Designation of the Russian Federation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism: Meeting the “Club of Villains” Criteria

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Connections: The Quarterly Journal, Volume 21, Issue 4, p.29-46 (2022)


aggression, conflict, full-scale invasion, Russia, Russian Federation, state sponsor of terrorism, Terrorism, terrorist state, Ukraine, war


The article analyzes the primary reasons for designating the Russian Federation as a state sponsor of terrorism. The issue gained prominence with the full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022—the largest and deadliest armed conflict in Europe since World War II—challenging the unity of the Collective West and the global security system. The vision of a peaceful and prosperous European space from Lisbon to Vladivostok has been permanently shattered.
To achieve its geopolitical objectives, Russia has been involved in numerous armed conflicts since 1991, such as in Georgia, Tajikistan, Chechnya, and now Ukraine, orchestrated operations on the soil of other states, and supported terrorist organizations. Aspiring to be a superpower in the aftermath of the USSR, Russia has utilized hybrid warfare instruments for decades to undermine democracies globally and maintain influence over former Soviet republics. Some of its actions can be classified as terrorism, support for terrorism, ethnocide, or genocide.
This article explores the criteria for including countries in the US list of state sponsors of terrorism and compares them with the activities of the Russian Federation. It provides evidence that Russia qualifies for inclusion in the list, although the US still hesitates to designate it as a state sponsor of terrorism or a terrorist state/regime.

Last updated: Tuesday, 28 May 2024