From, March 24, 2024, Complete text:

It is obvious that the terrorist attack in Crocus City in Moscow on the evening of March 22, 2024, during which 133 people were killed according to official reports, has very clear goals and objectives. A week before Putin’s “election” [see Vol. 76, No. 12, pp. 3-7, and pp. 8-13], I wrote that, having received a “mandate from the people,” Putin would unleash mass terror. But for this, naturally, you need a weighty and evident pretext. A textbook terrorist attack, carried out in broad daylight in unreliable Moscow, is intended to convince society that “decisive action” is what it needs now.

Why would Putin do this? There is simple logic here. He needs a bloody nose to win the war he started. This is obvious, because it is a matter of his self-preservation. If Putin does not win, he is a weakling, a nonentity, and at the same time the culprit of hundreds of thousands of deaths not only of Ukrainians, but also of Russians. It is clear that he would not last long with that status. Not to mention such a trifle as his self-esteem, wounded and repeatedly offended by Ukraine. Victory will justify everything because the winners write the history books, Putin believes with certainty, following the example of Catherine II, whom he reveres.

So Putin needs victory at any price.But two things have long prevented him from achieving it: 1) numerous domestic enemies and 2) lack of “manpower” for the Armed Forces.

He intends to solve task number one through mass terror against the dissatisfied, especially since the well-coordinated chorus of Putin’s heralds, from Dmitry Medvedev to the Duma Gen. [Andrei] Gurulyov and many other lower-ranking hacks of modern Russian fascism, have been calling for him to do this for a long time. Guessing the mood of their Führer, they demand from him, at a minimum, the restoration of the death penalty, and at a maximum, “total executions of terrorists and repressions against their families” (fresh from Medvedev).

Will the victims of Putin’s upcoming terror exceed Stalin’s scale, or will the ruler of the Kremlin limit himself to “merely” increasing the rate of imprisonment severalfold and making an example of some by executing dozens or hundreds of his fellow citizens? We can only guess about this for now. But there is no doubt that a serious expansion of such practices is on his agenda.

Putin will solve task number two with the help of mass mobilization. There is nothing new here, either. Filling ⁠others’ trenches with hundreds of ⁠thousands of one’s own soldiers ⁠is a good old tactic of both the Russian and Soviet military, which, Putin has been convinced, worked well during the “meat [grinder]” assaults on Avdeyevka, Bakhmut, Severodonetsk and many other small Ukrainian towns. But these towns are nothing compared to the million-plus [population] cities of Kharkov, Dnepropetrovsk, Zaporozhye and Odessa, not to mention Kiev with its 3 million people. This means that the amount of cannon fodder must be increased exponentially. The second task is directly related to the first.

In combination with mass repressions, mobilization will undoubtedly proceed much more quickly.

As a bonus for the Kremlin, this terrorist attack diverts public attention (at least initially) from such things as the largest attack on Ukraine, inflicted by Russia with 1,500 missiles and drones just a day before the events in Moscow’s Crocus City.

Now, about other theories regarding this terrorist attack. Looking through the news related to it, I, frankly, could not help but marvel at the comments from some respected colleagues – opposition Russian analysts – some of whom easily swallowed the bait [and believed] the theory about ISIS, Islamic terrorists and other nonsense that the FSB [Federal Security Service] helpfully threw out there the first hours after the terrorist attack through Russian media and Telegram channels.

Let me clarify. Certain people of “non-Slavic nationality” were chosen as the direct perpetrators of this heinous crime. There are hundreds of thousands of Tajik, Uzbek and Kyrgyz migrants in Russia, each of whom, upon entering the Russian Federation, is literally turned inside out by the Russian Internal Affairs Ministry, including regarding their attitudes toward radical Islam and similar things. So the Russian authorities have a wide choice of the right perpetrators for such a terrorist attack.

Let us ask ourselves a simple question: How, without the knowledge and support of the Russian “agencies,” could Islamic radicals purchase not only assault rifles and pistols, but also a flamethrower, with which the terrorists showered fire on the unfortunate visitors of Crocus City? Is this possible in today’s Russia, especially in Moscow? If anyone thinks “yes,” then I’ll just remind you that when members of Eduard Limonov’s National Bolshevik Party tried to buy weapons somewhere in Altai Territory back in the 2000s, their intentions were instantly exposed. And Tajiks purchasing assault rifles and flamethrowers in today’s Russia, militarized and stuffed to the brim with video cameras and security agents, is something of a bad joke.

