Terrorists crowned Putin in Moscow: dissatisfaction with the Kremlin and fear for the future are growing in Russia


Roger Boyes, who has written books about how Adolf Hitler rose to and maintained power, began his article in The Times of London by asking whether dictators keep their citizens safer than democracies.

Mr Boyes referred to the Cold War, arguing that Mr Putin’s political survival was due to him being “more protective of the homeland” than the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, and “stronger-handed” than his predecessor, Boris Yeltsin.

Lost the title

March 22 The attack on the Moscow concert hall showed how unreliable Putin’s role as Russia’s protector is. It also highlighted the weakness of the narrative of the war in Ukraine.

“The sequence of events shows that Putin is losing control of the narrative,” said Boyes, who pointed to the Feb. 16 death of Putin’s main opponent, Alexei Navalny, and then the Russian regime leader’s rejection of U.S. intelligence that hinting at an imminent Islamic State attack in crowded public places.

“The facts are clear – ordinary Russians who imagined they were voting for a credible leader are now feeling scared about the future,” Boyes said.

Blames Ukraine

Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) said it had arrested 11 people, including four Tajik nationals identified as the suspected shooters, who appeared in a Moscow court on Sunday on terrorism charges and showed signs of beatings.

Russian officials have insisted that Ukraine and the West were involved, something Kyiv and the US strongly deny.

But Boyes said Putin’s propagandists had gone “over the top” in trying to link Kyiv to Islamic State and were now vaguely referring to Western puppets.

Boyes noted that one scenario could be that Putin could use the attack to turn his back on the war in Ukraine and freeze the conflict while focusing on the broader war on terror.

The crisis may also mean that Putin is already losing control as he has allowed internal divisions within the intelligence establishment to fester.

V. Putin and his security guards (photo: SCANPIX)

A bad sign for Russia’s security

The death toll from the attack rose to 140 after another person died in hospital, Russian officials said.

The Islamic State-linked group ISIS-K claimed responsibility for the attack after they posted videos of the killings on social media.

However, FSB chief Alexander Bortnikov insisted that Western spy agencies were involved and echoed Putin’s claim that the captured shooters were trying to flee to Ukraine.

However, this was opposed by the authoritarian president of Belarus, Aliaksandr Lukashenka, who said that the suspects went to Ukraine because they were afraid of strict controls at the Belarusian border.

Belarusians asked why a tank is needed 10 km from Lithuania: the government's answer - what is bothering you? (photo by SCANPIX)

The answer is to show rigor

“V. Putin’s response is to show severity, to show that criminals will be punished. This allows him to claim that he is on the side of the Russian people, even though the attack itself was the result of a failure by the FSB,” Kevin Riehle, a lecturer in intelligence and security studies at Brunel University in London, told Newsweek.

K. Riehle believes that the FSB is likely to produce some “evidence” of Ukrainian and Western involvement in the attack.

“This is likely to lead to further violent attacks against Ukrainian civilian infrastructure.” It could also lead to provocative military action against NATO countries in the absence of full escalation,” he said.

The article is in Lithuanian

Tags: Terrorists crowned Putin Moscow dissatisfaction Kremlin fear future growing Russia


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