Moscow: Under Siege?


A curious thing happened in Moscow recently – false alarms were called in for emergencies ranging from hostage situations to shootings in very vulnerable public places. Reported as an elaborate prank by the BBC, it does not look like a prank to me. This was a test of the strength or weakness of the Russian capital’s emergency response system and the preparedness of her teams. Like an astounding magic trick, this episode used misdirection – the key to making a trick work. But, why did this happen?

Though not trying to reduce our reader’s gleeful moment of Schadenfreude over this event, we should nevertheless set aside for a moment Russia’s recent political assassinations, foreign vote rigging, or even bombing of civilian populations in the Middle East (like its Western counterpart). Instead, let us focus on what just happened: the capital city of Russia was brought into chaos with a city-wide terror attack of another kind.

Any capital city’s most critical infrastructure is arguably its emergency response system. Last week Moscow’s was confounded and crippled by innumerable false reports of violent attacks and dangerous crises. While no one was harmed, what if…

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