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The explosion of houses in Moscow (1999)

One of the most tragic moments in modern Russian history is the explosion of houses in Moscow in 1999. Hundreds of lives of ordinary citizens of Russia took this terrible act of terrorism, but many questions related to the tragedy remain unanswered. There are a lot of versions of what has happened, from completely realistic to completely fantastic. Let's try to figure out what caused the explosions of houses in Moscow in 1999, and who are the perpetrators of this tragedy.

Prior Events

In order to understand what caused these horrible events, it is necessary to return in 1999. Explosions in residential buildings in Moscow are inextricably linked with the history of that period.

This year was marked by many turning points in the development of the Russian Federation. It was then that Russia received a new chairman of the government, who in the future became president - Vladimir Putin. It happened in August. V. Putin initially showed himself to be a man who can do better than speak. At the same time, in liberal circles, he was treated with distrust as a former KGB officer. The explosions of houses in Moscow (1999) and Putin, with the light hand of reporters, will subsequently be repeatedly mentioned in the media, and the connection between the events that happened and Vladimir Vladimirovich each time will be different. However, the press it is the press, which is surprising. However, we are silent distracted.

Another very significant event in 1999 was the resumption of the military conflict in the North Caucasus, which, after the signing of the Khasavyurt agreements in 1996, was in a frozen stage. But in the same August-month, two days before Putin's appointment as Prime Minister, a powerful group of Chechen militants led by Shamil Basayev and Khattab invaded Dagestan. The Russian Armed Forces successfully repulsed and transferred the fighting directly to the territory of Chechnya. This was the beginning of the Second Chechen War. It was this event, according to the official version, that provoked the explosions of houses in Moscow. The year 1999 was marked by another event, namely the departure of Boris Yeltsin from the presidential post for health reasons and the transfer of the relevant powers to Vladimir Putin. But it happened already at the end of the year, that is, after the commission of the terrorist attacks.

So, with the prehistory over, let's go directly to the description of how the tragic events of September 1999 unfolded.

The first act of terrorism

The explosion of houses in Moscow in 1999 was not the first terrorist attack in a series of similar incidents that shook Russia in September 1999. The first tragedy occurred in the small Dagestan city of Buinaksk.

So, on September 4, about a five-story building where Russian military families lived, a car bombed with explosives was blown up. As a result of the terrorist attack, 64 people died, of which almost a third were children, and 146 people were injured of varying severity. Two entrances were destroyed in the house itself.

But this act of terrorism, as it turned out, only preceded even more tragic events that occurred in the same month in Moscow.

Explosion in Guryanov Street

The bombing of houses in Moscow in 1999 opened a terrorist attack on Guryanov Street, which occurred four days after the events in Buinaksk, namely, late at night on September 8.

This time, the nine-story building suffered. Two seconds before midnight, it sounded an explosion, the power of which was 350 kg in TNT. It occurred as a result of the detonation of the explosives laid on the ground floor. Two entrances of the house were completely destroyed. In addition, the design of the neighboring high-rise building has been significantly damaged. Later it was completely demolished by the repair services, since it posed a danger to both residents and people on the street. In the place of both houses later, new high-rise buildings were erected.

As a result of the explosion, 106 people were killed this time, and 690 were injured.

Explosion on the Kashirskoye highway

Meanwhile, on September 13, there were new explosions of houses in Moscow (1999). Guryanov was not the only street in the capital that experienced a terrorist attack. A new explosion occurred in an eight-story house on the Kashirskoye highway.

This time, not individual entrances were injured, but the whole house was almost completely destroyed. This was due to the fact that the structure was made of bricks. 124 people were killed and seven others were injured.

The population of the capital and the whole country stirred the explosions of houses in Moscow (1999). The Kashirskoye Highway was marked by the largest number of victims from similar events in Russia, although the explosive power was inferior to that of the one that was built in the house on Guryanov Street, and was about 300 kg in TNT. As mentioned above, the main reason for the greater number of victims with a lower power charge was the technical features of the construction of buildings.

Another terrorist attack occurred on September 16 in another Russian city - Volgodonsk. He took eighteen people with him. Although this tragedy did not happen in Moscow, it is a continuation of the chain of explosions that shook Russia in September 1999. The incident in Volgodonsk closes the chain of terrorist acts of the period under review.


