9/99 Putin Russian Government Terror Attacks: 9/11-Style Hegelian PsyOps

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Tetrahedron Omega

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Sep 29, 2003, 9:54:55 PM9/29/03
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I thought it would be good to remind people about the September 1999
Russian apartment-building terror-bombing campain using Hexogen (i.e.,
Cyclonite; RDX) as the explosive and which was blamed on Chechen
terrorists despite there being not the slightest shred of evidence
that Chechens were behind it, and where it later turned out that the
bombings were done by the Russian government itself (i.e., under
former KGB-head, President Vladimir Putin) in order to get the Russian
people behind another war against Chechnya (oh, how familiar it all
sounds!)--indeed, the Russian government (i.e., the FSB, the
present-day KGB) was actually caught red-handed by local police and
citizens in the city of Ryazan planting live explosives (i.e.,
Hexogen) with live detonators in an apartment building!

The below article by David Satter, published by The Hudson Institute,
is probably the best over-all article concerning much of the evidence
that the 9/99 Russian terrorist bombings were done by the Russian
government. The National Review article is simply based upon The
Hudson Institute article, but without the very important and
informative end-notes (and so I recomend that you read The Hudson
Institute article). Unfortunately, the below link to this Hudson
Institute PDF article is no longer active, nor can I find it anywhere
else on-line, so I reproduce it below as this article is just too good
and just too important for it to get lost in the Orwellian Memory
Hole.

"The Shadow of Ryazan: Who Was Behind the Strange Russian Apartment
Bombings in September 1999?" by David Satter, The Hudson Institute,
April 19, 2002:

http://www.sais-jhu.edu/depts/res/newsite/papers/Satter%20edited%20final.pdf

http://216.239.41.104/search?q=cache:s8yEInCOCoIJ:www.sais-jhu.edu/depts/res/newsite/papers/Satter%2520edited%2520final.pdf+&hl=en&ie=UTF-8

"The Shadow of Ryazan--Is Putin's government legitimate?" by David
Satter, National Review, April 30, 2002:

http://www.nationalreview.com/comment/comment-satter043002.asp

The below website, Terror-99, deals with the Russian government's
involvement in the 9/99 Russian terrorist bombings, and has a huge
amount of mainstream major-media news-articles demonstrating that the
Russian government was behind the bombings:

http://eng.terror99.ru

For an additional amount of vital evidence not covered in the David
Satter article, see the below two articles:

"Bali Halloween" by Israel Shamir:

http://www.israelshamir.net/english/bali.shtml [this link appears to
be dead]

http://web.archive.org/web/20021201085508/http://www.israelshamir.net/english/bali.shtml

"Fear of Doing the Boss a Disservice," Moscow Times, April 11, 2002,
pg. 8:

http://eng.terror99.ru/publications/041.htm


David Satter has also written more on this matter in the below book by
him:

_Darkness at Dawn: The Rise of the Russian Criminal State_ (Yale
University Press; May 2003) ISBN: 0300098928

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0300098928/104-4112622-4599909?v=glance

----

On a very much related note, below are some of the best websites
available for researching the mainstream major media articles and U.S.
government primary documentantion which demonstrates that the 9/11
attacks were a government Hegelian dialectic/PsyOps from start to
finish:

9/11 Prior Knowledge/Government Involvement Archive:

http://www.propagandamatrix.com/archiveprior_knowledge

9/11 GOVERNMENT INVOLVEMENT ARCHIVE:

http://infowars.com/resources.html

See the video documentary "911: The Road to Tyranny" by political talk
radio host Alex Jones, of which can be viewed below for free:

http://infowars.com/video_clips.html

See also:

"Debunking Conspiracy Theorists: Paranoid Fantasies About 911 Detract
From Real Issues" by Gerard Holmgren:

http://rense.com/general34/fant.htm

And also see my website (which hasn't been updated in awhile, so some
links have gone dead):

The Truth About the 9/11 Attacks:

http://geocities.com/vonchloride

See also:

http://www.sigacanada.com/frontpage/politicalart/deceptiondollar/911dollarfront.jpg
[To see the front image of the $9-11 bills.]

