Publication: Monitor Volume: 1 Issue: 96

Russian officials announced September 14 that a special group of officers from Russia’s Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Federal Security Service, and the Prosecutor General’s Office has been set up to investigate the attack, which caused damage but no deaths. Officials on both sides describe the attack as an isolated incident without diplomatic consequences. The Secretary of the Duma’s Foreign Relations Committee, Vladimir Averchenko, assumed that the perpetrator had some personal grievance, and that the aiming of the grenade at the embassy’s most secret section was coincidental. The U.S. embassy is praising Russian security and law enforcement agencies for their efforts to maximize the protection of US personnel in the wake of the attack and for cooperating with the U.S. in the investigation.(2)

Averchenko’s comment typifies the effort on both sides to depoliticize the incident and to minimize further damage to bilateral relations. In condemning the attack as a terrorist act, both Moscow and Washington underscore the lack of evidence to link it to Russian anger and heated government rhetoric over the U.S.-led NATO bombing campaign in Bosnia. But much of the media comment and political wisdom in Moscow does link the attack with events in former Yugoslavia, and treats the denials skeptically.

Yeltsin Veto Risky.