Police officers, have you ever run into the street while off duty and drunkenly fired your handgun into the air? After doing that, have you ever sprinted back to your friends and claimed that you emptied your weapon, only to be told that there might still be one bullet jammed in the chamber? And after this warning, did you then insist that the gun was empty, and — just to prove it — you put the pistol to your temple and pulled the trigger, firing that last round into your head?
There was an explosion at the Federal Security Service (FSB) building in Arkhangelsk on the morning of October 31. According to Russia’s National Anti-Terrorism Committee, the bomb detonated inside the building’s entrance at 8:52 a.m. A man entered the building removed an unidentified object from his bag, and sometime later the object exploded, killing the perpetrator and inflicting injuries of varying severity on three FSB officers.
Until the 1940s, the only thing on Vozrozhdeniya Island in the Aral Sea was a small fish processing plant. That changed when the Soviet government decided to open a top-secret biological weapons research and test site, transforming the quiet town of Kantubek into the closed military city Aralsk-7. From the 1960s to the late 1980s, the island was home to roughly 1,500 people — mostly scientists working at the laboratory, testing different viruses and bacteria on animals. In 1992, Moscow decided to relocate the entire “Barkhan” complex to Kirov, inside the new Russian Federation. Since then, Kantubek has been a ghost town, and the shrinking Aral Sea (once the fourth-largest lake in the world, drained by Soviet irrigation projects) has receded so dramatically that Vozrozhdeniya Island is now a peninsula connected to modern-day Uzbekistan. Meduza presents photographs by Elyor Nematov from the ruins of Aralsk-7.
Russia’s Investigative Committee has opened a terrorism investigation, following an explosion at a Federal Security Service branch in the Arkhangelsk region on October 31. According to state officials, a local 17-year-old man was responsible for detonating a homemade bomb inside the entrance of the FSB building, killing himself and injuring three officers.
At the 82nd Ship Repair Yard in Murmansk, floating dock PD-50 — one of the largest floating docks in the world — sank. The accident occurred before dawn on October 30, as the “Admiral Kuznetsov” Russian aircraft carrier was exiting the dock. According to the news agency SeverPost, two tower cranes collapsed during the incident, one falling onto the ship. Here are the highlights:
Members of the pro-Kremlin SERB movement reportedly destroyed the Boris Nemtsov memorial at the Bolshoi Moskvoretsky Bridge in Moscow, maintained at the site of the politician’s murder in 2015. According to the website MBKh Media, the group showed up on October 30, led by Igor Beketov, and proceeded to tear apart and trash the wreaths and portraits left to commemorate the assassinated deputy prime minister.
On October 4, Ingushetia’s Parliament approved an agreement with the neighboring Chechen Republic redrawing parts of their shared boundary. The controversial deal sparked mass protests in Ingushetia, where demonstrators argue that the agreement unfairly divides the borderlands. The deal’s opponents say Ingushetia shouldn’t cede any territory to Chechnya. On October 30, the Ingush Constitutional Court ruled that the border agreement violates Ingushetia’s Constitution. Meduza looks at whether this decision could be enough to force the Ingush authorities to abandon their deal with Chechnya.
Ingushetia’s Constitutional Court has ruled that a law codifying a controversial border agreement with Chechnya is unconstitutional. The court decided that the law, signed by Republic head Yunus-bek Yevkurov, violates three articles of the Ingush Constitution, which says “power belongs to the people,” requires any border changes to take into account public opinion, and obligates the state to preserve the republic’s territorial integrity.
At the 82nd Ship Repair Yard in Murmansk, floating dock PD-50 — one of the largest floating docks in the world — sank. The accident occurred before dawn on October 30, as the “Admiral Kuznetsov” Russian aircraft carrier was exiting the dock. According to the news agency SeverPost, two tower cranes collapsed during the incident, one falling onto the ship.
Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) has reportedly carried out a massive review of the private detectives and state officials who allegedly sell information from closed databases. A source familiar with the situation told the news agency Rosbalt that the FSB has conducted more than 60 raids in the investigation.