country, and the subsequent downing of a civilian airliner — are all clearly acts carried out for a political objective. 

The fact that Russia is willing to brazenly carry out these attacks on foreign soil means that no one, anywhere, is safe. Evicting Russian diplomats will not deter Russia from further attacks. In fact, a weak response will only embolden the regime further, and will result in more deaths and suffering. That’s why it’s important that our governments protect us by labelling Russia what it is — a terrorist state. 

In 2018, Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner introduced a bill that would have required the U.S. State Department to make a determination within 90 days about whether the Russian Federation should be designated as a state sponsor of terror under U.S. law. Unfortunately, the legislation failed to make it through the legislative process before the election of a new Congress. 

Recently, both the United States and Canada listed the “Russian Imperial Movement” (RID) as a terrorist organization. The RID has been linked to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and to individuals involved in the downing of Flight MH-17. It would be improbable that, in a repressive police state such as Russia, this organization could function without the knowledge and support of the Russian state.  

On June 14, 2021, the heads of state and governments of NATO allies will meet at the NATO summit in Brussels. NATO leaders agreeing to name Russia a state sponsor of terror would be an important and appropriate start to holding the Russian regime accountable. 

Designating Russia as a terrorist state would place Russia firmly where it belongs — together with the world’s worst state actors, such as Iran and the murderous Assad regime in Syria — and would limit Russia’s ability to access foreign assistance, dual-use technologies, and foreign financing. It would also be a strong moral signal to the Russian regime that its malign actions and attacks have consequences.   

Alexandra Chyczij is the national president of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress.


The views, opinions and positions expressed by all iPolitics columnists and contributors are the author’s alone. They do not inherently or expressly reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of iPolitics.

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6 comments

  • I wish this organisation and this excellent lady had a hell of a lot more power.
    Regarding M17, of course that was a filthy, heinous crime, but I dislike the way that putinazi occupiers are criticised only for that and not the Ukrainian troop carrier aircraft that were shot down. Those attacks too are common murder by occupier scum who had no right to be on sovereign Ukraine land, nor did they have permission to place SAM’s on that land.
    The families of those servicemen and all Ukrainian servicemen must be compensated by Russia.
    Also at the top of the queue for compensation: the parents of children murdered by the invaders and all the families of the many thousands of civilians murdered by putlerstan. All of whom were Russian speakers that the putinazi savages claimed to be ‘protecting’.

    Liked by 3 people

  • onlyfactsplease

    “What do these four seemingly unconnected events have in common? The Russian government was behind all of them.”
    Only four? The list of murders and terrorist activity ba mafia land is a lot longer than that!
    “RUSSIA IS A TERRORIST STATE. LET’S STOP PRETENDING IT ISN’T.” It’s a good title, but let’s also not forget EVERY crime and wrongdoing this trash country has committed and not just a few of them. It must be held accountable for them all!
    “Designating Russia as a terrorist state would place Russia firmly where it belongs — together with the world’s worst state actors, such as Iran and the murderous Assad regime in Syria — and would limit Russia’s ability to access foreign assistance, dual-use technologies, and foreign financing.”
    But only if the corresponding sanctions will deter jellyfish countries like Germanystan to find ways circumventing them like they did on Crimea.

    Liked by 3 people

  • Turning a blind eye to Russia being a terrorist state is just as bad as helping a criminal to escape justice, both are crimes. Perhaps certain EU countries need to be designated as terrorists too.

    Liked by 3 people

  • Ukraine has a vast diaspora. About 7m, including 2m in Russia about which little is known about their allegiances. Although one must assume that most identify as Russian or have pro-Russia sympathies. Otherwise why would they chose to remain in a fascist dictatorship that has butchered Ukrainians?
    That leaves 5m; 2m of which are in Canada and the US.
    I have suggested this before, but will repeat it. Around 25%of those 5m will be of fighting age; that makes 1m. Around 5% of those will have military experience including combat; that makes 50,000 at a very conservative estimate.
    As a gesture of solidarity, the governments of countries that produce decent fighters should offer to send them to Ukraine and keep their jobs open for them until the war is over.
    That sends out a message that Ukraine is united and the world cares about its existential struggle against an implacable fascist power.
    Plus the Ukraine armed forces would have an injection of motivated and tough fighters.
    A similar programme should be developed for medics to help the military and also the covid crisis.
    Finally, successful Ukrainian businessmen in the diaspora should be encouraged to contribute tax-exempt cash to the Ukr military.

    Liked by 3 people

  • Your reply has been approved and published on West molding Ukraine into ‘anti-Russia’ & turning a blind eye as crackdown on opposition makes Donbass peace impossible – Putin.

    Posted 5/15/2021, 18:40

    Russia is a pure terrorist-state. The invasion of Donbas and Crimea by Russia is a crime. 7000 Russian soldiers killed in Donbas since 2014. The downing of MH17 by Russia as highlight. 20.000 Ukrainians killed so far in Donbas by Russia. Russkiy Mir!

    MY COMMENT, SEE ABOVE, ORIGINAL COPY, HAS BEEN APPROVED BY RT!
    MUST I SAY,MORE,NOPE!

    Liked by 3 people

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