Statistical distribution of instrumental seismicity in the Baikal rift system was used to outline persistent earthquake clusters which together make up a zone of lithospheric failure existing as a single active seismic and tectonic unit. Large earthquakes regularly delineate its axis and the pattern of smaller events is controlled by its separate fragments. Earthquake sources show space and time oscillations along and across the strike of damage zones around the failure zone and its fragments. Earthquake migration and the hierarchic association of events of different magnitudes with active faults reflect the general features of faulting in the rifted lithosphere. Faulting-seismicity interaction is approached at comparable scales of lithospheric failure as rare large events mark the evolution of the whole active unit and more frequent smaller earthquakes record processes in its subunits. Time-dependent migration of earlier large events along the axis of the failure zone thus can be a guide to predict large earthquakes in the region, and smaller events can be predicted proceeding from the patterns of comparable seismicity within zone fragments. The available collection of data is extensive enough to approach new composite tectonophysical modeling of seismicity accompanying lithospheric failure in different geodynamic environments. These models will open up new avenues in medium-term earthquake prediction on the geological and geophysical basis.

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