United Civil Front on Metro Bombings: Don’t Believe Putin

Logo of the United Civil Front. Source: Rufront.ruThe United Civil Front, a Russian pro-democracy social movement lead by Garry Kasparov, has issued a statement in response to Monday’s bombings on the Moscow metro. The attacks were the worst the city has seen in six years, leaving at least 39 dead and wounding more than 100. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin quickly promised “to destroy the terrorists,” and reports surfaced late Wednesday that Chechen rebel leader Doku Umarov has taken responsibility for the attacks.

The government has come under criticism from an uncharacteristically wide range of sources for failing to live up to its promises to protect its citizens. Rights activists and oppositionists fear that the government will use the attacks as an excuse to impose further infringements on civil liberties, as has been the pattern over the past ten years.

Don’t Believe Putin
March 31, 2010


The issue of citizen safety has once again become as sharp as ever before. However, the safety of Russia’s citizens has not depended on the citizens themselves for already the past ten years. The political regime established in Russia does not allow Russian citizens to influence the government through lawful means – with elections for local and federal authorities. As a result of the destruction of democratic freedoms, those very institutions of power have been destroyed, including the independent courts and the police.

The tragic events that occurred in Moscow on March 29, 2010, could be appropriated by the current government for an even larger infringement of the rights and freedoms of citizens of the Russian Federation. The apartment bombings in Moscow, Buynaksk, and Volgodonsk in the fall of 1999 triggered the beginning of a second military campaign in Chechnya and immediately provided Vladimir Putin with the necessary ratings for victory in the 2000 presidential elections. As a result of the terrorist attacks in the Dubrovka Theater in October 2002 and in Beslan in September 2004, elections for governors and regional leaders in Russia were abolished.

And today, after the events of March 29 in Moscow, it is obvious that these measures did not increase the safety of Russia’s citizens in the least. Regardless of the loud proclamations sounded over the course of the ten years of Vladimir Putin’s rule, neither he nor his team has succeeded in coping with terrorism on the territory of the Russian Federation. All of the pathos-laden talk about the necessity to reform the security agencies rings as hollow as ever before.

Instead of providing safety to the residents of Moscow and other Russian cities, the security forces have spent these years breaking up peaceful demonstrations of discontent where the government’s actions, including the failed federal policies in the Caucasus, are criticized.

Therefore, we call upon our compatriots not to succumb to the provocations organized by the Russian intelligence agencies, and not to forget the main cause of the troubles that have befallen our country. Any announcements by the government about the tightening of any kind of regulations on public order or attempts by Kremlin-controlled media outlets to distract citizens from the essence of the problem should be taken as the Putin regime’s routine bloody publicity spin. But all of this already happened at the beginning of the last decade. Now the time has come for society to fight against terrorism and the political extremism of the government.

Translation by theOtherRussia.org.