Russian media source Life News have finally released the CCTV footage of the November 17 shooting that took place on the Moscow Metro.
The scene of the shooting begins on Moscow’s Serpukhovsko-Timiryazevskaya metro line. Two men, who have not yet been identified, are sitting together silently in a relatively uncrowded car. The victim begins to walk by when he is stopped by one of the men. After an extremely brief exchange, the man pulls out a gun and shoots the victim in the stomach. He then proceeds to kick him and shoot him in the face. After the shooting, the men head toward the door. Alarmed passengers run in the other direction while the men nonchalantly wait for their stop. The two assailants leave the Moscow Metro at the Nagornaya station.
According to Life News, the police have no leads on the suspects at this point. While one of the shooter’s faces is clearly visible in the Moscow Metro CCTV footage, no one has come forward to identify the man. The 30-year-old victim, Khashim Latipov, survived the shooting attack and is currently recovering from surgery.
With only the video available at this point, the public is speculating that the shooting was a hate crime. News of the Moscow Metro shooting left many believing that this was another act of extremism and violence by Russia’s ultra-nationalists.
The victim, Latipov, is from the North Caucasus Republic of Daghestan. While Daghestan is a republic within Russia, tensions are constantly running high between the southern republic and Moscow. The region has been periodically fighting for independence since being swallowed into Russia 200 years ago.
Daghestan and its neighbor Chechnya have been breeding domestic terrorists as separatists within the regions take their battle for independence to the extreme. The First and Second Chechen Wars created an irreparable rift between Caucasus region and the rest of the country.
Violence and extremism continued in the decades following the civil war. There have been several terrorist attacks in Moscow involving southern separatists since 2000. In 2003, the Red Square Bombing killed six people. The Moscow Metro was hit twice by suicide bombers in 2004 alone. In 2006, there was a suicide bombing in a market that killed 30 people. Another bombing in the Moscow Metro killed 40 people in 2010. In 2011, the suicide bombing at Moscow’s Domodedovo International Airport killed 37 people. The Caucasus region was the center of negative publicity again when it was revealed that the suspected bombers at the Boston Marathon, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, were from the region. On the other end of the spectrum, Chechens accuse Russians of killing upwards of 200,000 people in their region.
The messy political history is only added on top of religious differences between Orthodox Christian Moscow and the Muslim Caucasus. In 2010 alone, there were more than 329 hate crime convictions and the numbers continue to grow as Russians nationalists push forward in their determination to keep people from Central Asia and the Caucasus Mountains out of Western Russia.
As the police continue the investigation into the shooting in the Moscow Metro, the public in Russia are waiting to hear if this is another act of extremism or just senseless violence.
By Nicci Mende