Russias policy toward the islamic state volume xxii according to some commentators the potential return of jihadists to russia from middle eastern battlefields may revitalize the debilitated insurgency by fueling the jihadist groups with experienced and determined fighters and their transnational connections 17. Argument what vladimir putin really wants in the middle east a new book translates russias fears and hopes for syria and the wider region for an american audience. Even before russian bombers launched strikes into syria from an iranian air base last month it was clear that one of president barack obamas more dubious foreign policy legacies would be the . Of any major actor in the middle east russian foreign policy and the middle east beginning in 2005 russia noticeably increased its engagement in the middle east from 2005 to 2007 president vladimir putin visited egypt israel saudi arabia jordan qatar turkey iran and the united arab emirates uae and russia gained observer sta. Islam in russia is the nations second most widely professed religion according to a nationwide survey conducted in 2012 muslims in russia numbered 9400000 or 65 of the total population however the populations of two federal subjects with islamic majorities were not surveyed due to social unrest which together had a population of nearly 2 million namely chechnya and ingushetia thus
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