In a July 10 column for the English-language Moscow Times, the noted military affairs analyst Pavel Felgenhauer cast further doubt on the theory that the July 5 bombing of the rock concert in suburban Tushino was the work of Chechen rebels. The official theory, as announced by Interior Minister Boris Gryzlov, is that the rebels were responding to President Putin’s July 4 announcement that presidential elections for Chechnya’s pro-Moscow administration would take place in October.
Felgenhauer commented that “the assumption of a direct connection with Putin’s decree on elections is highly improbable. Terrorist attacks are prepared for weeks or months and sometimes years in advance. Who outside of the Kremlin could have known that Putin would sign the decree the night before the rock concert and then planned the attack? The security services could have, at least in theory, but the Chechens–hardly.”