Back Ön itt van: English Articles Terroristic Attacks in Moscow in March 2010: asking questions and trying to find answers...

Terroristic Attacks in Moscow in March 2010: asking questions and trying to find answers...

The bombing acts taking part in Moscow in the fall of 2010 were not the first terroristic act which had been implemented in the city and most probably will be not the last ones. But again and again as after any terroristic attack against ordinary citizens we ask questions – who and why organized it, what was the reason of these attacks. And finding the right answers on these questions each times become more and more hard task. But let's try to have a look on some issues related to the mentioned terroristic act and try to find the answers on the questions we may have...

The Social Environment

What was the social environment in Russia right before the attack? What was the political situation?

That would be too long to discuss in details the political environment in Russia which had been straight before the acts so we'll discuss only some issues. And first of all – living standards. It's been almost 20 years after the fall of communistic regime when the country started to go by "democratic" way, when life has to become more similar to the life in Western democracies. But the living standards in Russia are still very different in comparing with Western Europe. There are obvious problems like low salaries, not-developed social welfare system, low quality of governmental services (medicine, education at schools, services at governmental bodies etc.). Life in Russia and Western Europe are still very different – and there are not only economical and political issues but also mentality, the way of thinking, the way of making decisions are very different. But in this century people – even people from Russia – are able to travel, to visit other countries, to see the life abroad. People are able to get news from abroad – thanks to the Internet it becomes very easy. And such kinds of communications provide the ground to the formulation of the perception of the life in Western Europe among Russian citizens – people are getting the idea on how the life in Western Europe is. Having this perception people can easily find differences – significant differences among their life and the life of people in Western countries. When people see these differences soon or early they start thinking about the needs of changing in their own country – the changes which would lead to better future – to more economic opportunities, to more freedom, to the society where you shouldn't be afraid to say what you think...

Soon or early peoples should understand that the regime which is called "democratic" in Russia is far from the understanding of the conception of democracy which is used in Western countries – and not only the reality is different but also the understanding of the conception, the definition which you learn at law faculty of the university is different. In Russia the democracy usually considers as the right of majority e.g. if the majority voted for the President and gave the right to the President so now he is free to do whatever he wants. At the same time learning the conception of democracy at the university in Western Europe you often deal with the category of the rule of law which is included to the complex conception of democracy.

People are starting to understand that the country where journalists and human rights defenders are being killed regularly and the murder of such persons is not considered as something special anymore can't be democratic. A person shouldn't be afraid to say what he/she thinks about the politics, to express the opinion – but in modern Russia the expression of the opinion if it's not in accordance with the main political point of view becomes more and more dangerous activity for a person who expresses this opinion.

All this issues make people to think that the life in Russia is quite different from the life in Western Europe – many people find the easiest solution – migration, but many others are thinking about other ways to express their disagreement – according to the results of the public opinion surveys about 30% of citizens were ready to go to the streets with the demonstrations to require better life (the results are provided on the ground of the materials of Russian radio station "Ekho Moskvy"). Those were results right before the terroristic acts e.g. right before these attacks almost a third part of citizens were ready to express their disagreement with the political system and the ways of living which is offered by this political system; almost a third of the citizens were aware about the problems in society which took place – see these problems and don't want to suffer from them anymore. Taking into consideration the huge percent of citizens supporting the regime of Putin this number – one third – is unbelievable! But that was the reality – one third of people acknowledged the reality, recognized the weakness of existing system and required the differences – political, economical and social. If this number were growing the Government very soon would be faced to a serious problem.

As we can see right before the terroristic acts the support of Government in Russia was decreasing... and this process could lead to very dangerous consequences for the Government – there was need to make some steps which would stop the process of decreasing the public trust to the Government – at least for some period.

The Situation in Chechnya

Chechnya (or Ichkeriya) is a small republic within the territory of the Russian Federation. It became "famous" in the beginning of 90th because of the strong separation tendencies taking part in the Republic. Chechnya required the independence from Russia but instead of independence it got thousands of human victims, totally destroyed infrastructure and non-democratic government supporting the Federation which rules in the Republic nowadays.

We will not discuss the history of Chechen Republic in details here but just point out some aspects. Nowadays the situation in the Republic is quite calm – people can feel safer than in 90th. Of course there is still no full peace – moreover nowadays the main actor who violates the human rights in Chechnya is Government and governmental servants – but there are no any strong and significant illegal non-governmental terroristic groups acting in Chechnya. There are no strong illegal groups who still fight for the independence of the Republic and have enough resources to continue this fight. And there are no any groups which would gain something significant from the attacks in Moscow.

