Explaining the Terrorist Attacks in Moscow

The blast at an arrival hall at Domodedovo Airport serving Moscow was a suicide attack, officials say. They say they are looking for three Chechen men in connection with the attack, but probably this time the tragedy cannot be explained simply by the separatist tendencies in Caucasus.

Flowers in memory of those killed in a blast at Moscow's airport

A suicide bomber slipped into a crowd waiting for international passengers arriving at Moscow’s newest and busiest airport, setting off a huge blast that killed 35 people and highlighted another weak spot in security for global air travelers. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the bombing, which also wounded about 130 people, Los Angeles Times reported.

The  bomb was packed “full of metal pieces” and had the force of between 15 and 22 pounds of TNT, a source in the Russian Investigation Committee told the state-run RIA Novosti news agency.

Russia President Dmitry Medvedev ordered special security measures at airports and other transportation centers.

Several interpretations could be given to any terrorist act – but what is clear is that a terrorist attack is a political action aimed at achieving a particular purpose.

In the past Russia has suffered repeated attacks by terrorists from the Caucasus region. Russia has fought two wars against separatists in Chechnya and other republics there, and though the military campaign has largely ended, sporadic violence continues.

However, terrorists always try to take the blame for the attacks, because such events show the ‘seriousness’ of their intentions and make organizations more famous for their activity. One of Chechen separatist leaders Khadyrov stated he had nothing to do with the attack.
Moreover, analysis of the discussions on the Caucasus forums shows that the attack was met with bewilderment.

One more thing should be paid attention too. The West used to criticize Russia for the actions in Chechnya. Therefore, it would be very foolish to kill the citizens of Britain, Germany and France. As well as a large number of Muslim Tajiks, who arrived on a flight from Dushanbe.

However, the upcoming elections in Russia are seen by some people as a possible reason for the attack. Some people also say the attack could be organized to distract people from the problems caused by the financial crisis. For sure, one can forget anything when it is dangerous to go outside.

According to Yuri Romanenko from the Center of Political Analysis, this attack shows the weakness of a state leader. The case created a lot of problems for Dmitry Medvedev who sees the modernization of Russia and investment attraction as one of the main goals. He will also have to face the world’s elite soon during the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos that will take place on Jan. 26-30, 2011. The attack obviously undermined the image of the country.

Technically you can find arguments to prove that Putin is somehow connected with the attacks. He could possibly use the attacks to consolidate the elites in his favor. The event discredits Medvedev in front of the West (although it has been seen that the United States and other Western nations have expressed unequivocal support for Russia). It could return Putin the status of the only “effective manager” in Russia. But against this version there is a fact that Russian society today looks somewhat different than before.

The election is still quite far away in 2012.  And also, more than 10 years ago Putin promised to pursue the terrorists everywhere. He said they will “soaked them [terrorists] in a toilet.” And this event looks bad on him as a leader who keeps his word.

Actions of anonymous terrorists could slowly and steadily push the Russians to become less tolerant. Recent nationalist clashes prove this point.

The terrorists systematically create negative agenda. There is no hope, no stability. Hatred can generate only more hatred.

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