Russians mourned at religious services and soccer stadiums Sunday after a deadly train wreck that authorities blamed on a terrorist bomb. The leader of the Russian Orthodox Church urged the nation not to give in to fear.
Relatives identified loved ones killed in the wreck of the express train. If confirmed as caused by a bombing, the wreck would be Russia’s deadliest terrorist attack outside the violence-plagued North Caucasus provinces in five years.
Television networks took entertainment programs off the air and moments of silence were observed before matches on the final Sunday of the Russian football league.
Patriarch Kirill, the leader of the country’s dominant church, led a service for the victims at Christ the Savior Cathedral near the Kremlin. “We will remember their sacred names,” he said.
“Our people have been challenged. A crime of which any one of us could have been a victim has been committed for effect,” Kirill said in a statement on the church’s Web site. “They want to frighten everybody who lives in Russia.”
The rear three cars of the Nevsky Express, one of Russia’s fastest trains, derailed on a remote stretch of track late Friday as it sped from Moscow to St. Petersburg, killing some passengers and trapping others in the jumbled wreckage. The head of Russia’s Federal Security Service, Alexander Bortnikov, said Saturday that an explosive device detonated under the train, gouging a crater in the rail bed and blowing the tail cars off the tracks.
Emergency Situations Minister Sergei Shoigu said at least 25 people were killed and 26 were unaccounted for, though he said some may have survived uninjured or never have boarded the train.
Read the rest of this entry »