On December 19, a gunman opened fire at the FSB (Federal Security Service) public reception office near Lubyanka Square in central Moscow. In the following firefight, he fled the building and continued shooting on the street. Then, he was liquidated by security forces.
This video shows the moment when the terrorist was neutralized:
The terrorist was armed with a Saiga semi-automatic rifle. Media reported that a grenade and an improvised explosive device belonging to the terrorist were seized on the scene.
The terrorist wad identified as a 39-year-old man from Podolsk, the Moscow region – Yevgeny Manyurov. He studied at the Russian Academy of Justice, and was a student of the course at the Higher School of Economics.
The Higher School of Economics is an ill-reputed organization that promotes hardcore pro-Western and pro-liberal views and openly works to instigate anti-government and anti-Russian feelings among its students. Over the past year, the HSE, its teaching staff and students have been involved in multiple scandals over these facts.
Manyurov lived with his mother, and had no wife or children. During the searches in his apartments, security forces reputedly seized 2 Saiga rifles, 2 smooth-bore guns and a nonlethal pistol.
According to Manyurov’s mother, he was unemployed for a notable period. Previously, he worked as a guard in several companies providing security services. Before the December 19 attack, Manyurov practiced at a shooting range for at least three moths. The shooting range trainer said that Mayurov practiced in clothes similar to those, in which he later carried out the terrorist attack.
The reasons behind the attack remains unclear. There are three main versions:
Version 1. Manyurov was a person (with or without psychiatric disorders) motivated for a direct terrorist action by radical neo-liberal propaganda. Over the past years, a hysterical neo-liberal propaganda has been on rise in the Russian media sphere. The aim of this propaganda campaign is to brainwash people and create a radical protest sentiment among members of target groups. Echo of Moscow radio station (mostly funded by state-run oil giant Gazprom), Novaya Gazeta newspaper and Vedomosti newspaper are the headliners of this propaganda campaign in the field of traditional media.
The Higher School of Economics as an organization and its teaching staff also support this campaign. A large part of its staff regularly receives foreign grants from Western pro-globalist NGOs and periodically visits special events in NATO states. Earlier, students and graduates of the Higher School of Economics repeatedly took place in anti-government riots, aggression toward police or publicly supported such actions. A notable part of the economic bloc of the Russian government is graduates of the Higher School of Economics.
The attack took place on the same day with the press-conference of Russian President Vladimir Putin and a day ahead of the Day of an officer of Security Services of the Russian Federation (December 20). An indirect evidence allows supposing that the December 19 attack was coordinated with representatives of the Russian “liberal opposition”. This can be seen by reaction of such corporations like Google, and pro-Western, liberal media outlets.
The Google search page on the day of the attack:
A top comment under the article on the topic released by the website of Echo of Moscow radiostation:
During the first hours after the attack, most of liberal media outlets provided a ‘neutral coverage’ or indirectly supported actions of the terrorist.
Version 2. The mainstream explanation of the attack, which is being promoted by pro-Kremlin media, is that this is a traditional example of the Islamic radical terrorism. Therefore, they try to find traces of ISIS. However, facts in support of this version available now do not hold up against criticism.
- Somebody allegedly could hear some shouts typical for ISIS members;
- The mother of Manyurov allegedly told investigators that he spoke with some “Arabs” via phone in “English. He also said that she does not speak English and did not understand the meaning of conversations. Even if such conversations took place, she cannot identify the nationality of the person that participated in conversations with Manyurov.
This version of the radicalism and terrorism is more comfortable for the Kremlin. In this case, the behavior of the terrorist can be explained by a religious zeal of the neophyte and describe the incident as a terrorist attack by a member of ISIS or another radical religious organization. This version will allow to soft accusations against the Russian neo-liberal movement and its bodies and media persons.
Version 3. In one of the ‘analytical pieces’ on the December 19, the Russian-language branch of RT described the attacker as an “Incel” (involuntary celibate) that carried out the attack because of his social and psychological distortions.
Incels, a portmanteau of “involuntary celibates”, are members of an online subculture who define themselves as unable to find a romantic or sexual partner despite desiring one, a state they describe as inceldom.
Discussions in incel forums are often characterized by resentment, misogyny, misanthropy, self-pity, self-loathing, racism, a sense of entitlement to sex, and the endorsement of violence against sexually active people. The American nonprofit Southern Poverty Law Center described the subculture as “part of the online male supremacist ecosystem” that is included in their list of hate groups.
Estimates of the overall size of the community vary greatly. They are considered mostly male and heterosexual, but sources disagree on the subject of ethnic makeup.
At least four mass murders, resulting in 45 deaths, have been committed in North America by men who have either self-identified as incels or who had mentioned incel-related names and writings in their private writings or Internet postings. Incel communities have been criticized by the media and researchers for being misogynistic, encouraging violence, spreading extremist views, and radicalizing their members.
This version cannot be seen as a complex explanation of the incident. The psychological and social deformation of the shooter allows to suppose why this particular person may have fallen under the influence of forces mentioned in Version 1 and Version 2. However, the behavior of the shooter in no way looks like suicidal actions. The December 19 was a pre-planned terrorist attack. The aim of the attack was to deliver a blow to the public image of the government and cause casualties among civilian population.
It is highly likely that the attack had been prepared for a long time – over 3 months (when the terrorist started his active training at the shooting range). It is important to note that during the training he used clothes similar to those used during the attack. The long raincoat allowed him to hide his riffle. When the trainer asked him to change clothes for more free movements, he answered that they were comfortable. So, he clearly imagined conditions in which, he would use his firearm.
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