Blowing Up Russia: Terror from Within
Blowing Up Russia: Terror from Within (Russian: ФСБ взрывает Россию) is a book written by Alexander Litvinenko and Yuri Felshtinsky. The authors alleged that the Russian apartment bombings and other September 1999 terrorist acts were committed by the Federal Security Service. Litvinenko and Felshtinsky wrote that the bombings were a false flag operation intended to justify the Second Chechen War and bring Vladimir Putin to power.
The original Russian language book was published in 2002.
History of writing the book
According to an interview with Yuri Felshtinsky, he started collecting materials about the Russian apartment bombings in 2001 and did not think that FSB has anything to do with the terrorism acts. He was deeply disturbed after discovering that the bombings were in fact committed by the FSB. He consulted with Viktor Suvorov, a writer and former GRU officer. When asked: "Would you personally blow out the building with innocent people after receiving the order?", Suvorov replied: "Of course I would. That is our job. We always follow the order". Then Felshtinsky contacted Litvinenko who he knew from 1998 and who became a coauthor of the book.
On December 29, 2003, Russian Interior Ministry and FSB units seized 4,376 copies of the book intended for Alexander Podrabinek's Prima news agency. FSB lieutenant Alexander Soima said that the book was confiscated as a material evidence in the criminal case No 218 initiated in June 2003 for disclosing state secrets. Podrabinek was summoned by the FSB on January 28, 2004. He refused to answer the questions. In response to FSB's banning their books, the authors granted the right to print and distribute the books in Russia to "anybody who wishes to do so" free of charge. The confiscated books were kept by the FSB until 2009 and then destroyed  because the criminal case against Litvinenko has been officially closed "due to death of the accused".
Lawyer Mikhail Trepashkin said that he warned Litvinenko in 2003 about a menace from FSB confirmed by 2 sources. Trepashkin quoted the words of FSB officer Victor Shebalin saying that everyone who was involved in publication of the book Blowing up Russia would be destroyed and that FSB had deployed its 3 agents to Boston to assassinate Yuri Felshtinsky.
Alexander Goldfarb, the executive director of the Berezovsky-funded International Foundation for Civil Liberties said the book "would haunt Putin the way the image of the killed Tsarevich haunted Boris Godunov."
Sunday Times: "A vivid condemnation of the Putin regime"
In a review for The Independent, Anne Penketh said that the book is "a densely written text" and "(f)or those seeking a reason for the killing of Litvinenko, this book contains the possible motive, although it does not mention the role of Berezovsky — sworn enemy of Putin — in bringing it out in the first place."
Historian Robert Service for The Guardian: "In 2002 their [Litvinenko and Yuri Felshtinsky] jointly written book failed to appeal to established publishers in the west. It has taken Litvinenko's murder for the book to appear in this updated edition ... as vivid a condemnation of the Putin regime as has yet been written."
Viv Groskop for The Observer wrote, the book focuses on the failed Ryazan bombings "in excruciating, rambling detail", but it fails to describe convincingly the involvement of Russian state security services in organizing the Russian apartment bombings and "lack of transparency makes it difficult to read it as more than conspiracy theory.
Andrew Taylor in reviewing the book for The Spectator wrote the book "is essentially a detailed polemic against Putin and the Kremlin's hardliners in their pursuit of power. Most of it was written before Litvinenko's death and for a Russian readership; it was designed primarily as ammunition for Berezovsky's propaganda war".
Eibhir Mulqueen in The Sunday Business Post wrote, "(t)he dearth of acknowledged sources aside, the presentation of this thesis manages at once to be as monotonous as an official police report, while being polemical in tone."
In 2001 the documentary film Assassination of Russia (a.k.a. Blowing up Russia) was made on the basis of the book by French producers Jean-Charles Deniau and Charles Gazelle. Yuri Felshtinsky and Alexander Litvinenko worked as consultants for the film. The film was shown on TV in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, but not in Russia.
- Blowing Up Russia: The Secret Plot to Bring Back KGB Terror Live interview by historian Yuri Felshtinsky about the book, Aleksander Litvinenko and situation in Russia at C-SPAN
- Felshtinsky & Litvinenko 2007
- Felshtinsky & Litvinenko 2002
- Case concerning the book “Blowing Up Russia: Terror from Within” being conducted by the FSB, Prima News, 2004-01-14
- State secret disclosed in the book about terrorist acts, Prima News, 2004-01-30
- Гостайну не выдал by Orhan Cemal, Novaya gazeta, January 29, 2004 (computer translation)
- FSB summons activist editor for questioning, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, January 28, 2004.
- Kremlin threatens human rights activist by Lawrence Uzzell, Chechnya Weekly, Jamestown Foundation, February 4, 2004.
- Правозащитника Александра Подрабинека вызвали на допрос в ФСБ, Lenta.ru, January 27, 2004.
- ФСБ: В книге "ФСБ взрывает Россию" разглашена гостайна, Grani.ru, January 28, 2004.
- ФСБ и милиция арестовали тираж книги "ФСБ взрывает Россию", Lenta.ru, December 29, 2003.
- ФСБ задержала тираж книги "ФСБ взрывает Россию", Grani.ru, December 29, 2003.
- Copyright removed from books by Litvinenko and Felshtinskiy, Prima News, 2004-02-01
- Interview with Mikhail Trepashkin, RFE/RL, December 1, 2007.
- Трепашкин рассказал всю правду о «деле Литвиненко», Yelena Vasilyeva, «Новый Регион – Екатеринбург», February 15, 2007
- "For clues as to who wanted Alexander Litvinenko dead, you need look no farther than his book Blowing Up Russia". London: The Times. January 13, 2007. Retrieved 2009-08-20.
- "A vivid condemnation of the Putin regime". Sunday Times. Retrieved 2009-08-20.
- Plenketh, Anne (19 February 2007). "Blowing Up Russia, by Alexander Litvinenko & Yuri Felshtinsky". London: The Independent. Retrieved 2009-04-10.
- "A vivid condemnation of the Putin regime". London: Sunday Times. January 20, 2007. Retrieved 2009-08-20.
- Groskop, Viv (21 January 2007). "Secrets and spies". London: The Observer. Retrieved 2009-04-10.
- Taylor, Andrew (5 May 2007). "Challenging the Kremlin". The Spectator. Retrieved 2009-04-10.
- Mulqueen, Eibhir (25 February 2007). "Litvinenko book just lukewarm". The Sunday Business Post. Retrieved 2009-04-10.
- Фильм BLOWING UP RUSSIA - Покушение на Россию
- Felshtinsky, Yuri; Litvinenko, Alexander (2007). Blowing Up Russia. translated from Russian by Geoffrey Andrews and Co. (2nd ed.). London: Gibson Square Books. ISBN 978-1-903933-95-4.
- Felshtinsky, Yuri; Litvinenko, Alexander (2002). FSB Vzryvayet Rossiyu (in Russian) (1st ed.). Liberty Publishing House, Inc. ISBN 0-914481-63-0. Full text available at Yuri Felshtinsky's web site.