Who blows up Russia: versions from ISIS and Ukrainian radicals to ''repulsive opposition''

Are the incidents in Saint-Petersburg, Rostov-on-Don and Astrakhan links in the chain and whether we can rely on the security services?

Who blows up Russia: versions from ISIS and Ukrainian radicals to ''repulsive opposition'' Photo: tvc.ru

An explosion took place in Rostov-on-Don on 6 April in the morning: a homemade device disguised as a flashlight detonated in the hands of a man. The investigators have not classified the incident as a terrorist attack yet. But the explosion in the St. Petersburg subway, and the attack on employees of the Russian Guard in Astrakhan, and again the detection of explosives in a house of St. Petersburg… If these three tragedies did not happen with the difference in a couple of days, no one would link them. There is no consensus among politicians and social activists on who could be behind all of these events. For example, a political scientist Aleksey Mukhin has found a Ukrainian trace, a journalist Orkhan Dzhemal — of ISIS (banned in Russia). Whether they could be the links in the chain, and most importantly — what ordinary people can do and whether they can rely on the security services, read in the article of Realnoe Vremya.

Big group with analytical apparatus

Experts believe, the attack in Saint-Petersburg was designed primarily against Vladimir Putin, who was in the Northern capital at this moment. Not against his ''body'' — do not take everything literally, but against the foreign policy being pursued by Russia. A political scientist, Director General of the Center for political information Aleksey Mukhin believes that the action has been planned a long time ago and very carefully.

''This event was organised by a group with analytical apparatus. You shouldn't think that it is a lone terrorist who made an explosive device on his knee. It is primarily ISIS under suspicion, of course, and, oddly enough, intelligence agencies of a foreign state that has declared war against Russia. Have I hinted strongly enough?'' said Aleksey Mukhin.

To the question whether he meant Ukraine, Aleksey Mukhin answered affirmatively. However, ISIS is also not excluded.

Aleksey Mukhin: ''Nationalist battalions, as it turned out, fairly well cooperate with ISIS and, in this regard, the situation is more tragic than one can imagine.'' Photo: m24.ru

''But the peculiarity of the situation is that one thing does not necessarily preclude the other. Nationalist battalions, as it turned out, fairly well cooperate with ISIS and, in this regard, the situation is more tragic than one can imagine,'' said Mukhin.

Lieutenant-General of the police, member of the Presidium of the Russian public organisation ''Officers of Russia'' Aleksandr Mikhailov does not rule out the Ukrainian trace in the events of the past days in Russia. However, after the investigators revealed details of the attack, he hesitated:

''After the identity of the terrorist has been revealed, I am less inclined to believe that there is a connection with Ukraine. But immediately after the explosion, I had such assumptions and they were based on the fact that the representatives of Ukraine at a high level spoke about the need of transfer of the terrorist threat on the territory of Russia. The former Defense Minister [of Ukraine] has said that it is necessary to send reconnaissance and sabotage groups and destroy the Russian people. At that time, I had such assumptions. Now I have another version, although the process of investigating of this kind of emergency can have an unpredictable character and there can come up a story which no one expects,'' said Aleksandr Mikhailov.

Repulsive opposition and ISIS

On the question who benefits from sowing fear, arranging attacks, Mikhailov says that there are many enemies, for example, even ''repulsive opposition''.

''Who is rubbing their hands and rejoicing that struck Putin once again. But on the other hand, we understand that such actions on the part of radical Islamists have become usual,'' says Aleksandr Mikhailov.

Orkhan Dzhemal: ''If it is really ISIS, it is clear that if we had not intervened in September 2015 in the Syrian situation, such attacks such as the shot plane over Sinai would not have happened.'' Photo: vk.com/mahallah

A journalist Orkhan Dzhemal, the son of famous philosopher Geydar Dzhemal, has the unequivocal position — ISIS and no one else. Dzhemal Jr. has put the plane crash over Sinai in October 2015 in one chain.

''The suspicion number one falls on ISIS (Islamic state banned in Russia — editor's note) and this is a disaster because, strictly speaking, Russia has been a victim of various attacks, but not all of these blows should be attracted. If it is really ISIS, it is clear that if we had not intervened in September 2015 in the Syrian situation, such attacks such as the shot plane over Sinai would not have happened. And then the question arises: if not just mercenaries and private military, who went to Syria to volunteer – it is a separate issue, but also ordinary people, who have nothing to do with this decision, start to pay for this it, it is unclear what benefit do we gain by bringing sacrifices of this kind,'' says Orkhan Dzhemal.