http://www.questionsquestions.net
http://www.communitycurrency.org/9-11.html
http://www.unansweredquestions.org
http://911-strike.com
http://gnn.tv
http://www.whatreallyhappened.com
http://www.americanfreepress.net
http://www.globalresearch.ca
http://www.copvcia.com
http://www.truth-now.com
http://www.ratical.org/ratville/CAH
http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/home.htm

http://www.sigacanada.com/frontpage/politicalart/deceptiondollar/911backwithred.jpg
[To see the back image of the $9-11 bills.]

http://www.thewaronfreedom.com
http://www.legitgov.org
http://www.911pi.com
http://www.tenc.net
http://www.onlinejournal.com
http://www.sigacanada.com
http://www.falloutshelternews.com/911Inquiry.htm
http://www.deceptiondollar.com

for $9-11 bills:

http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/support/supportus.htm#3
http://www.delcanton.com/otherprod/deceptiondollars.asp

And see also the below mainstream major media articles:

"Barbs aside, 9/11 questions aren't going away," _Toronto Star_, May
18, 2003:

http://thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1052251602426&call_pageid=968332188492&col=968793972154

"Conspiracy crusader doubts official 9/11 version," _Toronto Star_,
May 11, 2003:

http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1052251546550&call_page=TS_Columnists&call_pageid=970599109774&call_pagepath=Columnists


Another very good mainstream major media article which deals with the
U.S. government's intentional complicity in the 9/11 attacks is "The
Enemy Within" by Gore Vidal, which was first published in the print
edition of _The Observer_ of London on Sunday, October 27, 2002:

http://www.ratical.org/ratville/CAH/EnemyWithin.html
(this version has hyper-linked references)

http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/enemywithin.html

http://9-11congress.netfirms.com/Vidal.html

http://www.house.gov/mcdermott/pr_gore_vidal.html
(a copy of this article at Congressman Jim McDermott's website)

And also see _The Observer_ article below on Gore Vidal's above
article, "The Enemy Within," published by this same news agency:

"Gore Vidal claims 'Bush junta' complicit in 9/11

"America's most controversial novelist calls for an investigation into
whether the Bush administration deliberately allowed the terrorist
attacks to happen"

Sunder Katwala
Sunday October 27, 2002:

http://www.observer.co.uk/international/story/0,6903,819931,00.html

----

As just another among many, many examples of the U.S. government's
use of staged Hegelian dialectical PsyOps attacks, President Franklin
D. Roosevelt knew in advance and intentionally allowed (and provoked)
the Japanese to attack Pearl Harbor. See, for example:

"The McCollum Memo: The Smoking Gun of Pearl Harbor":

http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/McCollum

And that's just one among many, many smoking guns proving that the
Pearl Harbor attack was an intentionally staged Hegelian dialectic by
the U.S. government. For many more such smoking-gun, Freedom of
Information Act-released U.S. government documents proving that the
U.S. government knew exactly when Japan was going to attack Pearl
Harbor, as well as their efforts to provoke exactly this response, see
the book _Day of Deceit_ by Robert B. Stinnett.

----

And here now in the below is the above-mentioned David Satter article
in its entirety, published by The Hudson Institute, April 19, 2002:

##########################################

1

Project on Systemic Change and International Security in Russia and
the New States of Eurasia

The Shadow of Ryazan: Who Was Behind the Strange Russian Apartment
Bombings in September 1999?

David Satter
The Hudson Institute
April 19, 2002

The Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies
Russian and Eurasian Studies
1619 Massachusetts Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20036
phone: 202-663-5795; fax: 202-663-5747; e-mail: bpar...@jhu.edu
website: http://www.sais-jhu.edu/depts/res

This project is funded by the Smith Richardson Foundation. The views
expressed are those of the author alone. Publication in this series
does not imply endorsement by the project by SAIS, or the Smith
Richardson Foundation.

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2

The Shadow of Ryazan

Executive Summary

For two and half years, the government of Vladimir Putin has been
haunted by the possibility that there will be a serious examination of
the Russian apartment bombings that took place in September 1999.
There is compelling evidence that, contrary to claims that the
bombings were the work of Chechen terrorists, they were, in fact,
carried out by the Russian government itself.

First, the bombings came at a moment when the corrupt oligarchy
that ruled Russia faced the loss of its power. The bombings, by
seeming to justify a new Chechen war, propelled Putin into power, and
he preserved the oligarchy and the Yeltsin era division of property
intact. Second, the organization of the bombings, including the speed
and efficiency with which they were carried out, suggest the
participation of an intelligence service.

