Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 3 Issue: 15

The Era of Samizdat Has Returned to Russia,” the website APN.ru pronounced on May 21. Publishing houses had refused to publish the manuscript of the book “The FSB Is Blowing Up Russia,” authored by former FSB officer Aleksander Litvinenko and independent researcher Yury Fel’shtinsky, which deals with the so-called Ryazan’ episode of September 1999, “out of a fear of possible repercussions.” One hundred copies of the book had then been brought out in Yekaterinburg in a samizdat edition.

On May 15, State Duma deputy Sergei Yushenkov of the “Liberal Russia” movement received a communication from the Russian General Procuracy informing him that, “[a] decision has been taken to decline to open a criminal case in relation to the officers of the FSB who participated in conducting exercises in Ryazan [in September 1999].” Yushenkov then charged that the General Procuracy and the FSB had not answered “a single question concerning the ‘exercises’ in Ryazan'” and that the information they had provided had been “contradictory” (Nezavisimaya Gazeta, May 16). On May 14, Mairbek Vachagaev, a spokesman for Chechen separatist leader Aslan Maskhadov, informed Ekho Moskvy Radio that “the Chechen side will insist on an international investigation of the apartment block blasts in Moscow and Volgodonsk in 1999” (Ekho Moskvy Radio, Lenta.ru, May 14).