Terrorist attack in St. Petersburg: how and why
Russians have long been living in conditions of a harsh counter-terrorism regime. Given the explosions in a Moscow subway several years ago, huge resources were attracted to protect all cities from other underground bombings. Therefore, in this case, it is completely logical to assume that only a person or organization with direct access to information on counterterrorist measures could perform a terrorist act without getting caught, using tools and methods, which have already been exploited and which the security services have long been fighting. In Russia, there is no other organization than the FSB, which could tip off a perpetrator.
The second point is related to what everyone has agreed on almost unanimously: a period of destabilization caused by public frustration with corruption in the Russian government corruption and economic hardships. At the moment, this socio-political instability is not very obvious. But in order to stop this negative tide from rising, such terrorist attacks could work just fine, to make people’s brains switch on other receptors – first and foremost, those sensing fear. People fearing for their lives tend to forget about any dissatisfaction, choosing that the authorities ensure public order and their safety. Once again, they are inclined to be willing to sacrifice their rights for a sense of security. At the same time, they are less inclined to take to the streets to join some rallies. This fear might even lead to the consolidation of society. Although, it might as well not...
The Kremlin get a new window of opportunities, being tempted to catalyze the negative energy and shift the protest slide beyond Russia, that is, to find an external enemy. Therefore, among most plausible developments that the Russian special services may be plotting is the path of putting a blame for this act of terrorism on Ukrainians. However, if Russia really wants to expose a "Ukrainian trace," some truly irrefutable evidence must be presented.
In Ukraine, we see an almost unanimous reaction in social media - people write that it’s Russian President Vladimir Putin who could stand behind the attack
And, although this is rather unlikely, Kyiv should be ready for any developments.
Anyway, whatever Russian propaganda media may tell about the attack, there is an important caveat: in Ukraine, we see an almost unanimous reaction in social media - people write that it’s Russian President Vladimir Putin who could stand behind the attack. I suggest that in Russian society, such idea may as well grow more common...
Ihor Semyvolos is a director of the Center for Middle East Studies