Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 3 Issue: 17

On June 1, Kommersant reported that, on the previous day in Petersburg, Aleksandr Prokhanov, chief editor of the neo-fascist weekly Zavtra, had been announced as the winner of this year’s “National Bestseller” prize for literature. Prokhanov received the prize for his 474-page novel Mister Hexogen (Gospodin Geksogen-Moscow: Ad Marginem, 2002-hexogen was the explosive employed in the Moscow bombings of September 1999). The novel offers an idiosyncratic version of the reasons behind the apartment house bombings of September 1999, which served to help precipitate the second Russian invasion of Chechnya. According to the novel, a conspiracy of pro-Western, pro-American FSB/SVR generals planned the 1999 terror bombings, with the assistance of shadowy Chechen agents working for them, in order to bring the “Chosen One [Vladimir Putin]” to power. “The Chosen One,” Prokhanov stipulates, was not made aware of the details of the conspiracy. Yeltsin, his daughter, Tat’yana, Boris Berezovsky, Vladimir Gusinsky, Mayor Yury Luzhkov of Moscow, and Shamil Basaev, to name but a few, are featured in the novel. Remarking that the novel has already sold 60,000 copies, journalist Aleksandr Gavrilov commented in the June 4 number of, “This is a very energetic book, which elicits strong nausea due to its ultra-maximal anti-Semitism [zhidoedstvom].”