Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 31 March 2010

Terror returns to Moscow For workers' unity against terror, repression, racism and capitalism

THIRTY NINE people died and over 70 were badly injured when two bombs exploded on the Moscow metro during the morning rush hour on Monday 29 March. This is not just a tragedy in which working people died, but an act intended to terrify people, an act which will have serious social and political consequences.

Igor Yasin and Rob Jones, CWI Russia

Not surprisingly, given the past history of Russia, discussions on the blogosphere on the question of who was behind the attacks have mainly presented three options - Islamic fundamentalists, the extreme right or the Russian secret services.

It is not surprising that some people believe these bombings could have been carried out by the state. After all, it is widely believed that a section of the Russian internal security service, the FSB, was behind horrific terror attacks in Moscow in 1999, which gave the regime the pretext to launch its second Chechen war and which also saw Vladimir Putin springboard to victory in the following presidential election.

However, it does appear from the video footage taken in the metro that the perpetrators were female suicide bombers.

The media suggests that they were "black widows" - extremely embittered women from the North Caucasus, who have lost their husbands, sons and other family members during Russia's brutal wars and 'anti-terror campaigns', and who have then been recruited by political Islamists to carry out such acts.


But whoever was behind the attack, it has played into the hands of the Russian authorities.

True to form, President Medvedev and Premier Putin have both, through snarling teeth, promised to annihilate the terrorists.

The Kremlin loyal "opposition" parties have jumped on the bandwagon. Genaddy Zuganov, leader of the Communist Party, demands that the moratorium of the death sentence is lifted - quite how the threat of execution will deter a suicide bomber intent on detonating a bomb is not explained.

The right populist politician, Sergei Abeltsev, thinks that the relatives and friends of the suicide bombers should have all their property confiscated. The neo-liberal politicians, several of whom are now frequently subject to police repression, call for full co-operation with the police in the name of "civil solidarity".

Representatives from the ruling party have been even more direct. The leader of its youth wing, Boris Yakimenko, put the blame for the metro carnage on the opposition.

The ruling elite will step up its campaign to lump together reactionary terrorists with genuine political opposition. This is already happening in words, with the campaign against "extremism", supposedly intended to target terrorists and the far right who use bombings and other violent means, now being deployed against the left and trade union activists and also used to crack down on democratic rights.

Following the Beslan school massacre in September 2004, the election of regional governors was abolished.

After a bomb attack on the 'Nevsky Express' (Moscow-St Petersburg train) last autumn, amendments to the law on extremism were passed, making it an "act of extremism" to attempt to block traffic on the railways or roads, which is a highly effective form of protest traditionally used by workers in Russia.

Naturally, the far right has used the metro attack to whip up their reactionary propaganda and terror against immigrants.

Territory without hope

In many ways, given the terrible social, economic and security situation in the North Caucasus, it is surprising that there have not been more terrorist acts in Moscow. (There have been many in other parts of the country).

A majority of the population in the North Caucasus have difficulties scraping together a living equal to the UN's poverty guideline of $2 a day. By the end of last year, unemployment over the whole of the region was 20%, at 56% in Ingushetia.

Military and police activities in the North Caucasus have been stepped up considerably in the last few months.

So widespread are the permanent 'purges' (ie police actions aimed at wiping out alleged 'terrorists'), military operations, explosions and assassinations, against the background of extreme poverty and unemployment and endemic corruption and repression, it is difficult not to describe the region as a 'war zone'.

The political Islamists find plenty of ready recruits from those who have lost family members during the conflicts and are living in abject poverty. It is from this extremely alienated layer that the so-called "black widows" are recruited.

The real cause of the problem is not to be found only in the existence of the terrorist underground or in demented suicide bombers, but in the existence of capitalism, which creates the conditions of mass poverty, desperation and humiliation and the feeling that there is no way out.

Russia is currently suffering the consequences of the economic crisis in the form of rising prices and wage cuts and arrears.