Finally, the Federal Security Bureau (FSB) was caught planting a
bomb in the basement of an apartment building in Ryazan under
circumstances nearly identical to those of the Moscow bombings. The
subsequent FSB claim that it was conducting a "test of vigilance" is
unconvincing. The weight of the evidence therefore points to official
responsibility for this terrorist act and, at the very least, demands
an open inquiry.

* * * *

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For the last two and a half years, a specter has haunted the
government of Vladimir Putin. This is the possibility of a serious
examination of the strange apartment house bombings that took place in
September 1999 in Moscow, Buinaksk, and Volgodonsk and cost three
hundred lives.

The bombings terrorized Russia. The Russian authorities
immediately accused Chechen rebels of responsibility for the attacks,
and this galvanized public opinion in support of a second war in
Chechnya. The war, in turn, made Putin, the former head of the Federal
Security Service (FSB), an overnight hero and the leading candidate
for the Russian presidency.

Almost from the start, however, there were doubts about the
timing of the bombings that could not have been better calculated to
rescue the political fortunes of the ruling, Yeltsin era oligarchy.
Suspicions only deepened when a fifth bomb was discovered in the
basement of a building in Ryazan, and those responsible for placing it
turned out to be agents of the FSB.

Until recently, attempts to call attention to some of the
paradoxes surrounding the bombings, one of the most pivotal events in
post-communist Russian history, proceeded sporadically and were easily
countered by the information apparatus of the state.

On March 5, however, Boris Berezovsky, a self-exiled oligarch and
former key Kremlin adviser, held a press conference in London in which
he accused the FSB of carrying out the bombings with Putin's
complicity in order to justify a second Chechen war.[1] He presented
as evidence the testimony of Nikita Chekulin, a former acting director
of the Russian Explosives

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Conversion Center, a scientific research institute under the Ministry
of Education, who was recruited by the FSB as a secret agent. Chekulin
stated, and confirmed with documents, that in 1999-2000, a large
quantity of hexogen, the explosive that is believed to have been used
in the apartment bombings, was purchased by the institute from various
military units and then, under the guise of gunpowder or dynamite,
shipped all over the country to unknown destinations. Berezovsky also
presented a documentary film that was largely based on a previous
television program about the Ryazan incident that was shown on NTV and
reported in _Novaya Gazeta_.

In fact, the press conference did not offer much that was new.
Nonetheless, it was significant because it renewed discussion of an
issue that had never really gone away. At the same time as the press
conference was being held, a pamphlet novel by Alexander Prokhanov, a
Russian nationalist leader, entitled "Mr. Hexogen," was enjoying a
wide circulation in Russia. The novel, based on information from
sources in the intelligence agencies, describes a conspiracy to
unleash the second Chechen war and use it to elect a successor who
would protect the interests of the corrupt Yeltsin "family."

In explaining his support for the American led anti-terrorist
coalition after September 11, 2001, Putin said that Russia had also
been a victim of terrorism. This experience, however, looks rather
different if the bombings in September 1999 were organized by leaders
of the Russian government as part of an effort to preserve the power
and wealth of a criminal oligarchy.

The view that the bombings were the work of elements of the
Russian government is based on three types of evidence: the logic of
the political situation at the time of the attacks;

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what is known about the bombings in Moscow, Buinaksk, and Volgodonsk;
and the implications of the so-called "training exercise" in Ryazan.
Unfortunately, in all three cases, the weight of the evidence supports
the view that the bombings were not the work of Chechen terrorists,
but rather the action of leaders of the Russian government undertaken
to justify the launching of the second Chechen war.

In August 1999, on the eve of the bombings, it appeared that the
Yeltsin "family" and the rest of the corrupt oligarchy that ruled
Russia were facing an unavoidable day of reckoning. As the economic
situation in Russia got steadily worse, Yeltsin's approval rating
dropped to 2 percent and an uneasy awareness spread among the persons
closely connected to the Yeltsin regime that their positions, their
wealth, and possibly their freedom and even their lives were in
jeopardy.

