Regarding recent bombings in Volgograd, one ought to be cautious of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s pronouncements. Recall in 1999 the Russian government’s contention that Chechen rebels had bombed six residential buildings and that the Federal Security Services’ (FSB) pre-empted a seventh. This claim was later found to be fraudulent; credible critics alleged that the FSB, with Putin’s apparent consent, was responsible. The effects of these bombings were to coalesce Russian public opinion around Putin’s byzantine ascent to the presidency and to justify a Russian military reintervention in Chechnya.
Writer Masha Gessen’s book, “The Man Without a Face,” documents evidence following the purported suppressed bombing attempt. She cites FSB misinformation, oligarch Boris Berezovsky’s insistence “… that the explosions were organized by the FSB,” Alexander Litvinenko’s ghastly poisoning with radioactive polonium (Litvinenko publically accused the FSB of the bombings) and a bizarre scene in which a member of the Russian Duma announced a residential building was blown up the night before when, in fact, it was not bombed until three days later.
Putin’s cynical reprieve of Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Pussy Riot members cannot disguise that Putin is, in the dying words of Litvinenko, a “ruthless barbarian.”