Let me also remind you that the first semi-official Russian theories were that the terrorist attack in Crocus City was, they say, revenge on Russia for Syria and Chechnya – seriously? What about the fact that the Russian Army and its Air Force have not been conducting any active operations in Syria for two years now? If anyone missed something during this time, then I’ll just remind you that the Kremlin now certainly has no time for Syria: For the past two years, all Russian Armed Forces, including from military bases both in [Syria] and in Armenia, have been thrown toward destroying Ukraine. There have been no large-scale military operations in Chechnya for almost 20 years.

However, as it turned out, all this argumentation was completely unnecessary, because Putin personally and his favorite propagandist Margarita Simonyan thew their gullible colleagues for a loop. The latter, being the shadow of her “boss” (as she calls Putin), naturally cannot afford any improvisations that have not been run by him, much less at such a crucial moment. On her Telegram channel, she bluntly indicated who, in her (and therefore her “boss’s”) opinion, is the culprit and organizer of this terrorist attack: “This is not ISIS. This is the khokhols [pejorative term for Ukrainians – Trans.].”

The “boss” himself, who was supposed to address the people in the very first hours after the terrorist attack, unexpectedly delayed the speech by a day. The delay appears to have been caused by technical issues. Obviously, the task of organizing such a terrorist attack in detail is not at his level. Clearly, in such cases, the corresponding special services are simply given the go-ahead “from above.” Get to work, they say. The implementation of the operation, of course, was entrusted to professionals. And they, as usual, did everything very badly. Need a large-scale terrorist attack? For these purposes, the Russian special services always have at hand two or three (or 10) Tajiks who can be quickly instructed, paid and – and that’s basically it. A Tajik passport in a car that allegedly belonged to the terrorists is, of course, a masterpiece. It is clear that every terrorist, when planning a terrorist attack, remembers to take his passport with him. To help law-enforcement officers, of course, and also so that good people know who to hate. It’s strange that the business card of the now half-forgotten [former Right Sector leader and Ukrainian nationalist lawmaker Dmitry] Yarosh was not found there.

But the fact of the matter is that the objectives of this special operation were certainly not to spoil relations with the Islamic world. Russia’s allies – Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas – might be offended.

The purpose of this terrorist attack, in addition to the domestic tasks that we mentioned above, was also to firmly connect Ukraine to the internationally condemned villains from ISIS in world public opinion.

This was the reason for the almost 24-hour delay in Putin’s speech regarding the terrorist attack. The dictator’s resourceful mind was deciding how to clean up his stooges’ blunders and tie up the loose ends. That is, [to tie] ISIS (or any other Islamists) to Ukraine. And he probably thinks he figured out how to do it. the Ukrainian side prepared a window for them to cross the state border.” According to him, “a window was prepared on the Ukrainian side [of the border] for a crossing [to] the Ukrainian side.”

For people capable of thinking, of course, all these tricks of his don’t pass the smell test, but he doesn’t give a damn. Moreover, having sensed changes in the mood of [our] American “partners” (let us recall the information that the US is putting pressure on Ukraine to force it to stop hitting Russian oil refineries, that American aid to Ukraine has not been received for almost two months, and it is not known if it will be received again), Putin is pompously appealing to all countries to unite against this inhuman evil. That is, against Ukraine + ISIS.

Another very important point from Putin’s speech indicates that he is laying the groundwork for mass terror within the country. He calls the shooting of civilians in Crocus City nothing less than “a strike against Russia, against our people.” He, his propagandists and the Russian media have already established a connection between the Islamist terrorists and Ukraine. The next logical step is that those who support Ukraine are direct and proximate supporters of the terrorists who made “a strike against Russia, against our people.” That is, enemies of the people.

To be honest, this is all both monstrous and hardly surprising. I’ll repeat what I’ve said many times before: As long as Putin is alive and in power, it will get even worse, even more terrible.