All of Russia and the world were stirred up by the explosions of apartment buildings in Moscow (1999). The consequences were the most tragic. As a result of the terrorist attacks in the capital (not counting other cities in the country), 230 people were killed, 697 others were injured of varying severity. In addition, one eight-storey house was actually erased from the face of the earth, and two entrances were destroyed in the nine-storey building. Another building received significant structural damage. As you can see, a rather tragic and destructive consequences led to the explosion of houses in Moscow (1999). The addresses of the buildings whose inhabitants were affected by the terrorist attacks are as follows:

  • Ul. Guryanova, 19;
  • Ul. Guryanova, 17;
  • Kashirskoye shosse, 6.

The reaction of the authorities did not keep itself waiting. Immediately after the first explosion of houses in Moscow (1999), a formal investigation into the incident by law enforcement agencies was launched. In addition, one of the consequences of the terrorist attacks can be considered the activation of the actions of Russian law enforcement agencies in the North Caucasus, directed against Chechen and Dagestani militants and terrorists.

Causes of explosions

The explosion of houses in Moscow in 1999, from the very beginning, the press and government officials were primarily associated with the resurgent armed conflict in the North Caucasus. Later, the official investigation confirmed this version.

And the terrorists themselves did not hide this especially. For example, the statement made on September 14 by the leader of the Islamist movement Ansar ash-Sharia, in which he spoke with the approval of the terrorist attacks, and also linked them with the revenge of the Caucasians to the Russians for shelling in Chechnya and Dagestan, serves as confirmation of this. At the same time, radical militant leader Shamil Basayev, who was recognized as an international terrorist, declared his innocence to these bloody events. But another leader of extremists, Khattab, just the day before made a statement that he will fight not only with Russian law enforcement agencies, but also with the whole people.


Officially, the criminal case that was designed to investigate the explosion of houses in Moscow (1999) was opened on September 9, that is, the day after the tragedy on Guryanov Street. Already in the same month, a circle of suspects was outlined, most of whom were immediately taken into custody.

During the investigation, a large number of evidence revealing the suspects was found. In addition, the investigation revealed a number of criminal actions on the part of representatives of law enforcement agencies who closed their eyes to bribes for compliance with formalities that would help prevent a tragedy. However, of course, they did not know the ultimate goals of the terrorists, but nevertheless, given the overall criminal orientation of their actions, prison terms were given.

Conclusions of the investigation

So, let's move on to the main thing. Who made the explosion of houses in Moscow in 1999? In the opinion of the investigation, it was a well-planned action, which had customers and immediate executors.

As a result of the investigation, it became clear that the international terrorist organization "Islamic Institute" Caucasus "headed by Khattab and Abu Umar was the structure that ordered and financed the apartment bombings in Moscow (1999). The terrorist act was directly committed by members of the extremist group "Karachayevsky Jamaat".

It is striking how these attacks were clearly planned. They were preparing for more than one month. In order for the preparation not to attract attention, even a fictitious company "Brand-2" LLC was registered, which leased premises in the houses where it was planned to produce explosions. The fact that after the first terrorist attack in Moscow law enforcement failed to prevent the second, even knowing about the likely danger, once again is a testament to the serious approach of the organizers and performers to the solution of the task. Thought was all to the smallest detail, established links with people who were forced to involuntarily become accomplices of the crime, without even knowing about what their actions can lead to. At the same time, the main purpose of the terrorist operation was kept in strict confidence, which is quite unusual for such extremist organizations as Karachaevsky Jamaat.


Most of the people who organized and carried out the explosion of houses in Moscow (1999), the FSB with the help of other law enforcement services was able to establish. Mostly they were representatives of the North Caucasian peoples (Karachais, Dagestanis, etc.), as well as Arabs. Some of them were detained by officers of Russian law enforcement agencies, others were arrested abroad, and then extradited to Russia, others were destroyed during special operations of special services, and the fourth ones were killed under other circumstances. Only units were escaping punishment, but they also had to hide and constantly remain in fear that they would be overtaken by the hand of the law.

Those who directly participated in the organization of the explosions in Moscow are A. Dekkushev, H. Abbaev, J. Krymshamkhalov, D. Saitakov, R. Akhmyarov, A. Gochiyaev. All of them, except for the last, are either killed or are serving life imprisonment. Achimez Gochiyaev, who was involved in the direct leadership of the organization of terrorist attacks, is currently on the international wanted list. According to unconfirmed reports, at the moment he is hiding in Turkey, although reliable information about him has not been available since 2002. So it is quite possible that Achimeza Gochiyaeva is no longer alive.

