Russians angry at authorities for failing to prevent terrorist attacks, Gorevoy says

The Russian political cartoon depicts a "subway map" starting in the Kremlin, Russia and dotted with terror acts and wars through the years of Putin's rule, which eventually sprouts "Crimea, Ukraine" and "Syria" branches with "Boeing" (MH17), "Chemical weapons," and "Bombings" (Author: Andrey Zakirzyanov‏ @Bezizyanov via Twitter)

The Russian political cartoon depicts a "subway map" starting in the Kremlin, Russia and dotted with terror acts and wars through the years of Putin's rule, which eventually sprouts "Crimea, Ukraine" and "Syria" branches with "Boeing" (MH17), "Chemical weapons," and "Bombings" (Author: Andrey Zakirzyanov‏ @Bezizyanov via Twitter) 

Analysis & Opinion, Russia

Until recently, in the wake of any terrorist attack inside Russia, Russians focused their anger on the terrorists, Ruslan Gorevoy says; but after the bombing in St. Petersburg, they have shifted their fury against the powers that be which repeatedly have promised to defend them against terrorism but have proved incapable of doing so.

As Andrey Illarionov observed in a commentary Gorevoy cites with approval, this marks a sea change in Russian attitudes and constitutes “the new reality” of political life in Russia, one that the powers can ignore only at their peril.

Gorevoy argues that Russians have proven themselves to be incredibly “naïve,” accepting as true the authorities’ promises after each terrorist attack to prevent new ones only to have new outrages visited upon them because the powers that be have not taken the steps needed to guarantee the security that the population very much wants and deserves.

Americans have proven themselves much less naïve, he continues. They adopted the Patriot Act after the September 11 attacks, something no Russian government has done because they recognize that sometimes nations must give up some of their basic freedoms in order to defend their security.

Why hasn’t that happened in Russia? There are many reasons, Gorevoy says. He points in particular to Moscow’s failure to restrict immigration from Central Asia, a failure that reflects the fact that all too many in the Russian elites benefit from that influx even if it brings with it Islamist terrorism.

But ordinary Russians are beginning to understand that there is a problem with their own rulers, the Moscow commentator says. “If earlier the people by custom laid all blame for terrorist attacks on the terrorists themselves, then now many have begun to reflect” and to ask why those charged with defending them have failed to do so.

The Kremlin should recognize what that shift means. In Israel after Black September, Israelis turned on Golda Meir and forced her from office for inaction – even though she was extremely popular up to that point. Dmitry Medvedev doesn’t have that level of support now, Gorevoy says.

Russians need an American-style Patriot Act. Its provisions have meant that there have not been any major terrorist actions in the US since its adoption, Gorevoy points out. But there is little or no chance that such a measure will be adopted in Russia: too many powerful people benefit from not having such a measure in place.

The banks, for example, oppose its introduction because of the strict reporting requirements it would impose on them. Businessmen and officials who benefit from the use of gastarbeiters don’t want to lose their profits. And the government is doing little or nothing to explain why such a law would benefit Russians because it won’t benefit the elites.

What that means is both simple and tragic, Gorevoy concludes, as a result of official inaction, “Russia is going to be blown up again and again in the future.”


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Edited by: A. N.

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  • Scradje

    Terrorists attacking citizens of a terror regime. Russia itself is a state terror sponsor; the world’s biggest. It’s key ally Iran is world number two.

  • Alex George

    This is the problem for Putin – he secured his popularity by promising an end to terrorist attacks on Russians, such as the metro attacks and the hostage-taking at the school in Beslan. He did this, mainly by entering into a devil’s bargain with Kadyrov, giving him full control of Chechnya.

    The Russian people didn’t care that Putin and his regime were corrupt, as long as he stopped the trrrorist attacks.

    But now the attacks are continuing. So putin has not kept his end of the bargain.

    • veth

      Who killed these 150 children in Beslan?

    • veth

      Putin said this afternoon: more chemicals attacks in Syria are prepared. By whom?Any ideas……………hahahahaah.

    • Dagwood Bumstead

      The dwarf doesn’t care how many die during a terrorist attack. Witness Nord-Ost for example where the Chekists used some form of lethal gas to take care of the terrorists. Unfortunately the gas also killed many of the hostages and the medical services were helpless because the Chekists refused to provide any details of the gas.
      The dwarf is a terrorist himself; there’s little doubt that he was behind the apartment bombings in Moscow and several other cities in 1999 for which the Chechens were blamed.

  • Микола Данчук

    Wait a minute, does anyone in the Kremlin even know how the ‘Patriot Act’ works in America?
    The Russian people have surrendered far more freedoms, under Putin, with NO benefit of true security.
    An ‘Amerikan-style Patriot Act’ would just be more repression of the Russian people with no redeeming value! And by the way — America does have terrorist attacks on its soil.