Initially, I wanted to make a series of stories about how Russia, which as it seemed to its citizens 21 years ago would be a free country, was gradually turning into the largest autocracy on the planet Earth (territorially). However, conducting daily monitoring, I noticed an interesting comment from an expert on the topic of explosions of residential buildings in Russian cities (Buinaksk, Moscow and Volgodonsk) on September 4-16, 1999. This period can be called the beginning of the building of autocracy in Russia. It was they, directly or indirectly, that brought Vladimir Putin to power in Russia.
To begin with, it should be said that the majority of the population of Russia lives in multistory buildings, therefore the explosions in the houses in the fall of 1999 caused a total panic. You can find information about the characteristics of terrorist attacks in almost any language and in many sources, so we will not get focused on this specifically. We are more interested in the reaction of the people, and one thing I can say for sure is that even I was only 5 years old at that time, I remember the panic of my parents, who watched the news about this on TV with very frightened eyes. Public interest in this topic was once again awakened by the investigation of Russian journalist Alexei Pivovarov about explosions. The investigation leaves a huge number of questions unanswered. The most important question – Are the Russian special services the culprit of the terrorist attacks that took place in the fall of 1999?
Why are we asking such a terrible question? Let’s study those moments from the investigation that give rise to the greatest doubts in the official version.
As his opening remarks, the journalist says that he has never received so many rejections to talk. It should be noted that the Chechen terrorists accused of the explosions of these buildings did not admit their responsibility.
On September 13, 1999, when speaking at a meeting of the State Duma Council, Gennady Seleznev (at that time the Speaker of the State Duma and a member of the Russian Security Council) made the following speech: “Dear colleagues, let us begin our meeting by honoring the memory of all those killed in Moscow and Dagestan. Here is another report from Rostov-on-Don that a residential building in the city of Volgodonsk was blown up tonight”. There is no video recordings of this particular case, but a transcript of this speech, as well as video recordings of subsequent accusations of Seleznev by the State Duma deputies, have been preserved. The thing is that the explosion itself did not occur on September 13, but on September 16. When Mr. Seleznev was asked how did he know about the upcoming explosion in 3 days, he replied that he was provided with information about possible terrorist acts, and then, by ominous chance, this information became reality. (WHAT?)
After the Moscow explosions, something stunning happens in Ryazan on September 22. People all over the country after the terrorist attacks in Moscow are in panic and are constantly on the alert. On the evening of September 22, the most ordinary bus driver, entering the entrance of his house, notices three suspicious people who carry suspicious bags into the basement of the building. He called the police. The police arrived and found a detonator on these bags. Later, experts will confirm that it was the same explosive that was used in previous attacks. Two days later, the FSB bosses claim that it was an exercise, and three suspicious people are officers of the Moscow FSB. The Ryazan journalist also claimed that she had caught telephone conversations between supposedly one of those 3 individuals and someone who advised them how to get out of the city with the announced plan of interception by the Ryazan police. Later it was found out that the phone numbers that participated in this conversation belonged to the automatic telephone station of the FSB of Russia.
The FSB, in addition to claiming that it was an exercise, also claimed that the bags contained sugar (!). However, in the initial examination, when the FSB had not yet announced that it was an exercise, it was indicated that the explosive substance is RDX. In order to find out the truth, the journalists tried to contact the expert who carried out that very examination. He refused to be interviewed. The FSB director, who said it was an exercise and the bags contained sugar, refused to be interviewed either.
Noteworthy information: Alexander Litvinenko, who is the co-author of the book “The FSB Blows Up Russia”, was poisoned in 2006.
All these things are rather circumstantial evidence. However, last week, expert economist Vladimir Milov, during his weekly program “Where is the money?” on the Youtube channel, bulk live conducted a survey of viewers’ opinions on this matter. The question was: “Can the Russian special services be behind the 1999 explosions in Moscow?” 87.8% chose the option “can”, only 12.2% chose the option “cannot”. It must be admitted that this is a rather opposition-minded audience, but the attitude towards this problem has really changed over the past 21 years.
Vladimir Milov at that time was an official in the management of the Federal Energy Commission and believes that more attention should be paid to the political context of the events that took place then. The main question was that in a few months the presidential elections were to take place. And Yeltsin’s team (represented by Putin) had very bad chances according to all forecasts.
