Vladimir Putin’s 9/11

In September, 1999, Russia was wracked by a series of explosions that President Vladimir Putin blamed on Chechen terrorists.

It solidified Putin’s power and popularity, and enable him to launch his own “war on terror” against the breakaway province of Chechnya.

But unlike with the 9/11 attacks on the United States two years later, there is strong circumstantial evidence that the explosions were a false flag carried out by Russian intelligence services.

russiancaucasus6c12bc2184e7943ba065218a5bfb947bDavid Satter, a former foreign correspondent in Moscow, summed up the evidence in a recent article in National Review.

The Chechens are a fierce Muslim warrior people whose homeland is in the Caucasus.   They were conquered by the Russian Empire in 1859 and declared independence in 1991 when the Soviet Union broke up.  The Russian Federation tried and failed to reconquer them in 1994-1996.

At the time of the explosions, Vladimir Putin, formerly head of the Russian Federal Security Services (FSB), had just become prime minister of Russia.   He used the explosions as a justification for starting a new war, in which Chechnya was defeated and reincorporated into Russia.

There were four apartment bombings in all, in which a total of 300 people were killed.   One was in an apartment building in Buinaksk in Dagestan in the Caucasus, two  in apartment buildings in Moscow (9/9 and 9/13) and one in Volgodonsk in Rostov province to the south (9/16).   All the explosions involved hundreds of pounds of an explosive called RDX.

Suspicious characters with traces of RDX on their persons were arrested in an apartment building in the southern Russian city of Ryazan.   They turned out to be FSB agents.    The FSB said they were conducting a training exercise.

The Russian Duma, in which Putin’s United Russia party held a majority, declined to investigate.   But some dissident members formed an unofficial investigating commission.

They pointed out that Gennady Seleznev, the speaker of the Duma and a political ally of Putin, issued a statement to the press about the Volgodonsk bombings three days before they occurred.

They found that police interviewed the manager of one of the apartment buildings that was blown up, and got a description of a tenant who, it turned out, had false identity papers.   They made a picture based on the description, but, a few days later, another picture was substituted, a picture of a man who looked entirely different.

national-review-15-august-2016-453x600Michael Trepashkin, a former FSB agent working with the commission, tracked down the original picture.   He found that it resembled an FSB agent he personally knew, who had been responsible for investigating Chechen organized crime.

Sergei Yushenkob, a member of the commission, was shot to death in April, 2003, and another member, Yuri Shchekochikhin, was poisoned with thallium, three months later.

Michel Trepaskin were sentenced to four years hard labor for revealing state secrets.   Under Russian law, Satter noted,  “violations of law by state organs and officials” are considered state secrets.

Investigative journalist Anna Politkovskaya, who questioned the official story, was shot to death outside her Moscow apartment in October, 2006, and dissident Alexander Livenko, was poisoned with radioactive polonium in London a month later.

I don’t believe in risking war with Russia just because Vladimir Putin is a ruthless autocrat.  If that were a reason for war, half the world would be at war with the other half.   But I don’t believe in ignoring inconvenient facts, either.


Russian apartment bombings on Wikipedia.

Vladimir Putin and 1999 Russian Apartment House Bombings – Was Putin Responsible? by David Satter in National Review.

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4 Responses to “Vladimir Putin’s 9/11”

  1. Evgeny Says:

    I respect your committment to the values of freedom and democracy. However, I also wanted to tell you that at least some of the information you cite as a fact, is actually not.

    For example, Trepashkin claimed that he recognized his former colleague—Vladimir Romanovich—as the culprit for the Moscow bombings. Novaya Gazeta has discovered that Romanovich had actually died in 1998—a year before the apartment bombings occurred. The link is in Russian, but you could copy and paste its content into the Google Translate service:


    If you try to add that link to the English Wikipedia article on the Apartment bombings, it will be removed. So… at least I could share that piece of information with you in person. 😉

    As regards the Ryazan incident of 1999, I believe it has actually been a training exercise. In case you are interested in my take on it, here it is:

    View at Medium.com


  2. philebersole Says:

    Hello, Evgeny. Thank you for your information, which is new to me. You refute two of the arguments presented by David Satter in his National Review article, but I don’t think your arguments dispose of the case.

    One of Satter’s claims had to do with a mysterious tenant in one of the four buildings that was blown up, who used the false identity of Mukhid Laipanov, who was deceased. The building superintendent, Michael Blumenthal, gave the authorities a description, but he was pressured to give a description matching a man named Achemez Gochiyaev.

    An investigator named Mikhail Trepaskin tracked down a sketch based on the original description, and identified the man as a former FSB agent named Vladimir Romanovich. But in fact, as the article in Russian points out, Romanovich died in 1998, so he could not have been responsible for the 1999 apartment house bombings.

    What you’ve shown is that the mysterious person is someone other than Romanovich. What you haven’t shown is who the mysterious person was, and why Blumenthal was pressured to change the description.

    Another is Satter’s claims had to do with a dummy bomb found in a fifth apartment building. He charges this was a failed part of the false flag attack. The FSB said it was part of a training exercise.

    You present convincing forensic evidence that it, in fact, was part of a training exercise.

    But it seems like a strange kind of training exercise. It seems like a training exercise for a false flag attack.

    Satter’s other arguments are:

    1. Gennady Seleznev, the speaker of the Duma, spoke of one of the bombings on Sept. 13, three days before it occurred. The implication is that he was given advance notice so he could respond in the correct way, and made a mistake.
    2. Independent investigators connected with the case have died mysteriously or been arrested.

    Having said all that, I admit to more uncertainty about the facts than I had before. I don’t speak Russian, I have not looked into the matter deeply and my conclusions could be wrong.

    I have had many arguments with friends who believe the 9/ll attacks were a U.S. government conspiracy, and I recognize your difficulty in trying to prove a negative.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Evgeny Says:

      Hello, Phil.

      Thanks for reading and responding!

      Indeed, it’s a rather murky case. I have mainly researched the Ryazan incident — and it has taken months of research and writing that I did in my free time.

      Of your points, the most interesting one is the Volgodonsk incident. Because it’s mentioned in various discussions practically as often as the Ryazan incident.

      [1] It was discussed among other subjects during the 2017 Vladimir Zhirinovsky’s interview with Yuri Dud. Zhirinovsky has suggested that the FSB possessed information about the risk of a terrorist attack in Volgodonsk. But due to a technical mistake Seleznev received distorted information which claimed that the explosion has already happened.
      Another point raised by Zhirinovsky was that security services often possess the intelligence regarding future terrorist attacks, but it doesn’t always allow to successfully prevent them.

      (From 33:52 to 37:50. Although I’m not sure how you could check my information. At least you might be able to see that that topic has indeed been discussed.)

      [2] The Volgodonsk bombings is the best researched one, because the confidential information about the case has been leaked:


      It’s a website in Russian which contains questioning reports of the terrorists and other information such as forensic studies.

      Hope it helps, although I admit there are more aspects of the story — and more points that you have raised — that I have been able to respond to. Frankly, I think that a detailed response to all allegations constituting the conspiracy theory will require writing a book — an endeavor I don’t think I’ll ever undertake.

      Thanks for your interest in the issue!


    • philebersole Says:

      Evgeny, if you ever write your book and if it is available in English, I will definitely read it.

      Liked by 1 person

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