Terrorism and radical extremism in the border communities

In big societies the border periphery communities has not only specific economic routes, but and the specific ways of communications. Often these ways and routes are oriented to outside more than to the center, with no relation of ethnic, religious or linguistic composition of the communities. In the periods of social transformations, when the power of center is weak, external links of border communities may be used as the ways for translation of extremist and radical messages, and so the border communities may be a social base for radical extremism and terrorism. Different communities has a different vulnerability toward radical messages depends of social groups it consist, as well as of distribution and dynamics of wellness, production and income, availability, accessibility and applicability of education, diversity of socio-economic conditions, level of socio-ecological security, availability and accessibility of infrastructure. Analyzing multi-source data it is possible to estimate quantitatively every parameter and so to identify key factors of security, as well as social groups producing violent extremism and terrorism and ways to extend radicalization.

Purpose of the project is the study of drivers of violent extremism and radicalism in the border communities under social transformations.

Case study: Donbas region, eastern Ukraine, 2013-2019.

Key research approaches:

  1. Behavioral models aimed to identification of multi- and artificial identity extremist groups based on multi-source data analysis;
  2. Communicative models directed to analysis of messages expanding in differently structured communities, reaction of different groups to radical messages, forming of collective decisions, and producing of destructive, self-destructive, radical and violent behavior;
  3. Geo-statistical models directed to detection and analysis of social, economic and environmental threats, risks and consequences connected with escalation of violent behavior.

Analytic tools used for the study: social network content analysis, narrative analysis, direct interviews with members of illegal armed groups members, stochastic analysis and modeling of the data.

As a result of the study a key groups producing the violence radical behavior and terrorism could be identified; the key messages motivating and mobilizing the radicalism, as well as the ways of its expanding, will be determined and analyzed; the social structure of illegal armed groups and its social base will be identified and analyzed; the key social drivers of terrorism in the border communities under social transformations will be identified and analyzed.


On the comparative analysis of narratives of foreign members of armed groups of the IS and the L/DPR in Syria and Ukraine in 2015-2016


A comparison of narratives of foreign members of armed groups of The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and the Lugansk and Donetsk People’s Republics in Syria and Ukraine collected in 2015-2016 is presented in the paper. Some structural, figurative and lexical features of 83 stories are discussed. Key similarities and anomalies are determined. Ways of information dissemination are detected. Role of narratives is shown. Conclusions are proposed.