September 6, 2009: The article alleges that the 1999 Russian apartment bombings of September 4 and September 13 in Buynaksk and on September 9 and September 13 in Moscow, and September 16 in Volgodonsk (all in Russia) were not the work of Chechnyan terrorists, but the work of the Federal Security Service and Vladimir Putin, who used them to expand his power as newly installed premier minister of Russia and rally the population behind him. Journalists who subsequently investigated the truth behind those attacks either were murder or otherwise wound up dead. This includes Alexander Litvinenko, who was spectacularly killed in London on November 23, 2006 via plutonium poisoning.
The Chechen mafia controlled much of the Russian criminal underworld even during the time of the Soviet Union. After the fall of the Soviet Union, they got military weapons for the First Chechen War from corrupt army officers. However, one FSB member, Mikhail Trepashkin, discovered that they also got them from the Federal Security Service itself, as well as the Ministry of Defense. His efforts to stop this corruption first got him fired from the FSB, and then an assassination order on him from the FSB director which Alexander Litvinenko was supposed to carry out. Litvinenko refused, and spoke out in public against the assassination orders.
There it seemed to end, but after the 1999 bombings, the same people who were responsible for the assassination scandal were now claiming that Chechen terrorists were responsible for the attack.
On September 22, a further bombing in Moscow in an apartment block was prevented by observant residents who saw two people carrying sacks of a substance (which was identified as explosive called RDX by a local FSB office) into the basement of the building. But when the suspects were apprehended by the police, they provided FSB badges and their release was subsequently ordered by the FSB. Furthermore, FSB headquarters later claimed the sacks contained sugar.
Another curious incident occurred on September 13, when the Speaker of the Duma announced that an apartment building in Volgodonsk had just been blown up - but the apartment building had been blown up in Moscow, and an apartment building in Volgodonsk was only blown up three days later. When a member of the Duma questioned this, his microphone was switched off.
Members of the Russian parliament formed a committee to investigate the bombings and hired Trepashkin as an investigator. However, one member of the committee was murdered in broad daylight, while another one was killed under mysterious circumstances.
Note: This article was originally published by GQ, but they decided not to sell this issue in Russia and also refused to publish it on their website.
- Reichstag fire - a historical event that was also staged and was similarly used as a justification for a power grab.
Game and Story Use
- This lengthy article with all the gory details in an excellent case study and example for any political power grabs in fictional settings.