Dzhemal calls the version of other experts associated with Ukraine as ''extorted''.

''Theoretically, it is possible to see a Ukrainian trace in the young Kyrgyz guy who exploded in the St. Petersburg metro but it is difficult,'' said Dzhemal Jr.

Cancer cells of terrorism

The explosion in the subway, the attack on fighters of the Russian Guard in Astrakhan, now the explosion near a school in Rostov-on-Don, and again the detection of explosives in an apartment in St. Petersburg — whether all these events can be links in one chain or we shouldn't look for a large-scale terrorist conspiracy against Russia? Experts interviewed by Realnoe Vremya have not given a definite answer to this question.

''We don't know, but as soon as it happened in close succession — now Rostov, three days ago St. Petersburg, we can assume that they are linked, and we allow the idea that it is one coherent force. The fact that the events occurred in unison allows us suggest a premeditated and coordinated character of this action,'' said Orkhan Dzhemal.

Aleksandr Mikhailov: ''The main task — not to fight only terrorism itself but also to eliminate cause-effect relationships on the basis of which these positions emerged.'' Photo: oficery.ru

Aleksandr Mikhailov doubts that the customer is one and the same, but common roots, he believes, one way or another lead to ISIS.

''ISIS is a radical Islam, an ideology, a system of worldviews, and not only a fighter but a person who has nothing to do with this can have them. But he is a carrier of ideology, and if these attitudes fall on his relationships in society, then they, like cancer cells, may not manifest themselves at first, but then begin to grow, and we deal with a terrorist act. The main task — not to fight only terrorism itself but also to eliminate cause-effect relationships on the basis of which these positions emerged,'' says the General-Lieutenant in resignation.

A political scientist and social activist, President of the Center for public policy research Aleksey Makhlay also does not link the incidents in Saint-Petersburg and Rostov.

''In Saint-Petersburg, a quite nasty thing is that there was the meeting of Putin and Lukashenko — it was designed against that meeting. The incident in Rostov was designed against children, a janitor accidentally became a victim of this event,'' says Makhlay.

A peaceful and good life is not expected

Ordinary citizens are much less interested in who is behind the attack than why the security services were unable to prevent it and whether they can feel safe. The president of the Center for public policy research Aleksey Makhlay decided not to instil a false tranquillity.

''We should not expect a good and peaceful life in the near future. We have slightly calmed down slightly in some degree that we have pushed the evil away from our borders. But what happened in Russia was expected. We can't be isolated and we are part of Europe — France, Germany, England, and now Russia,'' says Makhlay, recalling the recent terrorist attacks in European capitals.

Aleksey Makhlay: ''It is necessary to stop this laxity in the subway, in houses, because police are not everywhere.'' Photo: anocopi.ru

He does not see perpetrators among ISIS or other states, he called the main cause a ''disorder of the bodies'', which overlooked the fact with what purpose guests from neighbouring countries come to Russia. Since there is no hope for the ''authorities'', he urged the citizens to be careful.

''Much depends on us, ordinary citizens: we rent housing and we have little interest in what is happening, we received the money and that's it. When there were bombings, we were on duty, gathered, asked if someone came by, we asked: ''Who are you, to whom?'', but today there is carelessness. It is necessary to stop this that the laxity in subway, in houses, because police is not everywhere,'' says Aleksey Makhlay.

Secret services are well done, but we should also help them

Aleksandr Mikhailov calls the work of the security services effective despite the tradegy in St. Petersburg. According to him, FSB has prevented many major terrorist attacks, including in Tatarstan. But they also need help. In operational practice, according to him, it so happens that when the investigation begins, it appears that many people were witnesses of an impending attack — they saw something, assumed, but they did not turn to law enforcement bodies.

''Saint-Petersburg, Rostov, attacks in Astrakhan — this compressed spring slowly begins to straighten. I think that in this period of time, we should be focused, alert. Otherwise, we will become hostages of the impotence of law enforcement agencies, which will rely only on their information. If the citizens help — it will be right. Such crimes often happen because of people's indifference and mistrust to the law enforcement system – it is the most terrible thing,'' said Aleksandr Mikhailov.

By Darya Turtseva