MOSCOW, October 30 (RIA Novosti) – The head of Russia’s police force said Wednesday that the number of terrorist attacks in the country had halved since 2011, though he gave no actual figures on the issue, long shrouded in murky statistics.
“We’re observing a downward trend in crimes of terrorist nature in the last three years. The number of terror attacks has decreased by half,” Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev said.
Kolokoltsev, who spoke before the Federation Council, also complained that news outlets were making “heroes” out of terrorists by reporting about their lives. That statement comes hot on the heels of a high-profile suicide bombing that killed six in the southern city of Volgograd.
The attack was blamed on the North Caucasus’ Islamist insurgency, a leader of which recently lifted a moratorium on attacks on Russian civilians. That move raised questions about security at the upcoming Winter Olympics, to take place in the Caucasus Mountains.
No unified federal statistics are available for terrorism-related crimes in Russia.
The Interior Ministry has said there were 622 “terror-related crimes” in 2011, including 29 actual terrorist attacks. The Federal Security Service reported 365 such crimes for the same year. Then-President Dmitry Medvedev put the figure at 94, and the Sydney-based Institute for Economics and Peace has said there were 184.
Independent Caucasus news site Kavkaz-Uzel.ru has said 750 people were slain in attacks in the region in 2011 and 700 last year. The death toll stood at 375 for the first nine months of this year, according to the site.