In August 1998, Russia experienced a devastating financial crisis
and, in its wake, Yeltsin was forced to compromise with the State Duma
and accept as prime minister, Yevgeny Primakov, the foreign minister
and former head of the Foreign Intelligence Service. Primakov
authorized a series of investigations that affected the members of the
"family" themselves.

One investigation involved Berezovsky, who, in January 1999, was
suspected of appropriating money belonging to the national airline,
Aeroflot. More important for the "family," however, was the
investigation into possible kickbacks to Pavel Borodin, the head of
the property administration in the presidential administration, from
the Swiss firm, Mabetex, in connection with construction and repair
work on the Kremlin. On January 22, 1999, the Mabetex

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office in Lugano was raided, and records were discovered that showed
payments of $600,000 on the credit cards of Yeltsin's daughters,
Tatyana Dyachenko and Yelena Okulova.

The threat to some of the country's most powerful figures
prompted a response. Yuri Skuratov, the prosecutor general who was
leading the investigations, was removed after a video of him engaged
in "sex acts" with two prostitutes in a sauna linked to a Moscow
criminal organization was shown on prime-time television. The cases
involving Berezovsky and Mabetex, however, were not forgotten.

Dissatisfaction with Yeltsin was spreading and, in May 1999,
Yeltsin fired Primakov and his government and installed as acting
premier, the interior minister, Sergei Stepashin. A move to impeach
Yeltsin for, among other things, illegally suppressing the Supreme
Soviet in 1993 and launching the war in Chechnya in 1994, was narrowly
defeated with the help of the distribution of bribes to wavering
deputies. But the Fatherland-All Russia movement that was organized by
Yuri Luzhkov, the mayor of Moscow, was gaining strength. On August 23,
Luzhkov promised that if Primakov, the most popular politician in the
country, was to run for president, he would support him.

The prospect of Primakov as president was frightening for the
Yeltsin entourage because he had already demonstrated his readiness to
pursue corruption cases and, as Skuratov was later to state, it was
possible to bring criminal cases against every one of the oligarchs of
the Yeltsin era.

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By the summer of 1999, there was reported to be an atmosphere of
near panic in the Kremlin, and there were reports that the Yeltsin
"family" was planning provocations in Moscow, including acts of
terror, in order to discredit Luzhkov. One such report, by Alexander
Zhilin, which appeared on July 22 in _Moskovskaya Pravda_ said that
there was a plan to destabilize the atmosphere in Moscow by organizing
terrorist acts, kidnappings, and a war between criminal clans. The
plan, known among insiders as "Storm in Moscow," was never
implemented, possibly because an even more effective plan took its
place.

On August 5, a Muslim force led by Shamil Basayev, a Chechen
guerilla leader, entered western Dagestan from Chechnya, ostensibly to
start an anti-Russian uprising. On August 9, Stepashin was dismissed,
and Putin became prime minister. On August 22, the force withdrew back
into Chechnya without heavy losses, amid suspicion that the incursion
had been a provocation. At the end of August, Russian aircraft bombed
Wahhabi villages in Dagestan in seeming retaliation for the incursion.
This was followed, days later, by the explosions that obliterated the
apartment buildings in Moscow, Buinaksk, and Volgodonsk.

The bombings stunned Russia but, in their wake, the stage was set
for the rescue of the Yeltsin era oligarchy. Popular anger over
corruption was redirected against the Chechens. Putin, whose
popularity rating had been 2 percent, launched a war against Chechnya
and, in the process, became Russia's savior. In April 2000, he was
easily elected president and, in that capacity, he granted immunity
from prosecution to Yeltsin and his family, put an end to all talk of
a re-division of property, and preserved the Yeltsin era oligarchy
virtually intact.[2]

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Besides the logic of the political situation in August 1999 that
suggested that only by provoking a war could the Yeltsin leadership
retain their property and their power, the role of the Russian
government in the bombings is suggested by the character of the
explosions themselves. The four bombings all had the same
"handwriting" as attested to by the nature of the destruction, the way
the buildings' concrete panels collapsed, and the volume of the blast.
In each case, the explosive was said to be hexogen, and all four bombs
were set to go off at night to inflict maximum casualties.

