which it approximately is at the time of writing this. Thirty-five people dead and many more injured in what may have been a suicide bomb at Domodedovo airport. The fact that it went off in the arrivals hall indicates clearly that it was planted by a resident or residents of Russia. More than that I do not know. I do not believe, despite reports, that anyone really knows. And no-one has claimed responsibility. Chechens, I hear you cry. Maybe so. They have done it before. But let's, er, wait and see, peeps. This is not the old Soviet Union. We are reminded that it took Gorbachev three weeks to tell the world about Chernobyl. Things have moved on.
Chechnya tried for its own sovereignty in the 1990s and early 21st century. The Chechens lost. Russia cracked down with unimaginable brutality, and as far as we can tell is still doing so today. Young Chechen men are still being disappeared. It does not follow however that today's atrocity was perpetrated by Chechens or their sympathisers, or that if it was it is "understandable" or "justifiable" by the actions of the Moscow oppressors. What is clear is that whoever and whatever did this intends the Russian public, and the wider world, to understand that Russia is not safe. And if we fear, in Russia or anywhere else, the men of violence, as they used to be called, have won.
We who are English had IRA bombings for many years. We got used to it in the cities of England. Most of us were never bombed. But we got used to the warnings, and the evacuations. Who remembers now that clothes in shops have their pockets sewn shut because in 1970s Bristol a female shopper looking at clothes on rails in a department store was dropping explosives into their pockets? Northern Ireland is at peace, more or less, today. A peace achieved through talks, and through vision. I credit the late Mo Mowlam, Tony Blair, and also John Major, for that peace. Why not a peace commission for Chechnya? Why not an international group of wise people to try to achieve a measure of self-determination for the Chechen people while saving Russia's face? Just asking.
Oh and my previous post on "Blair the war criminal" reaped the harvest I expected. I said I would publish all on-topic comments, even if the language was extreme. I didn't get any. No comments at all. Well, just the one, and my response. Just goes to show.