#23 - JRL 2009-168 - JRL Home
Russians do not believe 1999 blasts were orchestrated by secret services - poll

Moscow, 8 September: Most people in Russia tend to believe that Russian special services were not involved in the blasts in apartments blocks in Moscow and other cities in 1999, according to researchers at the VTsIOM (All-Russian Centre for the Study of Public Opinion) who are quoting the results of an opinion poll conducted on 29-30 August in 140 population centres in 42 Russian regions.

According to the results of the poll, 25 per cent of those polled believe this supposition is highly improbable (in 2000 the figure was 32 per cent) and 32 per cent believe it is completely improbable. About one in five (22 per cent) allow such a possibility (7 per cent think it is quite probable and 15 per cent that it is probable to a certain degree).

Mainly it is supporters of the LDPR (Liberal-Democratic Party of Russia) (62 per cent) and One Russia (59 per cent) and residents of big cities (63 per cent) who believe that Russian special services were not involved. Supporters of A Just Russia (37 per cent) and residents of Moscow and St Petersburg (28 per cent) think the opposite.

Over the past 10 years people's opinions in Russia as regards who bears the main responsibility for the fact that these terrorist acts had taken place, have changed. So, more and more often respondents are saying that the Federal Security Service and special services are to blame (25 per cent against 16 per cent in 1999) or that everyone is to blame in equal measure (24 per cent against 17 per cent).

According to the opinion poll, 8 per cent of people in Russia blame the Russian president at the time, Boris Yeltsin, and his entourage (10 years ago the figure was 47 per cent), 5 per cent blame the mayor of Moscow and the Moscow government, and 3 per cent blame Vladimir Putin, who was Russian prime minister at the time, and the Cabinet of Ministers.

At the same time one in five (21 per cent) believe that the authorities should not be held responsible because all the blame for the blasts lies with the terrorists (10 years ago the figure was 4 per cent).

On the night of 8-9 September 1999 a powerful explosion destroyed an apartment block on Ulitsa Guryanova (Guryanova Street; in Moscow), killing 94 people. Four days later an apartment block was blown up on Kashirskoye Shosse (Kashirskoye highway; in Moscow) and 121 people were killed. Also in September there were blasts in apartment blocks in Buynaksk (Dagestan) and Volgodonsk (in Rostov Region in southern Russia).

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