In Russia, two aircraft have fallen from the sky in what is likely to be a terrorist attack. The two Tupolev airliners departed for Moscow and disappeared for radar within minutes of each other. The wreckage of one aircraft has been located in the Tula province south of Moscow. One aircraft is believed to be down somewhere near the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don. Around 100 are believed to have been killed.
The chances of two aircraft departing from the same airport being destroyed within minutes of each other is astronomically slim. The most plausible explanation is a terrorist attack on the aircraft. The Russian province of Chechnya, long a site where Islamic militants, some of whom are linked to al-Qaeda, have been fighting in a long and bloody war over the province. Acts of terrorism including bombings are common.
There is also the crisis between Russia and George in which Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili has been warnng about the possibility of war with Russia over Russia’s perported ties with separatist groups operating out of the South Ossetia region of Georgia.
It seems quite likely that this is a terrorist attack, although as of yet there have been no official claims of responsibility and no official determination of what happened. However, given the situation in Russia with the looming elections in Chechnya, the ongoing violence, and the timing of these events, it’s the logical conclusion. Given the already unstable oil market, a conflict between Russia and Chechnya or Russia and Georgia could have worldwide consequences.