Annamaria Kiss

Thesis title:

Russia and Foreign Fighters: from import to export


Terrorism in Russia is primarily associated with the separatist and jihadist movements in the North Caucasus, particularly in Chechnya. Despite its home-grown nature, this terrorism also had a substantial international dimension. Attacks, like that on the Dubrovka Theatre in Moscow or the infamous Beslan school siege, have reverberated throughout Europe. At the same time, Russia has also been the target of international criticism for its human rights record related to its counterterrorism responses. More importantly, Russia became a significant destination for foreign fighters, who came to the North Caucasus attracted by the separatist struggle combined with a post-Soviet religious revival in this Muslim majority area of the Russian Federation. Foreign fighters are still a major factor in the international dimension of terrorism in Russia, but nowadays Russia has turned from a destination for foreign fighters, mainly from Arabic countries, to a country of origin of foreign fighters. To be clear, this does not imply that these original incoming foreign fighters are simply moving on to new destinations. Rather, North Caucasians, but also ethnic Russians, are now fighting abroad as foreign fighters.Annamaria’s PhD project investigates why and how this change occurred. A concurrent development was the intensification of Russia’s counterterrorism (CT) efforts in the NC. This project focuses on the potential role of these CT policies as an explanatory variable based on suggestions in the literature. In this context, ‘the state’ mainly relates to the Russian national security institutions (siloviye strukturi). When compared to FFs coming from other regions but participating in the same conflicts, studying the case of Russian FFs allows us to propose a revision to the broader theory on FFs, conceptualising and contextualising the role of the state, which can then be extended to and tested in other cases.

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First supervisor:

Samuel Greene


12 – Strategic, Regional, & Security Studies





Merabishvili, G. and Kiss, A. (2016), The Perception of National Security in Georgia. Lithuanian Annual Strategic Review, Vol. 14, Issue 1, December 2016, pp. 159-177.

Marton, P. and Kiss, A. (2016), Chechen Combatants’ Involvement as Foreign Fighters in Ukraine and Syria and Iraq [Review article]. Journal of Soviet and Post-Soviet Politics and Society, Special Issue: Violence in the Post-Soviet Space, Vol. 2, No. 2, Kuhrt, N. and Kaczmarski, M. (eds), pp. 189-220.

Book chapters

Kiss, A. (2019), Terrorism in Russia, in: Jones, David M. et al (eds): Handbook of Terrorism and Insurgency Post 9/11, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, pp. 304-315

Kiss, A. (2019), A Dél-Kaukázus, in: Szálkai, K. (szerk.): Biztonságpolitikai Corvinák, Budapest: Antall József Tudásközpont
[The South Caucasus. In: Szálkai, K. (ed): Handbook of Security Policy. Budapest: Antall József Knowledge Centre]

Kiss, A. (2019), The Means and Ends of Russo-Georgian “Normalization:” What is beyond the “Red Lines”? in: Gardner Feldman, L. et al (eds): The Former Soviet Union and East Central Europe between Conflict and Reconciliation. Research in Peace and Reconciliation (RIPAR) series, Volume 4, Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht

Kiss, A. (2016), Minden út Moszkvába vezet? A dél-kaukázusi országok külgazdaság-politikája. In: Deák, A. (szerk.): A kéretlen integráció: A putyini Oroszország világgazdasági beilleszkedése, 2000-2013. Budapest: Akadémia kiadó, pp. 230-255.
[All Roads Lead to Moscow? Foreign Economic Policy of the South Caucasian countries. In: Deák, A. (ed.): The unwelcome integration. The integration of Russia into the world economy under Putin, 2000-2013. Akadémia Publishing, Budapest, pp.230-255.]

Merabishvili, G., Kiss, A., and Rácz, A. (2015), Development of Georgian Security Policy in the Light of Strategic Documents: Analysis of the National Security Concepts of 2005 and 2011. in: Bátor, P. and Ondrejcsák, R. (eds): Panorama of Global Security Environment 2014. Center for European and North Atlantic Affairs (CENAA), Bratislava, 2015, pp. 183-193.

Policy Papers

Kiss, A (2018), Georgian Presidential Elections 2018: The show must go on, Stratpol Policy Paper, November 2018, STRATPOL – Strategic Policy Institute, Bratislava

Gyene, P. – Kiss, A, (2015), Nemzetközi tőkebefektetések a posztszovjet közép-ázsiai és dél-kaukázusi államokban. In: Szunomár, Á. (ed.): Eurázsia a 21. században – a tőkebefektetések tükrében, Kelet-Európa Tanulmányok 11, 2015, MTA Közgazdaság- és Regionális Tudományi Kutatóközpont Világgazdasági Intézet, Budapest, pp. 78-105.
[in English: Foreign Direct Investments in Post-Soviet Central Asia and South Caucasus. In: Szunomár, Á. (ed.): Eurasia in the 21st century – In light of capital investment, East-European Studies 11, 2015. Research Centre for Economic and Regional Studies of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Institute of World Economics, Budapest]

Kiss, A. (2015), Az új orosz katonai doktrínáról, NKE Stratégiai Védelmi Kutatóközpont elemzések 2015/4, NKE Stratégiai Védelmi Kutatóközpont, Budapest.
[in English: The New Russian Military Doctrine, Centre for Strategic and Defence Studies Paper 2015/4, National University of Public Service, Budapest]

Rácz, A. and Kiss, A. (2014), A volgográdi merényletek anatómiája és a szocsi olimpia, MKI-tanulmányok, 2014. január, Magyar Külügyi Intézet, Budapest.
[in English: The anatomy of the Volgograd bombings and the Sochi Olympics. January 2014, Hungarian Institute of International Affairs, Budapest]

Kiss, A. (2013), A radikális iszlám terjedése az Észak-Kaukázusban mint orosz biztonságpolitikai kihívás: A Kaukázusi Emirátus, Külügyi Szemle, XII. évfolyam/2013. 3. szám, Magyar Külügyi Intézet, Budapest.
[in English: The Spread of Radical Islam in the North Caucasus as a challenge for Russian Security: the Caucasus Emirate, Külügyi Szemle, Vol. 12., No. 3, Hungarian Institute of International Affairs, Budapest]

Edited works

Kiss, A (ed.) (2017): “A Strategy for Russia”– Russian Foreign Policy and Global Positioning in the Next Decade, EU Frontier- Policy Brief No. 23, Center for Europen Neighborhood Studies, Central European University

Book Reviews

Kiss, A (forthcoming), How Socio-Cultural Codes Shaped Violent Mobilization and Pro-Insurgent Support in the Chechen Wars, by Emil Aslan Souleimanov and Huseyn Aliyev, Terrorism and Political Violence

Kiss, A. (2016), State and Legal Practice in the Caucasus. Anthropological Perspectives on Law and Politics, edited by Stéphane Voell and Iwona Kaliszewska, Caucasus Survey, Vol. 4., No. 1, pp. 106-109.

Other Publications

Kiss, A. (2014), Russian view on South Caucasus: a teetering policy of pragmatism, Cultural Relations Quarterly Review, Vol. 1, No. 1, Winter 2014, Institute for Cultural Relations Policy, Budapest.

Kiss, A. (2013), Russia and the South Caucasus: Managing Contradictions. In: Ludvig, Zs. (ed.): Eurasian challenges. Partnerships with Russia and other issues of the post-Soviet Area. Budapest: Research Centre for Economic and Regional Studies of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Institute of World Economics, 2013. pp. 30-72.