Old Babushka Emerges as Russia's Super Hero
Chechen terrorists claimed responsibility for the November 30 explosions and derailment of the luxury high-speed train "Nevsky Express" which travels 120 miles an hour and connects the two capitals--Moscow and St. Petersburg--in just 4 hours. The tragedy took away 27 lives and left nearly 100 people injured. The entire accident makes for a Hollywood-style suspense action movie. One of the severely injured passengers already survived the previous attack on the same train on the same route just two years ago. She recently recovered from shock and went back to work, to only take the same train again...
Two high-profile government officials and multiple lawyers and businessmen (including an attorney for Russia Today TV channel) died in the attack. Most shockingly, when the investigators were at the scene on Saturday (a day following the attack), the second, remote-controlled blast injured Chief of Russia's Investigative Committee, Alexander Bastrykin, and other investigators and emergency workers. A similar sequence of explosions was staged by make-belief Chechen's "brothers in Jihad" in the Hollywood action movie The Kingdom. Want more Hollywood? Read on.
The most damaged train car ended up near a small wooden house of a 78-year-old local babushka, Elena Golubeva, who lives by herself near the train tracks. The explosion took out all the windows at Elena's house, and sent the grandma with her hot night cup of tea to the floor. However, the grandma survived World War II and knew better. In the middle of the night, within a minute of the explosion, she dialed her relatives and authorities on her Nokia cell phone and then carried as many injured as she could into her small house and cared for them throughout the entire night. Elena gave the victims all her clothes, blankets, pills, water and food, including her own shoes. The last rounds for the injured babushka was making barefoot in a below-the-freezing-level weather. She was also actively helping paramedics and police until the last injured left her house.
A few days later, the babushka received the highest Russia's Rail Service award from the Chief of Russia's Railroad Vladimir Yakunin. Within minutes, Kremlin's officials got the message from the media that the award was not enough, and babushka was taken to Moscow in a private luxury train car for a private tour of the city, visit to the Kremlin, and the award ceremony. She also received a life-time 100% increase of her small pension, a $2,000 premium, and compliments from Vladimir Putin. When she got back home from the lavish two-day trip to Moscow, the house and property were already fixed, windows replaced, and a pile of new firewood stocked next to her neatly-organized posessions. When babushka turned on the TV in her remodeled home, she learned that the Russian government is giving her a new house for Christmas and a lifetime social-worker "assistant" to help with her daily routine. Russia Blog hopes that Elena Golubeva enjoys many more years of life she worked for and deserved decades ago.
We also hope that the promised "reset" in U.S.-Russian relations begins sooner rather than later (maybe around the Nobel Prize Awards Ceremony?). Both Russia and the U.S. are common targets for the common enemy. Russia always appears more vulnerable due to its large unsecured border. Imagine what would've happened if Muslim radicals could walk into the U.S. via a Mexican border? It is time to leave the insignificant differences between the two nations behind and start working on what really matters. If Moscow - Petersburg train derailed, who can guarantee the safety of Washington - New York Amtrak?