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Bombing on Pyatnitskaya Street
Written by   
, 03 2011

ImagePoliceman becomes latest victim of the unknown bombers

On the night of May 3rd, there was another bombing near a police building in Moscow. Thelow-yield device exploded when a police security guard attempted to check it out, and the officer received minor injuries as a result. Thisexplosion was the sixth since this spring. Earlier, buildings belonging to the FSB, Interior Ministry, and military commandant's office were targets of attacks.

The bomb that went off in the center of Moscow on the night of May 3rd had a capacity less than 50grams of TNT. Itexploded in a service vehicle parking lot, located between buildings 47and 49on Pyatnitskaya Street. Oneof the buildings houses a police battalion of the Moscow central district, while the other is the Zamoskvorechye district police department.

At about forty minutes after midnight, Nikolai Ledovsky, 59-year-old warrant officer in the external security detachment, discovered a suspicious package containing aluminum cans in the parking lot. AsLedovsky later recounted to Life News, he took it to simply be the usual trash, and wanted to throw it away, but suddenly it exploded. Theofficer was taken to a hospital with burns on one leg and an eye injury. Physicians, however, say that his injuries will have no lasting health effects.

Investigators arrived at the scene and found debris from the explosive device, which consisted of cans, wires, and a cellular phone. Fortunately for Ledovsky, there was no shrapnel added to the bomb. Dueto the fact that a policeman was injured, a criminal case was initiated under statutes on the use of violence against a representative of the government. Alsostandard in such cases is the criminal statute concerning trafficking in explosives.

The police for now are not talking about possible suspects or motives for the crime. Itremains a mystery as to how the bomb got into a protected area, though it is assumed that it was tossed through a hole in the fence surrounding the facility. Contradictory information has been given as to how the bomb was set off. Somesources mention that the device was detonated by a signal from a mobile phone, but this is not very consistent with a statement that shortly before the explosion an unknown person phoned the police and warned of the impending act. Thisinformation, however, only appears in RBK Daily with reference to Investigative Committee sources.

There is no doubt that the offense was directed specifically against the police, since the bomb was placed on “police” territory. Whatis not so obvious at first glance is that a series of bombings that took place this spring, directed against the security services. Thepolice are in no hurry to talk about a similar modus operandi in all these cases, but the chain is entirely unambiguous.

During the day of March 9th, a bomb went off at a bus stop in southwest Moscow. Itwas set off by a mobile phone and contained metal shrapnel. Twosimilar devices exploded two days later in a garage next to an apartment building in the north of Moscow. Whatthe bombings had in common was that they allegedly targeted security personnel: the bus stop is located near the FSB academy, and the building on Milashenkov Street also belongs to that same organization.

Criminal cases were initiated according to statutes pertaining to “hooliganism” and “illicit trafficking of explosives,” and later merged into one case. There were no injuries in either bombing, suggesting that the blast was merely a demonstration, and that the organizers did not wish to kill anyone, even though the bombs were powerful enough (from 200to 400grams of TNT) to cause serious consequences. Theonly damage was broken windows and damage to vehicles.

Unofficially, sources in the security organs express the theory that radical youth organizations from the far left or extreme right could be behind the bombings. A“Caucasian” link was also mentioned, though this is less likely, since insurgents prefer to hit hard right away, rather than engage in warnings.

One and a half months after the events in Moscow, a similar story occurred in Volgograd (http://lenta.ru/story/volgogradblasts/). There the mysterious bombers' targets of attack were buildings belonging to the city traffic police and the local police academy. Herethe bomb was stuffed with shrapnel, but actuated using a clockwork mechanism.

One of the devices containing up to half-kilo TNT went off on its own, but the other infernal device, with capacity of 13.5 kilograms of TNT, was set off (in a controlled blast) by explosives technicians. Justas in Moscow, the organizers of the Volgograd bombings seemed to have sought to avoid casualties. Inany case, the police received a warning about a bomb, and this allowed time to find and defuse the powerful device at the police academy.

As before, according to official data, investigators have no leads. Asuspect sketch drawn up from witness testimony is not very informative: it depicts a man in a dark jacket, camouflage pants and army boots, but no face, as the witness saw the alleged offender only from theback.

In Volgograd, as well as in Moscow, the case is being investigated as “hooliganism” and “illicit trafficking in explosives.” According to investigators, the two explosions in Volgograd were by the same people, since the construction of bombs was very similar, despite the large difference in their power. Onceagain there is talk about possible involvement by North Caucasus militants, Slavic nationalists, and activists “from an opposition group outside the system,” but none of this has been confirmed.

Given these obvious provocations, and this is the most suitable definition for what is happening, there was yet another incident that went virtually unnoticed: on the night of April 2nd, a homemade bomb exploded under a car parked next to the Moscow military commandant's office. Thedevice was weak, and so the police referred to it as hooliganism with the use of firecrackers or other fireworks, and not bombs. Onceagain, some time before the explosion an unknown caller warned the police aboutit.

Such methods prior notice of an impending explosion are characteristic of European terrorists, such as Basque separatists in Spain and the Northern Irish in the UK. There have been no analogous acts in Russia in recent memory. Evenmajor terrorist attacks such as the bombings at Domodedovo or in the Moscow subway terrorist leaders took credit only some time after theact.

Surely investigators have gathered enough information to construct some meaningful assumptions about who has decided to tickle the nerves of the enforcers. Officially, the Moscow and Volgograd incidents have not connection, but there have been too many coincidences for them not to be connected.

In 'Lenta.ru'
http://lenta.ru/articles/2011/05/03/ovdzamsk/


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