Kara overtook those who are considered to be direct customers of the terrorist attacks. Thus, the terrorist leader Khattab was liquidated by Russian special services in 2002, and his assistant Abu Umar in 2001. They were both ethnic Arabs and took an active part in organizing the struggle of the Chechen separatists against the Russian Federation. Khattab and Abu Umar were posthumously recognized by the Russian court as guilty of ordering the terrorist attacks that occurred in Moscow in 1999.

In general, the court confirmed other findings of the investigation about the involvement of individuals and organizations in terrorist acts that shocked the capital and other settlements of the Russian Federation at the end of the last millennium. At present, in connection with the 1999 terrorist acts, Yusuf Krymshamkhalov and Adam Dekkushev are serving life imprisonment.

Among those who did not manage to be detained, but managed to be eliminated by Russian special services or other security agencies, one should name Ravil Akhmyarov, Denis Saytakov, Hakim Abayev. Employees of the Georgian police killed Timur Batchaev, who was the main person involved in the case of the explosions in Volgodonsk. At the same time, the Georgian security forces managed to detain Yusuf Krymshamkhalov, who was later extradited to Russia to serve life imprisonment.

It should be noted that for the Russian government it was a matter of honor to punish the criminals who committed house bombings in Moscow (1999), and Putin VV, as well as other government officials in every way facilitated the proceedings and even stimulated the activity of investigative actions to identify and detain the perpetrators. The government understood that if it could not punish terrorists, the people would simply stop believing in it, feeling defenseless against the threat of extremism. It was a clear and timely organization of investigative actions and the adoption of urgent measures to capture criminals played an important role in that the Russian people began to associate their own government with a really working mechanism that is able to enforce the law throughout the country.

Memory of the terrorist attacks

The memory of the terrorist attacks that occurred in Moscow and in some other cities of Russia in 1999, still excites citizens. Of course, few want to repeat these bloody events, in addition, many people fear that this may happen again in the future, so the past should not be forgotten. Innocent victims of terrorist acts, whose lives have selected explosions, deserve to be remembered in Russia.

Already in 2000, a memorial sign was erected on the site of the terrorist attack on Guryanov Street. In addition, in memory of the dead in the same year, the construction of the chapel began. The construction was completed in 2004. It was financed by donations from both ordinary citizens and commercial entities.

The victims of the explosions on the Kashirskoye highway did not remain forgotten. Memorial Park, dedicated to their memory, was defeated near the site of the tragedy.

The significance of explosions in Moscow

Very big resonance in society was the explosion of houses in Moscow (1999). Photos from the site of the tragedy flew all the leading television channels and newspapers. Since the representatives of the North Caucasian nations (mainly Karachais and Dagestanis) acted as figurants of the criminal case, as expected, the indignation of Russian citizens was directed towards them.

In addition, acts of terrorism, either intentionally or unwittingly, contributed to the fact that the majority of Russian citizens advocated active military operations in the Caucasus against militants and terrorists, as well as the government's course. The Russian authorities received the support of most countries of the international community, including the United States of America. If until then many states perceived the war in Chechnya as the liberation struggle of the Chechen people, after the terrorist attacks in Moscow and other cities of Russia, the North Caucasian rebels began to be associated with representatives of international terrorism.

At the same time, it should be noted that the explosions could provoke a backlash, for example, to convince the people of the authorities' inability to protect it from extremists, which would further destabilize the situation. In the event that the organizers of the explosion, as the investigation revealed, were the leaders of the North Caucasus militants, then they expected exactly this, as well as to intimidate the population.

Whatever it was, but it was after the terrorist attacks that Russia moved into the active phase of the fight against terrorism and extremism in the North Caucasus. And the actions of Russian law enforcement agencies were relatively successful. This allowed in 2009 to announce the successful completion of the counter-terrorist operation.

Despite the official conclusions of the investigation and the court verdict of persons who were involved in the organization of terrorist attacks, many details of this case are still a mystery and raise questions, both among the press and among ordinary people. Are all the riddles of these tragic events solved? Most likely, if this happens, it will not be in the near future. But, no matter what, we must remember the dead people who became hostages to political interests.

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