Yesterday, a suicide bomber targeted a bus in Volgograd, formerly Stalingrad, killing 6 people. This was the first article that The Interpreter encountered, published on the pro-Kremlin Izvestia within hours of the explosions, not long after authorities began to release additional information about the identity of the bomber.
Officials now say that the bomber, Nadia Asiyalova, the wife of another suspected terrorist, was on her way to Moscow before she detonated the device.
For more details, see our coverage from yesterday.
Once I found out about the explosion in Volgograd and about the bus route number (№29 runs from the State University to the southern edge of the city), I told my colleagues: I am afraid that students will be among the dead, and the security services will somehow trace it to the Caucasus. That’s exactly what happened. May those who were killed rest in peace and my condolences to the families of all the victims, including guys from my alma mater, whose names we do not know yet. But less than three hours after the tragedy the information appeared about the suicide bomber with a characteristic name.
The message by those who organized this terrorist attack is quite clear, probably too clear to take it at face value. “Caucasians”, they say, kill our young people, the best of our young people. Studying at the Volgograd State University is considered quite prestigious among the local citizens and residents of neighboring regions. And now I’m afraid this town will swallow this primitive bait. The non-Russians are not really liked in Volgograd, especially Armenians. This diaspora has been on a steady increase, and is more numerous than any other from the southern regions. And according to the students and professors, at the university there are quite a lot of students from Armenia. We already know that the alleged suicide bomber, who, like any decent terrorist, was dressed in a hijab and kindly left the documents on the site of the explosion, was of a different nationality, but who is going to pay attention to such details? By the way, the Chechen diaspora in the city and in the region is quite populous, numbering thousands of people.
And all the other news these days are so well matched. Throughout the weekend there were clashes in Moscow between Russian and non-Russian young people. And on the day of the explosion a large group of nationalists was arrested in St. Petersburg. Since the riots in Biryulyovo, someone has been trying to provide a continuous stream of news on the national, or ethnic issues. Someone wants to escalate violent street fights or something worse. Definitely not Caucasians. And certainly not the authorities or the opposition.
Whoever they are, they are trying to once and for all set “us” at loggerheads with “them”. If someone needs to weaken Russia again and bring it to the edge of a social explosion, this is probably the most effective way at the moment. And unfortunately, they do have a chance, because in Volgograd, as well as throughout the country, there are too many xenophobic individuals. They have multiplied, in every sense of the word. In such a situation it is very difficult to count on the common sense of the people.
So I’m hoping for the opposite. I am hoping that everything foolish in their heads will be overcome by some other follies. That now in the public domain this topic will become trite and will end up somewhere in the area of absurd. And now it’s up to the State Duma to show itself at its best, just like they can. Deputy Vladimir Bessonov, who was the first legislator to comment on the bloody event on Life News TV, has pointed to the problem of private ownership as a prerequisite to the actions of terrorists and their possible motive to disrupt the Winter Olympic games in Sochi. Please, more, more creative versions! Just no new pogroms, please. Non-linear thinking, that’s what has often saved Russia.