To do what they were accused of having done without expert
assistance, however, Chechen terrorists would have needed to be able
to organize nine explosions (the four that took place and the five
that the Russian authorities claimed to have prevented) in widely
separated cities in the space of two weeks. They also would have
needed the ability to penetrate top secret Russian military factories
or military units to obtain the hexogen.[3]

Finally, Chechen terrorists would have needed technical
virtuosity. In the case of the Moscow apartment buildings, the bombs
were placed to destroy the weakest critical structural elements so
each of the buildings would collapse [like a house of cards.] Such
careful calculations are the mark of skilled specialists, and the only
places in Russia where such specialists were trained were the spetsnaz
forces, military intelligence (GRU), and the FSB.[4]

Another troubling aspect of the apartment bombings was the
timing. The bombings were explained as a response to the Russian
bombing of Wahhabi villages in Dagestan in August 1999. A careful
study of the apartment bombings, however, showed that it would have
taken

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from four to four and half months to organize them. In constructing a
model of the events, all stages of the conspiracy were considered:
developing a plan for the targets, visiting the targets, making
corrections, determining the optimum mix of explosives, ordering their
preparation, making final calculations, renting space in the targeted
buildings, and transporting the explosives to the targets.

Assuming that these calculations were even approximately correct,
planning for the apartment bombings had to begin in the spring. They
therefore could not have been retaliation by Chechen terrorists for
the Russian attack in Dagestan, which occurred only days before the
bombings took place. They might, however, have been part of a plan
that included the Chechen invasion of Dagestan, the Russian bombing of
the Wahhabi villages, and the apartment bombings. But such a plan
could only have been implemented by elements of the regime in
cooperation with the FSB.[5]

As both the Chechen war and the presidential campaign progressed,
some observers noted that events were unfolding in a manner that
matched the conditions described by Harold Laswell, a University of
Chicago political scientist, as being optimal for successful
propaganda. In his book, _Propaganda Technique in the World War_,
Laswell said a propagandist's success is limited by the tension level
of the subject population. "The propagandist who deals with a
community when its tension level is high, finds that a reservoir of
explosive energy can be touched off by the same small match which
would normally ignite [only] a bonfire." Some persons who knew of the
popularity of American political science literature with the FSB

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became convinced that events were being played out according to a
scenario written by Lasswell.[6]

The strongest indication that elements of the Russian government
were responsible for the bombings, however, was the history of the
supposed training exercise in Ryazan. In that incident, the FSB was
forced to admit that they had put a bomb in the basement of a civilian
apartment building because they were caught in the act.

The incident began on the night of September 22, six days after
the bombing of Volgodonsk, when police answering a call reporting
suspicious activity discovered a bomb in the basement of the building
at 14/16 Novosyelov Street. Experts arriving at the scene found that
the bomb tested positive for hexogen. Within minutes, not only the
building but also the surrounding neighborhood was evacuated. In all,
nearly 30,000 persons spent the night on the street. Police surrounded
the airport and railroad stations, and roadblocks were set up on all
of the roads leading out of the city.

The origin of the bomb was determined, however, in a totally
unexpected way. On the evening of September 23, a call to Moscow was
made from a public telephone bureau for intercity calls. The operator
who connected the call caught a fragment of conversation in which a
caller said there was no way to get out of town undetected. The voice
at the other end of the line said, "Split up and each of you make your
own way out." The operator reported the call to the police and they
traced the number. To their astonishment, it belonged to the FSB.[7] A
short time

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later, with the help of tips from the population, the police arrested
two terrorists. They produced identification from the FSB and were
released on orders from Moscow.

On September 24, Nikolai Patrushev, the head of the FSB,
announced that the bomb in the basement at 14/16 Novosyelov had been a
dummy and that the incident had been a "test." He congratulated the
residents of Ryazan on their vigilance. This explanation stupefied the
residents who had assumed that the bomb was real. The FSB said that
the bomb was a dummy and that the explosive material in the sacks
attached to the detonator was sugar. It said the gas analyzer that
detected hexogen had malfunctioned.

Several months after the incident, however, Pavel Voloshin, a
reporter for _Novaya Gazeta_, interviewed Yuri Tkachenko, the sapper
who defused the "dummy" bomb. He insisted that it was real. Tkachenko
said that the detonator, including a timer, power source, and shotgun
shell, was a genuine military detonator and obviously prepared by a
professional. At the same time, the gas analyzer that tested the
vapors coming from the sacks unmistakably indicated the presence of
hexogen.

