Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Things are happening all over the world - 1

Things are happening all over the world. In Russia President Medvedev has been dealing with the aftermath of the Domodedovo explosion in the time-honoured Russian tradition, by sacking a senior transport official and three police chiefs in charge of security. At least it does not look like they are about to be shot or imprisoned (after all, they have no record of opposing Prime Minister Putin), though the language the President used was eerily familiar:
There must be a shake-up of the entire transport police. If people don’t understand how to work we’ll find different people.
Or as Stalin famously said: "Незаменимых нет." (There are no indispensable people.)

Possibly, President Medvedev and Prime Minister Putin are right in targeting these particular individuals but as the FT says:
Russian media said previous security shake-ups had had little effect. Russian newspaper Kommersant pointed out that numerous bureaucratic reorganisations since two suicide bombers blew up aircraft departing from Domodedovo in 2004, killing 90, had essentially left no one in charge of ensuring security in parts of the airport open to the public. Meanwhile the transport police had been targeted for cutbacks under sweeping police reform launched by Mr Medvedev last year.
There are also other problems. So far nobody has claimed responsibility for the explosion, which is a little unusual. President Putin informed the media that the unknown bomber was not from Chechnya. Does that mean he/she was from Dagestan or Ingushetiya? If so, this proves that far from being controlled, the war in the Caucasus has definitely spread to Chechnya's neighbours, something that has been reasonably clear to all who follow events there.

Secondly, there must be people in Russia who are asking the obvious question as to why so much time, money and effort is being spent by the security services on cracking down on peaceful demonstrators, arresting former Prime Ministers who lead those peaceful demonstrators, and then arresting those who protest the previous arrests, instead of dealing with the obviously serious security threat.

I am assuming that this was a suicide bomber of some description who caused the dreadful bloody mayhem at Domodedovo.

ADDENDUM: International Relations and Security Network gives a useful background to the whole mess in the Caucasus that has long ago spilled over into the rest of Russia, aided and abetted by the behaviour of Putin's friends and colleagues in the security services. I ask again: will there be a proper investigation of what really happened in Domodedovo? Or will everyone settle for grandiloquent statements and a few scapegoats?

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