Guerillas go bananas on Moscow cops

Moscow police have become targets for attacks lately, as signs of co-ordination appear in the chain of recent bombings and arson actions against police departments and officers.

The latest attack was on Sunday night, when an explosive device went off at a police department in eastern Moscow, leaving no injuries but raising fears of further similar protest attacks on the city’s law enforcement. The blast shattered windows in the department and damaged several cars allegedly belonging to officers.

Experts are yet to determine the type of device and motives of the attack, but it seems very similar to other recent attacks on Moscow police.

Last Friday, a device exploded near a police department in the city’s north, shattering windows and causing minor damage to the walls of the building. The bomb was allegedly thrown by a passer-by who managed to run away after the action.

Assailants also set fire to a number of police vehicles parked near the central police department of the Moscow satellite city, Khimky, last Tuesday. Nobody was hurt, but several cars were torched.

In June another bombing of the road police office was carried out in Moscow’s outskirts. A group dubbed “Anarchist Guerilla” has claimed responsibility for that attack and uploaded a video of the action to the web.

­Who are they?

Operatives of the anarchist group have already gained attention on the internet, targeting parked vehicles and carrying out small “terror attacks” on police departments. They say they aim to protest brutal actions by police officers, who break laws, use civilian cars as “shields” while in hot pursuit of car thieves and cover for VIP drivers, allowing them to violate driving rules.

In their attacks, the “guerillas” use hand-made explosives of relatively small capacity which are never intended to cause injury anybody, the activists claim.

On their web page, the “Anarchist Guerilla” manifesto claims they want to change society so that people will have more freedom and not be “just puppets in somebody’s hands.” They plan to organize various minor “terror actions” with no goal to kill or wound anybody, but rather to express public opinion.

In a web self-manual, the activists explain how to produce a simple explosive device at home and list the best ways to use them against police and civic workers. The group’s website has inspired separate attacks on police in the Russian capital, some of which were appreciated by the leaders of the group. 

For the moment, police do not believe the attacks are co-ordinated by just one group and qualify the assaults as simple hooliganism, not linking them all into one case.