Voloshin asked Tkachenko if the gas analyzer could have given a
false result. Tkachenko said that this was out of the question. The
gas analyzers were of world class quality. Each cost $20,000 and was
maintained by a specialist who worked according to a strict schedule,
checking the analyzer after each use and making frequent prophylactic
checks. These were necessary because the device contains a source of
constant radiation. In the end, Tkachenko pointed out,

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meticulous care in the handling of the gas analyzer was a necessity
because the lives of the bomb squad's experts depended on the
reliability of their equipment.

Voloshin also interviewed the police officers who answered the
original call and discovered the bomb. They also insisted that the
incident was not an exercise and that it was obvious from its
appearance that the substance in the bags was not sugar.

Voloshin's articles in _Novaya Gazeta_ had a major impact. Doubt
became so widespread that the FSB agreed to participate in a televised
meeting between its top officials and residents of the building at
14/16 Novosyelov. The purpose of the program was to demonstrate the
FSB's openness, but the strategy backfired. During the program, which
was aired on NTV, on March 23, FSB spokesmen could not explain why the
"exercise" was carried out without measures to protect the health of
the residents, why the gas analyzer detected hexogen, or why bomb
squad experts mistook a dummy bomb for a real one. When the program
ended, the residents were more convinced than ever that they had been
unwitting pawns in a FSB plot and only through a miracle escaped with
their lives.

In fact, the building at 14/16 Novosyelov Street was an odd
choice for a test of vigilance because there was an all-night grocery
store in the building, and residents could easily have assumed that
someone unloading sacks of sugar was doing so for the store. As the
target of a terrorist attack, however, the building was very well
suited, especially if the goal was to claim the maximum number of
lives. Like the building on Kashirskoye Highway in Moscow, 14/16
Novosyelov Street was a brick building of standard construction. In
the event of an explosion, it

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would have offered little resistance, and there would have been little
chance for anyone to survive. At the same time, since the building was
on an elevation, in the event of an explosion it would have hit the
adjacent building with the force of an avalanche and, because the
weak, sandy soil in the area offered little support to either
building, probably would have toppled it. In this way, the tragedy in
Ryazan would have eclipsed all the others.

In the face of evidence of FSB involvement in the bombing of the
Russian apartment buildings, the government has refused to respond. It
reacted to Berezovsky's allegations by accusing him of funding the
terrorist activities of Chechen rebels.

The most serious evidence that the leaders of the government
bombed their own citizens, however, is presented by the Ryazan
incident and, in that case at least, the Russian authorities are
perfectly equipped to refute the allegations that have been made
against them. They need only to produce the persons who carried out
the Ryazan training exercise, the records of the exercise, and the
dummy bomb itself. The FSB, however, has refused to do this on grounds
of secrecy and evidence relating to the Ryazan incident has been
sealed for seventy-five years.[8]

The government has also prevented any inquiry by the parliament.
In March 2000, a group of deputies proposed to send to the general
prosecutor a request for answers to questions regarding the incident
in Ryazan. The Duma voted 197 in favor and 137 against. However, 226
votes, an absolute majority, were needed for passage, and this was not
achieved because the pro-Kremlin Unity party voted unanimously
against. In February, another attempt was made to open a parliamentary
inquiry into the Ryazan incident. In this case, 161 deputies voted in
favor and

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only seven against, but the remainder of the 464 members of the Duma
abstained. As a result, the attempt failed.

In fact, the greatest support for the government's denial of any
involvement in the bombings is fear of the implications if it turns
out that the regime was behind them. Even the residents of the
building at 14/16 Novsyelov were reluctant to draw conclusions about
possible government involvement, although they unanimously rejected
the notion that the incident had been a test. The most they would say
was that someone tried to blow them up without offering an opinion as
to who.

The question of "who," however, is very significant. If, as the
available evidence indicates, the bombings were carried out by the
FSB, it means the present government of Russia is illegitimate. It
also means that a tradition has been established in Russia that can
only lead to the country's degeneration.

Russia has experienced three years of economic growth after more
than a decade of steady decline, and Putin has enacted some needed
reforms. None of these changes, however, affect the real challenges
facing Russia--crime, ideological disorientation, and demographic
collapse. These problems are symptoms of a deep spiritual malaise and
they can only be resolved by establishing the authority of moral
values in the country that, in practical terms, would be expressed in
the rule of law.

