Exciting as these political vicissitudes are, it is still remarkable that they have eclipsed completely the twelfth anniversary of the event that shocked the whole country – the explosions in the apartment houses in Moscow on September 9 and 13, 1999.
Surkov’s game plan for building a controllable pro-business party has failed but his attempt to cut Prokhorov down to size backfired spectacularly. Mikhail Khodorkovsky challenged this “shadow state” and refused to accept its punishment, exposing its illegitimacy by every available means from interviews to the European Court of Human Rights. Prokhorov insists that his fight is of an entirely different nature, but by refusing to bend to the petty wishes from the Kremlin he has qualified as an “enemy of the state,” and his fortune, instead of shielding him from persecution, makes it more tempting for the greedy siloviki to go after the loot (Novaya Gazeta, September 15). Prokhorov is guilty of revealing how rotten Putinism has grown; he may yet buy himself out of this predicament, but his moment of defiance added to the implosion of the corrupt super-structure that came into being from the forgotten twin explosions.