Putin started his election campaign by saying that he wanted to solve the problem with terrorists in Chechnya. After the First Chechen war, no one wanted to start a second one. This is very important to understand. How can you say that you will solve the problem with terrorists in Chechnya without starting a war? Due to the geographical and political peculiarities in Chechnya itself, it was simply impossible. Putin was very weak. He had very few prospects with such rhetoric. This can be vividly illustrated by the vote on his approval for the Prime Minister position in the State Duma, which took place on August 16, 1999. The weakest result in history for an approved prime minister, it was only 232 votes (51.5%, only one and a half percent less, and he wouldn’t have been approved). However, after a series of terrorist attacks that horrified the entire country, Putin’s rating rose sharply. According to the sociological service Levada-Center (very loyal to the Kremlin), Putin’s rating in August 1999 was only 33%, in October – 65%. And that’s pretty understandable. There is a nondescript person who speaks in warlike rhetoric, and at first you do not support him, but then a terrorist attack occurs in your country, because of which you cannot sleep well. Conveniently.
Vladimir Milov also draws our attention to those 2 days of silence on the part of the FSB during the Ryazan incident. Then he and his colleagues discussed the possibility of the involvement of the special services. As you know, the Russian special services are famous for their “professionalism”. In the circles of officials it was clear that if the special services were involved in this, then sooner or later they would make a mistake, which would be found. Vladimir Milov considers that the incident with the Ryazan “sugar” was precisely this mistake. According to his words, now after 21 years, we underestimate those two days of silence on the part of the FSB, and the explanations that followed after them. In my opinion, it really looks more like the exercise and “sugar” statements were not looking like the truth, but akin to the silence of a child who comes up with an excuse before confessing to his wrongdoing.
Also, Vladimir Milov draws our attention to the difference in the tactics of terrorists in other attacks and explosions in Moscow. The favorite tactic of terrorists was taking hostages, stretching the terrorist attack in time to intimidate and obtain a platform for negotiations, surrounded by public outcry. Such examples are the terrorist attack in “Nord-Ost” and the seizure of a school in Beslan. In the case of the demolition of residential buildings, everything was different. Such cases did not recur either before or after Putin’s rating soared in the fall of 1999. Except for two cases, where the name of Maxim Lazovsky appeared, who was involved in the explosions of a trolleybus and diesel locomotive in 1994. Maxim Lazovsky claimed that these explosions were the order of the special services, and he himself is their representative. These explosions accompanied the beginning of the First Chechen War…
We know that poisoning is one of the most effective methods of dealing with dissent in Russia. I will write a separate article on political poisoning in Russia, now I need to mention Yuri Shchekochikhin.
Yuri Shchekochikhin was a State Duma deputy who tried to awaken a public outcry around this topic and conduct an independent investigation. He tried to create an independent parliamentary commission twice. Both times he received refusals. It should be noted that the State Duma and its committees at that time were mostly controlled by people from law enforcement agencies and special services. Perhaps, this is the reason for those failures to create an independent parliamentary commission. But more questions arise because of the method of murder of Yuri Shchekochikhin – this is poisoning with an unknown substance.
At the end of his commentary on this topic, Vladimir Milov explains why he believes that the FSB’s involvement in these explosions was not and could not have been investigated specifically then. The fact is that the very idea that the country’s special services could kill hundreds of their fellow citizens in order to increase the rating of one person seemed unthinkable. It was the fact that it seemed too inhuman even for Russia that then closed people’s eyes. But now we have 21 years of autocracy behind us. And after the Crimea, Donbass, Syria, the downed Malaysian Boeing, and many other stories, we can look at it from the point from which it might be needed in order to see the truth.
I promised to write articles from the point of view of ordinary people and bring their thoughts and stories. And I will add a comment on that.
When I was 16 (or maybe 17) years old I was very friendly with my classmate. We were both pretty politicized teenagers. Once we talked with him about this topic, I was very patriotic and could not believe that the FSB was involved in such terrible things. No matter how many arguments I gave for my position, he had only one, completely destroying all my arguments. His uncle served in the Headquarters of the FSB of Russia. And once my friend asked him directly about the fact, if his uncle believes, that the Russian special services were behind the attack. His uncle told my classmate that it’s better not to know the truth about it.
While I am writing this article, in the next room lies my not walking grandmother, who is watching TV. I hear the report of the First Channel, the main propaganda instrument in Russia. They still use the subject of the explosions of residential buildings as something to keep the people worried and calm about the huge government spending on the law enforcement system. Therefore, they periodically make such reports – this one was about the averted explosions of residential buildings in the Volgograd region.
Although I try to see the truth where others do not see it, but I am the same person as others. And for me, the thought of the involvement of the special services of my country in the murder of their own people is terrifying. But this has happened many times in the history of my country. And isn’t this happening right now? Falsification of statistics to maintain the rating of the losing popularity of the government, because of which an irresponsible attitude towards the pandemic was awakened in the Russian people, which ultimately leads to tens of thousands of deaths? Lack of material support during a pandemic, which led to dire economic consequences, due to which people are destitute and commit suicide? Political poisoning, the war in Syria, the war on the territory of Ukraine – all this is done only in order to retain the power of one person.
Criminal proceedings in the case of explosions of residential buildings are classified, the case materials have the status of state secrets.