Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Some pretty disastrous things always happen in August here: it's become a cliche by now, and everyone's expecting the worst. The coup that brought the Soviet Union to its collapse took place on August 19, 1991 (which was a good thing for many, though; today - well, yesterday - is/was the Independence Day in Ukraine); the default happened on, I guess, August 17, 1996, and way too many people lost their jobs and savings; the Kursk submarine sank sometime around August 12, 2000. There could have been something else but I don't remember. And now this.

I'm so scared of flying - and to think of what all the relatives are going through now is horrible. There were about a hundred people on board of those two planes - or, hopefully, fewer: they keep confirming something and then there are some vague disclaimers. One plane's burning tail has been found, and the other one is still missing though it looks like they've almost found the place where it fell. It happened so late at night and Russia's countryside is very very dark.

Mishah flew to that airport just a week ago - it's a newly redesigned airport, Domodedovo, with really tight security. There's a commuter train service between the center of Moscow and the airport - the trains are brand new and comfortable - an incredible thing for Russia.

It can't be an accident. Two of them at the same time. They were at the stage of the flight that's the safest statistically.

Today, there was also a minor explosion at a bus stop in Moscow - in the area that's like a Bermuda Triangle: two apartment buildings were blown up there in 1999 and the theater hostage thing also happened nearby. But only two people are reported to have been hurt in today's explosion and no one took it seriously - it's Moscow, after all, a crazy city. But now they are beginning to panic - I've just read a piece that, among other things, mentions that the bomb had gone off roughly halfway from the center to the Domodedovo Airport.

Compared to what's going on in Iraq, this is nothing. Even though it is probably connected with the upcoming elections in Chechnya.

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