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Radio Interview on Chechnya

Friday, April 19, 2013
On The Jim Bohannon Show...

I was interviewed on Jim Bohannon's late night talk show on the "context" of the Boston bombings together with the US army specialist Robert Schaefer. In case you missed it, you can listen to the interview on Jim Bohannon's site or by following the link to Sound Cloud in the box below.
This was the first time I had been interviewed for commercial radio. My co-discussant and I were not given time to say very much because as soon as the discussion seemed to be getting going we were interrupted for a commercial break (though at least we didn't have to hear the ads). After each break the two of us were introduced again at some length for the benefit of any listeners who had just tuned in, further cutting the time for actual discussion.
While my co-discussant and I did agree on some basic points, Mr. Schaefer made one statement that I would have contested had I been given the opportunity. He said that the Chechens had been at war with Russia, on and off, for 300--400 years. In fact, the conflict is hardly 200 years old. Up to the 18th century relations between Russia and the mountain peoples of the North Caucasus were quite peaceful. The mountain peoples saw in Russia a possible protector against the Crimean Khanate and the Ottoman Empire. It was only when Russia started to occupy the region that the roles were reversed.    

The presenter introduced the interview as follows: 

As we came on the air yesterday we were talking about the FBI's release of photographs of the men believed to be responsible for the Boston Marathon bombings. That photo release set off a chain of circumstances that led to a robbery, the killing of an M.I.T. campus security officer, a carjacking, and a firefight, with high-powered weapons and explosives, that led to one of the suspects being killed - and found with an IED strapped to his chest - and the other suspect escaping, triggering a manhunt that basically closed down the seventh largest city in America. The suspects, two brothers whose roots go back to the Russian rebel area of Chechnya, are naturalized U.S. citizens who were granted asylum back in 2001. We will devote the bulk of our program tonight to this still-developing story, in the company of these guests: WBZ/Boston anchor Jeff Brown; authors Robert Schaefer, Stephen Shenfield, and Logan Beirne; and national security analyst Ryan Mauro.


Robert Schaefer

Robert Schaefer is the author of the book "The Insurgency in Chechnya and the North Caucasus: From Gazavat to Jihad" (published by Praeger). He is a highly decorated U.S. Army Special Forces (Green Beret) and Eurasian foreign area officer with extensive experience with counterinsurgency and counterterrorist operations around the world.

Stephen Shenfield
Stephen Shenfield is a British-born specialist on politics and society in Russia and the post-Soviet region. He is an independent researcher and translator whose works on Caucasian affairs are available online at and He is also the author of the 2001 book "Russian Fascism: Traditions, Tendencies, Movements" (in paperback from M.E. Sharpe).

Ryan Mauro
Ryan Mauro is the National Security Analyst for the website His analysis and research is also featured in FrontPage magazine and on the FOX News Channel. In 2003, he founded in order to promote news and analysis he felt needed more exposure. He also became a volunteer researcher for the Reform Party of Syria, a group dedicated to bringing democracy to that country.

Logan Beirne
Attorney Logan Beirne is an Olin Scholar at Yale Law School and author of the book "Blood of Tyrants: George Washington and the Forging of the Presidency" (published by Encounter Books). His work has been published in numerous law journals and cited by the Harvard Law Review. Mr. Beirne is directly descended from Revolutionary War patriots and his family tree includes the "Father of the Constitution," James Madison.

Jeff Brown
Jeff Brown is a reporter and news anchor with WBZ NewsRadio 1030 in Boston, MA.

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