Russia Update: FSB Claims to Foil Terrorist Attack in Krasnodar

October 19, 2015
Aslan Baisultanov, suspect in terrorist plot. Photo by Sergei Bobylyov, TASS, October 2015.

Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) announced that it had foiled a terrorist attack in Krasnodar Territory, and arrested an engine-driver’s mate said to be planning to bomb a train.

Welcome to our column, Russia Update, where we will be closely following day-to-day developments in Russia, including the Russian government’s foreign and domestic policies.

The previous issue is here.

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Moscow Apologizes for Summoning French Ambassador Mistakenly Over Incident Involving Swiss Plane in Fact

The Russian foreign ministry has made a big mistake today. Reuters reports that a statement released by the Russian foreign ministry condemned the French for flying a jet too close to a plane which was carrying the speaker of the lower house of Russian parliament. Reuters reports:

It complained in a statement of “a dangerous proximity between a French air force jet in its national airspace and an airliner carrying a Russian parliamentary delegation.”

The ministry said the delegation, headed by parliamentary speaker Sergei Naryshkin, an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, had been heading to Geneva, in Switzerland, to attend an international meeting of parliamentarians.

“The ambassador was informed of Russia’s deep concern over what happened. It was underlined that such actions by Paris undermine the possibility of using France as a venue for conducting international meetings and talks,” the ministry said.  

It turns out that the jet that reportedly flew too close to the Russian plane was an aircraft from the Swiss Air Force.

Naryshkin said he believed the brush with the Swiss plane was “an unfriendly act by NATO.” Russia has launched hundreds of provocations by air and sea against NATO countries since being targeted by Western sanctions last year in connection with the war in Ukraine. Switzerland, however, is not a member of NATO.

Naryshkin was placed on the US Treasury’s sanctions list in 2014 for his role in the annexation of the Crimea.

Maria Zakharova, spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry said apologies had been made to the French, but Russia was still awaiting a response from the Swiss government, reported.

Translation: Moscow  apologized to Paris for the mistaken summons of the ambassador over the incident with the destroyer.

Russia claimed originally that a French fighter flew too close to a Russian passenger jet.

The incident was fodder for a lot of bloggers. The Kremlin’s top social
media propagandist Konstantin Rykov, owner of a number of web sites,
posted a poll using Twitter’s functions:

Translation: How many missiles are required so that Switzerland ceased to exist? Less than 100 – like. More than 100 – RT
— Catherine A. Fitzpatrick
Police Arrest Two Said to Be ‘Provocateurs’ at Anti-War Rally in Moscow

In addition to detaining several anti-war demonstrators at an authorized opposition rally to protest the wars in Syria and Ukraine on Saturday, October 17, police detained two provocateurs, the police-monitoring group reported.

Olga Ilicheva was detained for holding up a poster that said President Vladimir Putin was responsible for civilian deaths.

we reported over the weekend, the organizers from the groups Solidarity
and December 5 Party were given a permit to convene only up to 300
persons; police turned away others. Interfax claimed that there were only 150 who attended.

Protesters with signs saying “Syria” were stopped by police.

The photojournalist @martin_camera (Georgy Malets) covered the demonstration.

Translation: Anti-war rally.

2015-10-19 18:16:20

Photo by @martin_camera

2015-10-19 18:09:43

Photo by @martin_camera The woman’s sign says “Fellow citizens! Why do we need war in Syria! Was not Afghanistan, Chechnya and the Donbass enough for you? Syrians are not better off from our bombs!!!

A man claiming to support ISIS arrived at the rally, along with a
man carrying a poster with a Syrian flag and the slogan “Thank you,
Russia!” NTV immediately began interviewing them. A group of
demonstrators gathered around chanting “Shame on NTV!”. A scuffle broke
out and the man with the Syrian flag was detained by police. The state
TV station is notorious for airing smears of the opposition.
Participants believed the ISIS supporter was a provocateur.

2015-10-19 18:16:39

2015-10-19 18:21:15

Photo by @martin_camera. Sign: “Thug in the Kremlin/Country at War”

2015-10-19 18:23:43

Photo by @martin_camera This man is holding a sign with a sketch of slain opposition leader Boris Nemtsov and the slogan “Fight for Peace Against War” – the word “Boris” and “Fight” in Russian are homonyms.

2015-10-19 18:23:10

Sign: Putin is War.

— Catherine A. Fitzpatrick

FSB Claims to Foil Terrorist Attack in Krasnodar
Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) announced that it had foiled a terrorist attack in Krasnodar Territory, TASS and reported.

A.K. Ferzaliev, a Russian citizen who worked as an engine-driver’s mate was said to have confessed to preparing an explosion on a suburban train, intending to then go to Syria to join ISIS.

According to the FSB Public Liaison Center (translation by The Interpreter):

On October 16, the RF Federal Security Service opened a case based on evidence of a crime under Art. 205, section 2, par. 1 of the Russian Criminal Code (“Public calls to carry out terrorist activity or public justification of terrorism”), as a result of a manhunt for a number of persons who have been recruiting people to terrorist activity through the news and telecommunications network of the Internet. A.K. Ferzaliyev, a citizen of the RF who administered a group in the social network VKontakte of terrorist inclination has been detained.

The FSB said Ferzaliev posted “materials justifying the activity of international terrorist organizations banned in the Russian Federation” and said agents were “checking information about a terrorist attack planned with the use of an explosive device.”

Last week as we reported, the FSB claimed to have foiled a terrorist plot involving an acquaintance of a retired GRU colonel who let Chechen friends into the apartment. Fifteen people were arrested, including 3 who were said to be trained in Syria.

Among them was a Chechen who was first reported as killed by Chechen law-enforcers, then reported as having gone to Moscow where he was intercepted, Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov announced.

The FSB has claimed to have intercepted 20 terrorist attacks this year, TASS reported.

— Catherine A. Fitzpatrick