The Russian city of Vladivostok was put into lockdown Thursday amid fears an attack by the Taliban was on the horizon.
Vladivostok, a port on the Pacific, has been an aviation hub for long-range bombers, despite U.S. military pressure to suspend all flights.
Vladivostok has been an area of concern for the U.S. for a number of years, with experts predicting the city could be the next vulnerable theater in the widening war against the Taliban, the Pakistani terrorist group or even as one day the next Malaysian “bomb-lairs.”
Since mid-July, in ten separate incidents, there have been multiple detonations, from an improvised device with a pressure vessel to an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) to a suicide bombing.
Reports said that in the most recent attack on Tuesday and Wednesday a suicide bomber hit a place where local pro-Russian/Kyrgyz supporters were meeting, killing 20 people. Among those killed was a federal security service (FSB) officer.
Heavily armed and equipped with sophisticated and deadly devices, police fear that the Taliban’s rapid response to violence could lead to a “new wave of terrorism” against Vladivostok.
Putin has increased surveillance of the Vladivostok area, although the Kremlin is still struggling to overcome the perception, mainly in the West, that it seeks to further sow insecurity.
The urgency of the situation led Russia to go back into lock-down mode.
According to a report by the Union of the Independent Media, all public transport vehicles were halted.
Blackouts were ordered to limit a possible radiation leak and the word of “desperation” was being spread to other regions.
However, according to a report by Russia’s state news agency TASS, this was not enough.
Video broadcast by Rossiya24 showed hundreds of police officers fighting off crowds of protesters outside the regional government building.
The Interior Ministry said it had increased security in the city, but again that this was precautionary, and not aimed at stopping anyone.