Despite the lukewarm relations at the best of times, it has been a geopolitical touchstone that Russia and the US could at least serve together as counter-terrorism partners.
But, as Michael Weiss reports in the Daily Beast, there is increasing evidence that Moscow may be helping to facilitate Islamic extremism in the Micdle East.
Moscow has faced a problem with Islamic extremism since a failed war of independence in Russia’s Chechnya in the Caucasus failed in the 1990s.
During the two brutal wars in the region, Chechens became increasingly militant as fighters from across the Arab world and Afghanistan poured in to fight the Russians. Today, Chechnya exists as a semi-autonomous state in Russia that continues to exist as a hotbed of religious and separatist sentiment.