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Under these circumstances, it is important to Russia's future
that the bombings not be ignored. Failing to react to evidence of a
crime by the Russian government means implicitly condoning it and
leaving unchallenged a precedent that will serve as a standing
temptation for the future, demonstrating to all subsequent Russian
leaders how elections can be "won" and putting paid to the effort to
apply law consistently and establish the authority of moral values in
Russia.

Any effort to examine seriously the true authorship of the
apartment house bombings would, by right and of necessity, be
non-violent. It is possible that if the regime were seriously
threatened, it would react with repression. A hypothetical repressive
response from the government, however, would only actualize what had
always been a potential, and the Russian public would have, at least,
confirmed that it rejected the government's crime and was not
complicit in it. The worst outcome would be for the Russian public to
become gradually convinced that the present government was established
as the result of an act of terror but to treat that as a normal
phenomenon because, in that way, they would not only be accepting
criminal domination but also cutting off the moral roots of their own
subsequent regeneration.

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Notes

1. The role of Berezovsky is ironic. He actively participated in the
effort by the Yeltsin family to install their own successor to
Yeltsin. After Putin became president, however, he began to limit the
power of Berezovsky and, apparently in response, Berezovsky began to
accuse the authorities of participation in the bombings in Moscow and
Volgodonsk. "The more hopeless became his chances of returning to the
political arena in Russia, the louder became his accusations... It
seems that he opened a completely new form of political business:
blackmail the authorities with the exposure of one's own crimes."
Andrei Piontkovsky, "Rassledovanie. Priznanie Oligarkha Prokuroru
Respubliki," _Novaya Gazeta_, January 21, 2001.

Berezovsky's odious reputation in Russia has also been useful in
helping the authorities to avoid answering his charges and those
raised in the documentary film. Although the film, which was made by
French documentary filmmakers, was only 25 percent financed by
Berezovsky, it has been consistently described in Russia as the
"Berezovsky film." FSB officials, when they have commented on the
charges of FSB complicity in the bombings at all, have said that they
did not intend to enter into polemics with Berezovsky.

In general, the Russian authorities have responded to the
controversy over the bombings by pretending it does not exist. There
have been attempts to try supposed participants in the bombings but
this is, in all likelihood, part of an effort to reassure the public
that the FSB is doing "something" to investigate the bombings and that
the issue has not been completely forgotten. In the fall of 2001, two
persons who were not ethnic Chechens were tried in Stavropol for
participation in the Moscow bombings, but both were acquitted. They
were convicted of other serious crimes, but the evidence that they had
any connection to the Moscow bombings was too obviously falsified even
for a normally obedient Russian court.

2. This was not the first time that the prospect of elections had led
to acts of terror in Moscow. In June 1996, on the eve of the first
Presidential elections, a bomb went off in the Moscow metro, killing
four persons and injuring twelve, and two trolleybus explosions
injured thirty-eight. These explosions worked in favor of Yeltsin's
candidacy by creating fear of instability. In the case of the Manezh
bombing, an obscure, anti-consumerism group called the

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Union of Revolutionary Writers left leaflets at the scene in which the
group appeared to take credit for the explosion. The leaflet read, in
part, "A hamburger not eaten to the end by the dead consumer is a
revolutionary hamburger." In the past, inane claims of responsibility
by previously unknown or little-known groups have been a way of
signaling that the real responsible parties were the intelligence
services.

3. At the Berezovsky press conference in London, Chekulin described
how large quantities of hexogen were purchased by his institute but,
insofar as the institute had ties to both the Ministry of Internal
Affairs and the FSB, this information actually casts little light on
how hexogen could have reached the hands of Chechen terrorists unless
the terrorists were working for the FSB.

4. See David Satter, "Anatomy of a Massacre," _The Washington Times_,
October 29, 1999. Of course, Chechens could have received demolitions
training in the Russian military, but the high level of expertise
demonstrated in the bombings resembled the product of years of
specialized education rather than the rudimentary training that would
have been provided in the Soviet or Russian army.

