Short one today: It is awful to hear that St Petersburg was struck by an act of violence, as a bomb exploded in the Metro with a current death-toll of 14 people and a second bomb was disarmed before it could take more lives. The question of who is responsible for the St Petersburg Metro bombing seems quickly resolved: Akbarzhon Jalilov, an ethnic Uzbek born in Osh in 1995, is the prime suspect.
Undoubtedly the perpetrator acted in the belief he was standing up for a cause. Russia has long since been a target for terrorist attacks, in part because of its heavy military advances against ISIS‘ occupation of the Middle East. But it would be short-sighted to believe that this wasn’t a situation open to exploitation by the Government. The coverage by Russia Today is comparatively muted to what I expected, but I presume that they have already tarnished the reputation of BBC and Sky News, and Gary Kasparov, so no further contextualisation is needed when referencing the “MSM”.
As alluded to in the coverage by these Mainstream Media outlets, Russian history of clamped down security and legislative overreach (if we aren’t being generous) has coincided with tragedy. Of course the same parallels can (and should indeed) be drawn with the 9/11 attacks and United States foreign and domestic policy. Of course the whole point is to be skeptical about these circumstances as we seek to apply logic to policy-making, as these issues are highly emotive.
As outsiders there is little at stake or in our sphere of influence over this issue, so maybe we shouldn’t bother. But accountability is important for the sake of the principle, so we should observe if there are any changes in policy in Russia in the aftermath of this terrorist act, that unduly affects opposition forces to the Government. Not everyone who disagrees with Putin is likely to blow him up I dare say.
(Photo credit goes to George Chernilevsky)