December 2013 Volgograd bombings

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December 2013 Volgograd Bombings
Part of Insurgency in the North Caucasus and Islamic terrorism in Europe
Взрыв Волгоград I (1).jpg
Site of the 29 December railway bombing
Map of Russia - Volgograd Oblast (2008-03).svg
Location of Volgograd Oblast in Russia
LocationVolgograd, Volgograd Oblast, Southern Federal District, Russia
Coordinates48°42′45″N 44°30′49″E / 48.712498°N 44.513486°E / 48.712498; 44.513486Coordinates: 48°42′45″N 44°30′49″E / 48.712498°N 44.513486°E / 48.712498; 44.513486 (railway station)
48°44′10″N 44°29′53″E / 48.736090°N 44.498013°E / 48.736090; 44.498013 (trolleybus)
Date29 and 30 December 2013
TargetCivilians in public transportation
Attack type
Suicide bombings
Deaths32 (+2 perpetrators):
Volgograd-1 station: 18[citation needed]
Trolleybus: 16[citation needed]
Volgograd-1 station: 44[1]
Trolleybus: 41[citation needed]
PerpetratorsFlag of Caucasian Emirate.svg Caucasus Emirate
Flag of Caucasian Emirate.svg Vilayat Dagestan

In December 2013, two separate suicide bombings a day apart targeted mass transportation in the city of Volgograd, in the Volgograd Oblast of Southern Russia, killing 34 people overall,[citation needed] including both perpetrators. The attacks followed a bus bombing carried out in the same city two months earlier.

Train station bombing on 29 December[edit]

CCTV footage of the train station bombing

On 29 December 2013, a suicide bombing took place at the Volgograd-1 station in the city of Volgograd, in the Volgograd Oblast of Southern Russia. It killed 18 people and injured at least 44, 38 of whom were hospitalized.[1] The attack occurred around 12:45 Moscow Time,[2] close to metal detectors near the entrance of the station.[3] The bomb contained the equivalent of 10 kilograms (22 lb) of TNT. Footage of the explosion was captured by two CCTV cameras inside the station and one outside.[1]

The attack was initially thought to have been carried out by a female suicide bomber,[4][5] sometimes known in Russian as a shahidka ("Black Widow"). Authorities identified the perpetrator as Oksana Aslanova. However, there was later uncertainty as to the identity of the bomber,[6] with some news agencies stating the perpetrator was male.[7] Some sources reported that the last name of the perpetrator was Pavlov.[8] On 30 December it was reported that the perpetrator was an ethnic Russian convert to Islam from the city of Volzhsk, in the Mari El Republic, by the name of Pavel Pechenkin, who changed his name to Ar-Rusi after conversion to Islam.[9][10][11] He was born to an ethnic Russian father, Nikolai, and a Muslim mother, Fanaziya, who both appealed to their son to abstain from violence and attempted to find him in Dagestan.[12] On 7 January some newspapers reported that Pechenkin was cleared from the accusation of being involved with the bombing.[13]

Increasing the confusion, some newspapers mistakenly reported Pechenkin as responsible for the 30 December Volgograd explosion (in the trolleybus).[9] Experts suspect that Doku Umarov, an Islamist militant who has called for suicide terror attacks and has a history of supporting past attacks, was behind the attacks in Volgograd.[14] Members of Vilayat Dagestan, part of Umarov's Caucasus Emirate took credit for the attack on 19 January.[15][16]

Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the most seriously injured to be flown to Moscow for specialist treatment.[6]

Trolleybus bombing on 30 December[edit]

A second suicide attack took place on the morning of 30 December at about 8:30 Moscow Time in the Dzerzhinsky district in Volgograd. The bombing targeted a No. 1233 trolleybus of route 15A, which connects a suburb to Volgograd's downtown area, as it was passing one of the city's markets. From eyewitness photographs, it appears that the explosion took place in the back of the trolleybus.[17] The attack killed 16 people and injured 41, 27 of whom were hospitalized.[citation needed] Remains of the male bomber were located and sent for genetic testing.[17]


On 19 January 2014, a statement and video claiming responsibility for the bombings was posted on the website of Vilayat Dagestan, a subgroup of the Caucasus Emirate. The video shows two Russian speaking men, identified as Suleiman and Abdurakhman, preparing explosives and strapping them to their bodies.[15]



Putin in Volgograd, 1 January 2014
Candles and flowers near the building of Volgograd region representatives in Moscow

