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

Donate to the Socialist Party

Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation


Your message: 


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:


triangleBelarus: Mass opposition continues to defy repression by Lukashenko's regime

triangleMass protests and strikes rock Belarus

triangleBooks that inspired me: The Mother

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

triangleMueller report underlines Democrats' weakness


triangleFight racism, Trump and capitalism

triangleBlack Lives Matter: Fighting injustice, fighting for our rights

triangleBlack Lives Matter: this generation is willing to stand up and fight

triangleCampaign stalls on jobs, pay, NHS and racism


triangleDoncaster: Vigil for murdered women

trianglePoverty rises again - especially for BAME workers

triangleA timely read about a pandemic that overwhelms society


triangleNigerian police repress peaceful anti-government protest

triangleHow the FBI and Chicago police murdered a Black Panther





Egypt: Support for al-Sisi dwindles as his regime increases repression



Nigerian police repress peaceful anti-government protest



Belarus: Mass opposition continues to defy repression by Lukashenko's regime



Strike wave marks new stage in revival of Iranian workers' movement



Mass protests in Israel demand Netanyahu's resignation



Revolutionary mood in Lebanon following horrific explosion



Mass protests and strikes rock Belarus



New book: Leon Trotsky - A Revolutionary Whose Ideas Couldn't Be Killed



Revolutionary mood in Lebanon following horrific explosion



Cuba: Covid-19 and the 60-year-old embargo


Nuclear weapons

Anniversary of nuclear destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki



Iran: Renewed wave of protests and strikes



Israel: Nurses strike and win


Hong Kong

Hong Kong: The fight for democratic rights


South Africa

South Africa: Building jobs and living wage campaign

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: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 075 4018 9052

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041



Alphabetical listing

September 2020

August 2020

July 2020

June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020