Well, it’s come to this. Russia has launched a violent attack on a McDonald’s restaurant, lumping itself once and for all in with the crazed banana republics of the world whose cowardly denizens lack the guts to confront the American military (or any target that can defend itself) and so like the pathetic little worms they are launch attacks on defenseless commercial establishments. Can it be a coincidence that this attack follows so closely on the heels of “President” Putin’s crazed vitriolic attack on the U.S. in Munich? One thing is for sure: You can’t say LR didn’t try to warn you. Reuter’s reports:
Russian police investigating an explosion at a McDonalds restaurant in St Petersburg doubt it was an act of terrorism, media reported on Monday. The Sunday night explosion injured six people and rekindled memories of a wave of attacks by Chechen separatists across Russia in the 1990s. But there have been no big attacks outside the Caucasus region for more than two years and a St Petersburg police spokesman said there was no immediate reasons to believe that the McDonald’s bomb was one of those. “At the moment the main priority version is hooliganism,” the spokesman told Interfax news agency. Police have said they were checking other McDonald’s restaurants in St Petersburg for explosives. City prosecutor Sergei Zaitsev said late on Sunday the explosion at the outlet on Nevsky Prospect, the city’s main thoroughfare, had been caused by an unidentified substance.
“Hooliganism”? What would Russians say if a Russia-identified target of this kind was attacked in Chechnya? Would it still be “hooliganism”? It’s obvious that the most likely explanation is either a violent act of anti-Americanism (confirming Russia’s deep-seated hatred of the West) or an act of terrorism connected with Chechnya (confirming Russia’s inability to pacify the breakaway republic), yet the Kremlin chooses to attempt to pass it off as “hooliganism” as if the outside world consists of nothing but witless fools.
The Moscow Times has more (including a picture of the scene, at right):
A bomb exploded late Sunday in a McDonald’s restaurant in central St. Petersburg, injuring six people in what St. Petersburg Governor Valentina Matviyenko called a “monstrous act of vandalism.” The explosive device was hidden under a seat at the restaurant on the city’s main street, Nevsky Prospekt, Yulia Denisova, a city prosecutors’ spokeswoman, said Monday. The bomb was detonated shortly after 8 p.m., she said.
Five women and one man, a German tourist, were hospitalized with various burns and injuries, Denisova said. “The German tourist and three of the women were treated and released, and the others are in stable condition,” she said. Prosecutors are classifying the crime as attempted murder on two or more persons.
As of Monday, no suspects had been detained, Denisova said. She declined to give further details about the attack, citing the ongoing investigation. St. Petersburg police could not be reached for comment. The explosion has left many in the city on edge. Some of the country’s most notorious terrorist attacks have been preceded by smaller scale, though deadly, explosions, including a 2002 blast at a McDonald’s restaurant in Moscow. Five Chechen men were convicted in 2004 in Moscow City Court for the October 2002 car bombing outside the McDonald’s restaurant near Moscow’s Yugo-Zapadanaya metro station, in the southwest part of the city. That attack left one person dead. Prosecutors called the blast part of a series of attacks planned by Chechen rebels. Those attacks culminated with the seizure of hundreds of hostages at the Dubrovka Theater, four days after the McDonald’s explosion.
Another series of attacks in 2004 began with a small bus stop bombing on Kashirskoye Shosse, in Moscow, and ended with the three-day Beslan school siege that left hundreds of people dead, most of them children. Chechen warlord Shamil Basayev took credit for those attacks.
Speaking at a news conference Monday, Matviyenko said there was no evidence, to date, pointing to an “organized campaign. Most likely it was the work of extremist hooligans,” she added, Interfax reported.
Vadim Tyulpanov, speaker of St. Petersburg’s Legislative Assembly, told Interfax that the blast could have been an attempt to destabilize the city ahead of regional elections next month. Emergency Situations Minister Sergei Shoigu said Monday that police officers inspected all McDonald’s restaurants in the city following the blast. Shoigu said a timely and coordinated response by rescue workers helped prevent a fire from breaking out, Interfax reported. The blast victims included two girls, aged 16 and 17, and three women, aged 19, 25 and 46, Fontanka.ru reported. The German tourist injured in the explosion was 38, the web site said.