Some days ago people in Russia and all around the world were shocked by several acts of terrorism in the Russian Federation. In the atmosphere of tension caused by a deadly explosion in the Moscow airport the following tragedies got the attention of all the people and their compassion to its victims.
Having been working as a professional mountain guide I work in the Elbrus region for 15 years and knowing the situation from my own experience and from the words of the local people who are there at the moment, I can give quite full insight of that. First of all: Russian mass media sources tell the lies dictated by their corrupted owners and the information in them is very superficial and contradictory. The only thing we have to form our own opinion is the facts we witness. Without touching upon the whole bundle of Russian problems, I would like to express my thoughts on the subject matter of my profession - the mountains.
For many years the Elbrus region has been one of the most visited and safe places in the Russian Caucasus because of its properly developed structure and purely tourist service orientation. As for the terrorism threat the Elbrus region was the least dangerous place in Russia since there was NO REASON at all for terrorism there - as the tourism was the main source and the base of the economy of the whole Kabardino-Balkaria Republic. But it has happened and left for us all the freedom for guesses and conclusions.
Tourists going to ski on Elbrus were shot in the car. At the following night the Elbrus cable car was blown-up. One day later the mined car with 70 kilos of TNT was found in front of the hotel at the base of Elbrus. And now the Russian TV says of a big counter-terrorist operation in the Elbrus region with the use of both ground and air forces. And the second line of the news: Putin and Medvedev spent their vacations skiing in the Sochi ski resort... Sounds terrible, feels even worse.
Having heard the news I made several telephone calls to my friends in the Elbrus region to know how they were and how far all that was true. Everybody is ok, but the situation is terrible as everything mentioned in the news happened indeed. After the accidents everything became a total mess in the resort. All the Elbrus cable cars were stopped, people got stuck in the high altitude refuge Barrels without cable car and electric power. People are trying to get away from the region as fast as possible, it looks like escaping. The official decision is ready to close the region totally for any tourism activities. The local people are shocked as such a thing happened in the middle of a high winter season means for them 100% jobless spring and summer seasons. Presuming that the tourism is the only source for people income in the Elbrus region it sounds very painful.
Then there come the conclusions. There is a saying - if you want to find the truth - look for those who get profit from that. Terrorism in Russia is not by any means a form of people protest. Terrorism in Russia now has become one of the most effective tools to develop the National Budget and to get the political and business advantages at the highest levels of the authority. Killing several people with the sufficient media support brings millions invested to the crazy security projects never to be effective or even realized – that business if supported from above is more effective than oil production. Terrorism is also used to draw public attention away from the real problems, to scare people and to push down any kinds of publicity.
As for the Elbrus events it is commonly known that terroristic acts against the tourists is a clear public demonstration of the Russian authorities position – which is not friendly towards the people but extremely aggressive and dangerous. Surely the problem comes not from the bunch of local “Islamite patriots”, who are called responsible and will be killed soon or already killed in some forest near the place of the tragedy, to demonstrate how good are the Russian special forces against the terrorists. The problem is much deeper and much more serious as it comes from above and will not be resolved in several days or months. Someone does not want people go to the Russian Caucasus. Many things were done for that purpose during the last years – leaving tourists helpless against the bandits and corrupted authorities, creating severe problems to get through the paper walls of border bureaucracy. But now it is the final lesson – they kill people and promote it to the entire world. The final lesson is very convincing. You got the lesson, didn’t you?