Russian president Vlaidmir Putin vows ‘total annihilation’ of the Muslim terrorists who were behind the recent suicide bombings and bus bombings which killed dozens and wounded many more

Vladimir Putin

While visiting survivors of the most recent terrorist bombings, Putin vowed to pursue these Muslim terrorists to their “total annihilation” in his first public comments since the Volgograd suicide bombings. “The inhumane terrorist acts in Volgograd” were among the biggest challenges Russia faced in 2013.”

RT  The deadly suicide attacks in Volgograd forced Vladimir Putin to make changes to his traditional New Year address, with the Russian President promising to wage “a confident, tough and consistent” war on terror until total victory.

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At least 34 people have lost their lives and over 80 injured in two suicide blasts in Russia’s southern city of Volgograd on December 29 and 30, with the president saying: “We bend our head before the victims of the violent terrorist attacks.” “We’ll lead a confident, tough and consistent battle against the terrorists until their full elimination,” the President promised. 

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This year, Putin broke the long-time tradition and gave up on the pre-recorded address to the nation, shot at the Kremlin several days before the New Year.  On December 31, Putin made a surprise visit to Khabarovsk, which contains one of the temporary accommodation centers for those who lost their homes in massive floods hitting the Russian Far East this summer.

UK Telegraph  Two more victims of Monday’s bus bombing and one victim of Sunday’s suicide attack in the city’s main railway station died overnight, Russian authorities said on Tuesday, bringing the total number of fatalities from the attacks to 34. More than 100 people have been injured.

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Russia looked for answers as fears of further attacks prompted alerts at other transport hubs. Police briefly evacuated a bus station in Krasnodar, 350 miles south east of Volgograd, after a suspicious package was found there. The station was reopened after a bomb squad search of the building showed up no threat.

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Russian authorities have been scrambling to make sense of a series of attacks that their intelligence services failed to predict.

The Investigative Committee, Russia’s equivalent of the FBI, said Monday’s bombing was the work of a man whose remains were being tested in an attempt to establish his identity. Meanwhile, reports in the Russian press, not officially confirmed, named the man behind Sunday’s railway station blast as Pavel Pechenkin, who lived in the republic of Mari El, 400 miles east of Moscow and converted to Islam last year. Pechenkin’s father, Nikolai, has already given a DNA sample to aid identification, the Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper reported.

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Pechenkin, a former paramedic, was reported to have adopted the Muslim name Ansar Ar-Rusi in the spring of 2012 and to have left home soon afterwards. He told his parents he was going to stay with his younger brother in Moscow, but they later learnt he had gone to Dagestan, the restive North Caucasus republic at the heart of an Islamist insurgency.

Russian media had initially reported that the station bomber was a 26-year-old woman who had twice been married to insurgent fighters, each in turn killed by special forces. But later the Investigative Committee said that the suspect was a male who carried explosives in a rucksack.

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The series of attacks is grimly reminiscent of the build-up to terrorist “spectaculars” in the mid-2000s, including the Beslan School siege, in which more than 300 people died, 180 of them children.

Then suicide bombers had blown up two airliners in mid-air a week before they seized the school on Sept 1, 2004, in what security experts now describe as an attempt to divert the security services’ attention ahead of the main attack.