Moscow State University student Varvara Karaulova sits inside a defendants' cage during a hearing at Moscow's District Military Court on October 13, 2016. AFP / VASILY MAXIMOV
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Police in bullet-proof vests guard a military court for the terrorism trial of Varvara Karaulova, a slim 20-year-old with braided hair who clutches a page of handwritten notes. Karaulova was studying philosophy at the renowned Moscow State University when she tried to enter Syria last year after falling in love online with a Daesh (ISIS) fighter.A large number of the foreign fighters with Daesh in Syria are from Russia, and Moscow claims 2,700 of its nationals and citizens from other ex-Soviet republics have been killed in the anti-Daesh operation.As an ethnic Russian woman from a privileged background, Karaulova is a rarity.The prosecution is using other women who tried to reach Syria along with Karaulova as witnesses – but they remain at liberty.Wearing a hijab, one woman, Regina Velimetova, spoke via video link from Dagestan's Supreme Court.She recalled traveling to the Turkish border with Karaulova.
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