Russia and the Brussels attacks. Moscow is not safer than us.
Zhirinovsky said that if Europe would leave the Russian Special Forces work it no longer have to fear the terrorists, while many prominent politicians from the Duma members to party leaders, blame the Europe itself. The truth is that Russia is safer than Europe.
- Friday, 25 March 2016
"If the Europeans can't manage themselves, let them invite Russia's Spetsnaz, our special forces. We know how to fight this infection", Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the ultranationalist head of the Liberal Democratic Party, wrote. According to the member of the Duma Alexei Pushkov, NATO should focus on the terrorists rather than "fight the imaginary threat of Russia and send troops to Latvia". And Gennady Zyuganov, leader of the Communist Party, said that Europe is paying a “blood tribute” for not having joined Putin in the fight against terrorism.
The leitmotiv is that the attack at Brussels airport would not have been committed in Russia. Because of the Special Forces and all the rest. But also because, unlike Western airport - and almost all of those in the rest of the world – even to get in a Russian airport - say, if you go even if only to take a relative of yours - you have to pass through security checks. Bags under the x-ray scanner and metal detector at the entrance. The El Bakraoui brothers, in short, would have been stopped before they even enter the airport.
Not to mention the controls for embarkation, if you have a ticket and are going to get on a plane. There every single passenger has to pass through body scanners.
Many seem to think this is enough to make Moscow or other Russian cities not a target of terrorists like Paris and Brussels. But the substance is different.
Russians blame only Europe
And the European security services know it. Exactly the same intelligence which is now accused of not doing enough against terrorism. It is no coincidence if passengers arriving from Russia – the very ones who have passed under the metal detector before entering a Russian airport and body scanners before boarding the plane – must pass new security controls at arrival in many European countries. Like in Germany, for example, where before you can go to the gate area you have to go under x-rays, metal detectors and explosive sniffer machine.
Perhaps because it is no secret that the metal detectors at Moscow airport incessantly sound and only occasionally someone is searched. Because while your luggage pass under the x-ray machine, the operator at the monitor is chatting on her cellphone and the one at the body scanner looks at her fingernails.
But the point is not this. Russia is not safe from the terrorist threat and neither Zhirinovsky’s Spetsnaz nor body scanners at airports will protect it. Just look at the latest attacks. The Metrojet Airbus 321 crashed on the Sinai in November 2015 killing 219 Russians was probably downed by the explosive contained in a can of Schweppes, filtered through security checks in Egypt. In December 2013 a suicide bomber blew himself up in the Volgograd station, right in front of the metal detector that was at the entrance, killing 18 people. The day after another suicide bomber blew himself up on the trolley bus number 15, killing 16 people.
The Kremlin has all good reasons to depict Europe paying the price for going to bed with terrorists. In this there is all the Russian narrative of the Western approach to the crisis in the Middle East. But there is also the distance from a liberal approach towards migrants, minorities and policy for refugees, an approach that is not compatible with the defense of Christian values and the Russian tradition, cornerstones of the Putinism. The way how the Russian world reacted to the attack on Charlie Hebdo is an example.
The government has good game to tell the story of a strong and confident Russia compared to a Europe in disarray and in the hands of the Islamists. But the reality is quite different.