Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 8 Issue: 6

Hundreds of people gathered at Moscow’s Avtozavodskaya metro station on February 6 to commemorate the third anniversary of the 2004 terrorist attack that killed 42 and wounded 250, the Moscow Times reported on February 7. According to Ekho Moskvy radio, friends and relatives of the victims laid flowers beneath a memorial plaque in the lobby of the station in southeast Moscow and lit candles to honor the dead. Some carried icons and photographs of the dead. An orchestra played and metro trains sounded their horns at 8:40 a.m., the exact moment when suicide bomber Anzor Izhaev detonated explosives on a train as it neared the station. The ceremony was followed by a memorial service at the Staro-Simonovsky monastery.

On February 2, three men – Murat Shalaev, a former Justice Ministry employee, and Maksim Panarin and Tamby Khubiev, both allegedly members of the Karachai jamaat – were convicted for their roles in helping to carry out both the Avtozavodskaya bombing and a subsequent bombing outside of Moscow’s Rizhskaya metro station. The latter terrorist attack, which took place on August 31, 2004, killed 10 people and injured 30. As the Moscow Times noted, both the female bomber and her senior handler, Nikolai Kipkeyev, died in that attack.

Meanwhile, the Anti-War Club was planning to hold a demonstration in Moscow on February 8 to mark the anniversary of the Novye Aldy massacre, Kavkazky Uzel reported on February 5. In that incident, which took place on February 5, 2000, in the Grozny suburb of Novye Aldy, federal forces reportedly executed 56 to 115 civilians, including the elderly, women and children, while conducting a zachistka, or cleansing operation. Human Rights Watch reported in June 2000 that some of the killings were accompanied by demands for money or jewelry. According to a few witnesses, soldiers removed gold teeth from victims and jewelry from corpses.