The August curse has been perceived as a phenomenon in Russia, where from 1991 to 2001, disasters and adverse events occurred more often in August than in other months. Many possible explanations have been presented for this observation, ranging from fact-based to supernatural.
In the early 21st century, journalists and observers noted that, since 1991, an unusual number of severe and fatal events in Russia had occurred in the month of August. Examples included deadly accidents and incidents, terrorist attacks, and the outbreak of two major wars.
Russian media has speculated about possible explanations for such clustering. Seasonal influence on human activities, as opposed to the relative shutdown in winter, for instance, are among them.
For instance, many people take vacations in August: this leaves a kind of power-vacuum at some levels which terrorists and criminals can exploit. Yevgeny Nadorshin, chief economist at Trust Bank, has said that, for many events, the occurrence in August is simply a coincidence. But Nadorshin noted that vacations and official inattention were key factors in enabling the 2009 Nazran bombing.
Others have presented supernatural explanations for the August curse. Astrologist Yelena Kuznetsova said in 2009, that the chaos will likely continue until mid-September because of the relative positions of Saturn and Uranus, and that Russia's horoscope is directly connected to the annual August turmoil.
The usually hot weather of August was identified in 2001 as a contributing factor. It is a time when military or insurgent actions can be undertaken.
Other far-reaching historical events have occurred in August in Russia, a prime time for military movements. For example, the Eastern Front of World War I was opened in August 1914 with the German invasion of Congress Poland, part of the Russian Empire. Germany started the disastrous Siege of Leningrad (22 August 1941) during World War II after invading its erstwhile ally. The next year, it started the battle of Stalingrad that month (23 August 1942), in which the Soviets were eventually victorious.
|1991||19–21||3 dead||Soviet coup d'état attempt|
|1992||27||Everyone on board (84)||Aeroflot Flight 2808 crashes in Ivanovo, Russia|
|1994||4||MMM Ponzi scheme collapses|
|1994||7||29 killed, 786 left homeless||Tirlyanskoe reservoir in Bashkortostan floods|
|1994||11||20 dead, 50 wounded||Train crash in the Belgorod Region|
|1996||29||Everyone on board (141)||Vnukovo Airlines Flight 2801 crashes in Norway|
|1996||31||First Chechen War ends, with the Chechens declaring victory|
|1998||17||Russian financial crisis|
|1999||2||Invasion of Dagestan, start of the Second Chechen War|
|1999||31||The first attack of the Russian apartment bombings|
|2000||12||118 dead||Kursk submarine disaster|
|2002||19||127 dead||Crash of a military helicopter in Chechnya|
|Suicide bomber drives a truck with explosives into a military hospital in North Ossetia|
|2004||24||89 dead||2004 Russian aircraft bombings|
|2006||22||170 dead||Flight 612 plane crash|
|2007||13||Bomb attack on a train between Moscow and St. Petersburg|
|2008||7–12||2008 South Ossetia war|
|Two planes collide during rehearsals for an air show in Moscow|
|Terrorist bombing in Nazran|
|2009||17||75 dead||Accident at the Sayano-Shushenskaya hydro plant|
|2010||29 July – 13 August||54 in wildfires
55,736 in heat wave
|2010 Russian wildfires|
|2013||end July – mid August||85 dead
(includes Chinese and Russian casualties)
|Heavy floods in the Russia's Far East|
|2019||1–31||2019 Siberia wildfires|
|2020||10||13 injured.||2020 Volgograd explosion|
- "Why August is Russia's tragic month". Moscow News. 24 August 2009. Archived from the original on 30 August 2009. Retrieved 31 August 2009.
- Blank, Stephen (6 September 2003). "Russia's August curse". Asia Times. Retrieved 31 August 2009.
- "August cruellest month for Russians". The National. 21 August 2009. Retrieved 31 August 2009.
- "WHY HAS AUGUST BEEN A BAD MONTH FOR RUSSIA OVER THE PAST DECADE?". The Russia Journal. 10 August 2001. Archived from the original on 13 June 2011. Retrieved 31 August 2009.
- Ranter, Harro. "ASN Aircraft accident Tupolev 134A CCCP-65058 Ivanovo Airport (IWA)". aviation-safety.net. Retrieved 10 August 2017.
- "СПРАВКА – Крупные железнодорожные катастрофы". РИА Новости (in Russian). 14 August 2007. Retrieved 10 August 2017.
- Staff Writers. "Natural disasters killed 295,000 in 2010: reinsurer". Agence Presse-France. Disaster Management – Terra Daily. Retrieved 3 January 2011.