Once it was Chechnya, today it is the republic of Dagestan on the Caspian Sea that is the most explosive place in Russia – and in Europe. There are bomb attacks almost daily, shootouts between police and militants, tales of torture and of people going missing.
Two armed men in camouflage holding Kalashnikov rifles enter the shop and tell the customers to leave. The terrified cashier stumbles past as one of the men puts a bomb on the counter and sets the timer.
He does not bother emptying the till, he just walks out of the door.
Seconds later, the shop is filled with smoke.
Attacks like this one caught on supermarket security cameras – in which Islamic fighters punish shops that sell alcohol – have become routine events in Dagestan’s capital, Makhachkala.
The owners typically get a warning first, often delivered by text message, or on a USB memory stick thrown through car windows, or into a letterbox.