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The Dangerous Situation in Russian Ski Resort
February 22, 2011 15:51

Three crimes were committed in Russian republic of Kabardino-Balkaria. Three tourists were shot by a masked gunmen, then a bomb was detonated by unknown persons on ski a lift and another bomb was found in a car in ski resort village. Till this time terrorists had been attacking only police and security forces, without touching tourists and other people. But their plans changed causing an outflow of tourists from the region.

On February, 18, five citizens of Moscow arrived at the airport of Mineral Waters. Valery Belokon, his son Denis Belokon, Vyacheslav Kara, Sergey Efremov, and Irina Patrusheva were going to the town Terskol of Cheget tourist ski resort. They had pre-ordered a trip minibus for the trip and wanted to take another three passengers from Moscow with them, but they had too much luggage to fit all of them in the vehicle. So the other three Muscovites have ordered another minibus.

When the minibus reached Zayukovo village, a black car cut in front of them. The minibus driver had to stop. People in masks and with guns came out from the black car and opened the minibus door, demanding people to show their identity papers. Irina Patrusheva replied that the visitors had to identify themselves first. The criminals began to pull her out of the car, other Muscovites stood up for her. In response, the bandits opened fire, killing Irina Patrusheva, Denis Belokon and Vyacheslav Kara. Valery Belokon and Sergey Efremov were injured. Everything happened so fast that Patrusheva had no time to take her hands out of her jacket pockets....

The driver of minibus started off when he heard the shooting. He reached a store in Zayukovo and called an ambulance.

Some analitics say the reason of the attack was Irina's surname. The terrorists thought that Irina Patrusheva was daughter of the former head of FSB Nikolai Patrushev. But that was a mistake, cause Patrushev has two sons only.

The second terrorist attack happened hours later, when a cable-car was blown up in the ski resort. The bomb of capcity of two TNT exploded near the rolling block of the ski lift, as a result, 30 cabins crashed down. At that time the cableway was turned off so no-one was hurt. So there is no idea if the terrorist were going to kill anybody or the bomb exploded just too late of too early. Perhaps they wanted just to warn someone.

According to, the road undermining has not a political but a commercial implication. The attack could happen as a result of redistribution of influence shperes in the travel industry. Some sources say that such explosions have been occurring before but the mass media just haven't reported about that. But this time the shooting of tourists and explosions attracked society's attention. Security forces introduced an anti-terrorism regime near the ski mountain of Elbrus.

According to the Guardian, "the murder of the tourists was almost certainly organised with the aim of discrediting Kremlin plans to develop a £9bn chain of ski resorts across the North Caucasus". According to the magazine, "the attacks were most likely orchestrated by Islamist militants who have carried out a spate of murders in the republic in the last three months. Violence in the North Caucasus is rooted in two largely secular wars for independence between Chechen separatists and the Russian army in the 1990s. It has since mutated into a region-wide Islamist insurgency whose leaders are bent on establishing a caliphate under sharia law. In the last two years the militants have organised a series of large-scale terror attacks, culminating in the attack by two "black widow" suicide bombers that killed 40 people in the Moscow metro last year, and the Domodedovo blast".

The violence has shocked the ordinary people. That was the first attack on tourists. About 5 thousand skiers visit Elbrus annually. Now the situation in the region became too dangerous.


Tags: skiing in Russia North Caucasus Mineral Waters   

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