Thousands of people, notwithstanding the attempts by the police to stop them, have gone onto the streets in cities such as Archangelsk, Orel and Kaliningrad to protest.

An extraordinary split is developing within the structures of 'law and order'. In the recent stage-managed elections, the ruling party failed to get the votes it wanted. Against this background, these explosions will merely add to the growing sense of chaos in society.

System change

The only way to end terror attacks against innocent civilians is ultimately through the solidarity of working people and the poor, through an international struggle against poverty and the lack of basic democratic and other rights, with the creation of jobs with a living wage, and by building decent homes, schools and hospitals.

Gangster-parasitic capitalism that gives birth to violence and terror must be replaced by a democratically managed and planned economy, based on public ownership. This, in turn, would enable nationalities who wish to exercise genuine self-determination to do so and bring an end to the corruption, unemployment, poverty and authoritarianism that breeds violence and terror.

Full version can be read on

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.

In The Socialist 31 March 2010:

We will not pay!

Help fund Socialist Party campaigns

Stop the cuts, build a socialist alternative

PCS strike action

PCS: Striking against government attacks

PCS budget day strike: Support grows across country

Transport strikes

BA cabin crew strike: 'We shall not be moved'

Fight the decimation of London tube jobs

Network Rail dispute: RMT signalworker speaks to The Socialist

Workplace news in brief

NUT conference

NUT conference: fight cuts and excessive workload

Socialist elected to NUT executive

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition Standing against cuts and privatisation

Socialist Party news and analysis

Yorkshire on the campaign trail

Developing a strategy to defeat the far-right

Waltham Forest: on march against redundancies

Cameron shows Tories still anti-gay

Council cuts: Grim Reaper moving to Surrey

Lewisham councillors' record

News in brief

International socialist news and analysis

Terror returns to Moscow For workers' unity against terror, repression, racism and capitalism

Eurozone crisis: Hanging together or hanging separately


Future Jobs scam: attacks on young unemployed

Southampton University protest

May Day march in Hull: Rebuilding traditions of struggle

Socialist Party review

When We Were Miners


Home   |   The Socialist 31 March 2010   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  

Related links:


triangleThe striking relevance of Leon Trotsky's Theory of Permanent Revolution

triangleMueller report underlines Democrats' weakness

triangleCaerphilly Socialist Party: Russia - The rise of Stalinism

triangleSupport for Putin's regime dips over major attacks on state pensions

triangleThem & us


triangleBoot racism out of football - reclaim the game!

triangleEast London Socialist Party: Racism, black liberation and the writings of CLR James

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: The role of trade unions in the fight against racism in Britain

triangleHackney Socialist Party: Mass uprisings in Chile and Ecuador


triangleKnife and gun crime a product of poverty and austerity

triangleBuild a working-class movement to force an election

triangleThem & Us


trianglePressure needed to force secret police disclosure

triangleNorthern Ireland: Campaign mounts over historic sexual abuse allegations cover-up





Chile: An outpouring of rage against the capitalist system



Solidarity with the Kurdish people



Catalonia: Draconian prison sentences of independence leaders provokes mass protests and strikes



China at the crossroads: 70 years since the declaration of the People's Republic of China



Massive protests against Lebanon's corrupt elite



Mass united action against the war on Syrian Kurds



Uprising in Ecuador forces government climbdown



Catalonia: Mass protests against punitive political jailings



Trump gives green light to Turkey to attack Kurds



Trump, impeachment and the need for an independent workers' party



Chinese revolution of 1944-49: 'The second greatest event in human history'



Egypt: Street protests challenge Trump's favourite dictator



Catalonia independence movement two years on


Saudi Arabia

Drone attacks on Saudi Arabia: Tensions ratcheted up


South Africa

Violence against women in South Africa

triangleMore International articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777


Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07954 376 096

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551



Alphabetical listing

October 2019

September 2019

August 2019

July 2019

June 2019

May 2019

April 2019

March 2019

February 2019

January 2019