The August curse is a perceived phenomenon in Russia, in which tragic events are felt to occur unusually often in the month of August. Many possible explanations have been presented for the phenomenon.
Many journalists and experts have noted that, beginning in 1991, the most tragic events in Russia tend to take place in August. Examples include many deadly accidents and incidents, terrorist attacks and two major wars.
There has been a lot of speculation in Russian media about possible explanations for the perceived phenomenon.
It has been pointed out that the fact that many people take vacations in August may be a factor: the vacations leave a power-vacuum which terrorists and malefactors can then exploit. Yevgeny Nadorshin, chief economist at Trust Bank, has pointed out that for many of the events the fact that they take place in August is only a coincidence, but for some the phenomenon can be explained. For example, Nadorshin said that vacation and inattention were certainly key factors in the 2009 Nazran bombing.
Some have also 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.
It has to be observed that tragic August events in Russia tended to occur before 1991 as well. For example, the Eastern Front of World War I was opened in August 1914 with German invasion of Congress Poland, part of the Russian Empire; subsequent victories of the Central Powers led to the collapse of the Empire, rise of the bolsheviks, Russian Civil War and the creation of the Soviet Union 8 years later. The bloody and devastating, though ultimately victorious to the Soviets, battle of Stalingrad also commenced in that month (August 23rd 1942), as did the disastrous Siege of Leningrad (August 22nd 1941).
|1991||19–21||Soviet coup d'état attempt|
|1996||29||killing 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, begin of 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|
- "Why August is Russia's tragic month". Moscow News. 24 August 2009. Archived from the original on 30 August 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-31.
- Blank, Stephen (6 September 2003). "Russia's August curse". Asia Times. Retrieved 2009-08-31.
- "August cruellest month for Russians". The National. 21 August 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-31.
- "WHY HAS AUGUST BEEN A BAD MONTH FOR RUSSIA OVER THE PAST DECADE?". The Russia Journal. 10 August 2001. Retrieved 2009-08-31.