The regional governor declared five days of mourning for the victims.[17] The Ministry of Internal Affairs ordered general strengthened security at transportation facilities countrywide.[18] Secretary of the Russian Security Council Nikolai Patrushev called a special meeting of the National Anti-Terrorism Committee to discuss the terrorist acts and possible countermeasures.[19] Volunteers and Cossacks were mobilized to provide additional protection. The chief of the Volgograd Oblast's main Interior Ministry department assumed operational command of the Volgograd Interior Ministry Academy's staff and troops deployed in the town of Kalach.[20]

People laid flowers and lit candles near the building of Volgograd region representatives in Moscow to express their solidarity with the victims.[21]

A spokesman for the Investigative Committee stated that the explosives used in both explosions were identical and that the attacks were therefore linked.[22]

Vladimir Putin flew to Volgograd on 1 January 2014, hours after delivering his customary televised New Year’s speech; this had to be re-recorded so that he could mention the Volgograd bombings.[23] Shortly after landing in Volgograd he delivered a speech at a meeting with senior regional and federal officials to discuss "what is being done here and all across the country to maintain public security"[24] and said that "the heinousness of the crime committed here in Volgograd needs no additional comments. No matter what motivates the criminals, there is no justification for the killing of civilians, especially women and children."[23] He vowed that his country would continue to battle terrorists until all are eliminated[24] and that Russian forces would "do their utmost to protect women and children during their operations".[23] After the meeting, he laid flowers at the site of the trolleybus attack and visited victims who were being treated in one of the city’s hospitals.[24]

On 1 January, the Orthodox icon called the Softener of Evil Hearts was flown around Volgograd on a helicopter.[25] A prayer service for the victims was held in Kazan Cathedral.[25]


NATO's general secretary Anders Fogh Rasmussen condemned the attack as "barbarous" and said that "NATO and Russia stand together in the fight against terrorism, including by working together on technology to prevent attacks on public transport systems."[26] The International Olympic Committee expressed sympathy for the victims and underlined that they trusted that Russia's security arrangements for the Olympic games would be adequate.[18]

The Government of Chile issued a statement condemning "in the strongest terms the terrorist attacks", adding that "the government and people of Chile deliver to the government and people of the Russian Federation and the families of the victims their deepest condolences and feelings of solidarity".[27] The President of Israel said "My heart goes out to those who have been affected by the heinous deed and by previous attacks which have afflicted Russia", while the Prime Minister stated: "I have no doubt that the citizens of Volgograd will continue to demonstrate the resilience, resolve and courage for which their city is renowned. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and the Russian people at this difficult time".[28] The Government of Colombia, through its Ministry of Foreign Affairs, condemned the attacks perpetrated in Volgograd and expressed its condolences to the families of the victims. Colombia also stated that it "considers the fight against terrorism a priority amongst all nations" and that "mutual cooperation is the most effective way to stop it".[29] The United States also condemned the bombings, saying that "The United States stands in solidarity with the Russian people against terrorism".[30]

Investigation and trial[edit]

According to the official investigation, the bombings were organized by a terrorist group called Kadarskaya based in Dagestan and led by Dzhamaltin Mirzayev. Other members involved in planning were Yusup Yakhyayev, Nasrulla Temirkhanov, Arsen Dadayev, Alautdin Dadayev and Ibragim Magomedov; the suicide bombers were Asker Samedov (train station bombing) and Suleyman Magomedov (trolleybus bombing). Two truck driver brothers, Magomednabi Bagirov and Tagir Bagirov, drove the bombers to Volgograd from Dagestan, hiding them in bales of hay. Bagirovs knew the people they were driving are involved with a terrorist cell, but were not aware of their ultimate bombing plans.

Mirzayev, Temirkhanov, Yakhyayev and Arsen Dadayev were killed by law enforcement on 5 February 2014 during a raid. Ibragim Magomedov was arrested during the same raid and testified against Alautdin Dadayev, who was arrested on 20 February 2014. Large quantities of weapons and explosive devices were found in Dadayev's house after his arrest.

