Thursday, January 3, 2019

Moscow’s Behavior after Magnitogorsk Contributing to Spread of Conspiracy Thinking, Inozemtsev Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, January 3 – Suggestions by some Russians that the explosion in Magnitogorsk was a terrorist act have not been stilled by official statements that there is no evidence yet to support that given that the authorities have not levelled with the population or reported fully about what has occurred, Vladislav Inozemtsev says.

            Instead, likely fearful that anything officials say is unlikely to be believed, the officials have made the situation worse by take actions in that city people can observe and report but not telling the population what it is doing or why, the Moscow economist and commentator says (

            The authorities have not talked at all about the explosion in a bus shortly after the explosion in the apartment block, an explosion which killed three additional people. Nor have they explained why, according to one report, there are now more than 100 investigators in Magnitogorsk, far more than are normally deployed for a technogenic disaster.

            And they have not provided the kind of coverage that counters that provided by authoritative local media. (On that, see As a result, Inozemtsev says, “the sense of another deception is growing with each hour,” raising the question: “why is this being done?”

            “Some ‘experts,’” he continues, “hurried to declare that we are dealing with a provocation by the siloviki,” one that follows the scenario of 1999. “Honestly,” Inozemtsev says, “I cannot allow such a version” because one must ask against whom and for what such an action of that kind would be taken now. Mobilizing against “Islamic terrorism” isn’t sufficient.

            Terrorist acts do happen with frequency in many countries, as for example, recently in France. “Of course,” the commentator says, “’we do not want the situation with us to be like it is in France’ has become our latest meme. But not to want is one thing, and not to repeat errors is quite another.”

            “And it is quite easy to see that contemporary society is more ready to unite in response to a terrorist attack than to give in to panic or begin to be suspicious of its own government.”  But that requires that the government admit that terrorism is always possible and that the population should be invited to cooperate with it to fight this plague.

            In the US, the slogan “If you see something, say something” is posted almost everywhere. As a result, Americans are more than ready to cooperate with their government to fight terrorism. There have been murderous acts by crazy people there in recent years, but there haven’t been any real terrorist acts in some time.

            “In other words,” Inozemtsev says, “I do not see anything catastrophic in saying this openly. Call on people to be vigilant. Ask for their help. Give them advice about potential suspects.”  And recognize that in the world as it is with relatively open borders, the danger of a terrorist attack cannot be reduced unless the government and the people work together.

            “The problem is not in the possibility of a terrorist act but in the desire to say nothing when it is completely clear than no one will accuse the authorities of preparing or carrying it out.” And that is “a real problem” because it shows that “the powers that be are afraid to speak the truth to people” lest the latter reject them when they do so.

            “The Russian people is more rational and responsible than the Kremlin thinks,” he concludes. “It deserves the truth whatever it is,” including arguments and dialogue however difficult that may be.  “And if its rulers relate to the people in that way, their authority will be significantly higher.”

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