In other words we suppose that nobody will get significant benefits from the attacks on Moscow in the modern Chechnya. Moreover there are some actors which will suffer from new problems because of it – as the terroristic attacks as usual are considered as the job of illegal groups in Chechnya – the Federal Government now has a serious reason to activate its work in Chechnya to fight against these illegal groups.

The Beneficiaries of the Terroristic Act

If the terroristic act is done it means some groups are getting some advantages, some benefits from that otherwise there would not be reason to commit such kind of action. And let's try to understand who the beneficiaries from the terroristic attacks in Moscow are.

First of all let's indicate main actors and try to identify their benefits and looses. As the main actors we can mention:

People of the country (people in general, all population of the country)

The Republic of Chechnya (the Republic, its habitants and those who are called by media "illegal terroristic groups")

The Government (group of people ruling the country – the terroristic act definitely has some influence on them)

Let's try to understand the influence which the terroristic act had on these actors.

The Influence on the People

The word of "terror" has Greek origins with the meaning of "fear" and indeed one of the main results of almost any terroristic attacks is the spreading of fear – people are starting to be afraid. In this situation the terroristic attack took place on metro stations which are regularly visited by many habitants of Moscow. Moreover – metro in general is the main mean of transport in Russian capital. After these attacks many people would start to be afraid of using metro – they see that no one of them is protected, that each of them can be among next victims.

This terroristic act definitely would lead to the growing fear among ordinary people. And so if yesterday the main problem was low salary and non-democratic regime today there are more serious problems – today you have to think how to protect yourself and your family from terrorists who can attack you any moment wherever you are. People can't think much about violation of human rights by Government when they have basic need to survive.

The terroristic attack easily moved an agenda – if yesterday the non-democratic political regime was the main problem so today there is need to think – first of all – about the ways to protect own life.

The Republic of Chechnya

There are no active war actions nowadays in Chechnya. At the same time there are deep violations of human rights which are implemented nowadays by governmental bodies – including the Government of Chechnya itself! And this system is supported by a Federal Government of Russia which is satisfied that it has controlled regime in Chechnya.

At the moment there are no any strong illegal groups which act against the government of the Republic – the main actor violating human rights is the Government of the Republic and its institutions so it's quite legal organization. Moreover the violation of human rights in many ways are institutionalized and take place within the usual system of the implementation of governmental duties e.g. the violation of human rights are not considered by the habitants of Chechnya as something unusual but it's accepted by society who consider such violations as a natural element of political system in the Republic.

Which influence could have the terroristic acts in Moscow on the people in Chechnya? First of all – now Federal Government has the strong reason to activate the work against the illegal groups in the Republic who easily can be considered as the main organizers of the terroristic act. There is no proof that these groups exist and that they committed this terroristic act but there is no need in proof if the Federal Government decided to act against these groups. Such acts of Federal Government would lead to the possibilities for broader violation of human rights in the Republic.

Russia is quite xenophobic country where most of the population doesn't accept the basic values of human rights and the equality of people without the regard to the place of origin. Since 90th there have been active movements against people from Caucasus – even those people from Caucasus who were from Russian part of Caucasus including the Republic of Chechnya (there are some other republics in Russian which are parts of Caucasus as well – North Ossetia, Dagestan, Ingushetia etc.). So there was strong xenophobia even against those people who were Russians. Nowadays this xenophobia is quite active against labor migrants from Asia. At the same time some problems with people from Caucasus still exist. It's easy to predict that after the mentioned terroristic act the xenophobia against people from Chechnya – who are Russians as well – will increase. So not only Chechen people within the Republic will suffer but people with Chechen origins who live in other parts of Russia also will enjoy the negative consequences of the terroristic act.

The Influence on Federal Government

The discussions on the topic of modern Russian Government could take very long time – we would not like to describe here the existing in Russia political system, the violation of human rights – if any – or any other details regarding to the political regime in Russia. We just would like to give a brief analysis of possible consequences of terroristic acts for Russian Government.

More and more people in Russia realize that the Government doesn't provide necessary conditions for free and successful development of a person in the country; that the Government commits broad violations of human rights. And if there is no any other more serious problem this one – the problem of non-democratic regime and low living standards – can raise more and more attention of the people.

