Explosion in the City

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Yesterday a little before 9 in the morning there was an explosion in a taxi just outside of a metro station in St. Petersburg. Three people (a man, woman, and their child) were killed. The man driving the taxi somehow survived. According to the Russian authorities it was not a terrorist attack and (according to them) one of the three passengers “accidentally” set off a hand grenade that they just happened to be carrying.

I hate when my spare hand grenades accidentally explode.

WHAT?!? Who carries hand grenades??

Apparently there are a surprising number of Russians who do. All men are required to serve in the armed forces and I guess it is quite easy to get grenades and when they are released from service they just hold on to them. Many of them end up being sold on the black market. I don’t know why this man would have been carrying one at 9 in the morning while out with his wife and child but that seems to be the reason for the explosion. This happens less than a year after a bomb went off in a McDonald’s down on Nevsky… that of course was just some teenage “hooliganism”. I don’t know. In this country I just don’t see how it can just be an accident.

It may be because I just finished reading A Dirty War that my cynicism of this country is at an all time high. I was doing some reading about Anna Politkovskaya after finishing the book. She was not the first journalist to be “contract” style assassinated after writing something that made the government look bad. She wasn’t the second or third or fourth either. She was the 13th. Three men are currently on trial for “taking part” in her assassination. First of all, none are charged with ordering or carrying out the murder but they are the main focus for some reason. Secondly, the men are all Chechen, which are the people she spent her time (and life) trying to protect and defend. The judge seems to be completely fixed, too. He made a big point to tell the press and other journalists that they could watch the trial however reneged the offer because he said that the juror did not feel safe. After talking to the jurors it became clear that none of them ever complained about have the journalists and press. I think he just made a show of that so people felt they were going about this trial fairly. Now the defense lawyers are calling for that judge to be dismissed. There is also evidence now that points to a Russian Politician at the top of all this. It’s all so sketchy. I will definitely be following this story at home.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving!
Happy День Благодарениа!
Enjoy your индейка!

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