Commentary by Political Analysts

M. Dobuzhinsky. “October Idyllic Scene.” 1905.

According to BBC, on Monday, April 3, the bomb went off in St Petersburg, Russia, on a subway train, leaving dozens of people wounded, and ten people dead.

The chairman of the defense committee in the Russian Federation Council said “the choice of the place and the timing of these blasts was not accidental. Putin is in St. Petersburg and “the media forum is taking place there, there are many journalists.


(excerpts from the Russian RBK article Explosion in St. Petersburg: What We Know about The Event, translated by Zarina Zabrisky)

“The tragedy in the metro greatly changes the political reality,” commented RBC political scientist Nikolai Mironov.

“From conversations about discontent and problems [the anti-corruption rallies] we will move on to a narrative built around security, and in this field the authorities feel more confident.”

A young man protesting in the central square of St. Petersburg on March 26, 2017. “Putin — thief.”

CNN reported that on March 26, mass unsanctioned protests emerged in multiple cities across Russia including St. Petersburg and Vladivostok, with the largest gatherings in Moscow, where state-run news outlet Tass reported that 8,000 people had taken to the streets.

According to BBC, at least 1,000 people were held during the protest in Moscow, reportedly the largest in five years, and 31 people on the following Sunday.

Riot police facing the anti-corruption protesters in St. Petersburg, March 26, 2016.

The opposition has called for the resignation of Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev over corruption allegations.

According to RBK Mironov, events like terrorist attacks unify society and there will be a further increase in imposing security measures.


Alexander Benois. Illustration to Pushkin’s Bronze Horseman, set in St. Petersburg.

“The use of terrorist acts to tighten the screws is a national tradition...”

Apartment bombings in Russia, 1999.

“…therefore it is impossible to exclude such development,” said political scientist Abbas Gallamiov.

In his opinion, two types of reaction are possible. The first is “…uniting around power, with anyone in opposition being pronounced the national traitor.”

The second reaction is dissatisfaction with the authorities, which allowed the terrorist act. “It is clear that the Kremlin will now do its best to drown out the latter. For this, it most likely will focus on the first type of reaction. Even if the Kremlin does not do this, there will be a lot of people wishing to demonstrate their loyalty to the authorities, so inevitably there will be appeals to tighten the screws.”

V. Rokhlin. St. Peter and Paul’s Cathedral. I grew up there. It is hard to watch.

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