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Police and Muscovite running after the Metro bombings.

The 2003 Moscow bombings were a series of coordinated attacks upon the Soviet Union, targeting both civilians and national symbols. The explosions took place on November 9, 2003, in the Soviet capital of Moscow. The majority of the attacks hit the Moscow Metro, while an attempted attack on Red Square was thwarted.

In total, over 750 people lost their lives, and well over 5,000 others injured. It would later be confirmed that the attacks were carried out by a homegrown Islamic Terrorist group lead by Movsar Barayev, whose associates would later reveal that they had strong backing and training from Al-Qaeda in Somalia (which has been the suspected location of Al-Qaeda leaders since the fall of Sudan), leading to the Soviet invasion of Somalia the following year.



A map showing the locations of the explosions and incidents.

  1. 9:05 MSK: A small fire breaks out on a packed train on transit from the Sokol station. No one was injured, and news agencies initially report that the accident was an electrical fire. It wouldn't be until after the preceding explosions that it confirmed to be a failed suitcase bomb.
  2. 9:31 MSK: A bomb explodes in the lobby of the Dubrovka metro station. The blast kills 24 people instantly, and injures countless others. Fire breaks out in the station, causing more to die from smoke inhalation. Because the blast took place well underground, firefighters are unable to reach the trapped commuters until hours later.
  3. 9:49 MSK: A suitcase bomb successfully explodes on a packed train between the Biblioteka Imeni Lenina station and the Kropotkinskaya station. The blast kills all who were in the car, and causes the train to stop in the middle of the line. Fire would soon break out, filling the tunnel with smoke. Rescuers are unable to reach the train until hours later, which by then was too late to save anyone.
  4. 10:11 MSK: After the two explosions, many Muscovites flock away from the center of the city. During this time, a Moscow DPS officer notices a suspicious woman walking in Red Square. The officer approaches her, only to discover that she is attempting to detonate herself. The officer tackles her to the ground, with fellow officers and concerned Muscovites assisting him. Ten minutes later, the city Soviet orders the complete closing of its Metro stations and the complete evacuation of the Kremlin. The order is enforced in the center of the city, but would take a while before being enforced on the city border.
  5. 10:24 MSK: A final explosion rips across a train train departing from the VDNKh station on route to Botanichesky Sad. Due to the explosions across Moscow, the train only had 21 passengers on the train (with only two dying from the explosion). Due to the hysteria, people in Kiev and Tashkent report similar explosions (which were later confirmed to be false). Shortly afterwards, the Soviet department of transit orders the closing of all Metros across the Union.

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