5. See "Silence after the Explosions," Investigation. _Moskovsky
Komsomolets_, January 19, 2000. Although the bombings may have been
organized by elements of the Russian government, the FSB and other
investigative agencies, most of whose employees would have been in the
dark about a conspiracy, conducted traditional investigations. This
model of how the bombings were organized was based on the results of
their investigations that were leaked to _Moskovsky Komsomolets_.

Beginning in September, press reports alleged that Berezovsky;
Alexander Voloshin, by then the head of the presidential
administration; Anton Surikov, a former member of the GRU; and Basayev
met in France in June or July to plan the incursion into Dagestan. At
the same time, on September 13-14, the newspaper, _Moskovsky
Komsomolets_, published parts of the transcript of a conversation
between a man with a voice similar to that of Berezovsky and a man
with a voice similar to Movladi Udugov, the unofficial spokesman for
the radical Chechen opposition, including Basayev and Khattab, in
which they appear to be on friendly terms and appeared to discuss the
transfer of money from the person resembling Berezovsky to the
radicals. Pavel Gusev, the chief editor of

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18

_Moskovsky Komsomolets_, said that he had confirmed that the FSB
officer who taped the conversation was later murdered "on the orders
of those who had been recorded."

It was the combination of these publications that may have
inspired Tretyakov, the trusted, chief editor of Berezovsky's most
important publication, to offer a version of events which, if not
absolving Berezovsky, at least suggested that he was not the only
person involved in organizing the fateful incursion into Dagestan.
Tretyakov wrote: "It is perfectly obvious that the Chechens were lured
into Dagestan... in order to provide a legitimate excuse for restoring
federal power in the republic and beginning the offensive phase of
struggle against the terrorists grouped in Chechnya. Clearly it was an
operation by the Russian special services... that was, moreover,
politically authorized from the very top."

"In light of all this, here is my own personal hypothesis: at
worst, Berezovsky may have been used without his knowledge by the
Russian special services or, more than likely, he acted in
coordination with them... My hypothesis is far more realistic than the
theory that 'Berezovsky set everything up,' which presumes his
absolute influence on the two warring sides simultaneously."

If Russian authorities were involved in the planning of the
invasion of Dagestan, it is at least possible that they learned of a
pre-existing Chechen plot to blow up Russian apartment buildings and
decided to facilitate it for their own purposes. If the cycle of
invasion and retaliation had not taken place, however, it is hard to
imagine what would have motivated an attack by Chechens on random
apartment blocks.

6. Harold Laswell, _Propaganda Technique in the World War_ (New York:
Garland Publishers, 1972) p.190

7. The alert telephone operator, Nadezhda Yukhnova, was given a color
television set as an award for "vigilance" by the FSB at an awards
ceremony in September.

8. The FSB has insisted that the persons who took part in the
"exercise" are clandestine agents and cannot appear in public.
However, there is no legal barrier to making the agents available to
journalists. Article seven of the law on

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state secrets of the Russian Federation, adopted July 21, 1993, states
that among the things which cannot be considered state secrets and
declared to be secret evidence are evidence about "extraordinary
accidents and catastrophes threatening the security and health of the
citizens and their consequences... facts about the violation of the
rights and freedoms of citizens... [and] facts about the violations of
the law by state organs and officials." Zdanovich said that if the
agents were necessary for the investigation, they would be produced.
Since, however, the case [which, despite the FSB's explanation of the
Ryazan events, the general prosecutor refused to close] was one of
terrorism, the needs of the investigation were determined by the
persons conducting it: the FSB.

The FSB has also shown no inclination to allow an examination of
the forensic evidence. The rubble from the bombings was cleared almost
immediately despite the objections of the Ministry of Internal Affairs
and the Ministry of Emergency Situations. The haste with which the
crime scenes were destroyed was all the more striking in light of the
fact that, in the case of the bombings of the American embassies in
Kenya and Tanzania in 1998, suspects were identified and eventually
arrested as a result of the careful sifting of the rubble from the
explosions, a process that went on for months. The Russian authorities
also declined offers of forensic assistance from the United States and
other Western countries.

David Satter is a senior fellow of the Hudson Institute and a visiting
scholar at the Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of
Advanced International Studies (SAIS). This is based on his book,
_Darkness at Dawn: The Rise of the Russian Criminal State_, which is
forthcoming from the Yale University Press.

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