MOSCOW - At least 35 people were killed and 130 were injured yesterday in an apparent suicide bombing at Moscow's Domodedovo airport, Russian Health Ministry officials said. Israel suspended all flights from Tel Aviv to Moscow following the attack.
Russian officials branded the explosion a terrorist attack. President Dmitry Medvedev vowed that those behind the bombing would be "tracked down and punished."
The ease with which the attack was carried out and the authorities' total lack of preparedness might amaze foreigners, but Russians, who are accustomed not to expect too much from the state, are unlikely to be surprised.
The local television channels, as usual, only began broadcasting from the site two hours after the event. Taxi drivers, as usual, charged 20 times the usual fare for the trip into the city and the law enforcement authorities, as usual, promised to investigate and to punish.
The television stations gave up all pretext of being the main source of information, and broadcast video footage from the airport clearly marked YouTube and TwitVid.
Twitter, a favorite of Medvedev's, turned into Russia's main news agency, not only in terms of getting out reports from the event itself, but also in terms of bringing information from official sources.
For example, an announcement that the fare would be waived for the train from the Domodedovo airport to Moscow was broadcast on television 40 minutes after it was first tweeted. first tweets. Twitter frenzy peaked when its reports became television's main news report.
While people were using Twitter to broadcast from the attack site, the television news was reporting on the irresponsible conduct of the taxi drivers and on the Internet users who were organizing free rides and online information transfer.
"We'd have elected you again even without the terror attacks," a tweet to Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said.
In 2000 Putin's firm response to a series of terror attacks contributed to his election win. He announced at the time he would "drown the terrorists in the toilet bowl."
Want to enjoy 'Zen' reading - with no ads and just the article? Subscribe todaySubscribe now