Staunton, January 18 – In recent weeks, bomb threats have forced the evacuation of hundreds of schools, courts, stores and offices across the Russian Federation. In the last 48 hours, Moscow and St. Petersburg have been hit particularly hard with courts there being emptied by such threats.
Despite this, government media have ignored the problem, and the security services seem to be powerless to stop it. That has now caused concerned Russians to write an open letter to Aleksandr Bortnikov, the head of the FSB, and to circulate an online petition demanding that Bortnikov and his officers earn their pay (novayagazeta.ru/articles/2020/01/18/83498-zaminirovanie-rossii-prozholzhaetsya).
“Millions of people in the country are being subjected to telephone terrorism,” the letter says. Given that, “why are you silent?” Not only are school children and judges being evacuated but there are even reports that people have died in the course of these actions. And in many places, the evacuations have been repeated “five to ten times.”
“This is about hundreds of objects and millions of people,” the letter says, people “whose lives have been disordered by these events. The moral and material harm is enormous. And if one compares this with ordinary statistics about such cases, it is unprecedented. The number of those who are suffering has yet to be established: no one is collecting generalized statistics.”
“We have no doubt that you know all this: your officers don’t just read the press. And although the federal media carefully ignore these events and suggest that nothing special is happening, the extent of this phenomenon has already for a long time made that impossible,” the letter says.
“In these circumstances, the continuing silence of the law enforcement organs is in shocking contradiction with the reality now experienced by millions of Russian citizens. Each day, the silence of your subordinates and the authorities as a whole about the existing situation harms their reputations.”
“Not one of the hundreds of reports about minings has been confirmed. The selection of objects of attack and the timings of them clearly testifies that we are dealing with a single plan of unknown evil people. Mass evacuations are the result not of simple hooliganism but of a planned action directed at destabilizing life in our country.”
“In part,” the letter’s authors say, “it has already achieved its goal.”
“The first against such crimes is the direct responsibility of your agency,” the letter continues. “It is time to show people that your officers make good use of their parking expensive off-road cards in entryways. All of Russia is watching you.”
Commentators have suggested that Russians are losing patience with the security agencies as a result of these attacks. (See windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2019/12/telephone-terrorism-eroding-russians.html and windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2019/12/kremlin-medias-failure-to-cover-bomb.html.)
That appears to be especially true given that the attacks have now come to the two capitals and forced hundreds of thousands of people to stand in the cold as officials search for bombs that they have never found (windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2019/12/over-last-15-days-360000-muscovites.html).
But this open letter and especially an attached online petition demanding change (change.org/p/директору-фсб-бортникову-почему-вы-молчите-фсб-обязана-объяснить-эпидемию-лжеминирований-в-россии-и-устранить-их-причину) suggests that this issue more than constitutional change is what is agitating Russians today.