Disturbing, but important news
April 23, 2010
I only had one update planned for this evening, but I wanted to give you another brief update about my safety. I’m not sure if the American press will pick it up or not, but there was another bomb scare today that was absolutely too close for comfort.
Two students with explosives were arrested at the mall to the immediate left of my apartment building. When I came home from class at about 5, I walked the way I normally do from my metro stop to my building without incident. When I left my building to meet up with Trevor at his stop, about 150 yards of the sidewalk on my side of the street was taped off, the mall was being evacuated, and милиция (militsiya, the Russian police force) were lining the street and directing traffic.
Where the diagram says “Здесь обранужено два подозрительных пакета,” it means “Here is where the two suspicious packages were found.”
When I returned to my stop at about 11, the street was still blocked off and agents from the FSB were now on the scene. The FSB is the successor of the KGB, and is the Russian equivalent of the CIA. From the other side of the street I watched with the other onlookers as the agents finished clearing the area.
When I got home I asked Яша (Yasha) if he knew anything about it and he told me about a news brief he had seen. You can click here for a story about the threat. I couldn’t find anything about it in English as it only happened a few hours ago, but I’ve given you the gist of the article. It’s worth checking out to see pictures of the students, agents, and video of the mall.
This is the same mall Trevor and I often go to, so this is especially unnerving for us. I just wanted to let you know about it before you hear anything from the English speaking press if you hear anything at all.
Everything will be fine, and we are in no immediate danger. It’s worth remembering when faced with these kinds of threats that they are freak occurrences over which we have no control, and are purposefully designed to make us believe that they can or will occur at any moment and at any place. The reality of the situation is that I’m infinitely more likely to die in a car accident or other freak accident.
I’ll keep you guys updated. Let me know if you hear anything about this in the English-speaking press.