Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Chance of terror

It has always seemed like terrorist attacks always occur somewhere else-even in Russia, they are usually in Moscow, or in some conflict zone. I never expected it here.

Too young to know what's going on.
14:40 The blast occurred
15:00 I knew Andrei was finishing his lectures, so I texted him to ask him to buy some bread so we could have sandwiches for lunch.
15:15 My MIL's phone rang (she was at our house), and it was Andrei calling to say there had been an explosion. The metro station nearest his work was closed, so he was headed to the other metro line.

I started notifying people that we were okay, and Nina called Vladimir (Andrei's father) to say he was safe. Vladimir started crying with relief.

I was about to burst into tears myself. I was mostly stunned into silence. David was full of energy and irritated that we were making phone calls instead of letting him play freely with Nina.

15:45 Andrei called to say he had made it halfway home but that the metro was being evacuated (seemed logical in case of other bombs, but obviously inconvenient). It's a bit disorienting trying to switch from underground to above-ground transportation, especially considering St. Petersburg is built on a serious of islands. I kept my phone nearby in case I needed to look up directions for him.

16:15 Andrei called to say that he had gotten on a bus headed to another metro station that had more transportation links.

I headed outside to buy some bread at a kiosk near our house. I felt numb, like I was sleep-walking. Our neighborhood looked the same, but people in the same city had lost their lives.

16:40 Andrei called, needing me to look up transportation options. I gave him a few bus numbers to look for.
17:15 Andrei was hopping on a bus, headed toward our metro area.
17:45 I was putting Sophia down for her nap and heard Andrei arrive home.

By this time it was around rush hour and the metro was still closed, so lots of people were stranded. On social media I saw posts about drivers lining up to offer free rides. Vladimir had left work and managed to get home by ground transportation, which was also free at this point, but very, very crowded.

Andrei and I finally had some lunch and stayed glued to our devices for some time, catching up on the news. At first I couldn't handle hearing the news at all, but then I got brave and checked it out.

Instead of Andrei being at church working on some conflict resolution, he got to spend the evening at home, but not for a very good reason. :(

We are sad, not just because of the loss of life, but because of the loss of innocence. It has done something to this beautiful city. I'm not really one of those "we will fight" people. God will fight for us, and God will administer justice when the time comes, but I'm not going to pretend this doesn't change anything. We are in shock and I'm sure a lot of people would like to just take some time off from life as usual. It will be awhile before we can ride the metro or go about life without being reminded of the dangers.


  1. Heather (Miner) DandyApril 4, 2017 at 2:28 AM

    Thanks for posting this Elizabeth. When my husband heard about the terror attack in St. Petersburg he asked me if you were okay. I said that I thought you were because I had seen pictures you posted on Instagram earlier in the day. Wasn't thinking about the time difference though. Glad you are all safe!

    1. Thanks, some people saw us on FB, but not all.

  2. I am so, so sorry for you and for your city. I have been listening to the news a bit to try to understand what the point was.... Kyrgyzstan? Is there are problem with Kyrgyzstan? Terrorism never makes any sense, and always seems to lessen the possibility of a cause gaining momentum. Makes no sense.

    1. Well, usually they call it sort of Islamic extremism or whatever. Chechen rebels and ISIS, it's all sort of mingled together. That's if the government isn't hiding anything.


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