Home World Russian labour shortage means it is "impotent" in fight against Islamic State

Russian labour shortage means it is "impotent" in fight against Islamic State


VLADIMIR Putin cannot carry out reprisals against Islamic State because he is too reliant on Central Asian migration to plug dire labour shortages in Russia.

Putin, who has just secured himself another election victory, vowed to “punish everyone who stands behind the terrorists and who prepared this atrocity” after last week’s attack on the Crocus City Hall concert venue which left 133 dead

Officially, the terror attack was claimed by Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP) -a splinter group of the fundamentalist sect based in Central Asia – though some experts say rogue Russian hardliners could have planned it.

But while Russia has blamed Ukraine, the US and Britain for sponsoring the attack, desperate labour shortages means Putin does not dare to antagonise Central Asian states – including Tajikistan, home of four of the gunmen who took part in the rampage.

Russia is short of around 5 million workers, a situation which has been exacerbated by the 2022 decision to invade Ukraine.

“Putin’s first mobilisation in 2022 was massively unpopular. He wanted 300,000 extra troops, but 600,000 – 900,000 Russians fled the country,“ said Prof Mark Galeotti of the Council on Geostrategy think tank.

“Between the needs of the war and the needs of the defence industrial complex, whose factories are now working 24/7, there is a huge labour shortage and the millions of Central Asians in Russia are crucial to the war effort.”

He added that any campaign to root out ISKP sympathisers would backfire due to the “notoriously ham-fisted” nature of Russia’s security services;

“There would be doors kicked down and people beaten, and an exodus of Central Asians would ensue. That would be a big problem.

“So he is impotent to act, and is left blaming the usual subjects.”

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