Solidarity Releases Statement on Moscow Metro Attacks

Scene outside of a Moscow metro station after a suicide attack. Source: Denis Sinyakov/ReutersTwo suicide bombers have killed at least 38 people and injured more than 70 in separate attacks on the Moscow metro during the Monday morning rush hour. Russia’s Federal Security Services have labeled the attack as an act of terrorism and suspect insurgents linked to the volatile North Caucasus region to be responsible for the incidents. Both attacks were carried out in high-traffic metro stations – one at Park Kultury and another at Lubyanka, located directly underneath Russia’s federal security headquarters.

The attacks are the deadliest Moscow has seen since 2004, when a suicide bomber killed 10 people outside the metro station Rizhskaya. The most recent attack elsewhere in the country occurred late last November, when 26 people were killed in the Nevsky Express train bombing between Moscow and St. Petersburg. Russian officials confirmed on March 6 that a security operation had been carried out a few days earlier in the North Caucasian headquarters of an Islamic extremist group it claims was responsible for the attack, killing its top leader and a number of others militants. Some media reports are speculating that Monday’s attacks could be retaliation for this and other recent deadly Russian operations in the area.

The opposition movement Solidarity has issued a statement regarding the bombings in Moscow.

Statement by the bureau of Solidarity in connection with the terrorist attacks in Moscow

We in the Solidarity movement express our condolences to the relatives and close ones of those killed as a result of the utterly cruel terrorist acts in the Moscow Metro, and wish a safe recovery to those wounded. Right now, they are the ones suffering most of all.

According to media reports from Russian intelligence agencies, the terrorist suicide bombers were Caucasian immigrants and followers of Islamic extremist organizations. Islamic extremism has flourished in the Caucasus as a result of unresolved problems in the Caucasus. As a consequence, the number of terrorist acts in the country has risen 50 percent in just the past half-year.

Solidarity takes note of the failure of the Russian government’s policy in the Caucasus. The vigorous announcements by the Kremlin and intelligence agencies about the destruction of this or that militant should fool no one. While Putin’s regime remains supported by corrupt thugs in the Caucasian republics, the number of terrorist acts will continue to rise, and we will constantly feel that we are in danger.

This problem will not be resolved without a change in policy towards the Caucasus. Obviously, the security agencies, whose financing has increased ten times over in the past ten years, have turned out to be unprepared for the fight against terrorism even right next to FSB headquarters.

After the 1999 Moscow apartment bombings, Putin vowed “to flush all the terrorists down the toilet” and thereby won over the support of the entire nation. In the forefront of the war on terror, he became president. Under the guise of the war on extremism, he imposed censorship throughout the country, abolished gubernatorial elections, and turned all other elections into a farce.

The sorrowful result – terrorists, outfitted with suicide bombs, work their way unchecked into the center of Moscow and blow up the metro.

We know that in discussions on the fight against terrorism, there will be an increase in repression and pressure on the opposition and hatred towards Caucasians will be propagated. However, neither of these things will solve the problem. The problem will be solved with a change in policy and a return to the rule of law, civil rights, and constitutional order.

After today’s terrorist acts in Moscow, Medvedev has an obligation to dismiss those responsible for the failure of anti-terrorist activities and policy in the Caucasus in their entirety: Vladimir Putin, Aleksandr Bortnikov, and Rashid Nurgaliyev.

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For more information on the March 29 Moscow metro bombings:

• New York Times: Subway Blasts Kill Dozens in Moscow
• Radio Free Liberty/Radio Europe: FSB Suspects North Caucasus Link In Deadly Moscow Bombings
• Life News: Photo gallery of bombings and aftermath
List of those killed in the attacks (in Russian)