Kaspiysk: Retribution or Provocation?

Date: May 13, 2002
Source: Prima News agency


34 dead, 135 injured, such is the terrible toll of the May 9 act of terror in Kaspiysk. And what makes these figures even more dreadful is 12 of the killed were children. As it's always the case, innocent people are paying for someone else crimes and political ambitions.

This time the Kremlin has refrained from rash accusations against the Chechen rebels. And though Chechnya's retribution for the Russian military's abuse and violence in Chechnya is the first thing that comes to one's mind, there are still two versions of the terrorist act.

Until now Chechen rebels have not been caught in any terrorist acts against civilians. Unlike Russian federal forces, Chechen rebels stand against the Russian army. It would be foolish to expect that such unthinkable cruelty of Russian federals towards old and young alike in Chechnya would not turn some day against Russians. The monstrous logic of the war has it that that apart from other things cruelty and war crimes gradually become symmetrical; eventually both sides of the conflict begin using one and the same methods irrespective of which party of the conflict was originally righteous and which, wrong. In any prolonged war murderous acts tend to become a common practice for all warring parties. One could only wonder that Chechen rebels have not yet brought down their revenge on Russian civilians who - in their overwhelming majority look with indifference at the extermination of the Chechen people. Could it mean that their patience has finally come to an end, and lust for revenge has pushed into the background all moral principles and has driven them to embark on the path of appalling crimes? Same kind of crimes which thousands of Chechens are experiencing every day in their homeland.

However, there is another theory. The Kremlin has not yet responded to public accusations of masterminding the 1999 apartment explosions in Moscow and Volgodonsk. There are too many things that point to the Russian Federal Security Service, or FSB, complicity in those blasts. Could the May 9 terrorist act be a continuation of this practice? Perhaps nothing does more to fuel this suspicion than the mere fact that in Kaspiysk the bomb had been planted at the border of the road taken by the military parade on the days of tight police security. It may point either to complete heedlessness of law enforcement or to their deliberate inattention to a possibility of terrorist acts. In 1999, the apartment explosions were followed by the Russian army's incursion into Chechnya. What will happen this time?


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