“We believe the reply will be effective and powerful enough to show these shameful, terrible people that … when the hand of an enemy is lifted against our lives, we are able to defend our citizens,” Patriarch Kirill said at a memorial service in Moscow.
The comments were the strongest statement of anger against the perpetrators by a senior public figure. President Dmitry Medvedev on Saturday called for calm and ordered officials to do everything to help the victims of the attack.
This has led some to speculate that a new, bloody offensive may be on the way. Andrei Soldatov, editor of Agentura.ru, is quoted in CSM as saying “There is a real threat. (…) We see forces coalescing in the northern Caucasus who are not interested in local nationalism, or separatism, but see themselves as being at war with Russia. Until lately, the most adventurous Russian Islamists tended to head for Afghanistan, or somewhere else, to wage jihad. Now there are signs that they are going to the Caucausus area, and this bodes very ill.“
Not that Russian democracy was thriving by any means before the Nevsky, but increased insecurity usually means tighter authoritarianism….