On 5 December 2014, Alautdin Dadayev and Ibragim Magomedov were found guilty of participation in illegal armed formation and aiding terrorist activity (articles 208/2 and 205.1/3 of the Criminal Code of Russia) and sentenced to 19 years of imprisonment. Bagirov brothers were found guilty of aiding participants of illegal armed formations (articles 33/5, 208/2) and sentenced to 3 years 10 months of imprisonment each.[31]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "CCTV footage of Volgograd train station suicide explosion". Euronews. 30 December 2013. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 31 December 2013.
  2. ^ Названа мощность взрыва на волгоградском вокзале. Lenta (in Russian). 29 December 2013. Retrieved 29 December 2013.
  3. ^ "Female suicide bomber attack in Volgograd, Russia, as Sochi Winter Olympics approach". The Sydney Morning Herald. 29 December 2013. Retrieved 29 December 2013.
  4. ^ "Female suicide bomber kills 13 at Russian train station". Reuters. Retrieved 29 December 2013.
  5. ^ "14 die as second bomb attack in 2 months strikes Russian city". CNN. Retrieved 29 December 2013.
  6. ^ a b "'Suicide bomber' hits Russia's Volgograd train station". BBC News. 29 December 2013. Retrieved 29 December 2013.
  7. ^ Ragozin, Leonid (29 December 2013). "Volgograd train station rocked by suicide bombing". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 December 2013.
  8. ^ Бомбу в Волгограде взорвал человек по фамилии Павлов. Kommersant (in Russian). 29 December 2013. Retrieved 31 December 2013.
  9. ^ a b Названо имя предполагаемого подрывника вокзала в Волгограде. Lenta (in Russian). 30 December 2013. Retrieved 31 December 2013.
  10. ^ Предполагаемый террорист Печенкин работал фельдшером в Казани. Interfax (in Russian). 31 December 2013. Retrieved 31 December 2013.
  11. ^ Вокзал в Волгограде подорвал уроженец Марий-Эл. Interfax (in Russian). 30 December 2013. Retrieved 31 December 2013.
  12. ^ "Parents of 'Volgograd Train Station Bomber' Pleaded for His Return (Video)". The Moscow Times. 1 January 2014. Retrieved 1 January 2014.
  13. ^ "Житель Марий Эл Павел Печенкин исключен из числа подозреваемых в совершении терактов в Волгограде". Yoshkar-Ola ProGorod. 7 January 2014.
  14. ^ "Up To Speed: 4 Things To Know About The Russia Bombings". Daily Beast. 30 December 2013.
  15. ^ a b "Russian Islamic Video Threatens Sochi Olympics". Associated Press. 19 January 2014. Archived from the original on 20 January 2014. Retrieved 20 January 2014.
  16. ^ Timothy Heritage (20 January 2014). "Militant Islamist video threatens Winter Olympics". Reuters.
  17. ^ a b c "Volgograd blasts: New deadly explosion hits Russian city". BBC News. 30 December 2013. Retrieved 30 December 2013.
  18. ^ a b "16 Killed in Suicide Bombing in Russia's South". NPR. 29 December 2013. Archived from the original on 31 December 2013. Retrieved 29 December 2013.
  19. ^ "Russian regional heads personally responsible for anti-terror measures". ITAR TASS. 30 December 2013. Retrieved 30 December 2013.
  20. ^ "Russian Federal Security Service chief arrives in Volgograd". ITAR TASS. 30 December 2013. Retrieved 30 December 2013.
  21. ^ У представительства Волгограда в Москве скорбят по погибшим в терактах. Русская Служба Новостей (in Russian). 30 December 2013. Retrieved 30 December 2013.
  22. ^ "Volgograd blasts: IOC 'confident' Games will be safe". BBC News. 30 December 2013. Retrieved 31 December 2013.
  23. ^ a b c Ragozin, Leonid (1 January 2014). "Vladimir Putin visits victims of Volgograd bombings". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 January 2014.
  24. ^ a b c "Putin Discusses Public Security in Blast-Hit Volgograd". RIA Novosti. 1 January 2013. Retrieved 1 January 2014.
  25. ^ a b Волгоград на вертолете облетела икона "Умягчение злых сердец" (in Russian). Retrieved 1 January 2014.
  26. ^ Almasy, Steve; Eshcheko, Alla (29 December 2013). "Official: Suicide bomber kills 16 at Russian train station". CNN. Retrieved 30 December 2013.
  27. ^ "Gobierno de Chile condena atentados terroristas en Rusia" (in Spanish). Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Chile. Retrieved 30 December 2013.
  28. ^ As Russia grieves, PM sends condolences to Putin By Yifa Yaakov and AP 30 December 2013, Times of Israel
  29. ^ "Comunicado del Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores rechazando los atentados perpetrados en la Federación Rusa" (in Spanish). Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Colombia. Retrieved 30 December 2013.
  30. ^ "US Slams Volgograd Terror Attacks, Offers Sochi Help". RIA Novosti. 30 December 2013. Retrieved 31 December 2013.
  31. ^ "Пособники волгоградских террористов получили 45 лет и 8 месяцев колонии" (in Russian). 5 December 2014.

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