For all of Russia's loud and idiotic focus on the nonexistent NATO threat in the west, in the south problems loom for Moscow:
“The main type of military threat to Russia is diffused guerrilla operations generated by an explosion of religious extremism, an explosion which would be almost inevitable after a hypothetical failure of one or several of the Central Asian regimes." ...
The analysis concludes that growth of internal tensions in these states could lead to weak governments exporting instability through war, and it recommends Moscow undertake various projects in the former Soviet space to manage the situation. Despite changes in the level of Moscow's involvement in Central Asia due to economic and geopolitical pressures elsewhere, it is to be expected that Russia will continue its range of security, political, and economic relationships with Central Asian states through bilateral and multilateral ties it has been strengthening since the dissolution of Soviet Union.
Terrorism blowing back into Russia and collapsed states from the stresses of jihadi terrorism are threats, the article says.
What the article lacks is any mention of China as a threat to Russia in the region.
China has the money, interest, and power to offer significant help to central Asian states that want to resist jihadi threats. China has an interest in forging trade links to Europe and the Middle East through the "stans," and getting a buffer zone to keep Russia, America (from our activities related to Afghanistan), and Islamism from affecting China's west.
But China remains unnamed. Far safer to pick on Ukraine and bully small western democracies in Russia's western borders than to name China as a threat to Russian territorial integrity of their "near abroad" (and actual territory in the Far East).
Although there are signs that the Russians aren't as blind as their loud bluster against NATO suggests.
Although it is annoying and dangerous to be a prop in what is essentially an effort by Moscow to disguise their appeasement of China.