A bomb went off in St. Petersburg. So far 10 are dead and 37 wounded. The cause has not been officially determined yet.
This story hits home for me. I live in St. Petersburg, Russia. I was right next to Sennaya Ploshad’ where the attack happened. But I was above ground and the attack was in the station. From all accounts. a wagon was blown up with a nail bomb. This is consistent with the nail bomb that the Chechen Tsarnaev brothers used in Boston.
This RT livestream has good footage:
A quick rundown.
- There are reports of a second package found on another major station, Vostaniya
- The metro system was shut down
- Multiple bombs suggest planned attack
- Vostaniya and Sennaya are the two largest hubs
Now, Sennaya is in between two immigrant districts. Apraxin Dvor and Sennaya Rinok. These areas have been the subject of controversy as Far-Right groups have targeted them before. The actual Sennaya Square used to absolutely covered in migrant shops, it was cleared entirely up last year by St. Petersburg police. Now, only a small market at Sennaya Rinok right nearby and the larger Apraxin Dvor have a huge Muslim immigrant concentration. They are like little self-contained ghettos.
Speculations so far:
Supporters of Navalny, a liberal opposition figure are claiming that this was a Putin/KGB false-flag attack to pin on their man and raise Putin’s popularity. Needless to say, these people are idiots.
There is speculation that Ukraine could have been involved. The reason for this suspicion is because it wasn’t a suicide attack. But Caucasus terrorists did not often carry-out suicide attacks, that is more consistent with Arab tactics.
Here are some of the reactions that Muslims on Facebook had about news of the attack:
Will Russians “wake up” to the threat of Islamic terror? Strange question. Even the liberals in Russia hate the “churkas” and “hachis”. The country is “woke” enough. Russia also practices collective punishments. If the Caucasus are involved, heads will roll. No attack happens in a vaccum. The elders, the community leaders in the Caucasus would have known what the youth were planning. If they did not prevent it, they will undoubtedly be punished. We will have to keep an eye on what Kadyrov, Putin’s man in the Caucasus, does.
From VK- the Russian Facebook.
I was on the square in front of the station almost immediately after the attack. I took some pics.
Security in St. Petersburg isnt that tight. There are metal detectors, but they can be walked around. The real defense system is the face-control and random checks. I have never gotten checked, but central asians do very often. The fact that one of the bombs was in a fire extinguisher suggests an employee of the station.
Ren TV claims that this guy might have done it.
Some commentators have commented that the reason St. Petersburg was chosen was because Putin was in St. Petersburg. This was to send a message. You bomb us in Syria, we bomb you in St. Petersburg. That’s possible, but would indicate a sophisticated network that could be activated quickly in St. Petersburg. That would be disturbing indeed.
Don’t send empty and meaningless prayers to the people of St. Petersburg. Instead, harden your heart for the fight to come.
I went to the neighboring immigrant district of Apraxin Dvor on a hunch. All I had to do was cross the street to get there from Sennaya. Sure enough, everything was closed down. It was a ghost town. All the migrants decided to play it safe and stay indoors.
As I mentioned earlier, I believe that the proximity of the historic immigrant district to the sennaya station was no coincidence. These streets are usually bustling with central asians. It is a self-contained little world. The emptiness is striking. I saw some drunk Russians pass by and yell at some of the skulking immigrants, but no other disturbance. There is also the alternative theory that Sennaya was relatively close to the St. Petersburg city duma. But I believe that is far-fetched.
Walking home, I wasn’t alone. The whole city had to hoof it as the metro station was shut down. The cafes that usually played music to entice people in instead played newsreels. People gathered to listen or watch if a TV was showing. Most people suspect that Chechens are to blame.
Update: now the official story is that the explosion happened at Technologicheskiy Institut. Its one station away from Sennaya. This is a massive student hub.