After any terroristic act the public attention moves to that act – now the main threat for the people is coming not from the Government but from the terrorists – if the Government "just" violates your rights and doesn't provide you by necessary conditions to create successful career – the terrorists attacks your life and that leads for more negative consequences. Terrorists make attack on your most basic need – the life. Of course when there is need to think about surviving from terrorists – that will become main agenda, people will not think as much about their complains to the Government anymore – there is now a new "enemy", a new actor who is much more dangerous than the Government who probably didn't have so much negative influence on your life as terrorists could have. Moreover this new "enemy" – terrorists – is a common enemy for both actors – for the Federal Government and for the People of the country as well. Now there is a strong ground for consolidation and solidarity – only together we can be effective in fighting against terrorism. Now we have to forget for a while about our other "secondary" requirements and act together against the main source of danger – the terrorists. If before the commitment of terroristic attacks the main problems were economical – low salaries, limited opportunities for the development of business – now the main problems are connected with the threat of terrorism – people have to think how to save their lives and all other problems have secondary meaning.

So what is the main result for the Federal Government from the terroristic attacks? The Government obviously gets significant benefits from that. The main benefit is the moving of the agenda – if right before the attacks main problems which could worry people were economical and political, after them there is need to think about the protection of lives and it makes previous problems less important. Now Government can easily manipulate by public opinion forming it – now Government and the citizens must become the members of the same team with the common enemy – terrorists! Now – at least for some period of time – people think more about the protection from terrorism but not about other problems connected with economy and political regime – all these issues seem less important in comparing with that danger which comes from terrorism.

As we can see the Federal Government really got significant benefits from the terroristic attacks – now the public attention is moved from the issue of economic and political problems but the problem of terrorism becomes the main one in the society.

Fighting for Independence

The history of last decades gives us lots of examples of fighting for the independence of different territories. Chechnya is such example in modern Russian history. And it's a very dramatic page in the new history of the country.

But those activities which are presented as fighting for the independence of the territory often have other aims – mostly economical ones. Fighting for the independence, for the liberation – those are good topics, very populist ones... And these topics are often used to cover other aims as these ideas – the ideas of the liberation – are very strong ones. They support the justification of any activity you do from both sides – people of the territory really believe that they'll get the independence and it helps to get their support thanks to these patriotical feelings and for international community you show that the real aim of your activities is to get the independence for your people who are oppressed by "foreigners".

The topic of fighting for independence has been professionally used in Chechnya as well. But nowadays the people of the Republic had seen what the "independence" was – they could enjoy it in 90s when the positions of the Federal Government were very weak in the Republic – during that period there were total disaster, no any guarantees of human rights, poverty etc. Remembering that period not many people in Chechnya really support the ideas of the independence nowadays. Of course the situation with human rights is not very good in Republic but anyway it's better than the situation in 90s. So nowadays there is no public support of the ideas of getting independence in Chechnya. As this idea is not very popular there are not many young people who are ready to join illegal groups and fight against the Federal Government. Because of the mentioned reasons there are no strong illegal groups of criminals (except governmental institutions who are de facto quite legal) who would be ready for serious activities against the Federal Government – there are no any groups who would gain significant benefits from organizing terroristic attacks in Moscow. Moreover if any group really would have the aim fighting for the independence it would use other methods as the mentioned one – terrorism – is obviously not the most effective method for fighting for the independence.

Even if we suppose that the illegal groups in Chechnya don't have the real aim fighting for the independence – anyway the terroristic acts in Moscow would not lead to any advantages for them. At the same time it leads to new problems for these groups as the Government now has the reason to activate the work in the Republic to fight against these "terrorists".

So... Who Is the Beneficiary?!

Looking at the terroristic act taking place in Moscow we just want to find the answer on one question – who are the beneficiaries? Who are those actors who got something – something significant – from those acts?!

It's quite weird but as we can see the main beneficiary from the terroristic attacks was the Federal Government. But actually may be it's just by chance – a very lucky chance for the Government – who knows... If other actors got mostly looses from this situation – the Federal Government got significant benefits – the public attention had been moved from real economical, political and social problems to the problem of terrorism, global terrorism which is coming to Russia! That should accumulate patriotic feelings, make people to work together with the Government – only that can save us from the terrorists!

But of course we don't want to say that the Government is organizing terroristic acts against the citizens... or may be not organizing but somehow supporting their implementation... creating the situations when such acts are becoming possible... We just wanted to understand why the terroristic acts took place right at this period of time when there was no any special stimulus for that, why terrorists decided to attack the habitants of Moscow when in fact they will not get any significant benefits from that. Why the main beneficiary from the terroristic act is the Government? We tried to find the logic but unfortunately didn't succeed in it... in such cases they say in Russia – you can't understand Russia by using mind...

Emberi Jogok Egyetemes Nyilatkozata

Emberi Jogok Egyetemes Nyilatkozata

Elfogadva és kihirdetve az ENSZ Közgyűlésének 217 A (III) határozata alapján, 1948. december 10-én.

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