Putin is probably Russia's best hope in these perilous times, but I found this article from Novaya Gazeta to be interesting. It seems to fit Ms. Gubareva's thesis:
Two Years ago, October 23rd, Terrorists seized Nord-Ost
A heavy rain, still hinting of hope, was falling during those days in 2002. Now, two years later, there is an unbroken frost on the government ground.
There was nothing to provide warmth. Since the regime behaved with reckless abandon two years ago, Nord-Ost has degenerated into a politically expedient action to cover for the guilty parties, and, naturally, to hush up the entire affair. All the victims of the theater tragedy, the officials assure us, died due to their own numerous inherant illnesses, aggravated by dehydration and stress, which were complicated just a bit by the application of an 'unidentified chemical substance'. But why, after two years, is it still impossible to identify THIS 'unidentifed' thing? Not a peep about this. 'It is not possible', and that is all, period.
Emanating from this is the main reason for the arrival of a harsh political winter. Who beat against the strong bars of the official investigation of Nord-Ost? No one but the loved ones and friends of the deceased. Only they have attempted to find out the truth about the death of their nearest and dearest children, wives, brothers, and husbands. The overwhelming majority in this country were silent on this score - they heeded the opinion of the authorities; it has been said that 'they' are making money off of the blood of their relatives, that the victims are just mercenary and mercantile.
This was monstrous: the relatives of the deceased fell into serious depression, they were converted into society's outcasts, they were dying. But these tears were unseen by society.
Yet another diagnosis from the two year anniversary of Nord-Ost. The hero-brigade of investigators, who were looking into the tragedy of the theater seizure and hostage deaths, are nowhere to be found. Not a single hero who was ready to be thrown onto the burning pyre for the truth. One must count as heroic those who 'left' the investigatory group, who could not manage the political pressure. In truth, one can say that 'those who left of their own free will' are a majority of the group.
But, obviously, not a single one opened his mouth.
Adoption of the government's thesis by the majority of society, that the money-grubbing Nord-Ost victims - this was the majority's sentence on itself. If the government machinery found it necessary to pay the victims' multi-million dollar lawsuits, one could be sure that the government would have made sure that the next terror act would not end the same. You can be sure of this.
History, we know, is not subjective case, and that is why we are there now, after Beslan. Nord-Ost led straight to it. Two years from Nord-Ost to Beslan passed by while the majority continued to snooze in their homes or dance in the discotheques.
The truth about Nord-Ost and the suffering of its victims did not bother them, and this was a fundamental moment. The regime understood that, once again, they had managed to deflect its own people. Then Beslan rode in on the next wave.
The first to call me on the morning of September 1st was Dima Milovidov, whose eternally 14 year-old daughter Nina had decided to see 'the first Russian musical' on October 23rd, 2002, and never returned home. "Anya, you've got to get some oxygen masks and send them THERE. Do you agree?" said Dima on behalf of the parents who lost children at Nord-Ost, who knew better than anyone in the country what no one else wanted to know.
Present result: the goods in greatest demand in Russia during the month of October - church candles. The most popular card - funeral, commemorating Beslan's 40 days of mourning, and Nord-Ost's two-year anniversary. In between, 24 October, two months after two airplanes were blown up in the sky. In addition, it is the five-year anniverary of the rocket attack on the Grozny marketplace.
Please forgive the tautology of 'anti-terror terror', but tautology is what it is, and it is the essence of our lives: we are simply immolating ourselves in fires of 'terroristic' and 'anti-terroristic' Molotov cocktails, when one quality overflows into the next, and terror and anti-terror are pebbles of a single kaleidoscope, between whose millstones were find ourselves. (???"...i terror i antiterror - kamushki odnogo kaleydoskopa, mezhdu zhernovami kotorogo - my." ???)
But we did it once, we can disentangle ourselves again. Naturally, I do not want a revolution - I cannot wish this on my nation or on myself. Revolutions do not turn out very well here. But it is also impossible to agree to a political winter which would grip Russia for several decades. I still want to live some more. I would like for my children to live in freedom, and that my grandchildren would be born free.
Therefore, I wish for an early thaw, but only we can to raise the degrees from minus to plus, no one else. To await a thaw from the Kremlin now, as we did during Gorbachev, is stupid and unrealistic. What do we have to demand, two years after Nord-Ost, which led to Beslan? The breaking up of the parliament, excuse me now for the historical tautology. Parliamentary elections which are truly free. The formation of a parliament free from Kremlin influence. The cessation of that acursed war in the North Caucasus, which causes terror, this will require the heroic effort of will by everyone who wants to stop it. The will of the majority.
Otherwise, there will be no change. By the way, the West will not help us - they are limply reacting to 'Putin's anti-terror prescription'. They say we are alright - we have vodka, caviar, gas, oil, bears, and people of a special nature. The exotic Russian market is back in its usual place. Other than this, Europe and the world have no need for us and our one-seventh of the earth.
That answers my questions. Thanks.