The death and maiming of innocent people in today’s St Petersburg bomb blast is yet another atrocity that beggars belief.
We don’t know yet who is responsible, but the Russian authorities have said it is ‘terrorism’.
Whoever turns out to be responsible (if indeed we ever really know), let’s not forget that Mr Putin is quite capable of blowing up his own people.
When he was the head of the FSB (successor to the KGB) in 1999, FSB officers were caught red-handed after planting a bomb in an apartment block in the town of Ryazan. The bomb was discovered before it went off and defused. The bombers were seen fleeing the scene and their car number plate was taken down by a passer-by.
FSB officers were quickly caught by the local police on the outskirts of the town. They were arrested and taken to the police station. They were then soon released after a call came from FSB HQ in Moscow ordering the police to let them go. They never stood trial.
You can read about the case in detail in the book, Blowing up Russia by Alexander Litvinenko and Yuri Felshtinsky.
Mr Putin used such ‘terrorist attacks’ to justify his wars in Chechnya.
We will have to wait and see who claims responsibility for the most recent atrocity.