Reflections of Moscow and the Metro Bombing

by Nono Delid

The recent deadly bombing in two Metro stations in Moscow left the Russian nation in mourning and resolve to search and punish the perpetrators. Fear of the same calamity likewise gripped the Russian capital. I join the world in condemning the incident as I sympathize with its people on this tragedy.

Seeing those pictures in international media and reading them from papers left me reflect those times many years ago when I was in Moscow, circa 1984 when “glasnost and perestroika” were not yet around. For those who are fond of real spy stories, from Mossad, CIA, Scotland Yard to KGB, the place Lubyanka maybe too familiar; specifically Lubyanka prison which was then, to Western observers, almost synonymous to Gulag. Because this is where the main headquarters of the famous KGB was located. Today, it is also the headquarters of the Federal security Service, the agency tasked to protect its citizens. The first bombing took place in nearby Lubyanka Metro station.

I remember this place quite well. Daily, on our last week in Moscow back then, we would pass by it, or ride the Metro through this station. Because this station was very close to our hotel, the Rossia Hotel, which was just a stone’s throw away from the Kremlin and Red Square.

We have been amazed by the magnificence of Russia’s Metro Subway stations that we would just then joyride from station to station. In many instances, we got lost, because many stations were actually several levels below ground levels. Everyday, millions of Russian people use the Metro. One time coming in from the central city of Liepetz, we disembarked from a Moscow central station and that was when we realized that at least 5 million people use that line daily.