St. Petersburg residents react to April subway attack

St. Petersburg residents react to April subway attack

The terrorist attack will hardly surprise anyone, especially when it happens in Iraq or Pakistan or Syria - these are habitual hot spots and few Belarusians live there. Turkey or Egypt are also hot but a lot of Belarusians go to these countries on holidays. But when the trouble happens nearby, the information and psychological effect is magnified.

The terrorist attack in St. Petersburg on Monday was like an explosion in a neighboring room. Especially because a Belarusian was among the victims and because President Lukashenko was in the city at that time negotiating with the Russian leader Putin.

The political and economic dialogue between the two presidents is the most important event of the week, we will describe it in detail. But first let's watch a report from northern Russian capital. Our special correspondent Olga Petrashevskaya reports.

What happened this week in St. Petersburg is not just an explosion. It is a detonation of terrible human misery which, like a wave, covered even those who were very far from that train...

An explosive device went off in the stretch between the stations "Sennaya" and "Institute of Technology". This is footage of the first minutes after the tragedy. People try to help the wounded and open the mangled door of the subway car.

Yuri Shushkevich, the victim:
As I got a splinter, and then two more here. And the blast covered me and other people! I can't remember details... I'm scared. 
I decided to push the doors more. How to get those victims out of there? Well, the driver did well, he realized that he must drive the train to the station. He could get lost and press the emergency brake, but thus we would not be able to evacuate people from the tunnel.

The driver and two persons on duty at the station will be given state awards. If it was not for their actions, there could be more victims. However, 14 people did die.

A resident of St. Petersburg:
I even cannot speak, it's such a big tragedy. I've been crying for three days... How can these beasts live near us?

Seven out of the fourteen victims were under 30. The suspected terrorists was himself only 22.

A native of Kyrgyzstan, a Mr Jalilov, was rehearsing the attack two weeks, according to investigators.

The suspect worked as a cook at a sushi bar and even helped his father in the workshop. The parents, who arrived to identify their son, said they did not believe he was guilty. However, the genetic traces of Jalilov were found on a bag with an explosive device left on the same day, but on a different subway station. Here the bomb could take tens or even hundreds of lives. Moscow railway station is not far away.

Residents of St. Petersburg:
He lived 6 years in this beautiful city. What did we do to him, this guy?

Suddenly it turns out that an enemy lived among us.

He detonated himself. I do not understand the meaning. He did not do anyone better. First of all himself.

Jaroslav has recently moved to St. Petersburg from the war-torn Donetsk. He moved to forget about the war. And where to go now?..

A resident of St. Petersburg:
What happened here shocked me. Okay, everyone knows that there's war in Donetsk. But here, there is no war, no fighting.

Flowers in memory of the dead were born to the Russian Embassy in Minsk too. The trouble is, it is because, like the sky, one for all.

A resident of St. Petersburg:
We are united, even in trouble. It's better to be together.

Olga Petrashevskaya, CTV special correspondent:
On the third day of the mourning, people continue to bring flowers to the stations where the explosion occurred. And now we will see how secure are the stations now. We see police. At the moment, they are installing metal detectors.

Several days after the attack, another station, Primorskaya, was closed for technical reasons. It turned out that one of the passengers tried to smuggle a grenade with traces of TNT. On the same day, a bomb was found in an apartment building. But what also shocked St. Petersburg residents is that nearby flower shops increased prices for flowers capitalizing on people's tragedy.

This week even strong men mourned in St. Petersburg and flowers seemed to be drowning in the tears of heaven. Unfortunately, it is such tragedies that show in the best way how people can unite, even though they were not directly affected by the tragedy. Explosions did not scare St. Petersburg.

The city withstood the Nazis' siege during WWII and this time did not bow its head to the trouble once again.