The quiet life of Soviet citizens is extremely rarely interrupted by reports of terrorist activities. Residents of the USSR, possessing fragmentary information, discussed the attacks on Lenin's mausoleum or were outraged by the act of Peter Volynsky, who blew up a bus in Krasnodar. And hardly any Muscovite could have imagined that he would be in the midst of terrible events.
1977, the eighth of January. At 17 hours 33 minutes an explosion struck in one of the cars of the subway train, which was moving from the station "Izmailovskaya" to "Pervomayskaya". The tragedy claimed the lives of seven people, another three dozen were injured of varying degrees of severity. Naturally, life stands still. The movement along the blue branch was stopped, and specialists arrived at the scene of the tragedy.
Bomb in utyatnitsa. A source: www.fsb.ru
And while investigators were engaged in this explosion, at 18:05 a new one thundered. Now the bomb exploded in the grocery store of the grocery store at number 15, located on Dzerzhinsky Street (now Bolshaya Lubyanka). This was already a direct challenge to the KGB officers, since there were administrative buildings near the store that were occupied by the Chekists of the Bauman District. Visitors to the store are lucky. The offender placed an explosive device under the counter, so the brunt took the metal frame. There were no victims, several people were injured.
And after only 5 minutes and the third explosion thundered. This happened near the shop at number 5 on the street October 25 (in our days - Nikolskaya). And then the victims were avoided, since the attacker threw a bomb into a weighty cast-iron urn.
Naturally, the case came under the control of the KGB. And Yuri Vladimirovich Andropov personally led the investigation. The explosions that took place were reported to Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev. The General Secretary was at that moment outside of Moscow. He decided to devote his free day to his hobby. Upon learning of the tragedy, he urgently came to the Kremlin.
Began investigative activities. First of all, the law enforcement officers stopped traffic along the entire blue line of the metro, and all of the people entering or leaving the “subway” were checked. At the same time, departures from the city were blocked, and all stations and airports instantly increased security measures.
Stepan Zatikyan. Frame youtube.com
The power was silent about the tragedy for two days. Therefore, Muscovites all this time had to be content with only speculation and rumors.
In the meantime, the KGB launched Operation Blasters. The investigation lasted day and night. For a short period, the guards of the order interviewed several hundred witnesses, but there was no sense from this. In order not to miss anything important, we had to melt the snow on the roofs of nearby houses, as well as on the streets and sidewalks. And forensic scientists were looking for clues in the bodies of both wounded and dead people. And thanks to their professionalism they managed to find a blue fragment of a certain thing. Soon it became known that it was a fragment from the handle of the meat plate, in which the bomb was placed. The explosive was a hellish cocktail of ammonium nitrate, TNT and clockwork. Investigators found that such utyatnitsy made only at one enterprise of the USSR - at the plant in Kharkov. Moreover, the party was experimental, so it was simply distributed as gifts. Soon the Chekists managed to narrow the circle, from where the criminals could come to three cities - Kharkiv, Yerevan and Rostov-on-Don.
Hakob Stepanyan. A source: www. aif.ru
Some time later it became clear that the guests arrived in the capital from Yerevan. This was helped by the remnants of the bag in which was the duckling. Such “knapsacks” were made just in the capital of the Armenian SSR. There, by order of Andropov, a plane was sent with an investigation team.
But, despite all the efforts, it was not possible to find the criminals without delay.
Advancement of the case occurred only eight months later. An abandoned bag was found at the Kursk railway station. On examination, the investigators found not only an explosive device, but also clothing. In particular, a hat and jacket. At the last was the Olympic patch of the capital of the Armenian SSR. A little later, criminologists were able to detect black hair on the headdress.
Militiamen got orientation on a dark-haired man without a jacket, but, possibly, in blue pants. Began the search for a suspect at stations and airports. The priority was the Caucasian direction. Some time later, a person who fit the description was detained on train No. 55, which was traveling from Moscow to Yerevan. Moreover, the man was without documents and could not really explain why he traveled to the capital of the USSR. He traveled not alone, but in the company of a friend. Soon it was possible to establish the identity of the detainees. The first was Hakob Stepanyan, the second - Zaven Baghdasaryan.
During a search in their apartment in Yerevan, the law enforcement officers managed to find explosives similar to the one used in Moscow. After some time, the investigation was able to establish that Stepanyan and Baghdasaryan are performers. And the organizer of the explosions was Stepan Zatikyan. The detainees pointed to him, stating that Zatikyan is an activist of the illegal “National United Party”. Investigators found that the cell promoted the idea of separating Armenia from the USSR. Also in their plans was the return of territories to the country, which at that time were Turkish. Interestingly, nine years before the tragedy, several party leaders (including Zatikyi among them) were arrested for “anti-Soviet”. During interrogations, Zatikyan denied everything. And Stepanyan and Baghdasaryan constantly changed their testimony, behaved inadequately.
The trial lasted for eight days. Moreover, Brezhnev himself ordered a survey of the process, then to present it in the form of a “documentary”. All three were sentenced to death. At the end of the meeting the prisoners were given the floor. Zatikyan finished his speech in the following way: “Tell people that these were the last words of Stepan: Revenge, revenge and revenge again.”
Zaven Baghdasaryan. A source: www. aif.ru
By the way, some of the Soviet dissidents were against such a cruel sentence. They claimed that the guilt of those arrested was not proven, and the case against them was fabricated. Particularly distinguished in this field is a theoretical physicist, one of the creators of the hydrogen bomb, Andrei Dmitrievich Sakharov. But the power of the USSR to the opinion of dissidents did not listen. And the sentence was soon carried out.
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