Monday, February 18, 2019

Telephone Bomb Threat Forces Evacuation of St. Petersburg’s Mariinsky Theater

Paul Goble

            Staunton, February 17 – Telephone bomb threats continue to force the evacuation of buildings in Moscow and St. Petersburg ( and have affected their most prominent target, the Mariinsky Theater in the northern capital, a trend that has forced the central media to cover a phenomenon it earlier downplayed.

            Such coverage now of an attack on such a prominent place – see, for example, the article at – will only spark additional questions about the inability of the Russian intelligence and force structures to do anything to prevent this new plague (

            And these are likely to be even more urgent because this reportage follows a time when such things were not reported and because of two other negative developments in the capital that also have been reported – the collapse of the roof of a St. Petersburg university building ( and violent ethnic clashes in Moscow (

            It is often said that the most dangerous time for a bad government is when it tries to begin to reform itself. A corollary of that observation is that a government that begins reporting bad news in greater amounts after suppressing news about earlier equivalents may unintentionally lead its citizens to conclude that things are getting far worse far faster than they actually are. 

            In the current environment, where Russians are already angry about their falling standard of living and the regime’s spending on foreign adventures rather than on their needs, that pattern may turn out be even more true that earlier, with one or another piece of bad news becoming the trigger for a new wave of protest. 

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