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The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
February 18, 2016

Publication: Russia Update
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The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Man Detained For Calling In Bomb Threat To Presidential Administration; Said To Be Mentally Ill; Sberbank Also Threatened
Police detained a man suspected of calling in the bomb threat to the presidential administration building, Interfax reported, citing a source in law-enforcement.

Among his papers were documents that proved he suffered from a psychiatric ailment, said the policeman.

The bomb was said to be located on the Ilyinka street side of Staraya Square.

The Federal Protective Service (FSO) said they found no bomb.

But authorities didn't explain if this suspect was the same person who called in threats to 9 supermarkets and also Sberbank's headquarters.

News has just been released about the threat to the bank at No. 19 Vavilova Street. Police are checking the premises, but employees have not been evacuated.

Ultimately, 11,000 were evacuated from 12 Ashan supermarkets. There were conflicting reports about the status of GUM, as people were evacuated but it was said not to be closed. 

Last Saturday, February 13, 7,000 people were evacuated from three Moscow shopping centers but no bomb was found.

-- Catherine A. Fitzpatrick

The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
10,000 Shoppers Evacuated from Moscow Stores Due to Bomb Threats

Moscow authorities have evacuated more than 10,000 people from multiple shopping centers after bomb threats were made to Moscow's largest shopping center GUM and 9 Ashan stores, a popular chain, TASS reported.

Earlier, as we reported, a bomb threat was made to the presidential administration building at 4, Staraya Square. 

Sergei Devyatov, the official representative of the Federal Protection Service (FTO), told TASS that the bomb threat at the presidential administration was "fake." He said that the caller's identity had already been established, and no bombs were found. The building was searched, but not evacuated, he said.

Meanwhile, there was mayhem at 9 supermarkets where evacuations were carried out and are still underway.

The news site MosLenta has been live-blogging social media reports about the evacuations.

A three-year-old girl was separated from her mother and lost; police and 15 dogs searched for her until they eventually found her in the candy aisle.

Customers abandoned their carts and left, but many were indignant at the inconvenience and made it known on Russian-language social media. Store workers were not sent home but kept near the sits and given blankets.

"We're sitting here and playing Crocodile," a  clerk posted on VKontakte (VK), Russia's most popular social network. The VK mobile game consists of having a computer chose a random word for one player, who then draws a picture on his phone to illustrate the word, and other players guess it. Clerks from a number of locations posted that they were playing the game, and didn't seem to question why they couldn't go home.


2016-02-18 19:35:44
Photo by Roza Vetrov

Several video footages indicate the announcement to evacuate was made over loudspeakers in both Russian and English and spoke only of "technical difficulties." (see at 21:54).

A boy who didn't take the announcements seriously is shown chanting "Panic, panic, bomb, bomb" and an older woman is chastising him and telling him to leave before he gets locked in. 

An store called Mega Belaya Dacha (Mega White Cottage) and another one called Atrium were said to have received threats but later officials denied this, TASS reported.

An Instragram user feel1ke said the abandoned store felt "a little like the zombie apocalypse."

2016-02-18 19:44:36

The effect of the mass evacuation of the shopping centers -- and this may have been calculated -- was to make people forget that the government itself had been threatened in a phone call.

 -- Catherine A. Fitzpatrick

The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Owner of Moscow's Domodedovo Airport Arrested for Negligence in 2011 Terrorist Attack
Russian businessman Dmitry Kamenshchik, essentially the owner of Moscow's domestic Domodedovo Airport, has been arrested today on charges of negligence that led to the 2011 terrorist attack on the airport, which killed 37 and wounded 172, Gazeta.ru reported.

Kamenshchik's imminent arrest has been discussed for days, including by himself, as three other airport officials have been arrested on these charges

They will be tried on charges of violating Art. 238, part 3 of the Russian Criminal Code, "performing work or providing services causing the deaths of two or more persons due to negligence."

Investigators said that a new system of inspection of luggage outside the airport building made it vulnerable to attack by Magomed Yevloyev, the terrorist who hid the bomb under his clothing and then set it off, dying himself in the explosion.

Igor Trunov, a prominent lawyer who represents the families of the victims, has crusaded to have arrests and compensation of the attack. He says there is evidence that neither metal or gas detectors were in operation at the airport.

Russian investigators attempted to find the ultimate owner of the airport through the companies East Line and Hacienda Investments, and found that the company had put Kamenshchik's name as the beneficiary on the site of the London Stock Market when they were preparing for an IPO.

The terrorist attack was said to be organized by the head of Doku Umarov, head of the Caucasus Emirate, killed in 2013 by Russian forces, and various members of his group; ultimately authorities found 28 members, and killed 17 of them, and arrested and sentenced to life imprisonment 5 of them. The rest escaped and were declared wanted.

This is the first case in Russia where anyone has been charged with negligence related to a terrorist attack committed by militants, although in the many instances of such attacks in the last 15 years under Putin's rule, there have been numerous complaints of law-enforcers themselves proving negligent and worsening crises by refusing to negotiate with hostage-takers. President Vladimir Putin himself has been accused of responsibility for the apartment bombings, and some of those who have made the accusations have died under mysterious circumstances.

In the case of Kamenshchik, there's also speculation that the arrest is being used as a form of raid on the company to enable the state to take it over, as in the case of Vladimir Yevtushenkov, former owner of Bashneft.
Translation: D. Kamenshchik, owner of the Domodedovo Airport, has been arrested. It will as with Yevtushenkov. After Domodedevo is given away to their friends, they'll let him go.

-- Catherine A. Fitzpatrick

The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Russian Authorities Evacuate GUM, Ashan Stores After Bomb Threats
Following bomb threats by anonymous callers to multiple locations, authorities have evacuated shoppers and workers from GUM, Moscow's largest shopping center, and also five Ashan stories, RBC.ru and Interfax reported.

A source told Interfax that Ashan received bomb threats at 9 locations, and decided to evacuate people from only 5 of them.

As we reported, bomb threats were also made in a call to the presidential administration at No. 4 Staraya Square.

-- Catherine A. Fitzpatrick 

The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Bomb Threat at Russian Presidential Administration
Agents are inspecting the presidential administration on Starya Square in Moscow this evening after bomb threats were telephoned in, RBC.ru and Interfax report, citing a law-enforcement source.

The Federal Protection Service (FSO), responsible for guarding Russian leaders and the Kremlin, was conducting the inspection.

A worker in the building told Interfax that cars from various agencies are parked outside the building now, but employees remain working in the building.

-- Catherine A. Fitzpatrick 


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