Russia Faces the Apocalypse
Last Friday, a pair of bombings swept through the Chechen capital of Grozny while the streets were full of people eating their lunch. Each bombing was carried out by a suicide attacker on a bicycle riding up to a police checkpoint. Four more police officers were killed, making a total of sixteen over the course of a week. Add to that the massive car bombing in Nazran, Ingushetia which killed two dozen and injured well over a hundred, and you have a clear picture of apocalypse in Russia.
And that was only the beginning. The same day that the cyclists were doing their bloody work in Grozny, something even more terrifying happened.
Simultaneously, Riyadus Salikhiin — the same group that claimed “credit” for the Beslan school attack and the Dubrovka theater attack — posted a statement on the Kavkaz Centre website taking responsiblity for the explosion which rocked the Sayano-Shushenskaya hydroelectric plant in Siberia, killing more than 60 people and and shutting down electric power throughout the region. In response, an anonymous Kremlin spokesperson told Reuters: “We are not going to comment on idiotic claims.”
So let’s see if we understand. The Kremlin has no idea what did cause the explosion at the plant, and it is sure that Chechen rebels bombed two apartment buildings in Moscow in September 1999 even though they denied it, sure enough to invade Chechnya in response, yet is is “idiotic” to consider the possibility that the rebels bombed a dam in Siberia?
These are the statements of a regime that has lost control over separatist violence and is panicking, faced with the ultimate apocalypse. During the swagger of the Putin “presidency,” Russia would not have hesitated to blame Chechnya for the dam explosion and crack down on the rebels regardless of whether they denied it or not. But now, the Kremlin sees the entire Caucasus region in flames, and it is afraid. Very afraid. Russia long ago lost control over Chechnya, and now the separatist violence, fueled by the Kremlin’s crazed policy of recognizing separatism in Ossetia and Abkhazia, is spreading throughout the Caucasus region.