Following the second deadly bomb attack in the southern Russian city of Volgograd in 24 hours, euronews spoke by telephone to Alexey Malashenko, co-chair of the Carnegie Moscow Centre’s Religion, Society, and Security Programme.
We asked him who he thinks is behind the bombings and what might they be hoping to achieve?
Alexey Malashenko: “Nobody knows who it is, even at the Federal Security Service – the FSB – otherwise they would have announced it, or at least given hints, to cover themselves (for not having advanced warning). And the fact that the attackers are unknown is the most important thing here. The terrorists’ goal is to show they still exist, they’re strong and they can strike anyone, and even give Russia’s President a slap in the face just before New Year.”
euronews: “Do you think, this series of attacks is going to continue?”
Malashenko: “That’s the question now being asked by people all across Russia, because before we were reasonably certain that the earlier bus bombing, back in October, was just an isolated attack. But now obviously everybody is wondering where and when this could happen again.”
euronews: “What are the immediate consequences in Russia, and, especially, what impact is this going to have on the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi?
Malashenko: “I think that fewer people will come to the Olympics than (the Russian government) would have wanted, and that ordinary people will feel that the authorities are unable to protect us, to save us from such attacks. That’s why if – God forbid – something like this happens just before the New Year in St. Petersburg or Moscow – nobody will be surprised. Rather, people will be angry, angrier even than they are now.”